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What do you receive when you join the Best of British Beer Club

If you're planning to join the Best of British Beer Club yourself or as an amazing gift for someone lucky, you probably want to know what you're going to receive. 

Firstly, thanks for considering us. We love choosing new beers every month and the club gets brilliant feedback, which you can have a look at on Feefo or our product page. 

The introductory month is always hand selected from our core range of brewers depending on the style of beer you have chosen. We include a glass, beer mats and a welcome brochure which we've linked to below if you would like a sneak preview. 

The Beer for a Year club, which is our most popular gives you the option of selecting the next 4 dates and whether it's the club or one of the other monthly versions, we always include a little card that explains to the recipient which style of beer has been chosen and when to expect their next installments. They're then free to change the type of beer or when they're going to have to make some space in the fridge !

All subsequent months have tasting notes, bit of info on our chosen brewery of the month and a pub quiz to enjoy whilst having a beer. These have been really popular with some customers saving them for the family Christmas quiz. 

There are lots of our breweries who we struggle to choose our favourite beer to include so you may get more than 1 beer from the same brewery over the course of the subscription but each month it is 12 different breweries and we don't repeat a beer so it would always be a beer we hadn't previously sent to you. 

If there's anything else you'd like to know, please just drop us a line or give us a call. 

Best of British Beer Craft Beer Advent Calendars

Craft Beer Advent

‘Tis the season to be jolly! Get in the festive mood early with a superb advent calendar

 

We're really proud to have introduced Britain to the first ever beer advent calendar way back in 2013.

 

The idea came to us as we were driving back from a mid week football match at Tranmere. I don't know whether we were inspired by the bracing sea air on the Wirral, or the fact our team had won and we were a bit giddy.

 

While the idea was great, our prototype model was far from the finished article. If we're being honest, it was our standard brown transit box but with numbered aerosol caps on the tops of the bottles.

 

Fast forward 12 months and our first proper advent was nominated for a prize at the UK Packaging Awards ceremony at the Hilton on Park Lane. We were beaten to first place by Kellogg's, who had spent £10,000s developing a new instore display box for cornflakes. With no previous experience of designing anything though, we were pretty chuffed to have come runner up to the world's biggest cereal producer.

 

Now in its ninth year, the 2021 Best of British Beer advent calendar is ready to go. Designed as always by the brilliant James Miller at Miller and Co and produced by the team at Stoke Packaging, it's available in both craft beer and lager variations.

 

We realise that beer or lager won’t necessarily be your favourite pre-Christmas pressie, so we’ve put together a list of 5 of our favourite other advent calendars.

Cheese Advent Calendar

£34.99

www.chucklingcheese.co.uk

We think this is such a good idea! A bit of cheese with your brekkie or to look forward to after tea with some crackers. It offers 8 different flavours of cheddar including a Limited Edition and Brand New flavour, how exciting! The packaging has a very classic Christmas look to it and the colours are very warm and cosy. Maybe this could be paired with a beer or lager advent calendar? It would be a very happy 24 days if you do!

 

Savoury Snacks Advent Calendar

£69.99

www.boroughbox.com

Don’t we all love having a cheeky snack during the day, a little something tasty to nibble on in between meals. We love this product as all the items included are independent businesses which is similar to what we do.  The packaging is simple and classy, perfect for your savoury snacker friend!

 

 

Clarins Men's 12 Day Self-Care Advent Calendar

£65

www.clarins.co.uk

After all those nights of eating and drinking, celebrating a special time of year, you are really going to want to look your best for those funny Christmas photos. We like this calendar because we know that we all need a little self-care every now and then and there’s no better time than Christmas time!

 

2021 Coffee Advent Calendar

£35

www.yawnbrew.com

 

One thing I love about Christmas is getting cosy with a tasty coffee and a good Christmas movie. These calendars come with coffee that is packaged fresh every week in order for you to have the best tasting coffee possible. We like this product because some of their ideals line up with ours as they’re always looking to cut down on waste and making their coffee pouches biodegradable. They also plant tree with every advent calendar sold which is amazing!

 

Pukka Organic Days of Christmas Advent Calendar

£10.00

www.boots.com

 

Don’t like coffee? How about some tea! A lovely organic cup a day for the lead up to Christmas to make you feel extra merry inside! We like this brand as similar to the last brand, they sustainably source the card they use for the packaging and it’s also recyclable. The whole product is made using renewable energy which really says, “crafted with care”.

