Previous article – Freetrade diary #9 – September
Freetrade referral link – sign up and earn yourself a free share worth up to £200
I’ve mentioned before why this blog isn’t exclusively all about financial independence. I suppose you could argue that this post doesn’t belong on a personal finance, FIRE focused blog.
But I’m always looking at small ways of treating myself on my financial journey that doesn’t detract from from the original goal of independence. This post is going to be examining one of those times.
What is Beer52?
Beer52 is a monthly beer subscription service.
You pay a monthly fee, select how many beers you want to receive every month and get sent an eclectic mix of original and quirky beers through the post from some of the world’s most interesting, smaller breweries.
These are usually accompanied by a snack as well as a beer related book or magazine (Ferment Magazine).
They also have an online shop where you can buy specific beers of those you’ve particularly enjoyed as individuals or multi-packs.
How Much Does It Cost?
The subscription boxes come in 3 different tiers:
- A box of 8 – £24
- A box of 10 – £29
- A box of 12 – £34
I received a discount through work and paid just £5.95 for the postage on my first box of 8 and got the actual beers for free.
My subscription will begin as normal next month but I will also get an extra 2 free beers in my next box.
WARNING – cheekily it looks like my subscription will continue at 10 beers a box but for the normal 10-pack price of £29. If you’re like me and only want the 8, then I’ll have to manually downgrade my subscription after next month so I’m not continuing to pay for the extra 2 beers. This is very sneaky and quite typical of these sorts of subscription services.
What Did the Box Include?
- 8 craft beers
- Ferment Magazine
- A snack (bag of herby olives)
The magazine is actually really good and stuffed with lots beery content (apparently next month I also have a book a’comin’). Usually with these things it’s more of a pamphlet than a magazine, but it’s actually pretty chunky and gives a nice insight into the beers and the brewers in your box as well as snippets from around the wider craft beer world.
The beers I received:
Brewery – Browar Stu Mostów
Husband and wife duo Arletta and Greg Ziemian started their brewery in 2015 in Wroclaw, Poland. they produce a number of different beers, another of which features below. They’ve made quite a name for themselves in their home country and are slowly starting to chip away at the U.K market.
I preferred the below, but this Pils was still a decent addition to the box.
Brewery – Browar Stu Mostów
I really enjoyed this one and comes near the top of my list of the 8 beers I received. Not too dissimilar to other Pale Ales I’ve had in the past, but easy to drink all the same.
3. Waimea IPA
Brewery – Wild Card Brewery
Probably the most original artwork of any of the beers. Still enjoyable, but the artwork was probably the most rememberable thing about this one.
Brewery – Wild Beer Co.
This was the only brewery I was familiar with before receiving the box. They feature in a number of chain restaurants around the U.K most notably Zizzi’s. This is not one I’d go out of my way to order separately, but if I saw it in a restaurant I’d certainly order it again.
Brewery – The Garden Brewery
My favourite beer of the box. The Garden Brewery hails from Zagreb in Croatia. A really light beer that doesn’t really taste of anything like it suggests on the can (melon, strawberry etc.), but maybe that’s my lesser refined palate. I’ll definitely be buying this from their store.
Brewery – Thornbridge
A U.K based brewery this time and probably my second favourite after the Huell Melon Pale Ale. Situated near the quintessentially English town of Bakewell, Thornbridge offer tours and even a tap room where you can go and try there beers fresh from the cask. When restrictions are a bit easier, and if you’re in the area, pay this smaller independent a visit and support an English brewer making some tasty beers.
Brewery – Wiper and True
Another U.K brewer, this time time based in Bristol. Like many of these smaller brewers, Wiper and True started off as a simple, stovetop setup in the kitchen of their founder, Michael Wiper. Now they’re one of the most well-known, experimental brewers producing some of the U.K’s finest craft beers.
Brewery – Fierce Beer
This was the weirdest beer out the lot. If you’ve never had a sour beer, I recommend giving it a go, but it’s an acquired taste. Fierce come all the way from South Africa and are apparently quite a big name in the craft industry (according to the magazine – see I did read it). It was incredibly tart and I wouldn’t want to drink more than one, but I could imagine this being quite refreshing during sunnier times.
Will I Continue to Subscribe?
Yeah, why not.
Spinning it back round to have some tenuous FIRE-y element to this post, this is one of those small treats that doesn’t break the bank, doesn’t distract me from my overall financial goals and isn’t putting me in debt.
Despite complaining about regular payments just a few posts ago, this is still only one of a handful I have that I’d put under discretionary spending, and so keeps this as a reasonable and responsible treat to have while trying something new, in an area I enjoy a lot (craft beer), every month.
If you fancy giving Beer52 a go, sign up through my Referral Link to get yourself 50% off your first case of 8 beers.
Don’t fancy signing up? That’s all good, just don’t forget your local breweries and distilleries during this difficult time. They’re producing some exciting and original beers and spirits that are almost certainly well worth checking out over what the major supermarkets will have stocked.