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Let the Craft Beer Come to YOU: Here's 7 Sites That Ship Suds

Your favorite brews are only a few clicks away. Just pay attention to shipping costs and restrictions.
Published
man with beer

American craft beer is in the midst of a Renaissance. More than 5,000 breweries are now operating across the United States, eclipsing even pre-Prohibition numbers. But the U.S. is big, and getting your favorite beer can be tough when the brewery is on the other side of the country.

Here, we lay out the challenges of buying beer online, and tell you about seven sites that can help you get your brew.

Get to Know Your Local Beer Laws

First of all, the direct shipment of booze is largely regulated at the state level. Residents of Alabama, Arkansas, and Utah can't receive beer directly; alcohol must be purchased from licensed retailers in those states. (You may be able to purchase said alcohol online and have it delivered to an ABC store though, depending on your local laws.)

SEE ALSO: How to Brew Your Own Beer at Home (Without Going Broke)

For what it's worth, the majority of alcohol shipping regulations apply to wine specifically. That said, don't be surprised if some sites simply won't ship to your state. (And a few sites definitely ship beer to places where they shouldn't.) Of course, you're ultimately responsible for complying with all applicable local, state, and federal laws regarding taxes and interstate alcohol sales.

Shipping Beer Is Expensive

Beer bottles are both heavy and fragile, so they're expensive to ship. Expect shipping costs in the $25 to $35 range for ground shipping — and remember that opting for ground shipping means your beer will spend days in the heat or cold. What's more, all deliveries require the signature of a person who's at least 21. Some sites suggest using your work address for deliveries, so you won't miss any.

Opting for ground shipping means your beer will spend days in the heat or cold.

Now that you've got the lay of the land, check out these sites and bring home that IPA, Stout, or Hefeweizen you've been missing.

7 Sites for Ordering Craft Beer

Tavour

What's notable: Seattle-based Tavour sends you an email almost every day with new beers you can add to an open order. After a period of time, you ask Tavour to send your order, and it'll ship you all the beers you picked. You can also download the site's Android or iOS app to view its daily deals.

Delivery costs: Tavour's real advantage is shipping cost. You pay a $14.90 flat rate, with tax variances based on your location.

Shipping restrictions: Tavour ships to AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, MA, NE, NM, NV, OH, OR, PA, WA, and WI. It also ships on a schedule (rather than on demand), so double-check your delivery dates.

The Beer Connect

What's notable: The Beer Connect doesn't actually stock beer; it's a middleman between breweries and customers. Thirty-eight states currently allow their citizens to receive craft beer shipments directly from breweries; if your state is lucky enough to be on the list, you can choose from hundreds of different beers.

Delivery costs: Shipping costs will vary by the brewer. Expect standard shipping rates of around $25 to $35, increasing with the size of your order.

Shipping restrictions: Don't be fooled by the state selection page! The beers you can buy vary based on your state and the state where the brewery is located.

CraftShack

What's notable: CraftShack has a wide selection of available beverages and a wide distribution area. The website also features a handy set of filters, making it easy to browse for new beers in the styles you like.

Delivery costs: All that convenience ain't cheap. CraftShack requires a $35 minimum order, and be prepared to pay at least another $25 for shipping.

Shipping restrictions: The site ships to every U.S. state except AK, AR, KY, MN, and UT.

Best Damn Beer Shop

What's notable: Best Damn Beer Shop (BDBS), based in San Diego, is an actual brick-and-mortar store. It ships to 30 states/districts, and San Diego locals can opt for in-store pickup or same-day delivery. The retailer also offers an assortment of beer clubs that cater to different beer tastes.

Delivery costs: BDBS claims to make no profit off shipping, so it might have lower shipping costs than competitors. But don't expect too much in the way of savings, as shipping beer is still expensive.

Shipping restrictions: The store requires a $40 minimum order. You must order at least six bottles — and you can only order in multiples of six or 12 bottles. BDBS ships to 30 states/districts: AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, MD, MI, MO, NC, NE, NM, NV, OH, OR, SC, TN, VA, VT, WA, WV, WI, and WY.

Bring on the Beer

What's notable: Bring on the Beer specializes in beer from the Pacific Northwest, a very popular region for craft beer.

Delivery costs: Shipping one to five bottles costs as much as shipping six, so order in multiples of six to optimize your shipping costs.

Shipping restrictions: Bring on the Beer does not ship to AL, AR, IL, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MN, MS, ND, NH, NY, PA, SD, TX, and UT.

Craft City

What's notable: Not only does Craft City's website feature more than 2,000 beers available for ordering, but it allows you to browse by both brewery and by style and choose shipping methods other than ground.

Delivery costs: Craft City offers multiple shipping options. Ground will obviously be least expensive, but if you're ordering sensitive products, you might want a faster delivery option — and Craft City provides.

Shipping restrictions: Craft City doesn't ship to AR, DE, KY, MS, SD, TX, or UT.

Total Wine & More

What's notable: Total Wine & More obviously carries wine, but it also stocks more than 2,500 beers. While the retailer doesn't ship beer, if you're lucky enough to be within driving distance of one of its 174 locations, you can order online and pick up in-store.

Delivery costs: None, but you've got to pick it up in person.

Shipping restrictions: Total Wine has locations in 20 states: AZ, CA, CT, DE, FL, GA, KY, MA, MD, MN, MO, NC, NJ, NM, NV, SC, TX, VA, WA, and WI.

Readers, have you purchased beer from any of these retailers? If so, what was your experience like? Let us know in the comments below!


Contributing Writer

Sean is a freelance writer and photojournalist working in the Hampton Roads region. He has been a writer, adventure motorcyclist, drag racer, data nerd, shade-tree mechanic, and tornado chaser. Recommend good beers to him on Twitter at @wxgeek.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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1 comment
CinciShopper

I am a really big fan of craft beer and I understand what the author is trying to do but I can't imagine ordering beer online. My local Kroger carries over 100 different beers. If I get bored with that there is another store down the street that has insane beer. I could literally try a different beer a week and never drink my way thru their entire selection in the next 20 years assuming none of the beers will be discontinued before I finish my quest to try them all.

Then there are the 10 or so local breweries within 20 miles of my house who have their own tap rooms. I can practically walk to the 50West brewery from my house. I sure as heck can ride my bike there. (They have a nice well used bicycle rack for me and the neighbors.)

There is beer here in Cincinnati everywhere. No internet needed. I hope that everyone else is as fortunate. :)