A buddy of mine turned me on to a beer by mail service called Tavour a few months ago. I didn't think much of it until I was over at his house having some beer and opened his beer fridge. He had a great selection of craft brews from breweries I had heard of, but knew weren't distributed anywhere locally. He mentioned that all of it came from Tavour and I decided to sign up and see what it was all about. The contents of my latest shipment can be seen above.
Tavour touts itself as a place to get the "World's best local beers to your door." After receiving two months worth of shipments from them, I can easily say they are living up to that promise.
Here's how it works. After you sign up (no credit card required until you actually make a purchase BTW), you receive a couple of emails each day about a beer they are offering for sale. The email contains information about the brewery, a fanciful description of the beverage, and sometimes comparisons to similar beverages. If you decide you want some of that beer, you simply reply to the email stating how many units you want and they charge your credit card on file. After a month or so worth of purchases, they bundle everything up and ship it to you for a flat rate of about $15.
Here's an example email for one of the beers that I purchased:
Hoping to impress 10,000 Sour hungry brewers, Ecliptic Brewing unveiled Ultra Violet Sour Ale at this year’s Craft Brewer’s Conference in Portland, Oregon. The zealous reception from these impossibly tough critics (brewers, after all) created a citywide draft hit!
Now in bottles, Ultra Violet encapsulates the fresh zing of Oregon blackberries in a loud 7.5% ABV. Using the reemerging kettle souring brewing technique responsible for trendy Berliner Weisses and Goses, Ecliptic draws out the crisp tart divinity of ripe blackberries in a wild rush of electric booze.
Kettle souring allows brewers to inoculate the kettle as early as possible, bringing the PH down rapidly without risking cross contamination. It’s a quicker, cleaner method of souring that gives brewers more control over flavor – no funk here.
Pucker fans will revel in the vinegary snap of lacto-spun fruit. Dry vinous notes invigorate the palate with hits of berry, black tea, cherry and Belgian yeast spice. Bubbly and bright, Ultra Violet amplifies and suspends that juicy moment when you bite into a plump blackberry and it pops with sweet, tangy sharpness.
This Sour introduces a focused display of Wild flavor that promises to light up any occasion. Sub it out for a pitcher of iced tea and bring a novel touch to your summer afternoon.
They ship via a courier capable of handling alcohol. The packages arrived in branded cardboard boxes:
Each box contains internal dividers to ensure the safe delivery of the contents:
The shipping materials are sturdy and I'm looking forward to reusing them to ship bottles of homebrew to competitions.
I've found the selection of beverages to be great. Everything from IPAs, imperial stouts, blonde ales, lagers, etc. to sours and an occasional artisinal cider.
In conclusion, I can't speak highly enough about Tavour. The best way to get started is to create an account so you can receive their offer emails just to see if it is something that works for you.