We launched Beer Club, our craft beer subscription box, in October 2020, and sent out the first boxes in November. This followed an explosion of interest in buying beer online, likely fuelled by lockdown, and an unparalleled level of enthusiasm for new and exciting craft beer. The Thornbridge Beer Club became the place where almost all of our new packaged beers this year were launched. In 2021 Beer Club went from strength to strength, with over a thousand active members every month, and even more incredible beer.
This year, members of Thornbridge Beer Club had access to a number of beers not available anywhere else. Bracia, our dark ale made with Italian chestnut honey, was named best strong beer in the midlands at the SIBA Independent Beer Awards 2021, and was exclusive to members of Beer Club. As were returning masterpieces Rye IIPA Geminus and pale ale Otter’s Tears. Beer club being for our most dedicated of fans, some of our exclusive beers showcased our signature style: American IPAs. Chiron, Bear State and Huck were 3 American IPAs of increasing strength and complexity that were exclusive to members. For the same reason, Beer Club gave us an opportunity to offer supercharged versions of our most popular beers to their most ardent admirers: Valravn was an Imperial version of Black IPA (and one time TBC excluisve) Wild Raven and Jaipur X, our Imperial interpretation of our all time classic Jaipur. Not to be outdone by the old guard, brand new collaborations with Basqueland Brewing and Amity Brew Co, IPA Karabel and Azacca pale Thieves Road, were both Beer Club exclusive as well.
On the subject of collaborations, we have had a fair few this year. There is already another article up that goes through what we’ve done this year, and (spoiler alert) there are a lot of them. Most of them were first made available through Thornbridge Beer Club. These include two beers each from the collab exchanges we made with Deya, Rivington and Squawk, and two wheat beers, one old and one new, made with Simple Things Fermentations. Go on, read the full article. It’ll go through everything. This one will be here when you get back!
Beer Club has given us the opportunity to share beers normally only available on cask (here’s another article that will give you a good read). Long time lords of cask were given a new lease of life with bottle conditioned versions of Lord Marples, Brother Rabbit, Wild Swan, Hopton and Crackendale. This meant that, even when pubs were sadly closed, you could still enjoy our classics.
Beer Club also gave us a chance to experiment. We put out new versions of iconic beers, right beside the lauded originals. As well as our wonderful Imperial stout Pardus, we shared raspberry chocolate, cherry chocolate, chocolate orange and creme brulee versions. We didn’t just put Imperial IPA Halcyon in members’ boxes, we put pink grapefruit and blood orange versions in there too. We played with CBD oil and Kveik yeast in Lucid Lupulus and Hordaland, and recreated a mojito in the form of a sour beer with Kuba.
Our phenomenal barrel ageing project got a look in as well, as our most exciting barrel aged beers showed up to the party. Multi award winning gin barrel aged sour Mother’s Ruin was part of January’s box, as was gin barrel aged saison Mind Games. Our infamous and iconic bourbon barrel aged imperial stout Necessary Evil made a showing not once but twice (and if you liked this, you should see what we have lined up next year).
Perhaps most important to Thornbridge Beer Club were our seasonal beers, and favourites old and new. Pacific pales Valerio and Kipling were there, as was our hazy American pale Bliss Point. American amber ale Sequoia and its beefy Imperial big brother General Sherman both made an appearance, as did joyous and vibrant IPA Absideon. Medici, our India Brown Ale was included, alongside chocolate Imperial stout Sugar Spun Sister. And it wouldn’t have been Christmas without Yule, the strong Scotch ale we included in the December box to cap a terrific year of beer.
But it wasn’t just beer you would have enjoyed. No sir! New joiners received a craft master glass and an exclusive pin badge, while 12 box veterans were sent a stunning member exclusive tasting glass. Throughout the year boxes contained other goodies, like a Lukas stein, socks, a book on beer/food pairings and more! Of course, on your birthday, your box would have had an extra treat of your favourite beer and ours: Jaipur.
Thornbridge Beer Club is our monthly love letter to beer and everybody who loves it as much as us, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for joining and sharing it with us. We are so excited for next year, and have already announced the contents of January’s box! 2022 is going to be another great year for beer, and we hope you’ll stick with us for the ride.