To help get your hands on craft beers and artisan real ales, craft beer subscriptions deliver a monthly selection of passionately selected craft beers to your door for around £20-30 per month or the equivalent of £3 per bottle.
This review looks into the reasons for their popularity and lists the current best craft beer subscriptions in the UK, comparing each for quality, quantity and value.
Craft Beer is Booming in the UK
The local pubs may be closing, but the nations thirst for craft beer shows no signs of slowing down, with 40% increase of craft beer production year on year and over 30% of beer drinkers prepared to pay more for a flavoursome craft beer over a bland mainstream lager. This demand for quality and originality has seen a boom of micro-brewers experiment with new flavours and techniques to launch an exciting array of new craft beers for you to enjoy.
How to find the Best Craft Beers
Tracking down these tasty new beers can be tricky though, particularly if you're limited to your local supermarket, as craft beers are often brewed in small batches and limited editions.
To solve the hassle of hunting around, a number of UK craft beer subscriptions have launched, all offering to handpick and deliver you the best craft beers around. Allowing you to conveniently discover new ales at your leisure.
The Best Craft Beer Subscriptions
To help you find the best craft beer subscription for you, here is the current top list, with information on price, quantity and overall experience :
For a truly personalised craft beer service, HonestBrew specialises in providing a unique experience that matches craft beers to people’s tastes.
Start your journey with the HonestBrew Taster Kit for just £9 (special offer for Sub Radar readers usually £18) and sample 6 different, delicious craft beers, from light and hoppy to dark and roasty. Tell the team which beers you liked, and the HonestBrew experts will curate a bespoke collection of 12 beers from 12 breweries for you each month for £35.90
If you want to skip the Taster Box and jump straight into the main Tailor Made 12 bottle HonestBox just set your tasting preferences in your online profile when ordering, there's also currently a £10 discount off your first box.
The premium option is the Treasure Chest Box at £39.90, which contains 12 hard-to-find beers that are also still matched to your preferences. This is highly recommended for the dedicated craft beer connoisseur who enjoys discovering those hidden gems.
If you happy to receive a mixed box and not bother with your preferences then there's the slightly cheaper Beer Club Box at £29.90, which contains 12 beers from 6 different breweries and randomly picked for you by the HonestBrew team.
Created by a group of friends with a shared passion for craft beer, HonestBrew now works with microbreweries from across the world, including Beavertown, Lervig and Yeastie Boys, to offer a huge range of unique beers.
With 95% of the beers sold by HonestBrew not available in supermarkets, this personalised and curated service offers users something unique.
Andrew Reeve, Founder of HonestBrew says, “As passionate craft beer lovers and brewers ourselves, HonestBrew is keen to help others discover the world of craft beer. Our service is designed to make it easy to find beers you really enjoy with the added accessibility of home delivery."
In terms of value, HonestBrew match both Flavourly and Beer52 based on the per bottle price of approx £3. You do get 12 bottles each month, instead of the 8 or 10 that other services offer, so a good option for those looking for more beers to last through the month.
The main attraction though of HonestBrew is the ability to feedback your preferences and continually evolve your subscription by rating the beers. This helps ensure the beers you receive will match your tastes and there's no nasty surprises. This adds an extra level of personalisation which makes you feel more connected to the team handpicking your beers each month.
We also found the range of beers very impressive, with a good balance of popular trending ales with a few obscure breweries that even our in-house craft beer geek hadn't even heard of. The packaging and design is high quality, plus the included booklet provides good write-ups on the beers and breweries.
Overall HonestBrew is highly recommended for those looking to discover new craft beers but still want a level of control into the types, flavours and style of beers they receive.
For more details visit : http://honestbrew.co.uk/
If you like the idea of a craft beer subscription, but just fancy one real nice ale each week, then BeerBods have launched an interesting new craft beer subscription , delivering a quarterly box of 12 beers, which is the equivalent of 1 beer a week.
In addition to the great variety of beers included, the real magic of this subscription is the community around BeerBods, who connect each week on social media and banter about the taste and quality on this weeks selected ale.
This growing community around BeerBods has evolved the service into an online craft beer tasting club, this ensures the beers are carefully handpicked as any duds are quickly shot down from the passionate subscribers, who sit down at the same time each week to share and discuss their opinions.
Beer52 is arguably the World's biggest monthly craft beer subscription, with a growing community of over 15,000 repeat subscribers. In addition to the huge variety, one of the key features for Beer52 is the freshness of the beer. They achieve this by working closely with independent small batch microbreweries to ensure the selected beers are in your glass within 4-6 weeks of being brewed.
Created by founder, James Brown, whose passion for craft beer began during regular bike trips across Europe with his dad. James was inspired by the range of hidden quality craft beers across Europe and returned to the UK with a mission to deliver a similar journey of discovery for customers by curating a different selection of the World's most exciting craft beers into a monthly delivered subscription experience.
What's in the Box?
8 bottles of carefully selected craft beers, handpicked by Beer52's experts and up-voted by their passionate community.
The box also includes a pack of tasty beer snacks, a magazine full of tasting notes and brewers guides plus they often throw in extra surprise goodies such as branded beer mats and bottle openers.
Beer52 is attractively priced at £24 for a rolling monthly box, with the option of cancelling anytime. This works out at just £3 per bottle and often cheaper than if you individually bought them based on the RRP that's if you can find these rare gems on sale! Save even more by prepaying for 12, 6 or 3 months for a £3 per box saving (£36 saved across the year)
Beer52's loyal army of subscribers, which can be seen all over their social media are a clear indication that Beer52 deliver a quality experience of discovering the best craft beers at the best price. The variety of beers on offer is staggering and the overall customer experience receives an excellent 9.2 rating on Trust Pilot.
