Mother’s/Father’s Day Gift Guide: A Subscription to The Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club

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It is once again that time to celebrate our parents during the six week stretch that contains their given holidays in 2020: Mother’s Day on May 10 and Father’s Day on June 21. The crew here at Mashing In is well aware that finding a decent gift gets more and more difficult as we get older (and even more so when we are all dealing with a global pandemic), so we have put our heads together to compile a gift guide for those moms and dads that enjoy a well-crafted adult beverage from time to time.  For this installment of the guide, we focus on a gift that caters to the parent that enjoys trying new beers each month: a subscription to one of the many club options from The Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club.

Widely known as one of the most respected beer-of-the-month clubs in existence, The Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club is a family-owned business that was founded in 1994 with a mission to “consistently [deliver] quality, variety, and value through [its] structured craft beer selection process.” Passionately dedicated to providing the best possible customer experience, the people behind The Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club are “committed to building relationships with [their] customers and to offering reliable, responsive customer service from a trustworthy company.”  This customer experience is further elevated by The Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club’s newsletters that aim to make members more knowledgeable beer drinkers by providing incredibly detailed information on the breweries, beers and beer styles featured in each box.  Oh . . . and by the way . . . The Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club does not just offer one beer club.  They actually have five different club options to fit the taste of the recipient, and here are three examples that could be perfect for mom and/or dad:

The U.S. Microbrewed Beer Club | $29.95/month (plus $15 S&H)

Is mom or dad just getting into craft beer and wanting to try some new brews from across the U.S. that they cannot find locally? Well, The U.S. Microbrewed Beer Club has them covered with twelve 12 oz. bottles (four different beer styles in each box) from two different “lightly distributed” American craft breweries each month.  Every shipment also includes The Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club’s Newsletter that features “detailed tasting notes, beer profiles, brewery histories, and suggested food pairings.”

The Hop-Heads Beer Club | $34.95/month (plus $15 S&H)

If you happen to have a hophead for a parent, you can get their lupulin fix shipped right to their door with The Hop-Heads Beer Club.  Containing nothing but hoppy styles ( IPAs, Double IPAs, Imperial IPLs, Sessional IPLs, hoppy Pale and Red Ales, etc.), this club features twelve 12 oz. bottles or cans (three different beers in each box) from two or more “lightly distributed” American or international craft breweries each month. Every shipment also includes The Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club’s Newsletter that features “detailed tasting notes, beer profiles, brewery histories, and suggested food pairings.”

The Rare Beer Club | starting at $38.95/month (plus $14 S&H)

Was mom or dad the reason you got into craft beer? Do you want to properly thank them for being ridiculously awesome? If so, you are going to want to hook them up with a subscription to The Rare Beer Club.  This customizable membership includes two, four or six 750ml bottles of two different limited-release and exclusive American and imported craft beers from the world’s hottest microbreweries each month (past months have featured breweries “such as De Molen, Mikkeller, Lost Abbey, Jester King, Fantôme, The Bruery and more”).  Every shipment also includes The Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club’s Newsletter that features “detailed tasting notes, beer profiles, brewery histories, and suggested food pairings.”  Without a doubt, The Rare Beer Club is easily one of the finest and most impressive beer clubs in the world.  

**UPDATE** Craft Beer Delivery OptionIn order to bring some added convenience to beer fans during the COVID-19 crisis, The Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club has adapted to offer customers the chance to assemble a one-time, customized craft beer sampler shipment via their beer store. If you would like to build your parent a package that is targeted directly to his/her tastes, now is the perfect time to do so. All you have to do is click here to jump to the beer store and begin building your order. **UPDATE**

If you are still scrambling to find that perfect gift for your beer-lovin’ mom or dad, your problem is solved because it does not get much easier than The Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club.  Just head over to their website, select a subscription, and give your parent the gift that will remind them each month of how good of a kid you are.  Prost!

