In college, the idea of beer delivery was impossibly cool. But I never had the chance to try it because, at least around me, it never existed. Some 10-plus years later, I think it’s just as cool, and now there is a way to have beer—even specialty microbrews—delivered to my doorstep.
Seattle-based company Tavour does just that. The idea for the service, which highlights about 10 expertly chosen microbrews customers can have delivered to their door, came to Sethu Kalavakur and his co-founders in the summer of 2013. Since then the company has grown to serve all of Washington, as well as 12 other states from California to New York.
Here’s how it works: Customers sign up for the service on tavour.com and receive regular e-mails with new brews to order. Or they can utilize Tavour’s app and with a few thumbprints have beer en route. The downsides: The shipping date isn’t immediate, like that of, say, an Amazon.com order. For example, after ordering two bottles for delivery, my confirmation e-mail told me they would ship a month later. It ends up being a nice surprise when they do ship, but—here’s another issue—customers who choose home delivery must be there to sign for the packages to ensure the beer ends up in the hands of someone 21 or older. To solve this problem, Kalavakur says, customers have selected certain windows of time for delivery, or they have the beer shipped to the their workplace, where there’s often a receptionist at the door.
These small issues aside, the Tavour app is lovely. As I spend more time with it, I find myself more and more excited to fill my digital “basket” with beer in anticipation of its delivery—everything from saisons to IPAs to barleywine. “The community has been super-supportive of what we’re trying to do,” says Kalavakur; “that just keeps us going.”
And the Tavour community is truly spread far and wide, which makes sense when you consider the many people in America who like beer and their growing interest in the nuances of beer flavors and styles. “We don’t consider ourselves a beer-delivery business,” says Kalavakur. “We focus on getting the best beer into our customers’ hands—it’s about the product.”
To find the right beers for rotation, he explains, his company receives recommendations from its devout customers. He also employs people to sample beers at various festivals and to grow relationships with brewers all over the country (what a job!). And the styles offered are varied and enticing, including Black IPAs and session IPAs. The beer Kalavakur is drinking most today, however, is a barrel-aged pumpkin ale from Saint Arnold’s in Houston. But we won’t hold that against him. For Tavour, no stone will go unturned and no fancy beer will go untasted. JACOB UITTI