There’s no doubt we’re living in the golden age of online shopping. Virtually anything your heart desires can be researched, paid for, and summoned to your home with just a few taps on your phone or clicks of a mouse. But why stop at frivolous Amazon purchases and curated subscription boxes when you can order your favorite beer directly to your front door?
These days, there are more websites, apps, and services dedicated to selling beer online than ever before. Some of them even promise delivery times of an hour or less, rivaling your local pizzeria on a busy night. That means you can go from being completely beer-less to holding a brand new six-pack in less than 60 minutes—all without ever leaving the comfort of your couch. It might not be the future inventors of the internet had originally imagined, but we’re certainly not complaining.
It’s worth noting these services tend to be more popular in bigger cities than in the outskirts of towns or suburbia’s rural pockets. And specific alcohol shipping laws vary from state to state, so some of these options unfortunately won’t be available in every corner of the country. But, if you are lucky enough to live in a place that allows you to send suds straight to your door, you might as well take advantage of it, right?
Whether you’re a first-time user just discovering the wonders of purchasing beer on the world wide web or a seasoned repeat customer who just can’t get enough, here are some of the best sites to check out the next time you’re looking to buy some brewskies online.
Best for: Super speedy delivery times
When it comes to ordering your beer through the interweb, no service is more streamlined than Drizly. “Drizly started in Boston about six and a half years ago, and the thought was delivery is happening across so many verticals, so why not alcohol?”, according to Drizly CEO Cory Rellas. Through the Drizly app or site, users can shop for their favorite beers and be connected with a local licensed retailer who will fulfill the order. They boast an impressive range of breweries to suit any craving, spanning from the big-box brands to the lesser-known craft breweries. But the speed factor is their real selling point. Depending on your city, deliveries can take less than an hour to arrive, meaning you can get the party started in no time. And although the service does have an urban focus, they plan on expanding to more suburban areas in the future.
2. Minibar Delivery
Best for: Big-city imbibers
Your favorite brew is just a few taps away with Minibar. Like Drizly, the company doesn’t hold their own liquor license—instead, they opt to partner with local liquor stores and suppliers to provide the goods. Fans love the app’s easy-to-navigate interface and conveniently organized inventory. Their beer selection is enviable, spanning from under-the-radar breweries to international staples (not to mention their entire library of liquor, wine, and mixers). And be sure to keep your eyes peeled for discounted bottles or starred selections, which indicate official staff picks. Orders can also be placed up to two weeks in advance, which can be an especially helpful feature for the amateur party planner. Speaking of parties, you can even use Minibar to book a bartender to work your next event (although the service is currently limited to their major markets like New York City and Denver).
Best for: Discovering new brews
Seattle-based Tavour launched a few years back as a more curated answer to the growing number of beer-of-the-month clubs cluttering the market. Their approach implements a familiar subscription-service format, but puts control back in the users’ hands. Their members get to hand-select the beers they want (so they’re never sent something they aren’t interested in), and they can also decide when they want to receive their shipment. Every day, Tavour experts introduce two new beers they’ve identified as being on the rise (along with their own tasting notes), so there’s truly an ever-evolving rotation of options to choose from. Shipment times depend on your location (typically three days to a week), but you always pay one flat rate for shipping. “Tavour is the best way to enjoy craft beers from around the world,” according to Philip Vaughn, the company’s founder. “Our beer is fresher than what you find in the store because we get [them] within days of being bottled or canned and offer them via the app.”
Best for: Indecisive craft-beer lovers
Craftshack is another prevalent player in the beer-delivery space that’s been around for a few years. Their expansive online inventory offers something for everyone, ranging from saisons to smoked beers to sour porters. With more than 1,000 varieties to choose from, indecisive drinkers might feel overwhelmed while perusing their digital database. Luckily, their store helps customers pare down the options and discover new styles thanks to a nifty set of filters (think: Game of Thrones beers, San Diego breweries, trending beers, and more). Plus, they also carry libations like meads, ciders, hard seltzers, and kombucha in addition to hard liquor. With flat shipping rates, it’ll cost the same whether you’re buying one bottle or a whole mix-and-match case, so don’t hold back. And if you don’t like a specific beer, they’ll happily send you a replacement (as long as you agree to cover the shipping).
Best for: Draft beer connoisseurs
If you’re a diehard draft-beer lover, you probably have to leave your house or apartment to enjoy a fresh-poured pint from the keg (unless you’re living in some sort of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia situation). But now Hopsy is here to save the day. The service uses a revolutionary SUB Home Tap draft system that sits on your counter and lets you transform your place into a pub. Just plug it in and you’re ready to pour. It doesn’t require pesky CO2 cartridges and it comes with its own refrigeration system that keeps your beer fresh and chilled to perfection. “Hopsy works directly with top brewers to source the best beers and also give consumers access to their limited releases on tap at home,” explains Sebastien Tron, Hopsy founder and CEO. This allows them to stock everything from popular fan favorites to small-batch finds. Simply order a mini-keg online, sign off on the delivery, and load it into your SUB to start sipping. Shipping availability depends on your location and can take four days to two weeks to arrive.