Tasting Notes: Chateau Øl from To Øl

ToOlChateauPourFor this installment of Tasting Notes, we class things up a bit around here by getting into a bottle of Chateau Øl from To Øl (Copenhagen, Denmark).

Coming to us courtesy of The Rare Beer Club, Chateau Øl (10.4% ABV) is a Belgian-style Tripel “that is aimed at replicating a crisp wine, using a ‘melody’ of wine yeasts to ferment the beer.” Hallertau Blanc hops, used in kettle and dry hopping, further reinforce the wine-like character with “the grape, pear like flavors” desired by To Øl. An addition of rye then supplies Chateau Øl with “a spice kick” while a base of Pilsner malt provides a “clean finish that helps to balance the flavors.”

Chateau Øl is available now but only as long as supplies last. You can expect to find this Limited Release offering available in 750ml bottles and on draft at select craft beer-focused establishments located in areas regularly serviced by Shelton Brothers.  You can also gain access to bottles of Chateau Øl by becoming a member of The Rare Beer Club, one of 5 unique beer clubs offered by MonthlyClubs.com (click here to learn more).

Now that we all have an idea of the inspiration behind the beer and how to get it, let’s pop the cork on this bottle and get into these Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for Chateau Øl from To Øl

Appearance:  A cautious pour produces a Tripel that is dark orange in color with a light caramel core and capped with a perfect finger of rocky, cream-colored foam.  When held to direct light, the orange tones gain vibrancy and glow brightly. The beer is mostly clear (just a touch cloudy) and a steady carbonation presence can be observed coursing within.  Head retention is quite good, falling ever so slowly to a lasting top cap that saturates the glass with wide, elaborate patterns of lace from first sip to last.

Aroma:  The aromatics are surprisingly subdued but wonderfully nuanced.  The yeast character greets the nose with a complex mix of spicy Belgian yeast (pepper and clove) and a soft layer of farmhouse-like funk.  Vinous notes then push through to create a white wine quality while tones of caramel, pear and orange round out the profile with a subtle dose of sweetness.

Taste:  A flourish of caramelized sugars hits the palate first before quickly giving way to a gorgeous vinous, white wine presence comprised of fresh pear, white grape, and a slightly funky and earthy yeast character.  The Belgian yeast notes you expect from a Tripel (pepper, spice, clove and banana) are muted but still present and slightly amplified once the spice kicks in from the added rye.  A citrus presence is weaved throughout, adding notes of orange zest, candied orange, and orange liqueur. The flavor profile closes with the Hallertau Blanc hops supplying added grape tones along with notes of lemongrass, grapefruit and pineapple.

Mouthfeel:  On the full side of medium in body with a medium carbonation level, this Tripel is wonderfully crisp and dry in the finish.  Sweet, spicy, lightly funky and hoppy on the palate, this beer coaxes a nice balance out of its complexity.  The 10.4% ABV is present, but it offers only a light, gently building warmth in the throat and lends very little booziness overall.  Notes of caramel, candied orange and pear are left to linger in the aftertaste.

Final Thoughts:  Delightfully complex yet delicate, Chateau Øl is an intriguing and imaginative brew that clearly displays the versatility of the Tripel style.  The beer carries all of the vinous, white wine notes that To Øl aimed to create, but executed it in such a way that the Tripel was still able to whisper subtle reminders of its more traditional flavors and aromas.  These traditional notes simultaneously act as complements that enhance the white wine qualities while still providing enough of the time-honored characteristics needed to affirm that this is undoubtedly a gorgeous Tripel.

This approach yields a dynamic yet approachable offering that will assuredly capture the attention of wine and beer drinkers alike. If you are always on the lookout for beers that can have universal appeal at dinner parties or act as a gateway for the dedicated wine drinkers in your life, Chateau Øl can easily play both of those roles.  Just make sure that your grab some bottles of this Limited Release before they disappear for good.  Prost!