The Best of British beer subscription club is the longest-running in the UK, having been established in 2011 by husband-and-wife Will and Gill Sherwin in Newcastle-under-Lyme. It delivers cases of handpicked 500ml bottles to ‘wave the flag for independent breweries’, along with a comprehensive leaflet containing tasting notes and background on the beers, a pub quiz and information highlighting the beer of the month. Each month, members receive a beer delivery of six or 12 different beers – many of them award-winning and all from lesser-known microbreweries.
Ordering online is simple and straightforward. There are a variety of options, including the Beer for a Year club (12 x 500ml bottles in four cases through the year for £155), six-month beer club (case of 12 x 500ml per month for £225), three-month beer club (case of 12 x 500ml per month for £120) or a pay-monthly beer club (12 x 500ml for £40). There’s also a craft cider option, and you can subscribe to six bottles instead of 12. You can choose a style of beer to suit your taste, too, from pale and golden, to dark or a mix of both – the club’s most popular option. The first case comes with a beer glass, plus there’s a 10 per cent discount on additional sales throughout your whole membership.
Our case contains 12 bottles selected from 20 brewery partners. Best of British chooses a range of styles to reflect the season, and since its launch has featured over 500 breweries.
Every beer in our case is a surprise and delicious in a distinctive way. These are:
- Fraoch (5% ABV), a traditional light amber Gaelic beer brewed in Scotland since 2000 BC from Williams Bros
- Sunshine (4.2% ABV), a hoppy, floral ale that is a Taste & SIBA award-winner from Monty’s Brewery in Montgomeryshire
- Moose River (5% ABV), an American IPA from Great Western Brewery near Bristol
- Hollyrood (5% ABV), an IPA from Stewart Brewery in Edinburgh – voted Scottish Brewer of the Year in 2018 and 2019
- Old Prickly (4.2% ABV), a full-flavoured golden ale from Hobson’s near Kidderminster
- Backyard IPA (5% ABV), from Backyard Brew House in Walsall
- Cheshire Gold (4.1% ABV), a session beer from Coach House in Warrington
- Danebridge IPA (4.5% ABV), from Leek Brewery in Staffordshire
- Knight of the Garter (3.8% ABV), from Windsor & Eton
- Hen Harrier (4% ABV), a golden beer from Bowland Brewery in Clitheroe
- Ballast Porter (4.4% ABV), from Stonehouse Brewery in Oswestry
- King (5.1% ABV), a multi-award-winning premium ale from Keltek Brewery in Redruth
Packaging is a simple as it gets: the beers arrive in a compartmentalised recyclable cardboard box, which acts as a useful storage unit as you go through the beers.
Overall verdict: a tremendous case of beer, full of surprises and great value for money. Perfect for the session beer drinkers and those who love to discover something different while supporting the wealth of small independent breweries across the UK.
- Available from Best of British Beer, from £40