One day in the near future, we'll all be back at the cool beer bars and taprooms, and we won't need to think twice about going into the bottle shop. (See you there.) In the meantime, it's easier than ever to have great beer sent straight to your doorstep. Here are a few apps for that.
This delivery app is totally devoted to beer, particularly the rare and special variety. Optionally, you can receive an email once or twice per day that describes in FOMO-stoking detail the hot new bottles or cans that have just become available. They get some real scorchers, too, from breweries such as Anchorage, Jester King, Side Project, WeldWerks, and many more from 47 states. The downside: They might not be able to deliver to your state yet, depending on local laws.
Primarily, this is an app to help a brewery manage things such as special releases, pre-sales, and rare-bottle membership clubs. However, there is a consumer-facing side to it: Anyone can download and see what breweries in their area might be using it to make beer available. The app makes it easy to reserve and purchase beer as well as gift cards, swag, and tips or donations to keep your favorite taproom staff fed until this thing blows over. Downside: It’s useless unless breweries near you are into it.
This nationwide alcohol-delivery app has been flourishing in the age of social distancing. How it works: Liquor stores and bottle shops sign up and register their inventories. You use the app to browse and fill your cart, and the shop delivers your purchase to your doorstep—often in less than an hour, if you live in the city. The downside: In more sparsely populated areas, service may be nonexistent or may require a few days’ time plus high shipping fees.
Similar to Drizly, connecting with local liquor stores who handle quick delivery to your doors—if you’re in a major metro area. At a spot check using an address in central Washington, D.C., the craft selection was mainly limited to nationals and large regionals, with virtually no locally brewed beers. (That may change with your neighborhood and affiliated store.) Still, there were enough options to find a great beer, if you don’t demand wide selection and live in a big enough city.
Go directly to the websites, Instagram pages, or otherwise most-frequented social-media haunts of your favorite local breweries. Many of them have worked out their own safe and convenient ways to sell you their beer directly. They’re using a variety of platforms for this—services such as Square, Arryved, Craftpeak, and 2nd Kitchen 2Go.
But in the best cases, you won’t notice or care, as you simply clickety-click and procure your beer for pickup or delivery within a few minutes. It may not be as fun as sitting at their taproom bars and filling their ears with our opinions. But it’ll do for now.