This page was updated in October 2020.
Supermarket now sell decent ranges of beer and it’s easy to stock up while you’re doing your grocery shop. However, this means you may miss some more unusual beers – the bottles and cans you don’t often see on the shelves.
This is where beer subscription services come in, making sure we can enjoy the craft beer experience from our own front rooms.
So whether you’re a fan British ales or new world craft beers, we’ve found a service that works for you. From big boxes of Belgian beer to small deliveries of the weird and wonderful, there’s a whole world of beer subscriptions out there – what you ‘avin?
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Best beer subscription boxes
Best craft beer subscription – overall winner
Beer52 is one of the biggest names in the beer delivery game at the moment and deservedly so. It does absolutely everything right. Month to month the theme changes, taking subscribers on journeys to Korea and Estonia, California and Ireland.
Beer52 send experts around the world to discover the best beers each country has to offer. You can choose whether to receive 8, 10 or 12 beers a month and can decide whether you want to mix some stouts and porters into your boxes. Along with your beers you will also receive a magazine and a quirky snack. Delivery options are easy to personalise and adjust as well. We can’t fault it.
What to expect in a Beer52 box:
Ireland dominated our trial box: there was the Salted Caramel Pastry Stout from White Hag Brewery in Sligo, a bottle of Irish Stout by Heaney and the award winning Knockmealdown Stout by Eight Degrees. Aside from the dark stuff there was O’Hara’s White Haze IPA and Eight Degrees’ Bohemian Pilsner.
Best beer subscription for a community experience
Let’s be honest, half the fun of craft beer is being able to impress your friends with your in-depth knowledge of the obscure tipple in front of you, regaling them with details of how the can was inspired by the brewer’s childhood dog’s love for strawberries and mint.
The Beerbods subscription makes sure you’re armed with the knowledge you need to enjoy your beer to the fullest. You are delivered 12 beers every 12 weeks and every Thursday you receive an email talking you through the beer of the week – you can even join in with the weekly live tastings.
What to expect in a Beerbods box:
Beerbods’ eclectic mix took us to Bristol with Wiper and True’s much adored Kaleidoscope Pale Ale and Arbor’s C Bomb. We also headed to Southwark with Brew By Numbers’ Session IPA and all the way up to the Toon with Newcastle’s very own Repeater Session IPA by Full Circle Brewing Co.
Best craft beer subscription for flexibility
Honestbrew offer you flexibility and help in a time of need. Their proposition is simple: pick how many beers you want each month (6, 9 or 12) and cancel whenever you want. Off on holiday? Skip that month. Got a party coming up? Let them know and they’ll sort you out earlier.
90% of their beers can’t be found in supermarkets so you will more often than not be discovering something new. Make sure you go for the mixed styles selection – they have a great taste in stouts.
What to expect in an Honestbrew box:
Honestbrew treated us to some of our island’s finest. There was beer by Falmouth based Verdant and the Leeds legends that are Northern Monk. Northern Monk are always fun to see in your box, as it has a penchant for the fun and fruity – try its Neapolitan Ice Cream Pale Ale if you ever see it around.
Flavourly Beer Club
Best bespoke beer subscription
Flavourly have a vast online shop, flogging cases of some of the craft beer industry’s most delicious offerings. With such an expert knowledge and range of beers to draw from, its craft beer discovery club is able to adapt to your tastes.
You will be sent a snack, magazine and eight beers a month. You choose whether you’d like a light selection, made up of IPAs and such like, or a mixed box which includes the odd stout and porter.
Rate and review your favourites as you go and Flavourly will get to know your taste, tailoring your boxes to suit you. If you aren’t as fussed about discovering new beers, you can sign up to Flavourly’s no fuss subscription service which gets you 20 small batch craft beers a month.
What to expect in a Flavourly box:
A massive thumbs up for Flavourly as it shares our love for Weird Beard. There were also exclusive collaborations such as the Black Isle x Flavourly APA, a successful joint venture given its 4/5 rating from over 260 tasters.
Best Belgian beer subscription
Belgian beer has a mythical reputation in the hallways of hops. For such a small country, Belgium has such a mammoth place in the beer world, with the nation’s brewers known for their maverick creativity and proclivity for spices and malty, fruity profiles.
Belgibeer invites you to select whether you’d like to receive 8, 12 or 24 bottles a month and you can cancel in one click if you ever want out. Each box also contains beer mats, information about your box and a surprise gift – anything from a gadget to a t-shirt or an extra bottle.
What to expect in a Belgibeer box:
Belgibeer sent us a box of sheer indulgence. We were offered depth and complexity by Orval and something more session-suitable by Brasserie Bouillon. Some of the more obscure, local brews tasted like they were from a fairytale town.
Hop Burns & Black All Killer No Filler
Best exclusive craft beer subscription
Hop Burns & Black’s All Killer No Filler box really puts its money where its mouth is. The premise of the subscription service is that the boxes will never be padded out with anything drab or ubiquitous – its all killer, no filler.