The 24 page Beer52 magazine which you receive with each monthly box, also demonstrates the level of detail these guys go into hunting down the best new beers, their support for independent breweries and offers an insightful look into the craft beer community with news and events.
Overall, Beer52 one of the best craft beer subscriptions available in the UK. Ensuring each beer is different whilst also fresh from the World's best breweries is an impressive logistical masterclass. Putting the customer experience first instead of stockpiling beers or selecting based on margins is why more subscribers are falling in love with Beer52.
If you prefer mainly British based beers then Flavourly (below) may be better suited for you. If you prefer to have a say on the types of beers you would to receive then HonestBrew send beers to match your taste and preferences, but for a surprise selection of quality craft beers from around the World let Beer52 take you on a real journey of fresh craft beer discovery.
For more details visit : https://www.beer52.com
Flavourly offer an equally impressive craft beer subscription. Choose between dark, light or a mixed box and the experts at Flavourly will ship you out 10 carefully selected beers, a craft beer magazine plus throw in some salty beer snacks for good measure.
Flavourly is priced at £20 for a rolling monthly box of 10 beers, with the option of cancelling anytime. There is also a special offer 4 beers for £4 Trial box, which is great value and a good option to test out the service. Once you like the idea of having beers delivered to your door every month you can save money by prepaying for 12, 6 or 3 months for a £3 per box saving (£36 saved across the year). UK shipping is also free via a trackable 48 hour service.
What's in the Box?
10 carefully selected beers from small batch breweries, 2 x tasty beer snacks, and a "Mr Stout" guide, containing information on the guys that made your beers with a tasting guide.
If you prefer British based breweries, then Flavourly is the best craft subscription for you. It was clear to see, when researching the backstory behind each beer for our full review on Flavourly, that these microbreweries are driven by the some of the most talented and passionate craft beer producers in the UK.
The ability to easily subscribe and experience the end result of this passion makes Flavourly a genuine experience that is a pleasure to be part of.
Originally Flavourly launched the service with 8 beers for £24 so the current offering of 10 beers for £20 is fantastic value, working out at just £2 per bottle. Plus the trial offer of 4 beers for £4 is well worth sampling to test it all out.
For more details visit : https://www.flavourly.com
For the best of London, join founder Oliver at Craft Metropolis as he takes you on a monthly tour around some of the most talked about craft beers from the big smoke,
London is arguably at the heart of the UK's thriving craft beer scene, with Craft Metropolis showcasing the capitals most exciting new microbreweries.
You may also find the occasional beer from outside the London boundary, as Oliver journeys across the country adding rare treats to his growing range.
The growing subscriber base over at Craft Metropolis is a positive sign that this craft beer subscription is really starting to compete with the more commercial services. Overall, Craft Metropolis is a great way to discover the very best London has to offer without all the hassle of shopping around.
Use Discount Code : SUBDRADAR4FREE
To claim 4 free beers in your first Craft Metropolis box
For more information visit: https://www.craftmetropolis.co.uk/
We have been impressed with the launch of BelgiBeer a dedicated craft beer subscription box exploring some of Belgium's most prestigious breweries. With over 1000 beers and a long history of producing strong flavor packed beers, Belgium has one of the oldest and most diverse beer cultures in the world.
To help you uncover some of Belgium's finest including the much acclaimed Trappist style ales, Belgi Beer selects a different brewery and handpicks you a selection of beers for you to experience.
Each delivery comes with a highly informative guide on the brewery including history, tasting notes and back story on the craftsmen that work within the brewery. For the full experience you can also opt to receive the correct glassware related to the type of beer and brewery to be included in your delivery.
Overall, the presentation and selection is very impressive. If you enjoy the flavour and strength of these high quality Belgium beers then you will love sampling them from authentic glassware as you read through the entertaining and informative tasting guides. A highly rated experience.
To try a box visit : https://www.belgibeer.com
For more information visit : https://beerbods.co.uk/
7. Beer Hawk
Beer Hawk run a monthly beer club, which send you out 8 craft beers for £27.50, making it one of the more expensive craft beer subscriptions available. They do guarantee that you will never receive the same bottle twice and also will refund the price of any bottle that you do not like, which is one unique feature for this beer subscription.
As Beer Hawk offer a huge website offering general craft beer purchases, the monthly club feels more like a side project and doesn't offer the same passion and personal touch as our top rated craft beer subscriptions.
However, this is still a solid subscription which benefits from professional customer service and reliability.
For more information visit : http://www.beerhawk.co.uk/beer-club/
Additional Craft Beer Subscriptions Awaiting Review :
Eebria run a changing monthly Discovery Club consisting of 12 UK based craft beers for £32, however they are currently offering £10 off your first box. Similar to Beer Hawk in that they run a huge online store and have a subscription as a compliment to their main operation.
Best of British Beer offer 6 contemporary British beers for £24 per month and include tasting notes and a pub quiz. Making it a touch more expensive compared to the majority of craft beer subscriptions. Again, this service also runs alongside their general online store and is not a dedicated craft beer subscription.
Did we miss any?
Hopefully this feature has given you a good insight into the best craft beer subscriptions for you to choose from. If there are any that you've seen worth a mention then drop a note in the comments or email us and we will take a look.