Craft Beer at Your Doorstep… Yes it Really Does Exist
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by Jason Jugenheimer, Mahoning Valley Flight Crew
One of the greatest things that drinkers of craft beer can come across is a unique beer brewed by a small brewery across the country or that rare hard-to-get beer that is generally a limited release beer from a brewery you may love. This can be an issue, as most bottle stores can only carry so much craft beer on their shelves.
Add that to the fact that the craft brewing industry is constantly growing with new breweries opening almost daily. All of this leads to a lot of good beer out there that we’ve never heard of or can't get our hands on due to distance, availability or state laws that make it hard to get beer.
In 2013, Sethu Kalavakur and Phillip Vaughn set out to find the solution to that particular problem. They wanted to know if there was a way to get great craft beer you couldn’t find locally into the hands of beer lovers across the country. Their answer was Tavour.
I was turned on to Tavour by Eric Broz of Drink Up Youngstown. He tried it and shared his selection on Facebook. I thought, "I love trying different craft beers, so why not?" In February, I began placing my first order.
My initial haul included: Timmerman’s Oude Gueuze (5.5% ABV), Belgium; Champion Brewing Company’s Easter Basket DIPA (8% ABV), Charlottesville, VA; Fulton Brewing’s War and Peace Imperial Stout (9.5% ABV), Minneapolis, MN; Logsdon Brewery’s Seizoen Bretta Farmhouse Ale (8% ABV), Hood River, OR; Aleworks Brewing Company’s Bitterest Valentine Imperial IPA (8.3%), Williamsburg, VA; Alameda Brewhouse’s Yellow Wold Imperial IPA (8.2% ABV), Portland, OR; and two from Three Creeks Brewing in Sisters, OR, the FivePine Chocolate Porter (6.2 % ABV) and TenPin Imperial Chocolate Porter (8.4% ABV).
It’s a simple process. You sign up on their website, and you receive daily emails with the name of a beer, the brewery, background information and price. Beers are listed individually by bottle, bomber or in cans. If you like the sound of it, you simply reply to the email with the total number of that beer you want. They reply that they have added it to your box and you await shipping. There is even an app that lets you order beer and keep track of all of the beer you have ordered.
I reached out to Tavour and was fortunate enough to get to chat via email with Megan Birch, Community Manager at Tavour, to get a little background information about this wonderful service. I was curious to how this has been received by their subscribers that span 15 states. According to Megan, and I agree with their subscribers’ description, “Opening up Tavour boxing as being like Christmas morning and how excited they get to see the new beers they get to try!”
Subscribers get access to beers from around the country that they may have never heard of before. That’s the appeal. That’s the perk of being a Tavour members. How are they able to offer this? “We have amazing team that reaches out to breweries every single day and travels across the country to meet with them, know their mission and help them deliver their craft to the fans that love it.” They also look for member suggestions of beers and breweries they should add.
According to Megan, the most popular styles for Tavour members are, “The funky sours or the bourbon barrel aged boozy stuff.” I tend to look for the sours. I’ve quickly grown to enjoy the complexities of them and look for unusual craft sours. Tavour has offered several that you probably won’t ever come across at your favorite bottle store.
Tavour is also seeing a lot of experimentation by breweries. Independent breweries are utilizing a variety of different ingredients and looking to find new tastes and enhance old favorites. Birdfish Brewery in Columbiana, Ohio and Crooked Tongue Brewery in Edinburg, Pennsylvania are two local craft breweries that take experimentation with their beers and styles to heart. That’s the growing trend that members seem to like and that Tavour sees and wants to get out to their subscribers.
As for the future of Tavour, “We definitely plan to ship to as many states as we can! As laws change we will grow and get amazing beer from these incredible breweries to even more people!” We would love to say to everyone, drink indie beer! Our main mission is to support these independent breweries and give them another avenue to sell their beer.”
So, if you are looking to try something different or you can’t find or get enough of a favorite style, please give Tavour a try. Tell them Jason and the Mahoning Valley Flight Crew sent you. You probably won’t get anything special for doing that, but hey it’s worth a shot. www.tavour.com