 

What's in the Monthly Club : August 2021

Monthly Beer Club

August Monthly Club features beers from the 3 home nations with a focus on Lakeland Brewhouse. Read on to find out more about them and click on the Monthly Club link to find out who is in this months box and try your hand at the pub quiz

The Lakeland Brewhouse (formerly Stringer’s Beer) is based in the South Lakeland market town of Ulverston. It all started with our Head Brewer Jon Kyme, a man with a passion for beer and since 2008 we have been creating a variety of real ales which have become popular with beer aficionados and occasional drinkers alike.


Managing Director Kirsty Ridge acquired the brewery in 2018, and now the female owned brewery’s ales can be found across the North. We combine the best of traditional and modern brewing techniques, using Lakeland water and the finest quality ingredients, to ensure we always produce proper beer. Brewing from our 100% renewably powered brewhouse, and committed to sustainability, saving the planet has never tasted so good.


Our vision is to be one of the UK’s leading environmentally friendly brewers of crafted real ales.


Created using Lakeland water and the best of ingredients, we provide outstanding, ever changing beers, at the forefront of taste in the ever-growing beer industry. We are continually striving to create the highest standing of working environment, and a friendly welcome to our brewhouse.


We are passionate about helping tackle climate change and we are proud to partner with Ecologi. By investing in offsetting our carbon now and in the future, we are encouraging change for the better, and for beer-lovers to be enjoying our beers for generations to come. We also offset the carbon footprint of all of our employees to allow us to have a completely climate positive workforce!

 

 

With 2000 breweries to choose from... how do we do it?

As part of our behind the scenes features, I caught up with Will ( our MD) and Chris ( Commercial Manager)  today to find out a bit more about how we choose our beers.

We need to get 10 -12 new beers in most months to deliver something new to our monthly club customers.  They’ll never get the same beer twice.

Luckily, there are a huge number of independent breweries in the UK. It’s doubled in the last 10 years so whilst it’s a competitive market it is great for the beer drinker.

 

  1. How do you come across new breweries?

 

Most get in touch with us, but we often get customer recommendations or we spot them on social media.  Recommendations are the best as we know it’s already something our customers like. We love events such as Craft Beer Rising to meet lots of new brewers and there’s nothing like sampling them and chatting to the people who make it; so we’re looking forward to those returning.

 

 

  1. Do you sample the beers before listing?

 

This is essential- we wouldn’t list a beer without trying it. We receive 2-3 boxes per week. In the last few days we’ve seen beer from Cumbria, the South West and Midlands, which is great as we like to have a good geographical split. We like sharing the samples with a select group of customers too, so get in touch if you'd like to be on the panel. 

 

  1. Do you have a particular type of beer you prefer?

 

Chris, who still hasn’t met a beer style he doesn’t like is ‘still figuring this out if I’m honest……

Will likes pale, hoppy and not too strong but it’s not about what we like. We have a great tasting panel between our staff and regular customers. 

There is a wide range of beer and cider tastes in the company so there is always someone willing to offer an opinion. 

 

  1. What do you look for a brewery to demonstrate before you buy from them?

 

Chris: Honestly, open to chat about prices and products, understand that if we get it right it could be the start of a very fruitful relationship. We also need to know they'll fit into some of our best selling cases. Our customers trust us to hand pick and curate cases, It's a lot of responsibility to make sure they're really pleased with the beers we choose so new breweries need to fit into those styles. 

 

Will:  Apart from quality and taste? good back story, decent labels, heritage and history for established brewers and quality and consistency from start ups

 

  1. What would put you off immediately?

 

Chris: When they send you one price list, then when you say no thanks they hit you with another that’s much cheaper, either send your best prices the first time or have a conversation with us about what we both need to make it work. We always check out independent reviews on rating websites as well to see what the beer drinkers think of the quality.

 

We often get asked how much we’ll pay and we don’t feel comfortable with this as everyone has different costs and pricing models. We don’t want to tell anyone their business. It’s best just to consider that we’ll buy in pallets so don’t give us a price that you would give someone that you need to deliver a couple of cases to each week.

