Founded, initially in Tunbridge Wells, back in 2013, by local beer enthusiast and experienced licensee Alex Grieg, Fuggles has since gone from strength to strength, with the opening of a second pub in Tonbridge, five years later. Rather than repeating what is written elsewhere, this piece which featured in the Morning Advertiser, tells you all you need to know about Alex and his two excellent beer cafés.
Like other local pubs and bars, Fuggles has been forced to close because of the global, Coronavirus pandemic, and whilst the two pubs did briefly re-open late last summer and into autumn, the second national lockdown put a stop to that. For a short time in early December, both outlets operated as off-licenses, allowing customers to purchase a wide range of British and European bottled and canned beers, but following Kent being placed in Tier Three, even that limited window of opportunity was sadly forced to close.
Deprived by a mean-hearted government of offering, even a click-and-collect operation, Fuggles switched instead to a home delivery service, and it was from the latter that the idea of FUGSCLUB was born. Expanding on the monthly specials, and recommended choices, featured on the website, the club does the choosing for you, which is great for lazy buggers like me.
The first box includes a Fuggles glass, which Mrs PBT’s has already laid claim to. Signing up also offers exclusive access to the Fuggles members discount area, with exclusive discounts on that month’s beers alongside other special offers.
There are five boxes to choose from, each complete with its own set of tasting notes:
European styles - a showcase of classic European styles (from Lagers to Wheat beers, Bocks, Blondes, Dubbels, Saisons and back round again!) alongside some modern interpretations from around the world (at times this box may contain 9 beers & one bigger sharing bottle)
Dealer’s Choice - a showcase of some of Fuggles' favourite beers encompassing all styles from all places, occasional classics and pub favourites. A real beer lovers box featuring pales, lagers, Belgian and German classics, the odd sour/fruit beer, stouts and dark beers alongside the occasional cider. (At times this box may contain 9 beers & one bigger sharing bottle)
Bitters/Traditional Beer Styles - One for anyone who loves a pint of Cask beer - Fuggles' selection of the best bitters, golden, mild, stouts and porters, but in bottle/can format.
I opted for the dark beers box, and the selection I received certainly doesn’t’ disappoint. Fuggles emphasise that subscribers are supporting local, and they support local too, whether that’s businesses or employing local people. They rightly claim that it's really important, especially right now!
Apologies if this all sounds rather too much of a love-in, but for me this is a great way to be supporting a local business, whilst at the same time stocking up with a fantastic selection of different beers. Also, don’t get the idea that I’m not supporting local pubs, because as an added incentive, people like me taking out a subscription in March, get a £15 voucher to spend in the two pubs when they’re back open.
Finally, I rather foolishly mislaid the description and tasting notes that came with my first box, but the photos displayed on this post, should give an idea of the excellent election of dark beers I received.