Beer52 are one of the UK’s most well known beer subscription services. Founded in 2013 and based in Edinburgh, they offer a couple of different options – 8 beers per month for £24, or 10 beers per month for £29.
Both include a copy of their magazine, Ferment, and a snack to go along with your beers. The standard, mixed box includes beers of all styles – but they also allow you to opt for light beers only, if you’re not a fan of the dark stuff.
We got our hands on Beer 52’s Summer Bangers box recently and were excited to give it a go. We’re often cynics when it comes to these types of beer subscription boxes – from past experience with similar services, you can get poor quality beers from breweries you’ve never heard of, or beers fast approaching their best before date…
So how does Beer52 shape up? A really pleasant surprise! On opening the box, we saw three old faithful, favourites; FourPure‘s Juice Box Citra IPA – a modern day classic, Moor‘s Stout and Northern Monk‘s Northern Star – two dark beers we’re always happy to revisit.
There were another few beers from breweries we know and love that we hadn’t had before – Northern Monk’s Patrons Project 5.01, a 3% Session IPA which, it turns out, is one of the best low ABV beers in the UK right now; Thornbridge‘s Green Mountain, a Session NEIPA which is a very drinkable, dialled down version of the hazy murk bombs that are all the rage nowadays, and a To Øl lager. We’re not big lager fans but To Øl are an awesome brewery so you can’t be anything but pleased to see them pop up in a mystery box.
The rest of the beers in the box came from Ilkley, Redwillow, Mondo and one brewed by Beer52 themselves. They were all decent enough beers, but not spectacular. To me, these type of beers serve as perfect fridge fillers for those nights where you don’t want to crack open an expensive DIPA… you just want something cold and refreshing.
It’s also pretty cool that Beer52 have some of their own beers in the boxes from time to time – if you’re a Pokemon style, Untappd beer-ticker, these are exclusive beers that you’re not going to get anywhere else.
Ferment magazine is also a very well produced, high quality, addition to the box. You’d expect this type of free magazine to essentially be promotional material but it’s actually full of well-written, entertaining and informative content which was another pleasant surprise.
The snack that came along with our box was a packet of Walkers Max Strong Hot Chicken Wings crisps. As a student, I lived off Tudor’s Roast Beef & Pickle crisps for about a year and was gutted when they stopped making them. These are as close as I’ve found in recent years so they brought back a ton of memories. I’ve no idea why they taste similar, considering they’re totally different flavours, but trust me, they do.
The crisp revelation may have been the highlight of the whole box for me, if it weren’t for that Northern Monk Patrons Project beer, which is an absolute worldie.
We can’t see how Beer52 isn’t decent value, all things considered. For the price point, you’re looking at less than £3 per beer. You’re also getting a snack of some sort, a really good magazine, and postage covered too.
If you’re the type of craft beer junkie who routinely searches out the latest, mega-fussed over DIPA and happily spends £5+ per can of beer without blinking an eye, Beer 52 won’t replace your regular beer hauls but at this cost, it would be unreasonable to expect it to – we’d still recommend it, as you’ll get some very good fridge-fillers delivered to your door and surprise beers are always fun.
If you’re relatively new to the world of craft beer, then Beer52 provide the perfect introductory service.