There are a few low moments in a brewers life that I intended to never have to go through. The first is an infected beer and the second is running out of beer. This weekend, I experienced one of these for the first time ever. Can you guess which one? Yeah, you're right... I ran out of beer. Granted, I have two beers fermenting away right now and a couple lagering but I ran out of 'drinkable' beer. This is never a good thing, so when a friend suggested we buy a box of beer from an online store, I was up for it.
We went a head and brought a mystery box from Beer Hawk which offers a variety of boxes, subscription packs and the option to just buy specific individual bottles. When ever i consume beer from bottle shops or breweries I always like to try a new beer. Maybe it's just me but as a home brewer I like to the idea of tasting what other brewers are doing with the same kind of ingredients. So, with that in mind we decided to buy a Mystery Box. On the day of purchase they had a £5 discount which meant we paid a total of £30 for 15 different beer including shipping.
The only downside of the mystery box was that about 70% of the beers that came in the box were in-fact out of date, granted, they were only out of date by a couple days, weeks or months, but it wasn't very clear on the website until after we ordered and the box had arrived at our door. On the website, they've hidden the description on the box and I wonder if that's done on purpose. Initially the only description the site had was...
"A magical mystery case of 15 beers from across the world worth up to £60 – that a potential saving of up to 50%! "
And then there's a 'read me' button that's been placed in a way that people could easily miss this, which was the case with us. If you click the read more button, you'll get a full description...
Made up of beers that are past their best before date but are still good to drink, lines where the bottle/can labels are scratched, beers that are out of season and other beers we have to clear to make room for new stock. Makes a great cheeky treat for yourself!
Whilst I have no problem drinking beers out of date, I mean beer going out of date, is that even a thing? I was however concerned to see that every single hop forward beer (ipas) were out of date, which was a little frustrating and i'm 100% sure we lost a lot of the hop aromas thus resulting in a mediocre beer. I think Beer Hawk could do a much better job at highlighting this before purchasing. I bet they get a lot of emails about the dates of the beers.
Anyway, besides the issue of the IPA best before dates having expired, I was really impressed with the variety of the beers, the price and the overall shopping experience with next day delivery. We really enjoyed the mystery aspect to the case and we had a blast pulling out one beer at a time to see what we had. Don't get me wrong, we drank the beers and we enjoyed them (apart from the 5-alarm, don't do it) so if you're in the uk it's worth giving it a try and just hope for the best.
Here's a little video of our unboxing and we'd love to hear from you if you've tried this before or if you'd recommend any other services.
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