With new independent breweries springing up all over the country, beer subscription websites are one of the best ways of getting the latest brews in your hand. New to this market is ‘The Other Brew’, a monthly service delivering six hand picked bottles to eager recipients – including us. We caught up with founder James Adams to here his thoughts on some of the best new beers around.
How does your beer subscription service work?
Here at The Other Brew we deliver six beautifully created craft beers, directly to your door, every month. All for only £18 per month. Each beer we source comes from one of the UK’s brilliant micro breweries. We aim to connect our beer loving subscribers with new, hard to discover breweries producing the very best beer. The subscription runs from month to month and subscribers can cancel at any time. We also offer gift certificates for three, six and 12 month subscriptions. A great gift for any beer aficionado!
Your beers are all sourced from the UK. Why do you think the country has such a thirst for craft beer right now?
It seems like the beer industry has grown and become a real part of our culture once again. More pubs are stocking British beer with a heavy focus on locally brewed beer. For a long time it was the case that most pubs stocked an agonisingly boring range of lager from the large conglomerates, but this is thankfully all changing. Realistically, beer is a part of our heritage and has been a part of our culture for hundreds of years – we have always been known for producing great real ale. The massive resurgence beer has seen in the US has had a huge influence on the growth of what is now termed the ‘Craft Beer’ industry, with many breweries proclaiming their loyalty to American style beers.
You’ve been working with lots of new breweries. Are there any you’ve encountered that particularly stand out?
I have loved all of the breweries, and the beer, we have supplied so far but there are a few that I have really enjoyed working with. Savour Beer, based in Berkshire, are producing some fantastic products. Sandy, the founder, has been a great help and the Champagne style beer he brews is brilliant. Squawk Brewery, Manchester, is another one I really enjoy. The IPA we sourced from them was fantastic, exactly how I want an IPA to taste. Oliver, the founder of Squawk, produced a collaboration with Mr Scruff – a pale ale that has become a firm favourite of mine. It would be wrong not to mention how much I enjoy the beer that Otley Brewery is producing at the moment. I know you guys are also fans and I’m desperately hunting down bars in London that stock their beer.
And do you have any favourite breweries you keep returning to?
With regards to my personal drinking habits, I am lucky to live in Central London where there is a huge choice of beer to drink. I live within 1km of roughly ten pubs whose sole focus is the pursuit of good beer! Due to this I end up drinking a lot of beer from London, which is great, but I always relish my visits to breweries further afield to get a taste of what other cities are producing. I spend a lot of time in Bristol, where I always enjoy Bristol Beer Factory’s Milk Stout as well as the brand new – and excellent – Wiper and True. My last visit to Leeds was spent drinking Great Heck Brewery’s Yakima IPA, which I highly recommend to anyone who gets a chance to sample it.
You give people the option to provide feedback on the beers you supply. Have there been any responses that have surprised you?
I was quite surprised by a few people who found the Otley Brewery 06 Porter quite hard to get along with – but my surprise was mainly due to my love if this beer! A few people found the RedChurch Great Eastern IPA a little too powerful. It’s a strong beer at 7.4% and a few of our subscribers struggled with a whole bottle! The great thing about the huge varieties of beer being produced and the subjective nature of taste is that it leads to some great debates – we’re hoping to encourage as much of that as possible!
A large number of breweries have started experimenting with unusual flavour additions to their beers. Are there any interesting ingredients you think work particularly well?
I am a lover of darker beers – porters and stouts in particular – which is where we are seeing a lot of experimentation at the moment. I am a big chocolate fan and there are a lot of great beers using chocolate. Leeds and Ilkley Brewery recently produced a White Chocolate Stout for Brewdog’s CollabFest which was exceptional. I recently met with Hogsback Brewery and they’ve produced a lager with Montezuma Chocolate, which is interesting. The most interesting I have heard of so far, that I am yet to try, is New Belgium Breweries Coconut Curry Hefeweizen. I am very keen to get my hands on one of these for sampling!
In this months box of beer we included a beer by Manchester based brewers TicketyBrew – their Jasmine and Green Tea Pale. A very light beer brewed with Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearls. I have no idea what these are but they have contributed to a very drinkable beer!
And finally, if a brewery offered you the chance to brew your perfect beer, how would it taste?
Exactly like Rule of Thirds IPA, a collaboration beer between Magic Rock Brewery, Siren and Beavertown. I absolutely adored this beer. I first tried it while visiting Leeds – Friends of Ham – and have been hooked ever since. Magic Rock and Beavertown produce two of the best pale ales on the market in my opinion (CannonBall and Gamma Ray). Not very imaginative but a staple in the beer industry and something I could drink for the rest of my life!
To find out more about The Other Brew and the beers they supply, visit www.theotherbrew.co.uk