Keeping it real … Real Ale
Wow this year has gone quick! This is one of many posts I’ve meant to have done by now but seems to be put back due to busy work days or me being eager to get out a new post. When I first wrote this post at the start of the year I was looking back and reflecting on the year that had passed and just like delayed trains, poor Orient results and shit English weather it dawned on me that there has been one over all thing I have found consistent throughout the last year… the quality beers and service from Beer52.
It seems ages ago that I first spotted Beer52 via a Groupon promotion and dithered over the decision to cancel the order straight away even before getting the first lot of beers just so I could get the original Groupon deal for cheap beers. Thankfully I didn’t, I thought I would give the first two months a try and instantly I was impressed with the selection, the info booklets that were provided at the beginning and the packaging. So much so I wrote a blog about it, this was a blog off the back of my own views and it wasn’t sponsored with free beers etc, that post and the discount code I was later given is a huge chunk of my over all traffic to my blog, not a day goes by where I cannot see someone has searched for Beer52 or for a Beer52 voucher. This to me shows the huge level of subscriptions they have got over the last year. According to their figures they have around 160,000+ beer hungry subscribers eagerly waiting by the front door every month for new beers to try!
For the last 11 months their magazine ferment has been sent along with the beers and this for me is a welcome addition. It’s a good read and it also brings loads more information to add to the over all experience you have with the beers that you have been delivered. It is even better news that you will not only be able to get the magazine in Beer52 deliveries but also in selected outlets around the country. Inside the magazines are articles from some of the best beer writers from around the country, all looking at different breweries, the beers in the box, food pairings as well as other beery topics.
Without doubt the highlight box of the year was the anniversary special where James Brown (the founder of Beer52) went on a journey through Europe picking up some of the interesting beers he found along the way, there was beers from Spain, Portugal, Belgium, France and Scandinavia among other countries and regions, all of which has opened up the doors to more European beers being included in each months box. Another highlight was the Scottish beer box highlighting some of Scotland’s fantastic new craft brewers, this was great for me being down in Essex to be able to try beers that might not normally make their way this South.
It would be too hard to pick my favourite beers so far but as you can see throughout this post I have included pictures of some of the most enjoyed beers so far but big mentions have to go to the new To Øl beers featured in the last few boxes, Buxton Brewery Axe Edge, The Ilkley Brewing Co Ilkley Pale, BOMBRewery Triporteur From Heaven, both the beers from Septem Microbrewery Co, Blackwolf Brewery Valente’s Double Espresso, Tiny Rebel Brewing Company Cwtch, Belhaven Brewery Scottish Oat Stout, De Molans Amerikaans, Darkstar Hophead and Rose Brew White Rose What beer. Of course I could go on for ages with more!
Alongside all these beers we’ve been treated to some great free beer snacks samples. The Propercorn Popcorn Fiery Worcester Sauce & Sun-Dried Tomato was awesome, also the pack of wasabi nuts… phwoar blew my head off and my personal favourite the Manomasa tortilla chips, which I have been known to purchase a few bags from the wholesale store for me and my work mates to share, so good!
Just like the amount of people subscribed to Beer52 the company itself has grown from strength to strength this year. I think the over all quality and selection of beers has got even better from the beginning, the deliveries are quicker and I have even had a few turn up on a Sunday just in time for dinner! Interaction between the company and fans are good too with a team of people to help on twitter.
There’s been a few comments I have seen about the subscription element to Beer52 but obviously this is in the small print on the Groupon vouchers and can be unsubscribed easily from their website, it is just a few clicks but I think this is a great service and product that I have stayed subscribed to since the start.
They’ve also released a book called “A Craft Beer Road Trip Around Britain” with information on some of the breweries that has featured in the boxes over the year from around the UK. Inside the pages you will find information on breweries such as Dark Star, Alchemy, Tiny Rebel and many more.
Recently we saw the addition of a beer brewed by James Brown and Hop Studio for a Beer52 collaboration beer which was cool and something I would be interested in seeing more of in the future. Another new feature is being able to up your delivery box from 8 beers to 10 for an extra £5 a month bringing the price down to £2.90 per bottle delivered to your door every month.
The main thing that has kept me subscribed to Beer52 is a good 70% of the beers sent I have never heard of let alone tried. It’s provided me with beers from all over the UK and now Europe that I would have never been able to got my hands on so easily before and all I have to do is sit at home and wait. I’ve got a big few months ahead of me with house buying etc and even though Mr Bank will want me to cut down my direct debits (Beer52>the gym!!) I plan to continue my subscription with Beer52 as I feel it’s great value and it is something my girlfriend and I look forward to receiving each month.
For more information visit www.beer52.com
*I am a paying subscriber and the views are my own. I was sent an extra box at Christmas as a thank you but this hasn’t changed my opinion on the product*