 

Will: The label- anything in bad taste or sexist. It is surprising that we still see this sometimes and it wouldn't matter how good the beer is inside. We wouldn't get past the design.

 

  1. Which breweries do you think fit our customer profile perfectly?

 

Our customers like quite traditional, bottle or can conditioned and award winners all from small/independent breweries run by lovely people, so I’ll go with…

Weal (about as small as you can get, local to us, bottle conditioned, very award winning)

Stonehouse…. beers great, relationship is great!

Windsor & Eton - they represent a lot of what we stand for

Scottish – There is a lot of good stuff coming from up north at the moment and we’re loving Loch Lomond, Cold Town and Redcastle

 

  1. Do you have a particular beer you reach for?

 

Chris: If in a pub/bottle shop and they had any Tiny Rebel I’d go for that.

If here… too many to choose from but if forced to name something and we had any in I’d go for a Salopian Black label, specifically Dewdrops.

Will: I like variety but sessionable and  pale are essential for me. Love a really juicy IPA

 

  1. Without naming names, can you give me an example of someone really getting it right

 

Chris: In terms of working with a really good example recently, Lenton Lane, really keen to work with us and wanted to offer a deal that could work for us both…. Which it has and their beers are great.

In terms of beers, we’ve mentioned them before but Loch Lomond brewery- beautifully designed cans, good range of beers and all incredibly good consistent quality.

 

Will: I like working with Jem from Cheddar- consistent, quick turnaround on delivery ,bottle conditioned,  award winning and lovely people.

 

Mobberley are producing some great beers at the moment. I love their Nothing Stops DDH IPA

 

  1. Do you have a brewery you’re looking forward to visit now we’re able to get back out again?

 

Will: We have really missed getting out and about this year, so we’ve got a road trip round our favourite Scottish breweries planned for June with a stop at the Lakes on the way up. Our daughter loves a brewery trip, especially when they have a dog! 

 

Chris: Any and all really, but Cheddar, Glamorgan, Backyard and lots of Manchester such as Cloudwater and Track

 

  1. Favourite beer or brewery back story

 

Will: There are so many as most breweries have a back story and we’re always interested in how small businesses are born.

The Tynt Meadow story is pretty special and we love the fact it’s the only British Trappist beer. The monks aspire to produce work that is ‘creative, joyful and of the highest quality’ Those are values we hold dearly ourselves.

 

Chris:  I admire Weal ales, both made redundant, like beer but never brewed it, put all the payout into setting up a brewery and quickly managed to brew multiple award winning beers having never done it before, then gone onto open their own pub.

 

Also the tale in regards to Jemima’s Pitchfork is lovely.

May 2021 Monthly Tasting Notes

Wincle Brewery was founded by Giles Meadows in 2008 at the back of a redundant milking parlour. Following rapid growth, the brewery moved to its current location in a sandstone barn on the banks of the River Dane where a 15 barrel brew house was installed. Awards quickly followed including Champion Bitter of Cheshire for Wibbly Wallaby in 2016 and Gold and Silver recognition from the World Beer Awards for both ‘Old Oak’ and ‘Life of Riley IPA’. In 2019 their Annual Beer Festival was named as one of the 5 most picturesque in the UK by The Observer. Beers are meticulously brewed with a generous charge of English hops, Maris Otter malt and brewing liquor from their own well. The Wincle ethos is very much about showcasing British ingredients and brewing exceptional beers with great flavour, style and drinkability - appealing to drinkers of all ages. In addition to weekly Saturday afternoon tours, Giles also runs a ‘brew for a day’ course allowing beer enthusiasts to get involved in the brewing process followed by a fully tutored tasting! Many of the beer names are derived from local characters or landmarks and it’s not at all unusual to bump into some of them having a pint down at the brewery, although encounters with Wibbly Wallabies are quite rare! So next time you are in the Peak District call in to their onsite taproom and Beer Garden to experience a fantastic view and an even better pint of award winning beer

10 Years of Best of British Beer

My how the last 10 years have flown by and how the world has changed.

When we started the only canned beer you could get was cooking lager or very mass produced smooth bitter. There was only 1,000 breweries in the UK and that number has now doubled. Beers such as double dry hopped IPA, gueuzes and peanut butter and jelly brews were virtually unheard of and I don't think anyone was paying upwards £5 for a bottled or canned beer. I'd never even heard of a micropub never mind having one as my local. 

