Keeping it real … Real Ale
Damn life getting in the way of a good beer! Last November I finally made the big leap into home ownership with my girlfriend, after what seemed likes years of searching and rowing with solicitors we bought our first home together. Getting used to bills, mortgages and council tax was a huge ballache and really difficult to adjust to. I had to make some changes, some I didn’t like too. One of them being forced into a situation where I had to cancel my Beer52 subscription. I was gutted, I had been with them from pretty much the start, and had nothing but fond memories of the beers I was sent.
Cancelling was easy, I’ve read many comment about how it was impossible to cancel the subscription but I didn’t find this at all, a few clicks and I was all done, I even got a personal thank you from James Brown the founder. A few months later and I have adapted to this adult life a bit better, and I was even lucky enough to have a finical improvement. The first thing I wanted to put right was to sign back up to Beer52.
A couple things had changed in my absence, there was an option of a few different priced boxes and also the addition of the new Ferment magazine. The magazine has evolved into an excellent publication, including articles from friends and other beer writers I look up to. The photography is brilliant and the whole magazine feels classy, much like how I felt with Belgian Beer & Food magazine. With further depth look into what beers are in the box, food recipes, home brew and even a little dip into other drinks from time to time.
Another new addition is the online shop, if I ever wanted to order a few more beers that I enjoyed in one of the monthly boxes, or one of the many American beers they have on offer then I can now do so, and I did! In celebration of returning I treated myself to a few specials, like the incredible Ten Fiddy from Oscar Blues, which went down a storm at the SX Bottleshare.
One new angle I’ve experienced from owning my own place and returning to Beer52 is the ability to share these beers with friends, and have a little bottle share of my own. It is hard to beat afternoons with friends, a BBQ and a varied selection of beer to sample. I did just this recently and it was great to see that it wasn’t only me that was impressed with the beers they send but others too.
There have been some real highlights over the past five months starting with Azure a light hoppy ale from Lerwick Brewery. It is crazy to think this incredibly well balanced, modern tasting beer is brewed on the small Shetland Island of Lerwick, it is a great example of how the world of brewing is constantly changing. Using Rakau and Cascade hops this light refreshing beer has a wonderful fresh floral aroma and a smooth bitter finish. We were all really impressed with this beer and it is without doubt a brewery I am going to revisit as soon as possible.
As much as I love big strong double IPA style beers, what really impresses me brewing wise is when someone comes out with a belter of a low ABV beer, just like Buxton have with Jacobs Ladder. Buxton really don’t need any introduction when it comes to beer, so I was happy even before I opened the bottle. This 2.7% Pale Ale is simply incredible, loads of tropical fruit on the nose with continued fruity flavours, combined with a moderate bitterness. Seriously I want pints of this, like all the time!
Brewgooder Clean Water Lager is a beer which is more than just a tasty beverage, it is a charity set up to help provide clean water for 1,000,000 people. With the help of Brewdog, who have brewed this beer at zero margin, Brewgooder is set up so that 100% of the profits made is donated to providing clean water for those who are without clean safe water. The beer itself is a lager brewed with Saaz and Sorachi Ace hops (those that know me will know my Sorachi Ace love so will understand why I like this beer!). You will start seeing these cans popping up in more venues and if you want to try it yourself then your best bet is to pop down to your closest Brewdog bar.
Chimay Doree Gold was previously the beer the Abbey Monks would brew for themselves and visitors to the abbey. But now it is available to the public, and just like all the legendary beers in their series it is spot on. A lower ABV compared to their others beers and a much lighter character, hops and Belgian spices creates a great example of a Belgian single beer. With flavours of Belgian yeast, citrus fruit, coriander, all capped off with a really dry crisp finish, Chimay Gold will want you leaving more once you finished the glass.
Left Hand Brewing Co is a brewery I have so much love for, their Milk Stout was one of the earliest American Craft beers I can remember drinking, I have a metal tin tack brewery sign on my wall at home and I love their bottle artwork. I was really happy to see a bottle of Good Juju in the latest box from Beer52 as it was a beer of Left Hand’s that I had not drank yet. The bottle art wouldn’t look out of place from a Day of the Dead festival or carnival down in New Orleans, it jumps out at you when you see the down south voodoo magic style design. Brewed with ginger this pale ale is quite different to a lot of beers I have had recently, not full in your face ginger beer flavours but a nice subtle continuous warmth reminding you of the ginger used in the brewing.
The last couple of boxes have all had a theme too, starting with the London Beer Week box with articles that matched the London beer week theme along with some beers from breweries involved, then came the Scottish theme with some brew dog beers and beers from breweries such as Lerwick Brewery and Brewdog, the latest box takes a look at the beers being brewed in Colorado with some excellent offerings from Oscar Blues and Odell Brewing Co. I personally enjoy these as the matching beers and content in Ferment magazine enhances the overall experience from the beer box.
There are so many beer subscriptions out there now, and different ones will appeal to different people for all kinds of reasons. I like Beer52 because I like the random surprise of what I am getting, and, although I have read negative comments, I honestly have never had a problem with delivery or any broken bottles ever. It has been great to see how they have grown as a company and the recent additions of Ferment magazine, loyalty gifts and the online shop, in my eyes, has put them at the top of the list, and I look forward to see what is next for Beer52.
Beer52 Website – Beer52
Beer52 Twitter – @Beer52HQ
Use the discount code HPG10 to receive £10 off your first box.
Some other great blog posts about Beer52 can be found at
Disclaimer – I was sent my first box of Beer52 on my return for free, the others I paid for as I am subscribed, the beers I ordered from Beer52 online shop I paid for. Some of the beers in this blog post would have been sent for free as well as paid for, but I do not think this has changed my opinion of Beer52 as a whole.