brew box

New Toronto company delivers craft beer to your door

Craft beer delivered to your door. It's the dream of beer fans the world wide, and now it's available to people in cities across Ontario.

The Brew Box Company, founded by five young Torontonians with varying business backgrounds, arose from the recognition that there was a need for a service that could help Ontarians discover new and unique craft beer from independently owned brewers across the province. "We were at the Corned Beef House," co-founder Rob Jackiewicz tells me, "and I had just come back from Montreal with a couple cases of craft beer and we started wondering why it isn't possible to get a selection of good craft beer in Ontario without driving everywhere."

Offering tiered packages, members can opt for the introductory tier, which is $55 per month, or you can opt for a higher tier that runs $85 a month and focuses more on seasonal and small batch releases. The company aims to bring you as much beer for your dollar as they can and instead of a guaranteed monthly volume of beer, the selection will be based on value (i.e. you'll get what you pay for based on how much the beer costs, and not necessarily the same amount of bottles every month).

This second tier is also available on a bi-annual or quarterly basis for those who can't in good conscience commit to spending over a $1000 a year on beer delivery. For those looking to do one time orders, Brew Box will also do private deliveries and will pull together a case for you from one brewery or from several breweries for what they call "a high-value one-time purchase" (read: it'll probably cost you).

Their monthly deliveries include "brewery specific merchandise" and tasting notes so you can learn about the beers and read a little bit about the brewery that makes the beverages. While a perusal of the founding members' bios seems to come up pretty light when it comes to official "beer experience," the blog on the Brew Box Company website readily displays their enthusiasm for beer, and I get the sense that these guys aren't just in this to make a buck, but really appreciate the brews--generally a good thing when you're talking about a business related to craft beer.

Jackiewicz tells me that the company already services every urban area in Ontario and lists London, Ottawa, Hamilton, Niagara, Windsor, and Toronto as cities with members already.

The company's very first shipment went out in September and included The Blonde Ale, a spiced Belgian style blonde from Smithworks Brewing Company in Peterborough, Cheap Gold, a Belgian strong golden ale from Block 3 in St. Jacobs, and The Extra Special Bitter from Toronto's own Junction Craft Brewery.

13 breweries are currently in negotiations with the company to offer their beers in the mail and in addition to the above, Niagara on the Lake's Silversmith Brewery, Perth Brewery, Peterborough's Publican House, Toronto's Indie Ale House, Hogtown Brewing Company, and Brickworks Cider all already have formal agreements with the service.

The Brew Box Company is currently accepting new members and hopes to build awareness (and more capital) for expanding their idea with a kickstarter campaign in November. For more information, check out their (soon to be updated) website (their pricing structure only very recently changed so the site's info might not yet match the correct info that's written here. It will very soon).

Ben Johnson also writes about beer over on Ben's Beer Blog. Follow him on twitter @Ben_T_Johnson.

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