My first memory of subscription schemes was in 1974 when mum won a year’s supply of comics for me and Sara, my big sister. Sara understandably went for Twinkle (the picture paper specially for little girls) while I couldn’t decide between ‘Shoot’ or The Beano. Imagine my disappointment when mum told me she’d chosen for me and I was going to get 52 editions of World of Wonder magazine to broaden my horizons!
I’m not 100% sure if this salutary tale inspired me to launch the original Best of British Beer subscription scheme in 2011 with a really simple philosophy – to give our customers the ultimate flexibility on their choice of beers and delivery options.
We’re an established craft beer retailer who caters for a variety of beer drinkers. At one end of the scale we work with ‘go ahead’ brewers like Wiper & True, Mobberley Brewhouse and Thornbridge. While a bigger part of our customer base don’t drink on the crest of the craft beer wave, preferring a 4.2% Best Bitter to an off the scale Triple Hopped Raspberry Gose. This is the rationale behind the choices in our beer clubs; we know we can be cool, but our customers don’t necessarily appreciate flashiness.
We normally send 500ml bottles, occasionally we’ll use a 330ml bottle or can if we think the beer deserves to be included. We only ever use independent British breweries. We haven't got anything against European or American beers, in fact we love a beery trip to Brussels, it's just we know a lot about British Beer and not so expert at the rest.
To date we’ve partnered with over 400 different producers from Orkney to the Isle of Wight and everywhere in between. We’re constantly scouring the country for new and exciting brews that our customers want to try, we never feature the same beer twice and we’ve sent out well over 1,500 different bottles.
Our ‘Beer for a Year’ scheme has proven really popular as a gift because we give the flexibility of choosing which day the beer arrives. This means that birthdays, anniversaries, Valentines, Christmas or Father’s Day can all be sorted at the click of a button and we also include a free gift card with every delivery.
We offer a variety of different packages and give the recipient the opportunity to personalise their beer selections. You can choose to receive the standard mixed case which features a huge variety of styles and strengths. If stouts and porters are your thing, we’ve got that covered, or if you prefer golden or IPAs, you’re sorted too. Some customers even change their preferences during their subscription as their tastes change with the seasons.
Whether you opt for a 6 or 12 bottle plan, you will receive a copy of our ‘On the Hop’ brochure with tasting notes, a pub quiz and a feature on a particular brewery. The first box has a card explaining the beer club, when the next cases will arrive and how to gt in touch with us to change anything.
When you join the scheme you also get a branded Best of British Beer glass as a welcome gift.