Thursday, 18 December 2014

A great beer home delivery service from Beer 52

With kind thanks to the Edinburgh based company Beer52*, we are going to bring you a regular, monthly review of some fine guest ales from across the UK, Europe and beyond. The dedicated team up there source these beverages from far and wide from a selected range of micro-breweries.  They offer a monthly, quarterly or yearly membership, for what I believe to be a very reasonably price and for that you'll receive a box of eight different craft ales, delivered for free to your door. Ours took just two days to arrive in November and we couldn't wait to see what was inside. They are pre selected and boxed up by Beer52 so you'll always be in for a surprise, and judging by last months delivery which we'll  go into detail about below, these are not mediocre, run of the mill beers.

The cost is £24 per month, that's equivalent to £3 per bottle which I'm happy to pay for when it comes to buying my ales. Yes there are cheaper purchases to be had from your local off license but you'll be lucky to find any of the beers that Beer52 send to you in there. All the details on how to sign up, and offers including a FREE case by introducing friends can be found here. Included in the box is a free paper called 'Ferment' which not only tells you about the beers you've been delivered and the breweries they came from, but has food pairing articles, pub features and from January, a monthly music round up courtesy of us here at Plus One Magazine.

To the all important contents then and our first box of beery delights back in November. After an initial inspection of what was inside , I decided to pull out a bottle at random every time I fancied a drop and set about reviewing them one by one. First out of the box was this little beauty...

'CWTCH' from Newport's 'Tiny Rebel' brewery is a delightful amber-red ale. The multi-coloured, splattered painted logo certainly stands out from the crowd, and the beer itself goes down VERY easily. Fruity, citrusy and  all at a steady 4.6% ABV combine to make this all in all a lovely Welsh little treat.

'Something a little different' is likely to contribute regularly in your own tasting notes when you reach inside your Beer52 box. In the case of the 'CIRCUS IPA' from Killer Cat, that's because it is in fact one of a number brewed by Malmesbury brewery under this separate name. A brewery steeped in heritage and choc full of ideas, what they are offering here are big hoppy flavours with quite a bite at 5.8%ABV.

Without a word of a lie, we decided one cold early December night to barbecue some chicken breasts. (Yes, we are!) Hoping we'd find a lovely pairing inside our Beer52 box to match. This we did thanks to the lovely people at The Hop Studio near York and their flagship Blonde ale. At a relatively low strength 3.5% ABV, this beautifully poured, clear and thin session ale is full of citrusy/gooseberry flavours, light and crisp. Simple, to the point labelling declaring the name and brief necessary details don't give too much away on what deliciousness lies inside this bottle. Definitely the surprise of the eight. 

Our next random selection from within our box of delights pulls out an absolute cracker. We could probably write a whole piece on this baby from Belgiums' BOM Brewery and still not be done with it. 'Triporteur From Heaven' is created using their own home baked malts, a variety of European and American hops and a secondary fermentation in the bottle. Pour slowly, or don't mind a slight haze. Packs a punch at 6.2% ABV and has an equally looking eccentric older brother in the BOM range 'Triporteur From Hell'. Can we have that please in a future months box Beer52?! 

To Cornwall next on our Beer52 adventure with a 'Graffiti IPA' from The Firebrand Brewing Co. based in Launceston. This little 5.0% beauty comes inside a boldly, simplistic yet eye catching bottle. Quite pale by colour, it delivers all the right hoppy notes and is an easily desirable drink to keep you returning for more.  It's a very well rounded Cornish equivalent of a particular American IPA. 

London's Fourpure brewing Co. have only been in existence since 2013 yet they clearly know their way around in the beer creation world. Their session IPA is a nice all rounder. Golden with a slight haze, this 5.0% lover of the American 'C' hops range is just one fine example of their canned ales range.

The variety in this, our first box from Beer52 is above and beyond our expectations. Septem microbrewery hails from a Greek island across the water from Athens. Their range of are all plays on the days of the week and 'Thurs days' is a red Irish style amber ale at 4.5%. Citrus and spice combine with caramel flavours. By no means is this a weak link in the box but I'd say it doesn't quite match up to the rest.

Which finally leaves our eighth and final beer of the box... Signature ale by Signature Brew Co. These guys are kindred spirits of ours, combining their own love of music with finely tuned, crafted ales. The Signature Pale is a flagship of theirs, the label represents an access all areas or photo gig pass, detailing the style, partial ingredients, and strength (4.1%). Golden amber in colour, and slightly sweeter than the other IPA's. It's a refreshing pleasant drink that will keep you happy to go back and crack open another.

Tasting and words - Pete Jackson
*Beer 52 kindly provided us with this case of beer for review purposes. All words and opinions my own, no sponsorship or other compensation provided...just the tasty, tasty beer.

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