And now for something completely different.
There’s one constant in my trips abroad to see United; general aspects of travel and culture aside, it’s sampling the local beers. Whether that’s the cheap £1 pints in Ukraine, pricey fiver equivalents in Denmark or the broad range on offer from Belgium, there’s always a different appeal when drinking on the continent. With no European travel now until mid-February, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to review a Beer52.com craft beer pack.
I was grateful to receive the following selection from the team at Beer52 – their Christmas craft box. It was a mix of a few beers; IPAs, Weisse beer and some Scotch & Amber ales deriving from a host of countries. Belgium and Bavaria were two of the fairly expected regions in the mix, joined by Denmark, Norway, Finland and Oregon as the only non-European representative.
Now I’m no beer expert. I drink lager and venture to IPA if anything, and so craft beer isn’t something I can write about with much prowess. What I do know about craft though is that it’s as much about discovery as anything, and the branding is usually a bit more exciting than most too.
A few of the selection stood out immediately, notably the IPAs (which was where I’d start) and the only brand I’d heard of, Brewdog. I’ve been to their bars in Manchester and Shoreditch a few times and so I know the most popular beers, Punk, Dead Pony Club amongst others. The festive edition ‘Santa Paws’ was a new one for me though, and I guess one of the benefits of the Beer52 service, with new and exclusive beers part of the subscription each month. A collaboration IPA of their own was another palatable addition.
At £24 for 8 beers it works out at £3 per bottle or can. Although that works out a bit more than the price of a pint it’s probably the equivalent of what you’d pay in a shop each time, and with the advantage of each case being sent to your door once a month. There were also a few extras in the form of Ferment magazine (certainly useful reading for novices like me) and a little beer snack. The selection I received was a good balance though, all pretty drinkable and more light ales than dark which works for me. I could spend an age in any beer shop without being able to pick a handful out for a night, and I’d likely stick to what I knew or which stood out on the shelf at that. Having a case picked out by someone who knows a lot more about it is definitely a decent way to find out more about what’s new and what’s good.
If you’re interested in signing up for a monthly case of beer from Beer52.com, you can use the following code for £10 off your first order: ABROADRED10