Andy was the recipient of the latest monthly subscription box this time and it’s one to make a note of if you’re looking for gifts for the man in your life or indeed the man who has everything. Beer52 will come to the rescue with their Craft Beer Club.
The packaging itself is quite interesting with it’s huge logo emblazoned on the side of the box, instructions on how to pour your beer without producing a large foaming head and the company’s manifesto.
Opening up we are presented with leaflets a plenty, vouchers and a glorious bag of Metcalfe’s Popcorn Crisps in Sweet Chilli. Ideal for snacking on while partaking on a chilled beer watching the latest EPL match. Although I did think that they were a bit like chewing cardboard, but Andy grabbed them off me before I could sample another so I may have been a bit quick off the mark to judge however let’s get on to the beer!
When you join the Craft Beer Discovery Club you will receive 8 beers, 1 magazine (their super in house “Ferment”) and a beer snack. The beers are the best of the rest, brewed from small scale breweries who create works of art only available for those in the know. Who needs mass scale producers providing run of the mill drinks when you can have the cream of the crop supporting the little man (or woman) in their quest for excellence.
The beer is thoughtfully packed in corrugated cardboard keeping all the bottle and cans away from each other and securing them so they all arrive beautifully intact. Delving in, we pulled out 6 bottles and 2 small cans. Unusual to see beer in a small can (well I haven’t seen it presented as such since my Dad used to buy Lager and Brown Ale from Sainsbury’s in the 70s to share with my granddad over Christmas). A couple of the bottles were clearly aimed at the female market with their sleek lines and perky names, but each one of the selection is unique in it’s own way and look too tempting to not open one straight away so we do.
First off the starting line, the sinister sounding “Dark Sister” a Belgian Saison, Dark IPA with 6.66% abv (yes, run for the hills)… It looks as scary as it sounds with it’s onyx contents poured out to savour. I have a feeling I should be tasting this in a locked room somewhere in Transylvania surrounded by guard dogs, but I guess a garden in North Essex with a Spaniel and a dodgy Yorkie will have to do to scare the bejesus out of me as it wasn’t just as bad as it sounds. It’s dark, incredibly malty, in fact it’s super malty, chocolatey and bitter. Team it with a pack of yeasty Twiglets or Wasabi Peas to blow your mind.
Next up, the gloriously good looking and frankly quite sexy Cloudwater Grisette. Oh, I’m in love. This beauty is light, citrusy, hoppy and clean. Evenings in the bar, a bbq in the garden, or just for relaxing in the sunshine, is where this ale with its low ABV of 3.5% should be sampled. Part of the Cloudwater Summer range – one of this Summers favourites for me and one I’m encouraging Andy to invest in next Summer for me. If you like a pale ale which plays delicately with your tastebuds, this is the one for you (although get your own cos this is mine)!
They were the first 2 out of the box the day they arrived. Andy then decided I’d sampled enough (just the one, thank you) and decided to try each one of the others with his dinner over the next few days. I did however get a sneaky taster of Bronher Large Lager which too was delightfully light and hoppy, although it left me with a bad taste in the mouth when he compared me to the green creature on the front of the bottle (which I assume is Bronher himself)… so thanks very much And!
However, I won’t spoil it for anyone and go through each of the beers as quite frankly it will just take the surprise out of it for your loved one (friend, foe, boss, or whoever, I’m no judge) as part of the fun is discovering these nuggets of gold or onyx (Dark Sister remember… shudder at 6.66%) and making your own mind up but I will tell you that if you want to purchase you can get an exclusive code that gives you £10 off your first box!
Pop yourself over to Beer52.com, click where it asks “Have you a special code?” type in USTWO10 and grab yourself a box for just £14. We can’t say fairer than that can we?
So come on, do you support any small breweries and if so, have you found any shining stars that you want to rave about?