Each month you receive 12 beers, the box filled with small batch collaborations, international rarities and beers exclusive to Hop Burns & Black. You are also furnished with reviews, tasting notes and suggested pairings written by expert beer and food writers. Get in there fast, membership is capped in order to ensure they can fulfil their ‘all killer’ promise.
What to expect in the Hop Burns & Black box:
Hop Burns & Black followed through on the no filler promise. There was an elaborate can by Tottenham based Pressure Drop and a Brown Ale by Kernel (suppliers to Yotam Ottolenghi). There was also room given to Polly’s Brew Co from Mold with its well balanced Pines IPA in the box. We were bowled over by the South Coast’s Burning Sky Brewery – its Out of Vogue West Coast Pale is incredibly moreish.
Best of British Beer – Beer for a Year
Best beer subscription for homegrown brews
There’s no prizes for guessing what Best of British Beer is all about. However, it does deserve a prize for its variety, as the company offers an array of different subscriptions – but our choice has to be the Beer for a Year edition.
Over the course of 12 months, subscribers are sent four boxes filled with 12 different 500ml bottles, with the odd 330ml can or bottle in there if it’s something extra special. One of the most inviting aspects of this proposition is that subscribers can pick which dates throughout the year they want their deliveries – want some for an anniversary? Pencil it in. A birthday? Sorted.
What to expect in a Best of British beer box:
This offering does what it says on the side of the box. There were treats from Manchester’s Wildside Beers, a full bodied stout by Shrewbury’s Monty Brewery, a pilsner from Westerham, and a fruity pale from Cornwall based Firebrand Brewing Co.
Best craft beer subscription for guaranteed freshness
Hoppily is easy, good value for money and fresh. The company offers a flexible subscription, pick whether you want 8 or 10 beers a month and if you change your mind just adjust this in your dashboard at a later date.
A major selling point for Hoppily is its insistence on obtaining the freshest beers they can, which it achieves through close relationships with partner breweries. Hoppily works so well with these breweries that members are often given discounts on brewery tours and drinks in the tap rooms.
What to expect in a Hoppily box:
Hoppily reminded us why we love Redchurch brewery (founded in Shoreditch) whilst also introducing us to the Suffolk based Calvors, who have a knack for a session ale. We were also treated to an IPA by the award-winning Signature Brew out of East London.
Best cider subscription
Life would be boring if we were all the same. If you are one of those people who would rather kick back and relax with a cider rather than an IPA then there’s no better place than Crafty Nectar to get your fix.
Crafty Nectar have a team of experts who curate their craft cider selections, putting together boxes full of different styles and flavours. Subscribers can choose from a Mini Taster Box of three bottles, a Craft Cider Discovery Box of six bottles or a Fine Cider Taster Box made up of two particularly special 750ml bottles.
Forget that nasty experience you had with White Lightning when you were a teenager and enjoy the world of craft cider.
What to expect in a Crafty Nectar box:
Crafty Nectar introduced us to a world of cider we never knew existed, from the delectable SASSY Rosé Cider to their very own rhubarb cider. We also couldn’t get enough of the Laidback Lumberjack Cider by Against the Grain.
Best for small batch beers from truly independent brewers
Brew Republic pride themselves on having their eyes, ears and tongues everywhere in the craft beer world.
They’ve got contacts at the best independent craft breweries in the land and as such their boxes are always full of the highest quality small batch beers you can find.
Subscribers have three cases to choose from, each made up of 12 craft beers. The classics case focuses on traditional styles, the discovery option throws up some more adventurous offerings – tangy sours and the like, whilst the premium box is the cream of the crop, featuring the craftiest of craft breweries at the top of their game.
Your first case comes with a free glass, all the packaging is recyclable and each box features helpful tasting notes. It’s also super-easy to amend your order should you want to skip a month or try something new.
It’s a big thumbs up from us for this flexible, straightforward and tasty subscription.
Best craft beer subscription for choosing your own
Craft Metropolis is the only beer club out there that will let you pick your own beers should you wish. You can opt to let the experts put together your hamper or you can go through the catalogue and build your own.
Signing up for a subscription works out cheaper than buying a one off box, so get in there for the long haul. Whilst you do have the option of picking your own, you are safe in Craft Metropolis’ hands. The team have great taste and a vast selection of rare and wonderful beers on offer – check out the Brew York Imperial Tonkoko Stout, it’s an all timer.
What to expect in a Craft Metropolis box:
Craft Metropolis introduced us to Mondo Brewing Co and we are so glad it did – the Little Victories Session IPA just kept inviting another sip. There were also offerings from masters of hops Brew York, the much-applauded Kernel and the frankly incredibly-named Yeastie Boys.
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This review was last updated in August 2020. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at email@example.com.
Do you get a regular beer delivery? We’d love to hear your recommendations below…