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In this post, I review March’s international and domestic monthly beer club shipment from Monthly Clubs.

Monthly Beer Club

Photo by Quinn Dombrowski is licensed under CC 2.0. This content uses referral links.

Monthly Clubs offers a great monthly beer club subscription plan. (I subscribe to the international and domestic monthly beer club, but there are other options available.) March’s shipment was quite enjoyable. Below, I review each of the beers in this month’s delivery.

This month, like all months, my international and domestic monthly beer club subscription provided me with three bottles of four different kinds of high-quality beer. They did not disappoint.

International and Domestic Monthly Beer Club

I subscribe to Monthly Clubs’ international and domestic monthly beer club. It costs $49.95 per month, and the beer arrives right at my door. (I live in Texas, where the beer generally arrives toward the end of the month. I understand that shipment arrival dates may be different in other states.)

Admittedly, this is a little pricey. $49.95 for twelve bottles of beer means I am paying about $4.17 per beer. I can buy imported beer at the supermarket for less than this.

The beers from the international and domestic monthly beer club, however, are high quality and hard to find. This monthly beer club subscription allows me to sample beers that I would otherwise have no opportunity to try.

I have been subscribing for over a year now. I have no plans to stop, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good beer.

If you are at all interested, I encourage you to give it a try. Monthly Clubs runs specials from time to time to allow you to try their clubs at a discount. You may be able to try a monthly beer club at a reduced rate. I encourage you to check out their website to see.

Available Clubs

The international and domestic monthly beer club is not the only option. Monthly Clubs also offers the U.S. Microbrew Beer Monthly Beer Club, which provides microbrews from American Microbreweries. There are also the Hop-Heads Monthly Beer Club and the International Monthly Beer Club.

Finally, there is a Rare Monthly Beer Club, which offers limited release or exclusive international and domestic beers.

I prefer the international and domestic beer of the month club for its variety. There are, however, different options to fit your taste and budget.

March’s International and Domestic Monthly Beer Club

I recently sampled all the beers from the international and domestic monthly beer club March shipment. This month I received three bottles of each of the following beers.

  1. Schlossbrauerei Friedenfels – Friedenfelser Organic Zoigl
  2. Brauerei Zoller-Hof – Old Fred
  3. Harpoon Brewing Company – Flannel Friday
  4. Millstream Brewing Company – Iowa Pale Ale

Below are my thoughts on each.

I am not a beer expert, so please remember this as you are reading through this post. I enjoy the international and domestic monthly beer club because it provides me the opportunity to learn more about beer.

Beer is much more than a frat boy’s gateway to Friday-night bad decisions. It has a storied history, and the difference between a craft beer and that of the weekend kegger is night and day. If your goal is to get drunk, I’d recommend eschewing these beers. You will find yourself poorer and disappointed. 

Schlossbrauerei Friedenfels – Friedenfelser Organic Zoigl

Monthly Beer ClubThe Friedenfelser Organic Zoigl is a German Zoiglbier with a 4.8% alcohol by volume. It is a beer in the traditional lager style with the subtle malty taste you would expect from a lager.

Aroma

From the bottle, the beer has a sweet, yeasty smell. Its aroma is a subtle, smooth, and malty. After the pour, the beer maintains the same aroma in the glass with perhaps some notes of citrus. It was hard for me to tell since the smell is so smooth and subtle.

Flavor

The beer had a light, orangish color in the glass that the website describes as a “golden, light amber color.” This is, I believe, an adequate description.

The taste, like the smell, is subtle. Unlike most of the other microbrews that I have tried, this beer does not scream flavor. It is much more subdued. While I enjoy a good, strong beer, I also enjoy a quieter flavor like that which the Friedenfelser Organic Zoigl offers.

The beer had a yeasty, sweet taste that is hard to describe. It has some caramel-like flavorings, but I could not distinguish much more than that. (And drawing that out was difficult for me. I do have a difficult time identifying distinct flavors in beer.)

The carbonation seemed unusually low. As you can see from the picture, the beer had almost no head after the pour.

It had a dry finish with a slightly bitter aftertaste. The aftertaste was not too overpowering, however, and left a pleasant feel in my mouth. I appreciated this.

Conclusion

Overall, I enjoyed the beer. The flavors were subtle and unremarkable, but it was a nice, smooth beer that did not overpower the flavors of my meal.

Speaking of which, Monthly Clubs recommends pairing this beer with “soft pretzel, earthy and nutty cheeses, roasted chicken dishes, or grill sausages and other meats.” I enjoyed my beer with Italian sausage, and I thought it paired exceptionally well. The subtlety of the beer complimented the hearty spiciness of the sausage.

Brauerei Zoller-Hof – Old Fred

Monthly Beer Club

The Brauerei Zoller-Hof Old Fred is a German Amber Lager with a 5.3% alcohol by volume.

From the bottle, the beer has a sweet yeasty flavor. After the pour, the beer showed a heavy carbonation with a thick head. From the glass, the beer had the smell of bread. There was also a sweetness to the aroma. The website describes it as a caramel smell, which seems about right.

