An Honest View of Honest Brew

Isn’t it great how you can pretty much order anything you want online these days? Well, now the explosion in high quality craft beer has made it to our tinterweb pages and Honest Brew are bringing us an online beer service. 

With over 120 brews in their online supermarket they have something to suit all tastes and best of all they will suit the beers to suit you. You can sign up for their Honesty Box scheme and get boxes tailored to you and with free postage, or you can pick for yourself in their bottle shop. Even there if you spend over £50 you’ll still get free shipping. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, you might also consider grabbing yourself a Howler – three cans of brewery fresh beer, delivered in their special Howler tube. Fab.

We opted for the sampler – the Craft Beer Mixed Case, which seemed as good a place as any to start! This consists of six specially selected beers – 2 canned and four bottled, plus a very swanky honest brew glass which is perfect for holding the cans but be warned, may be a little small for a 500ml bottle conditioned single-pour-type-situation!

The Boy and I found the Fourpure Pils Lager the least inspirational of the lot, but that is perhaps because we’ve still not really fully got on board the craft lager bus yet, we just got our coat tails caught in the door once and ended running alongside it for a bit. I felt this was like a decent Spanish lager – light but with a dash of maltiness to it to give a bit of body to the the flavour. Totally drinkable but not particularly earth shattering.

Look at th’ead on that! It’s a lively one…

The Beavertown Neck Oil Session IPA went down much better. This had a great hoppy nose and a light flavour that was full of grapefruit and a hint of vanilla. Light and refreshing but still with great bitterness. If that floats your boat of course you can order a Howler of it from Honest Brew for consumption at home or in secret at the Annual Office Picnic, but pub fans in Leicester will also be pleased to know I noticed this on draught at The Criterion the other day. The Five Points Brewing Company’s Railway Porter also slipped down nicely, doing exactly what it said on the bottle – a lovely toasty Porter with coffee and dark chocolate notes and a lovely bitter, dry finish. Very more-ish.

Running Beer’s Howling Hops was probably my favourite overall – a brown ale brewed with a mix of American and English hops. This aromatic mixture (I do like Citra) gives a balancing bitterness overall with a delicious slight caramel in the background. I could session the bejaysus out of it. Plus bonus points for the delightful label which carries all of the most important warning of all upon it.

Onwards with a super hoppy IPA from Buxton Brewery. The Wild Boar IPA was way too much for me, far too bitter and dry – but The Boy absolutely loved it, this was definitely his favourite. All of the delicious fruit flavours they outlined on the label were totally masked to me by the punchy bitterness. Undrinkable for me, but easily a 7 or 8 out of 10 from The Boy. So it just goes to show, there’s no accounting for taste. Just drink what you like.

Finally we tried the Wild Goose Chase from the Wild Beer Company. Yes, it’s the best name ever, if you’re making a beer that is farmhouse pale with gooseberry! It has quite a light smell and I found it really intriguing to taste. It was hoppy and smooth with the gooseberry adding an intriguing note of fruit and floral. Perhaps it’s just because gooseberry is not the normal flavour that I associate with beer but I definitely found this refreshing and satisfying. Always worth trying something new.

So, very happy with our first taste of Honest Brew! Our beer arrived on time, sturdily packaged and was an enjoyable journey through a variety of craft beer styles. Many thanks to them for sending us the kit to try.


Bestselling author and freelance drinks writer. Champion of pubs and breweries. Occasional printmaker.

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