One woman's ale journey

A beery boozy journey with delightful snacks along the way and a book in my hand.

Where to buy good beer

I've always bought my beer in "real" shops.  I spend hours perusing the shelves, reading the labels and making a shortlist of potential purchases.  As an internet shopper for many years, I don't know why I've never looked for ale online until now.  It's just one of life's mysteries.

I've found a few websites and will be trying them over the coming months, so for now I've just popped some links down and a brief description of what looks good about the site.  I will update as soon as I part with my hard-earned cash!

Based in Harrogate, delivery is £6.99 or free if spending over £50.  That gets a big thumbs up for me, I'd much rather buy a few more beers to save on a delivery charge.

I immediately signed up to their newsletter and received a 10% discount code - so now I need to spend £55.55 to get free delivery but I get more beers for my £.

They also have a beer club where you can receive 15 bottles monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly.  It's £40 plus delivery of £6.99 for each 15 bottle case (£2.67 each/£3.13 including delivery) with no commitment and you can cancel anytime.  You can even specify light or dark beer and for an extra £5 get stronger ales.

Beerhawk have some fabulous gift packs and glasses for the beer lover in your life.

Ales by Mail
Based in Essex and took over My Brewery Tap website.  Delivery is £6.99 for up to 24 bottles, so add 29p on to the price of each bottle in your case of 24 to get an idea of how much you are paying.  They have a good selection of food and snacks including real ale jelly for £1.80 - at a fifth of the price, I'll have to compare it to my Birra Spalmabile sometime.

They have a few mixed cases already made up and ready to buy but the main part of the website that caught my eye was the "Pick 'n' Mix Beers".  Have I died and gone to Heaven?  You can keep your jazzies and foam bananas, I'm going to have beer!

Ales by Mail don't currently have any of my local beers in stock but they do have an excellent selection.

Northumbrian Gifts
For the best selection of local ales, head over to Northumbrian Gifts.  They are based in Ashington, Northumberland and delivery costs £6.50 or you can arrange to collect direct from Ashington.

You can pick 'n' mix your ales within brewery or by individual bottles from various breweries with a minimum order of 6 bottles or you can buy a lucky dip of 12 bottles for £35.

Breweries featured: Allendale, Durham, Hadrian & Border, From the Notebook, Wylam, Tynebank and Northumbrian Ales.

There are ale gift packs where you can choose 3 ales and even a selection of Northumbrian spirits, including the World famous Lindisfarne mead.  I spotted a Lindisfarne Toffee Liqueur that I think will accidentally find its way into my basket.

For the best local selection of Allendale and Wylam beers, you need look no further than Bin21.  Located in Morpeth and Hexham, local delivery is free within 2 miles when you spend over £30 otherwise it is £4.95.  Bin21 will also delivery anywhere in the UK for £9.95, or fill up your wine rack and spend over £250 to get free delivery.

Bin21 also have some unusual ales and ciders, including High House Farm ales, the extremely popular Anarchy's Blonde Star, Perry's cider and the very difficult to source Gwynt Y Ddraig Black Dragon Welsh cider.  I've added one to my "Must Try" list - High House Farm's Nettle Beer, an amber ale brewed with farm grown nettles.  It's so unusual I really do have to try it!

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