The beer had a dark amber color. It was a beautiful, appetizing beer that did not disappoint.

The flavor was subtle and largely matched the aroma. It was sweet with a slightly fruity and caramel taste, but it wasn’t too sweet.

It mostly tasted how you generally expect a good lager to taste with a faintly hoppy aftertaste that quickly faded from the mouth. I did not, however, detect “hints of spice and earth.” (I still don’t quite understand what earth is supposed to taste like.)

As far as food pairing, Monthly Clubs recommends “[r]oasted pork loin, various Mexican and other spicy dishes, nachos, or a snack of tangy cheeses.” As the website states, however, it is “[e]asy to drink on its own,” which is what I did. After being unexpectedly called into work on a Saturday, I wanted to end my day with a good drink. This beer provided just that, no accompaniment required.

Harpoon Brewing Company – Flannel Friday

Monthly Beer Club

Harpoon Brewing Company’s Flannel Friday is an American Amber Ale with 5.7% alcohol by volume.

Out of the bottle, this beer had an overwhelming smell of hops and citric with a bit of an almost sour bite. After the pour, the beer maintained its citric, hoppy aroma. I did not pick up any “touches of caramel and light toast,” but that description does not seem far-fetched for this beer.

With a moderate carbonation level, the beer maintained a significant, though not overdone, head of foam. It poured a rich, deep amber color.

The beer’s taste matched its aroma. It was sweet yet a bit bitter and very hoppy. “Well-balanced and medium-bodied,” is a good description for this beer. It finished bitter and dry.

It was a delicious beer, and, while brewed specially for the Monthly Clubs March shipment, it is an excellent fall seasonal beer.

As far as food pairing, Monthly Clubs recommends “grilled meats and burgers, aged cheeses, roasted fowl with wild rice, and BBQ chicken pizza.” The website notes, however, that “this is a versatile brew.” I agree.

I had it with some homemade mashed potato pizza that my wife made. I thought the two went exceptionally well together.

This beer is a favorite of mine. I hope to run across it again.

Millstream Brewing Company – Iowa Pale Ale

Monthly Beer Club

Millstream Brewing Company’s Iowa Pale Ale is an American IPA with 6.0% alcohol by volume.

Aroma

Out of the bottle, this beer had a sweet, fruity smell with a strong hint of bread. The beer smelled a bit bitter out of the bottle as well.

Upon the pour, the beer appeared a light orange color, perhaps a shade lighter than amber. It presented with quite a large head (as you can see from the picture) and appeared to be much more heavily carbonated than the other beers in this shipment.

The aroma out of the glass had a subtle orange smell to it. I did not detect lemon or floral qualities, as Monthly Clubs suggested, but I did recognize something like pine. Indeed, the look of the beer itself screamed citric, matching the beer’s subtle citric aroma from the glass.

Flavor

The taste was smooth yet bitter. This beer was hard to pin down. The malt taste was strong, but I did not detect any caramel, as the tasting notes suggested that I should. It had a strong, hoppy bitter finish that lingered in my mouth for some time. It’s a dry beer, which I appreciate, but I would tone it down a bit.

This beer had a lot going on in its flavor profile. It seemed a little too busy for me. The website states, “It’s quite complex, but that’s no surprise given the five different hop varieties Millstream uses (more when one considers that Falconer’s Flight is itself a blend of several different Pacific NW hop varieties).”

This seems right. There’s just a lot going on here, a bit more than I care to experience in one glass of beer.

Final Assessment

Overall, I liked the beer, but it’s not one of my favorites. I like IPAs, but I’m not crazy about them. It’s therefore hard for me to separate my ambivalence toward IPAs in general from my assessment of this particular beer.

It was a good beer, and I’d happily drink it again. I would not, however, seek it out. It’s probably my least favorite of this shipment. Given the high-quality beers I received in this shipment, however, that’s not saying a whole lot.

Food Pairing

As far as food pairing, the website recommends, “pairing this IPA with spicy Cajun and Thai dishes, strong cheeses like Gruyere, and proteins as diverse as lamb, beef, game, ahi tuna, and seared scallops.” I think spicy food would go exceptionally well with this beer.

As for me, I paired it with some leftover homemade pizza. It paired fairly well. While I would think that Monthly Clubs’ recommendations are the ideal pairings, this beer is amenable to diverse food choices.

Monthly Beer Club

As always, I recommend Monthly Club’s international and domestic monthly beer club. As I stated above, you’ll get four different premium craft beers delivered to your door every month. The opportunity to try a variety of high-quality beers every month and to experience the diversity of beers out there is an extraordinary experience. I have greatly enjoyed being a member, and I recommend giving it a try.

If you’re interested and would like to use my referral link, I would appreciate it. If you decide to sign up, I’ll receive a commission at no cost to you. If you’d prefer not to use my link, however, I still recommend the club. Just type beermonthclub.com into your web browser to explore Monthly Clubs’ offerings.

Categories: Beer

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