How to get the best beer delivered straight to your door during lockdown
Be honest with yourself: lockdown is quite enjoyable. When else has it been acceptable to crack open a lunchtime beer for six weeks straight?
Be honest with yourself: lockdown is actually quite enjoyable. When else has it been acceptable to crack open a lunchtime beer for six weeks straight?
Who doesn't love trying out new beers? As you might have got through your stash, and perhaps fancy trying something different, here's a run down of the main merchants still delivering, and how you can save yourself a bit of money.
Founded in 2013 after an eye-opening motorbike ride through Belgium and its numerous breweries, craft beer club Beer52 provides a monthly subscription which includes a case of eight craft beers, a snack and a copy of its magazine, Ferment.
You can buy from their craft range without becoming a fully subscribed member, and delivery is free over £50 (which isn't hard to hit). But if you'd like a subscription, new customers currently get their first box free (+£5.85 delivery) by signing up to their monthly subscription package. You will of course have to remember to cancel the trial if you don't want it to keeping rolling on each month.
Despite a relatively modest range and relatively uncompetitive pricing, HonestBrew does have something of an ace up its sleeve. Entering your details and paying £10 a month gives you access to an HonestBrew Membership. Your monthly fee is converted to credits to be spent on beer, now priced at a reduced rate of up to 15%. You'll also get a price promise and a credit guarantee if the beer is not to your taste. A £10 credit is also handed out to any existing customer who refers a new one.
Delivery is £4.99 for standard. For the same price, membership holders have their delivery upgraded to express.
In some cases, the best savings can come from subscriptions or memberships. Photo by Ashim D’Silva on Unsplash
The Bottle Club
If you enjoy your big name beers, The Bottle Club might be best for you. As well as a huge selection of spirits and a respectable choice of wines, they also have a decent stock of beers: mostly supermarket regulars, but a few craft names too.
Beer and cider can be purchased in crates or by mixing and matching, which will get you 10% off for every six single cans or bottles you choose. Delivery is £4.99 up to £100 but, considering the site's potential as a 'one stop shop' for all of your boozy requirements, that might not be too difficult.
Beerwulf aims to provide supermarket prices online to craft enthusiasts and supply kegs to the home draught market. For under £100 you can purchase keg taps which will keep 2 litre kegs properly chilled before pouring with that carbonated pub-feel. They have a large range, boasting over 600 beers, kegs and taps.
Right now, there's between 30-40% off specified taps and kegs, including starter packs with tap and beer. They also provide free delivery on bottles and cans, but you have to order in complete boxes of 16. These can be made up of whatever beer you like, but a delivery charge of £8.95 will apply to any incomplete box within your order.
First a wulf, now a hawk; beer drinking is starting to sound pretty scary. What's not scary is that Beerhawk stock over 1000 beers and are donating £1 from every order to charity Hospitality Action, as part of the Save The Pubs Campaign, which seeks to support the hospitality trade through these difficult times.
Delivery is free over £50 and incremental savings can be made by bulk purchasing in 24-pack crates. Their 12-weekly subscription service is currently on offer at half price (£18) for your first instalment. It offers a beer with a talk-through of its history and a communal tasting session each week. Strangely though, it's all delivered at once, with the odd expectation that beer lovers will save some cans for up to 11 weeks.
Best of British Beer
If you don't know what you fancy, or you want a particular style, Best of British Beer could be the place for you. They offer both cases from specific breweries, or mixed cases of anything from the broad 'Craft beer', through to 'Traditional Bitters', 'Gluten-Free', and 'Vegan Craft Beer'. You can buy cases in six, 12 or 15 bottles, or a case of cans.
If you're looking to send a gift to someone, there are also 21st birthday cases, Beer for a Year, or the Big 50 Collection, among others. UK delivery will take up to four days, and is free for two items or more.
As the name might give away, these are all beers from British brewers. The company was launched by Will & Gill in 2011. It's a family business with Will's sister Sara also part of the board, and Gill's mum Kath always on hand to help at busy times. Fun fact, they were the first company to launch a beer advent calendar.
If you know what you like and just want more of it, why not go direct to the brewer? Here are a few large names who are offering decent discounts on beer and delivery right now.
Traditional ale – St Austell, Cornwall: A case of 48 cans of their flagship ale, Tribute, will cost you £45, which equates to under 94p a can. 500ml bottles are pricier and the range has had to be cut down to meet the increased pressure on their main beers, but delivery to almost anywhere in the UK is completely free.
Craft beer – Brewdog, Aberdeenshire: Currently 48 cans of Punk IPA are £60, which works out at a thrifty £1.25 a can. You can also mix and match your own cases for similar prices. There's free delivery on full boxes and their help NHS Heroes crates donate all profits to supporting the NHS.
Cider – Thatchers, Somerset: Thatchers Haze and Gold retail at £24 for 24 440ml cans on their online shop. Delivery starts at £6.88 for a case of 24 ciders and rises to just under £12 for 72 cans.