Beer52 are the world’s #1 craft beer club, delivering a specially curated, themed box of beers direct to subscribers each month.
The two most recent boxes are great examples of what Beer52 do – November saw a fully-themed box of beers brewed exclusively for Beer52 in collaboration with a number of London-based restaurants, while the December box features beers from more well-known breweries from the South West of the UK.
November’s Food & Drink themed box saw Beer52’s head brewer, Chris Heaney (ex-Partizan), visit each restaurant, try their food and develop recipes tailored specifically to their menu. Some restaurants had a favourite ingredient they really wanted to feature, while others wanted to ensure the beer was a perfect match for their food.
The end result is an eclectic batch of beers, brewed with the likes of Ceviche (a lime and coriander wit), Lily Vanilli (Black Forest Stout), JinJuu (West Coast IPA) and more.
We’ve gotta highlight the Ghanaian Spicer Porter from Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen, a rich cacao chilli porter with what the label describes as a “subtle fruity heat”. Subtle?! It was actually one of the hottest chilli beers we’ve ever tried. Perfect if you love chilli beers, but if not, tread gently and keep a glass of milk handy!
Freak Scene, based in Soho, make South-East Asian plates with a twist so it was fitting that they made a Yuzu-infused NEIPA and it was one of our favourites from the box.
The highlight for us was Radio Alice’s NEIPA – a truly stunning New England IPA which easily holds its own, and in many cases surpasses, other more well-known beers of the same style. And of course the beer that stood out to us was one brewed in collaboration with a pizzeria!
Overall, we really enjoyed the Food & Drink box – it allowed us to discover some new food places to try next time we’re in London, taste beers brewed exclusively for the project and try some new combinations.
Moving on to the December box, then. As we mentioned earlier, a contrasting line-up with some beers from familiar breweries from the South-West of the UK.
First impressions on opening? Really good – Wild Beer Co and Moor jump out at us right away as breweries we already love and trust, so a great start.
Wild Beer’s Sleeping Limes originally came out in Summer 2018 but it still holds up well – the can says Limes + Sea Salt + Lager, and that’s pretty much where the flavour lies. It’s a refreshing, easy-drinking beer which could convert the most ardent mainstream lager drinker to the world of craft beer. No need to pop a lime in the bottle here.
Firebrand’s NEIPA was a pleasant surprise too. Although on the slightly darker, maltier end of the NEIPA spectrum – it was packed full of flavour and bitterness which made it stand out (even if we probably wouldn’t call it a NEIPA).
Both boxes came with a packet of Love Corn and Ferment magazine, a highlight of every Beer52 box.
As mentioned in our first Beer52 review, these boxes won’t replace our regular trips to our local bottle shop to pick up the latest top end craft beer releases, but for £24 a month for 8 beers, a snack and a magazine delivered, it’s the perfect way to ensure your fridge is always stocked with decent beer.
You never know when your new favourite beer is going to arrive at your door. For us, that’s the most fun part.