I’m not going to lie. When it comes to getting packages in the mail, I’m like a kid on Christmas morning, even on the occasions when I know what’s being dropped of at my front steps.
That said, getting beer in the mail IS exciting. Especially when the exact contents of the large box that shows up are a complete mystery.
I know, I know. Cut to the chase. For Christmas, my wife signed me up for a beer of the month club (this one, specifically) and there’s been a buildup of excitement for the final week of the month, when the Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club (MBMC for the sake of not having to type it out every time) says to expect delivery.My first thought when I received a text from my wife while at work Sunday saying a box had arrived for me was “Is it time to go home yet?” It seemed oddly appropriate that something I had been so anxiously awaiting would have to wait another six hours or so.
From what I understand, the package — a nondescript brown box — was dropped off by a nondescript delivery service. To those who have tried to have beer shipped to Massachusetts, this won’t seem odd. Many stores and brewers won’t ship to the state and, to be honest, I’m too lazy to look up the regulatory reasons behind it. Perhaps that’s another post for another time.
Back to the matter at hand. Here’s a little background info I had looked up on the MBMC before the shipment ever arrived. For around $37 per month, the club will send you a dozen beers that it has selected from all over the country. Each month, you get six beers from one brewery and six from another, with those further divided into two different selections from each company.
Opening the box — with my wife quoting the “What’s in the box?!?” lines from the end of “Seven” —revealed at first some advertising from the parent company’s other clubs (International Wine, Premium Cigar, etc.) and MBMC’s “Malt of the Earth” newsletter. The four-page brochure provides information on the two breweries featured each month, with descriptions of the individual brews on the inside. And the descriptions aren’t limited to “This beer is good and hoppy.” They delve into what kinds of malts and hops are used, suggested serving temperatures and recommended glassware, International Bittering Units, and alcohol content as well as some editorializing on the beverages.
Packed underneath the paperwork, the beers rest snuggly in a pair of bottle conforming, heavy cardboard brackets that securely hold the bottles in place.
Twelve bottles, four different brews. Fairly exciting stuff, even with the — slight — disappointment of two of them being from Casco Bay Brewing Company. That’s nothing against Casco Bay; I was just hoping to receive something that isn’t available here, but I understood that this club ships nationwide and doesn’t put together regionally exclusive selections. Plus, the two brews from Casco Bay — Brown Ale and Riptide Red Ale — were ones I had never tried before.
Also included were a half dozen bottles from Atlanta’s SweetWater Brewing Company, which I was not familiar with. The selections from SweetWater were the company’s IPA and 420 Extra Pale Ale.
And with work interfering, I’ve (quite sadly) not yet tried any of these. But for beer lovers, I can’t imagine many gifts that are this fun while expanding horizons. I’ll certainly be looking forward to my next shipment like a child waiting for Santa Claus.