Beer-of-the-month clubs, where members pay a flat fee each month and receive regular shipments of craft bottles, have been a "thing" since the early nineties. Tavour (tavour.com), meanwhile, is an alternative take on the concept. The difference? Better variety, total flexibility, and a selection of rare and seriously well-curated beer.
Available in Oregon and nine other states, Tavour offers a constantly-changing lineup of eight beers, with one or two new brews rotated in each day. Users can read about the offerings on their phone app or via an email newsletter. Ordering a beer is as simple as clicking "Get it" and specifying a quantity. Tavour automatically ships purchases in batches every few weeks unless you specify otherwise, allowing you to fill up a box before it gets shipped out. It's worth cobbling together a large order, because the prices are reasonable and shipping is scarily cheap: just $14.90, no matter how large the shipment. (The downside to this: Tavour uses a courier service instead of UPS or FedEx, and since it's alcohol, a signature is required at the time of delivery. It's a good idea to use your workplace as your shipping address.)
This wouldn't mean anything if the beers available weren't good. But they are! Tavour has some fairly incredible connections to breweries nationwide, and thanks to them, Oregonians can obtain some killer brews that wouldn't be available otherwise. Some of the recent brewery highlights include:
• Dark Horse Brewing: Not widely known outside its home state of Michigan, Dark Horse has made a name for itself among beer nerds for Plead the 5th, an out-of-sight imperial stout. For Tavour, they provide Smells Like a Safety Meeting, a highly aromatic IPA that got its name from a slang term for taking a marijuana break on the job.
• Funkwerks: Based in Fort Collins, Colo., Funkwerks focuses on subtlety: pleasant saisons, fruity Belgian varieties, and so on. Barrel Aged Deceit, available from Tavour for $14.99, is a 9 percent oak-aged version of the Belgian pale that earned them gold at the Great American Beer Festival; it has a tart, fizzy kick to it that earns it fans well beyond Funkwerks' Midwest-focused distribution.
• Modern Times Beer: Based in San Diego, Modern Times' name might sound familiar, as they collaborated with The Commons Brewery in Portland to make a complex saison called Good Problems. They offer quite a variety of beer on Tavour, too. Fruitlands is a funky, low-key apricot gose, while City of the Dead is a stout brewed with house-roasted, bourbon barrel-aged coffee.