Tavour popped onto my radar a few months ago after untapping a beer on the Untappd app. It's pretty hard to ignore $10 in free beer, so I went to their site to check out what kind of selections they have.
Things got off to a rocky start. I originally wrote a somewhat negative review of Tavour, but have since changed my tune. They made some changes to the way their website functions, and I switched over to using the app. Now, everything is hunky dory, and I'm pretty impressed with this very unique beer ordering service.
My second favorite thing about Tavour is that they don't charge a monthly fee like a lot of other beer clubs. The #1 thing that makes Tavour awesome is that I can try a ton of new, awesome beer, and I don't have to commit to a whole six pack or drive two hours to get it.
How To Order Beer With Tavour
There are two ways to order beer with Tavour. The email system is what I got started with. Believe it or not, a few years ago I still didn't have an iPhone/Android with app capabilities. The email system is simple to understand, but in practice is very frustrating. Here's what you do:
- Sign up for their email list
- Receive daily emails of beer descriptions
- Respond to the email of the beer you want with the number of beers you want to request
- Wait to see if your order was accepted
- Collect a number of beers over approximately 1 month, then wait for your shipment
Tavour Beer Selection Review
The beer selection they offer is pretty impressive in my opinion. Pretty much everything that came through my inbox was something I had never tried before. I live in a podunk town in the Central Valley, and we don't have very exciting selections here at the local Bevmo. I have to drive an hour and a half to get to another distribution area to find specialty items or unique brews.
Some of the less “rare” items I ordered were Evil Twin's Even More Evil, Capital Brewing's Supper Club, and Laurelwood's Red Elephant. These were solid beers. Actually, Supper Club was my #1 favorite out of everything I've tried so far, and would be a solid choice for a daily drinker.
A few specialty brews I purchased include Fort George Brewery's Magnanimous IPA (with fir tips), Brasserie de Silly Bourbon Barrel Aged Scotch Silly, and Freigeist's Geisterzug Spruced Gose.
I also got a Jolly Roger from 2013 and 2014 for a vertical tasting!
There were other beers I ordered, but needless to say I was happy with my selections. They arrived unscathed, and tasted great, although I haven't opened them all yet.
Update 2018: After trying a second round of Tavour two years later, the beer selections are still good. They have a good mix of cans, bottles, bombers, rare beer, and daily drinkers. This time I ordered a bunch of sours, brett beers, and IPAs with experimental hops.
Tavour Customer Service Review
This is where I ran into quite a few issues. The guys behind Tavour were not rude or anything like that, my impression of the company after ordering is that they seemed like a couple dudes in their garage trying to start a beer delivery company, rather than an efficient service.
First off, what's the deal with needing to respond to emails to get a beer? It seems so random to me. Maybe they don't get enough of each item to make it worth investing in software that tracks inventory?
I had several emails that were not responded to, or were responded to after more than a week. I honestly felt like I was being ignored a few times, but maybe the emails just got lost.
For example, there were big shipping problems on my order. I was totally confused about when the beer shipped, or if it shipped. Apparently there was some problem with the overnight shipping company, which is understandable, but no one told me! Here I was clearing my schedule to be home to receive the order for about an entire week, and I found out later that it hadn't even shipped yet.
Then, they couldn't even give me an approximate ship date. The package was supposed to leave the facility on the 7th of December and did not arrive until December 24th.
Thankfully, after all that hassle they credited my account with another $10 in free beer, but I certainly spent a lot more time calling the shipping company, sending emails, and twiddling my thumbs at home waiting for the package to arrive.
Of course, this was a unique situation, so I can't say that this is a continual problem, but lack of communication I feel was an underlying problem during my experience.
Update 2018: After two years of not using Tavour, I decided to not hold a grudge against these guys and try the service again. I've got about 8 beers waiting in line to be shipped on Jan 8, 2018, so we'll see how things go!
Use The App!
As some commenters noted after I posted this original review, using the app is a lot more easy than the email system. You don't have to respond to anyone or deal with the hassle of emails. You just get a little buzz or ding in your pocket from your phone notification, and you can preview the name of the beer that just became available.
If it sounds interesting, like a Barrel Aged Spiced Apple Porter, you can swipe to open directly into the app. Inside, there's a more detailed description of the beer and brewery, plus the cost and ordering limits for this selection. Click that you want to order, and how many you want, then it's added to your crate. You can check your crate inside the app or on the desktop website. Super easy!
I really like the beer descriptions they write in the emails. Even though I don't plan to get another package right now, I'm still on the email list just because I enjoy reading about beer. The beer history and flavor descriptions are spot on and entertaining.
I'll admit, at first I was kind of turned off by not having an actual picture of the bottle in the email, but I've grow to prefer having a worded description. A picture is just a picture and doesn't say much about the craft beer you are going to buy! You can join their email list here and listen in!
Update 2018: I now prefer the app. Though reading descriptions is fun, honestly it's a lot easier just to read the title, skim the flavor profile, check out the label and order.
NOTICE: When you order beers, watch out for when your box closes. It's not from the 1st-31st like you would think. There are arbitrary dates around the beginning and end of the month for when you box closes. If you order beers at the end of the month, they may end up in NEXT month's box, locking you into another month's order.
- delicious descriptions of beers in email inbox daily
- app is super simple and fast to use
- huge variety of beers from around the US and specialty items
- more diverse selection than other beer clubs (my impression)
- fun to pick your beers and send yourself a curated box
- flat rate shipping!!! ($14.95)
- no pictures in emails for folks that enjoy seeing what they will buy
- cannot view current beers without a verified account
- cannot view future beers
- only ships to Arizona, California, Ohio, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico
Who is Tavour Good For?
Tavour is great for someone that is particular about the beers that they want to try, and has a limited selection of brews in their nearby bottle shops. If you have a smartphone and like the idea of building a custom crate of beer over a month, you'll really enjoy this service. Personally, I love that I can build a custom crate of 1-2 of each kind of beer rather than investing in a whole six pack to myself.
And of course, this is an option for anyone that's tried other beer delivery companies like Craft Beer Kings, Craft Shack, Rare Beer Club, or Beer of the Month Clubs. If you've tried those in the past and are looking for something different, Tavour was pretty cool to try.
Would I Order From Them Again?
Yes! I like the fact that they don't charge a monthly membership fee. This way I can just keep the app on my phone, and if I want to explore some new beer for the month, I can just start responding to notifications and build a beer box.
Want To Try Tavour?
You can get $10 in free beer just by signing up through my link. I also get $10 in beer credits, so you'll be supporting my website and and helping me learn more about awesome beer!