The options we have now for beer at home, independent pubs and tap rooms has definitely brightened our beer adventures. We've come a long way from using our shed as a store room to employing 14 people. We've bought beer from 358 breweries so we still have a lot to do ! 

 

Here is a llittle video of our journey so far

 

 

 

April Monthly Beer Club

Kirkstall Brewery

Each month we select new beers for our Monthly Beer Club and like to shine a light on 1 particular brewery. This month it's the turn of Kirkstall Brewery. We were really impressed with the quality of the beer and loved the vibrant label designs. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do. If you fancy receiving 12 new beers each month or quarter, then please check out our Beer Subscription Page. If you would like to see the other beers we have included in April, then we've linked to it at the bottom of the page

 

Leeds based Kirkstall Brewery has a brewing heritage stretching back to the 12th century when Cistercian monks founded an abbey on the banks of the River Aire, just a few miles to the north west of the city. Brewing of Abbey beer started soon after. The original Kirkstall Brewery was closed by Whitbread in 1983 after 150 years of worldwide recognition.
The Kirkstall name was revived in 2011 and the brewery sited just along the canal from the original. The brewery moved to its new site on Kirkstall Road in 2017.
Kirkstall’s founder, Steve Holt, kickstarted the nascent British Craft scene when he introduced beers like Sierra Nevada to the UK from 2003. Since then, alongside the expansion of the brewery they have added iconic pubs to their portfolio winning many
awards for restoration and the beer quality along the way.
The brewery development reflects that history and craft tradition. With a range that celebrates the best in craft beer and innovates rather than following trends, Kirkstall look to follow a path of quality craft brewing and great places to drink.
Their brands include Virtuous, a gluten free and vegan session IPA that won Britain’s Best Gluten Free Beer in 2019 and Providence a best-selling New England IPA. Celebrated cask offerings include Dissolution, an American style IPA that recalls the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII and Three Swords, an extra pale ale whose design reflects the coat of arms of Kirkstall Abbey, Leeds.

 

April Pub Quiz and Tasting Notes 

Zoom Bar: Beer Tasting at home

Virtual Beer Tasting

Missing your regular session down the pub or are you just fed up of missing too many get togethers? 

Holding your own virtual beer festival is a great excuse to catch up and have a few beers with friends and with Zoom Bar- our new beer tasting product it's really easy to set up. Virtually no organising at all. 

in just a few simple steps you could have it all done and all you need to do is choose the date. 

1. Purchase as many Zoom Bar cases as you need

2. Download the spreadsheet and fill in the names and addresses 

3. Send it to hello@bestofbritishbeer.co.uk with the order number

4. We'll send the beers out within 1 working day or choose your own date if you don't trust your fellow zoomers to have any restraint! 

5. All the cases will then have the same contents

 

So what else do you need for a virtual beer tasting? 

Well, you're going to be on the call for quite a while, so we think some snacks and some entertainment is a must. Your Zoom Bar will include a pub quiz, snack, bottle opener, beer mats and a glass for that complete Pub at Home experience but you might need more snacks to keep you going. 

We'd recommend some sort of scoring system to get people talking about what they can smell and taste, which of their beers are their favourites etc. 

At a beer festival, the judges rate each beer on its:

Appearance

Is the beer clear? Is it meant to be? Lots of beers have a lovely haze now as they're unfiltered

Is the colour true to description?

A good thick head?

 

Swirl

Gently swirl in glass and take a good sniff. Is there a pleasant aroma?

What can you smell?

Mouthfeel

Savour the flavour! Can you taste fruit, floral or biscuit notes?

 

Swallow

Pleasant lingering aftertaste? Developing in the back of your mouth?

Credibility

Would you consider changing your usual beer to this?

Give your beer a score out of 10 and we'd love your feedback on which beers came out tops.

Ultimately, the best thing about a beer tasting and why it's so superior to wine tasting, is the fact you need to swallow beer to appreciate its many flavours. 

 

Steel City Beer Trip

I think it’s fair to say that most people would stand up for their home town in any debate about the quality of British cities. Since starting work, I’ve lived in 22 different houses from Aberdeen to Hampshire, but I’m still very (blindly) proud of my birthplace Stoke on Trent.

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