Frequently Asked Questions

With so many breweries switching to cans these days, aren't you going to feel a little silly naming your site bottleshops.online?

Probably.

Why can't I search for a specific beer/brewery and you tell me which shops are selling it?

While we'd love to have this functionality it is almost impossible for us to implement... at the moment. There are hundreds of shops using dozens of different softwares, and with stock changing on an almost daily basis it would need to be automated to remain up to date.

This is something we are constantly working towards, though. We'll be sure to provide updates in the future.

Is the shipping cost shown accurate?

Shipping is a variable cost at almost all bottleshops so it's impractical for us to list every possible combination for every shop, especially the highly variable nature of international shipping costs. Instead we list the "default" price for shipping to give a baseline figure. This typically means what it would cost to deliver a box of beers to an address in the same region/country the shop is located in.

We don't take into account any discounts the shop may offer if your delivery address is local to them, however, if applicable we do show the minimum spend required to qualify for free shipping. Some webshops give free shipping when a certain amount of beers are ordered, or when a certain weight is reached, in these cases we usually mention this in the shop's notes.

What is meant by the "Beers" number?

This is the approximate figure of how many different beers the shop sells. Of course, stock levels will naturally vary from day to day so we don't try to report an exact number. If however you notice that the amount of beers for sale at a particular shop is significantly different to what we report, please go ahead and submit a correction so we can more accurately reflect their offerings.

Can you explain the rating system?

We wanted rating and reviewing to be as quick and as simple as possible, but we also wanted to make these ratings and reviews as useful as possible to other users.

Leaving a review is as simple as assigning an overall rating (between 1 and 5 stars) for the shop. Feel free to submit that if that's all you want to do.

If you wish to go into more detail...
Upon giving an overall rating specific categories will appear, pre-filled with your overall rating, for you to adjust if necessary.
Below are things we suggest users think about when assigning detailed ratings:

  • Website - Is it well designed? Easy to use? Can you search for specific beers? Can you filter results (by country, brewery, style, ABV etc.)?
  • Selection - Good number of beers available? Varied breweries, styles etc.? NOTE: for breweries, consider how much of their range is available.
  • Value - Beers priced as you'd expect, or were they cheaper (good) or more expensive (bad)? Was the shipping cost priced well considering the distance to travel?
  • Speed - How long after ordering your beers were they dispatched? Did the courier deliver within the timeframe promised by the shop?
  • Packing - Did the box have dividers in it to prevent cans/bottles from touching? Was the box reinforced (e.g. double-walled or double-boxed)? Was the box filled out with padding (packing peanuts, bubble wrap, cardboard/paper pieces)? Was each beer individually wrapped for additional protection?
  • Communication - Did you receive confirmation of your order? Dispatch confirmation? If customer support was used then was it easy to contact them? Did they respond in a timely manner? Were they friendly? Were various methods of contact provided (email, live chat, phone)?

Finally, you can optionally leave a written review of the shop to justify or explain your ratings, or simply to provide additional detail you think other users might find helpful.

The final score given is an average of your overall rating plus each of the above six categories.

Are you partnered with any bottleshops?

This is still a hobby project at the moment being run at a cost. We may allow bottleshops to promote themselves on the website in the future, but no concrete plans yet. In the meantime if you'd like to help support the ongoing maintenance and updates of this website you can send some beer money to Chris to keep him sustained, but this is entirely optional.

Currently, we occasionally provide discount codes or similar for selected shops, these are always mutually beneficial to you and us.

Why are non-independent bottleshops hidden by default?

Large multinational "macro" breweries have been known to engage in questionable business practices which we don't wish to support, therefore we would rather not indirectly give them more money by encouraging buying from bottleshops they own. Instead we prefer to focus on the independents who aren't making breweries sell beers on the cheap to them and aren't using their huge marketing budgets to push out smaller shop owners.

For the sake of completeness any macro-owned webshops are included in the directory, simply toggle the search filter if you wish to have them included in your search results.

Further reading on why we don't like to support macro brewers:

Why are there so few bottleshops in the USA when it is so much bigger than European countries?

TL;DR: State laws regarding alcohol distribution/shipping are weird.

Seriously, the situation is far too complex to get into here. If you're in the US, the following articles may be helpful: