Today’s post comes to you frosty yet hot. Because today, my gears were ground. They were ground by a post in an internet beer forum on facebook complaining about an American craft beer with a canning date, but no best before date… The idea that I’d be sad to drink a beer because it was canned last week, but happy to drink one I knew didn’t expire till next month, was so alien it made me type words into a computer.
Seeing talk of 15 day wait periods, 5 day dispatch periods, and plenty of discussion around the most recent wave of supermarket beers hitting the shelf is making us think once again about one of the biggest issues in craft. Freshness. Have you heard of the following expression?
Turns out, it’s true. A recent conversation on one of the bigger craft beer facebook groups led with the statement ‘I hate when American breweries give a canned date but not a best before date’.
Personally, I hate when I can’t see a canned date.
Especially if I don’t know how the beer was stored.
Say I did want something cheap and hoppy in my face right now, …And there was a supermarket within walking distance. …And I didn’t own a bar with over 200 lines and basically have an unlimited supply of the best beer in the country (which we can get to you next working day wherever you are in the country!)
Then I might go and grab something like Life and Death from Vocation, in at Tesco and a bargain no doubt.
Sometimes this beer tastes fantastic. Often, it really really doesn’t. It definitely isn’t the fault of the brewers.
Which brings me onto my biggest issue with “some of” the other online beer services in the UK. Storage. Spot the difference, if you can:
Got it yet? Aside for a _slight_ difference in scale between TESCO and A Hoppy Place’s 4 degree direct draw cellar (direct draw meaning we keep all stock at 4 degree at all times, rather than cooling the keg beer between container and tap), you may notice that this TESCO’s warehouse is actually a greenhouse. Look at the glass roof. Imagine the temperature. Whereas our small but perfectly formed coldstore has this guy:
So if you want craft beer as fresh as possible, make sure it’s stored properly.
Yes, Ale can condition at 12 degrees very nicely, but no beer should sit at 20 degrees or more, under bright UV lights 24/7. If that’s how you experience beer, you’re missing out.
And of course, if you aren’t careful about how your beer is shipped, it doesn’t matter how cold it was stored. Don’t select a subscription service that has your beer with the couriers for a week or more. Don’t select a website that has your beer lumped at 30 miles an hour into the back of a van, and from there directly into the neighbour’s hedge. I see you Yodel. I see you…
Pick one offering same day local delivery within 20km of it’s base, and next working day delivery nationwide using a specifically insured liquid carrier, to minimise the time your precious cargo is stored or is moving, before getting to you.
Pick A Hoppy Place! Where the beer is even cold whilst we’re preparing it for delivery, staged from our cellar above, to our “back in the good old days this was a craft beer bar, far as the eyes could see” fridges up front…
And once you’ve considered all that, make damn sure you don’t have to wait 15 days from clicking the order to it being dispatched in the first place! #15daynoway
Cheers everyone, hope to be able to get the freshest of fresh craft beer in your faces, as soon as possible. Same day local delivery on all orders placed by 15:00 daily, or next working day on orders by noon. Click and collect also available if you fancy saying hello from a safe distance.
All the best,
Dave, Naomi and Jason.