Fans of craft beer rejoice, pioneers of the UK’s craft beer revolution have started offering a subscription box to check out some of the best beers. Yes, BrewDog and Friends is part of a growing trend for beer lovers to check out rare and unique beers direct to their homes.
But is it worth signing up for the BrewDog and Friends subscription box? After all, they offer a free first box (you just pay postage) and then you’ll get 8 delicious craft beers delivered to your door.
Well… The competition for your craft beer subscription money is fierce these days, and there are plenty of options. Add to the fact that it’s increasingly easy for you to nip to your local corner shop and pick up some lovely craft beers, and that adds up to a hard decision.
Enough preamble already. What do we think of the Brewdog subscription box?
The hook for Brewdog and Friends subscription box is that you get a free pack of 8 beers. If you like beer, that’s a no brainer. You just need to pay the delivery, which is under £4, and presto a box of beer appears on your doorstep after a few weeks.
After that, you roll onto a monthly subscription which is currently £23.90 (which includes that shipping).
The box comes with 8 beers, a nifty little booklet all about the beers in your box and usually a few offer coupons.
So, whats the verdict?
I signed up for the BrewDog and Friends subscription from the beginning and got to enjoy the first delivery which was, frankly, pretty decent.
Their lineup included two of their own Brewdog beers, Planet Pale and Elvis Juice, and two guest beers, one from Space Sailor, a pilsner called ‘Modern Times’ and a session IPA from Cloudwater called Talus & Simcoe.
I was suitably impressed with all of these beers, although Elvis Juice isn’t really a novelty as you can pick up a 4 pack in Sainsburys for a fiver at the moment. But, considering this was BrewDog showcasing their best beers, I can understand why they’d include it – it’s a great beer.
So box number one got the thumbs up from me, and if we’re marking this out of 5, a decent 4 is in order – good, but room for improvement. And as the free package, definitely not to be sniffed at.
Roll around to the second delivery, which is the first one to arrive after payment.
For the impatient, it’s worth noting that payment comes out at the beginning of the month and the delivery can take a few weeks to arrive. But arrive it did, and I duly dived in.
I’ll be upfront here and say that the second month was a massive disappointment.
The box contained, once again, two BrewDog beers although one was a special edition (more on this in a moment) and two guests, one from Mikkeller and one from BBNO.
Having paid £23 for this box I was presented with a BrewDog Lost (I saw this on sale for £1 in a shop near me, making this not worth paying effectively £2.50 for in the subscription). It’s a decent beer, but when I saw it everywhere for the month for much cheaper than I paid, it suddenly tastes less sweet.
There was also a BrewDog partnership with Tony’s Chocolonely, a white chocolate and raspberry milkshake IPA.
Now… I’m not sure how many beer fans also like white chocolate milkshakes, but this is the kind of drink that my 4 year old daughter would enjoy. Me? Not so much. Yes it tastes of white chocolate and raspberry milkshakes, which means is cloyingly sweet and milky – basically it’s horrible.
So far, not so good.
The other two beers from Mikkeler and BBNO were decent, and I did enjoy them. The BBNO was a tasty citra which went down smooth, with lively citrus notes. The Mikkeler was a full flavoured pilsner with a bittersweet depth. Personally, my winner was probably the Mikkeler, the Brewdog Lost probably shouldn’t have been included and, for me at least, Tony’s/Brewdog collab was a bit of a disaster.*
*On social media though, people seemed to love the Tonys Chocolonely milkshake beer. I don’t get it to be honest. I thought it was the sort of thing a teenage girl would enjoy, not a grumpy 40-something bloke like myself. Saying that, this guy seemed to like it…
I decided to give Brewdog the benefit of the doubt and wait for the third month for a final verdict. However… Firstly there was some bad press about Brewdog’s workplace, which actually I wasn’t too bothered about. And secondly, the delivery still hasn’t arrived over three weeks after payment was taken.
So, this review is going out without the potential redemption of the third month.
Based on two boxes alone, is the BrewDog and Friends subscription worth the price?
I’m sorry to say that no, I don’t think it is. In the first box were two beers easily findable in local supermarkets, and the second box had one standard Brewdog beer and another one that is still sitting in my fridge nearly a month later (yes, it’s that bad I couldn’t drink the second one. I’m gonna give it to my daughter on her 18th birthday… OK I joke).
OK so the third box arrived very nearly at the end of the month and, to be fair to Brewdog, it was an improvement on the second box. As usual, they had two Brewdog beers, one of them a pale ale made in partnership with vegan fellas Bosh!, the other their Hazy Jane guava IPA. Both very pleasant and easy drinking.
The other beers were also excellent, with one from American brewery St Petersburg with their Pedal Pony Pilsner (decent refreshing lager), and the other a full flavoured IPA from BRLO.
And updated response to the question about do I think it’s worth the price?
Although I enjoyed the majority of the beers, and it is nice to get some limited editions, the low value of some of the beers did negate the point of the subscription. I tried that raspberry milkshake IPA again, and although it wasn’t the horror show I first said it was, it’s a weird choice for a beer.
I’ve upgraded my initial two star review to a three as I do think it’s a decent experience for beer fans.
Our review of BrewDog and Friends beer subscription?
3 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