Friday, 30 October 2020

It's all in the Flavourly

During the initial stages of the lock-down, when there was no alternative to drinking at home, and access even to supermarkets was a hassle (queuing up outside, single shoppers preferred, restricted range etc), it was difficult getting hold of beers that were a bit different from the norm.

I did support local pubs that were offering draught beer to takeaway in containers, but cask ale doesn’t keep well once dispensed and quite frankly, some of the beers obtained in this fashion were disappointing.  This was where a friend on our West Kent Beer Socials WhatsApp group, put me in touch with a mail order company called Flavourly.

Flavourly partner with selected craft-beer breweries by buying beers in large volumes, enabling the breweries concerned to increase their efficiency, invest in new equipment and negotiate better rates on ingredients with their suppliers. Flavourly also commission to produce “collaboration beers” that are offered as exclusives to the company’s customers.

The promotion that my friend alerted me to was a range of beers from Gun Brewery; an outfit based on a mixed organic far, at Gun Hill, in the Sussex Weald.  Since brewing commenced in 2015, Gun have acquired a reputation for their hop-forward beers, brewed using water from their own spring. I’ve always enjoyed Gun beers, for their fresh taste and even though they are un-fined, they are still satisfying and refreshing.

There were 24 cans included in the  Flavourly offer, covering six different styles, all packaged in those 330ml cans, beloved by the craft-beer movement. Delivery, via DPD, was included in the order price and as with many delivery companies, it is possible to track one’s order. I duly signed up for the Gun Brewery offer and waited for my beers to arrive.

I wasn’t disappointed, even though there were some beers I obviously preferred to others.  The Vermont Pale, the Scaramanga Extra Pale (also available in cask), plus the Milk Stout were particularly good, and helped see me through that initial phase of isolation.

As I was now on Flavourly’s mailing list, I began to receive regular offers. Unlike some mail-order beer clubs, there was no obligation to take up on these offers, although since last spring, I have received beer selections from Moor Beer (also un-fined) and Wild Beer (this offer did include some collaboration brews).


My most recent delivery was a selection of nine different beers from the likes of Four Pure, Bellfield, Loch Lomond, Gun and By the Horns. Again, some of these were collaboration brews, and some were more to my taste than others, although there are several that I’ve got to crack open.

It’s also worth pointing out that each delivery comes with a copy of the Flavourly in-house, magazine. A snack is sometimes included, and sometimes a glass – not that we need any more glasses according to Mrs PBT’s.

I don’t know whether I’ll be ordering any more cans from Flavourly, as collaboration brews are alright for those who want to tick beers on “Untappd,” but perhaps not for those who prefer rather more than “one-offs.” Whatever the case, if you’ll pardon the pun, Flavourly has certainly been something of an eyeopener, as to what’s available out there.


Britain Beermat said...

Interesting post this one Paul. I got stuck into my local cricket clubs' Virtual Real Ale Club whereby I got a six pint pouch of Leatherbritches beer every week...
Very nice but I just don't enjoy drinking at home as much so, as long as I can and the govt will allow it, I intend to keep n frequenting pubs!!!

Paul Bailey said...

Glad you found it interesting BBM, and whilst I'm with you in much preferring pub drinking, to sitting at home, my current work-life balance doesn't allow anywhere near the amount of time to enjoy the former, that I would like.

Mind you, looking at all the gloomy news reports surfacing this morning, it increasingly looks like we'll all have to adjust to a period of drinking at home. This is despite the enormous efforts made by the licensed trade to comply with government regulations, in order to make the nation's pubs as safe as possible, for customers and staff alike.

I'm not going to comment further, at this stage, as I've already made my views on HMG's & PHE's demonisation of the hospitality trade, well known. Not only that, I'm fighting a losing battle trying to swim against the tide of public opinion which, stirred up by alarmist stories in the media, is pressing for even more stringent measures.

So, on this rainy and windswept weekend, it might pay to make the most of a few pints, enjoyed within the conviviality of a decent public house!

retiredmartin said...

I'm sure that beer is nice but it's not for me, without the companionship of old codgers beer is pointless. I'll probably go sober during November !

Paul Bailey said...

I do agree Martin, that beer is best enjoyed either in the convivial surroundings of a decent public house and/or bar, but equally in the company of friends and family. The latter can take place at home, either indoors or out, but unfortunately these are all denied to us at present - or will be from closing time on Wednesday, onwards.

I will still enjoy the odd can or two, either with my evening meal, or whilst sitting in front of my desktop, bashing out the latest post, as somehow it seems to get the creative juices flowing, but the constant quest for the novel or the unusual that still characterises the craft-beer movement, is starting to leave me cold.