Words - Matthew Curtis | Photos - Dianne Tanner
Recently, I penned a profile piece on the lovely Honest Brew and subsequently was asked if I would like to test drive their 'Honesty Box' service. The premise is simple, you give the guys at Honest Brew a little information about your particular tastes in beer via their attractive and easy to use website and voila, a few days later a tailor made box of beer arrives at your doorstep.
First you choose how many beers you'd like Honest Brew to send you a month with cases of 9, 12 and 18 bottles available. Then you tell them what colour beers you prefer with the options being either pale, amber or dark. I chose all three because I love beers from all colours of the beery spectrum. Finally you get to tell Honest Brew what flavours you like with the choices being; light and crisp, citrusy and fruity, roasted or chocolate, wild and interesting, malty and toffee, or earthy and spicy. It was tempting to select all of these but to make sure I put the service through its paces properly I omitted the last two from my selection. You're then given the opportunity to let Honest Brew know if there are any specific beers from their range that you would like to try but wanting to be completely surprised I also left this blank.
Once I had hit the submit button I then camped out on my doorstep excitedly until the delivery person arrived a few days later with my box of beer. I was a little disappointed that the case wasn't hand delivered by Honest Frank himself but then I remembered that Frank is in fact a mannequin and I would have been petrified if a plastic man arrived at my doorstep holding a box of beer. (I'd still grab the beer off him before legging it though.)
The selection of beer that arrived was varied and well thought out, highlights included The Wild Beer Co's tasty, natively fermented Somerset Wild, the pithy, chewy and citrusy Redchurch Great Eastern IPA and Odell Loose Leaf session ale. With Honest Brew being a London-centric business it was no surprise that most of the selection came from breweries within the city itself but it was pleasing to get some beers from further afield, especially in the case of the Odell.
I would liked to have seen a few more beers from outside of London. Honest Brew's current range of available beers, which you can shop for on their site without having to go via the honesty box route, is considerate, with some real gems in there but still a little lacking compared to other online retailers. Despite this I was certainly very happy with the selection I received and really enjoyed picking out flavour profiles and then seeing what turned up on my doorstep. There are a number of subscription services now available to beer lovers but it's nice to see Honest Brew thinking outside of the box, so to speak. A crowded marketplace needs fresh ideas like these to stay interesting and relevant, just like Honest Brew themselves.
If you like the sound of this and want to give it a go yourself then you can use the code TOTALLYHONEST at the checkout and get a whole £10 off your first case. If, subsequently you decide not to continue with your subscription then you can cancel at any time.
Although I was asked to try out the Honesty Box service for free I don't think this influenced my opinion of it.