Top 10 Online US Craft Beer Retailers

Now that the holiday shopping season is fast approaching you might be wondering what to get your loved one who loves beer. They can obviously just go down to their favorite local store and pick up whatever they like or happens to be in stock, so heading down there yourself and getting them a six pack probably isn't the best or most thoughtful answer. At this point the answer is probably obvious, to the internet! Wait ... but which site? Of course you can just ask google, but unless you will just blindly click on the first link and accept your fate, you'll have to do a bit of looking around. Well don't worry because I already have compiled the top 10 Online US Craft Beer Retailers!

But first a few other points ... mainly beer is heavy, like really heavy, like a bunch of steel beams ate boulders for breakfast heavy if you were to ask UPS or Fedex. So it is important to determine that this beer is going to be worth the extra expense to get it sent to you. One good tool to use would be SeekABrew to check if the beer is available in your state or one close by if you live near a border. Another would be just to ask your grandparents who retired in Tampa Bay to throw (okay well carefully pack) a couple of sixers of Cigar City in their checked suitcase. If none of these options work for you then it is time to turn to the wide wonderful world of ecommerce.

It is important to note that you should check the shipping policy to see if you they will actually ship to your state.

Honorable Mention - France 44

I can tell you right now that this site is definitely very popular and rightfully so. The reason I didn't include it in the top ten is that everytime I visit their homepage my antivirus (Avast) says that it blocks a Trojan. I think this is a shortcoming of my antivirus and not their site, but I didn't feel like clicking around while getting constant warnings about my computers impending demise. I attempted to contact France 44 but never heard back from them. If you are looking for beers from Surly than this site from Minnesota is the place to go.

10. Beer on the Wall

If you're not sure what beer your beer loving loved one might be looking for than this is a great place to go. While the selections are not as extensive as one might hope they do offer many gift options. These various sets are a simple solution to the at times daunting task of holiday shopping. If you don't quite like their pre made gift sets you can make your own with lots of various options. If you are looking for the gift that keeps on giving look into their beer clubs. This option allows flexibility as you can choose which months you will get beer and you can cancel anytime. To round it all out there is a large selection of beer glassware and merchandise. I find this site easy to search and use which helps. They ship from California to most states, and I was surprised that they even ship to Pennsylvania which I didn't even know was possible!

9. Brewforia

Despite the great name this isn't the most visually appealing site, but that doesn't matter because you're here for the beer! Their location in Idaho allows for a selection of beer from around the Rockies, west coast, and Alaska. If you click on an individual brewery there in an informative bio which I think is a great feature. One of the best features is a 5, 10, or 15 percent discount off any 6, 12, or 24 bottles respectively that you order. This will help to make the most of their overall reasonable prices. One of the things that definitely caught my eye was the ability to pre order Deschutes The Abyss Imperial Stout. I also wouldn't mind if someone ordered me the Deschutes Northwest Sampler. Despite the standard shipping terms they unfortunately don't ship to over 20 states which will limit who can use their site.

8. Bring on the Beer

This shop from Oregon is small but precise in appearance. Despite the relatively limited selection of breweries they do offer many of the west coast's heavy hitters in the beer scene. Their most impressive bottles come from Russian River, Hair of the Dog, Cascade, and Deschutes. I was surprised that during the course of one day I saw their inventory updated to include the Cigar City and De Proef Tropical Tripel collaboration and Russian River Pliny the Elder. If you are looking for some of the most sought after rare bottles in the US this is definitely a great place to look. The site can be hard to navigate in the sense that Pliny the Elder was available on the first page, but if you looked with the other Russian River beers it would list as unavailable. This kind of shortcoming keeps it from appearing higher on the list. Overall the prices are highly competitive considering the demand for some of these beers. They do offer shipping to most states in the US.

7. West Lakeview Liquors

At first look you might wonder why this site made the list. Well the reason is simple and that reason is that they carry some beers from the almost mythical and very difficult to find 3 Floyds. The few times I've looked the 3 or 4 options generally have been Alpha King, Jinx Proof, Zombie Dust, and Moloko. Most of those bottles will be limited to one per order, so you'll have to fill up your cart with some other beer. They also have a large variety of beer from Illinois which happens to be where they are located. After that you probably want to turn to some of the other interesting Midwestern beers or their large collection of Mikkeller to round out your order. Unfortunately they don't say where they can ship to and their shipping policy roughly says once you pay it's yours good luck!

