Better than a monthly beer club but still offering selected and limited edition craft beers: Tavour, an online service in which members can choose from craft beers made around the nation shipped right to their door.
The Seattle-based company began when three Microsoft employees, Philip Vaughn, Sethu Kalavakur and Rafik Robeal, sought to start their own venture. Their goals were to involve community and create something the consumer was demanding. They would meet over beers and discuss their mutual desire to learn about what they were drinking. The trio noticed a huge opportunity in the growing beer scene to bring better beer to people and Tavour was born.
Plans started in early 2013 and launched later that year, growing rapidly with the popularity of drinkers seeking better beer. Memberships are simple and free, with online sign-up and a daily email that details the featured craft beer selection. If members like what they read and are interested in ordering, they reply via email with how many bottles they would like. Tavour then mails the bottled goods to arrive within a few weeks from the order. Local delivery is also an option for customers who are within a close proximity and they do not yet ship nationwide.
Education is one of the main ideas behind the company. They feature one beer everyday until it sells out. Through this singular feature, Tavour digs into the tasting notes, the story of the brewers and brewery and teaches customers about new styles and why the beer is unique.
The startup’s main focus is bringing beers to people around the Northwest; especially beers that many cannot get consistently in local bottle shops or heavily allocated beers. With the focus on clients in the Northwest, the beers featured are primarily from the Northwest as well.
“There is a lot of focus on Northwest beers in our service, and the reason for that is we really want to help breweries around here,” Miranda Morton, director of brewery relations, says. “I think there is a lot of Washington and Oregon breweries that are making really phenomenal product that don’t have a great outlet to market their product to get it to the right people.”
On the flip side, Tavour also brings craft beers from around the nation to Northwest consumers—Morton and team seek out high demand breweries that are not distributed in the Northwest from states such as California, Texas, Ohio, Colorado and Michigan.
Besides making craft beer more accessible, Tavour is a great outlet for breweries to reach out to potential consumers in an industry that is continuing to get more crowded.
“You go to a store and you look at the shelf and there’s 40 different stouts, and there’s really no way for you to pick one or the other except for by the label,” Morton says. “I think a lot of breweries are frustrated with that and are looking for new avenues to get craft beer to customers to try there product without having to compete against something they feel is totally different from what they’re making.”
Morton says the website has become more than just a platform to simply promote the spread of good beer, but also a place to give craft beer a voice, education the consumer, take the guesswork of sifting through all the different beers on the shelves, provide a spotlight for breweries to feel confident with their products and allow members to rate the offerings.
Tavour is revolutionizing the way in which consumers and breweries can interact with each other, build relationships and foster the social aspects of teaching and learning through the shared hobby of the craft beer.
“We try to give breweries an outlet to experiment and produce high quality stuff,” Morton says. “Our service exhibits creativity.”