6. Bottle Select

This easy to search site has a large selection with many of the notable bottles of the beer world available. The only problem with shopping here would be not ordering too much beer! They have some interesting beer bundles and in particular the Maine Beer Company Bundle caught my eye. They say that they do Growler fills and ship them but they don't currently have any drafts listed. I rarely see that option on other sites. The one drawback to this site is that overall the prices are on the high side. They ship to about 30 states and the language in the shipping section is standard. I'm not certain because it isn't listed on their site, but I think they are located in New York.

5. Craft Beer Kings

You would be right in assuming that Average Guy's Guide to Beer scoffs at anyone who anoints themselves with such a lofty title! Luckily they have a good enough selection of beer that I'll let it slide. This is definitely another site where finding enough beer to order will not be a problem. Since they are located in California this is another site to check if you are looking for west coast beers. There are also beers from all over though. I like that they include a small bio at the top of the individual brewers pages. Another really cool feature is that on some of the individual beer's pages there are food pairings. They offer three membership packages good for one year which give various discounts and the top two tiers give access to special release beers. The top "Gold" membership costs $299.99 and gives a 20% discount meaning you would have to spend $1,500 before you start actually saving money. While this might be a good option for some I'd suggest taking a beer inspired road trip if you were planning on at least spending that much. The shipping language is standard and impressively they can currently ship to all but seven states.

4. Lueken's Liquors

This liquor store from Florida is a great place to look for beer. Understandably this site has a very large selection of beer from Florida and one of the larger selections of Cigar City brews that I've seen. One drawback is that most of the 12 oz and canned beers are only available as 6 packs. At least the 6 packs are priced how you would expect if you walked into your local beer store though. The only other real negative to this site is the inability to search by brewery which I find to be a major flaw. If you are looking for rare beers then head over to the collaborations section which usually has some good finds. This site also boasts a very impressive amount of imports and at the time of this writing they have almost 200 beers from Belgium. They currently ship to about 30 states and the shipping language is standard.

3. Beer Ship

It could take quite awhile to sail through all the booty they have available for plunder, but you'll be glad you did. If higher end rare selections are what shivers your timbers then walk the plank right to the Rare/Vintage tab and open a treasure chest of options. I particularly find the Captain's List to be quite impressive, but you might prefer to look through the Barrel Aged section. If you can't find a beer they have a simple form to fill out, and they say they will do their best to find it. Overall this site is better suited for purchases of larger bottles as many of the 12 oz beers are available only as a six pack (the six pack prices are quite reasonable though). I also like how this Idaho site gets straight to business on the front page and talks about their shipping policies with straightforward information and appropriate links. They currently ship to over 30 states.

2. Lets Pour

The first aspect of this site to mention is that the price of shipping is already included in the beers. The site likes to tout its free shipping on 6 bottles or more, but I think we all know nothing is free. They offer $15 off if you order 12 bottles. Another important point to note is that they ship from four different states (WA, CO, NJ, FL) so you'll want to make sure your order has six bottles shipping from one state to keep your costs down. Overall the site isn't too easy to search, but it is good that they have the option to search by where the order ships from. I really like how they have beer advocate and ratebeer scores as wells as awards the beer has won. The product photography on this site is way more impressive and professional than any other I've seen and it really helps to make these already tempting beers appear even more delicious. If you prefer Growler fills they have a few drafts listed. Despite some initial sticker shock while searching their site it definitely holds plenty of sought after options to help you quench your thirst. They currently ship to over 35 states.

1. Halftime Beverage

You'll need more than the break at halftime to give their massive choice of selections consideration. Luckily this site from NY has superb navigation and the ability to search by brewery, domestic, international, style, color, hoppiness, ABV, and their top 100. The prices appear a bit steep at first, but since they offer free shipping on any 12 beers of any size with a total value greater than $100 their prices are actually quite reasonable (just enter the promo FREESHIP at checkout). The ability to mix the size of your beer in your order is an option that sets this site apart from much of the competition. This also makes it easier to reach the minimum needed for the free shipping. There are also many beer baskets and gifts if you are looking for a simpler shopping solution. If you prefer foreign beer they have a large international selection and quite a long list of beers from Germany and over 200 from Belgium. Their growler selection has over 10 drafts, but I couldn't figure out how you can put one in your shopping cart. I don't know if their claim on their website of "World's Largest Selection of Beer" is true but it would be difficult to find a website with more beer.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately the site which will best suit your needs is who can ship beer to where you live that you can't find locally. Unfortunately I did not receive any free beer in the writing of this article. If anyone would like to change that I gladly accept submissions.

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About averageguysguidetobeer

Hi, I'm Colin, I love a good hoppy IPA, but I can find immense enjoyment in a solid session beer, imperial stout, quadrupel or a nostalgic beer from my past.


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