Hey we're HonestBrew, we began life by brewing our own beer and running sessions teaching others how to brew. Now we’re one of the UK’s biggest online retailers for craft beer, offering boxes of beer tailored specifically to our customers’ tastes.

Ask us anything!

Proof: https://twitter.com/HonestBrew/status/720583089446068224

EDIT: That's wrap! But be sure to drop any questions you have left bellow and we'll answer them in a few hours! And if any of our UK fans wants to try our Taster Kit 50% off have a go by clicking on http://honestbrew.co.uk/redditAMA

Comments: 76 • Responses: 27  • Date: 

Jeffliasaurus6 karma

I'd like to brew beer someday, what advice and tips do you have? Doyouhaveapprenticeshipscoughcough

honestbrew3 karma

Get yourself a good home brew kit, buy How to Brew by John Palmer, and get cracking. Temperature is probably the most important thing in the world.

Nothing going at the mo I'm afraid!

Jeffliasaurus1 karma

That's OK :P

Thank you for your reply! Any **home brew kits in particular or just find the best available to my area?

**wtf, autocorrect? Where did you get Jolene from?!

honestbrew1 karma

Most kits are pretty good to be fair. It really does come down to the science behind it, primarily temperature )at every stage of the process), yeast health etc. I'd say the first decision is whether to start with all grain or extract brewing.

Jeffliasaurus1 karma

Would either be suitable for a beginner?

honestbrew1 karma

I'd stay start with extract. Less mess :)

Djfail3 karma

Could you give an "Explain it like I'm 5" summary of your service? I love beer, I live in the UK last time I checked. This is ticking many of my boxes.

honestbrew8 karma

Hey there! Here goes.. We source beer from some of the best breweries around the world. Our main gig is matching these awesome beers to your tastes and delivering them on a regular basis. Basically it's a cool way to discover the world of craft beer on your own terms. You can manage your account how you like; delivery frequency, number of beers you'd like and how long you want to continue the service are all totally flexible.

ISayWooHoo3 karma

How do you see the role of technology in scaling up your company? i mean, you obviously have some sort of CRM to keep track of which customers like which type of beer - but it would be good to understand how you use this (if it's not your "special sauce"), and how much is done by people (e.g. if someone says they don't like belgian blonde, how do you know what to pack or not pack, what to order or not order from suppliers etc)?

honestbrew2 karma

Hey! Great assumptions :) We use Wordpress and WooCommerce to power our ecommerce platform (shoutout to our friends over at Automattic!), but our CRM is an endeavour of our own development and efforts, since the day we got started and we are very proud of it! Outside of that we're massive fans of Slack for internal comms and Google Apps to make our day-to-day life easier. Each department then uses their own stack to make beautiful things happen (Mailchimp, Intercom, Photoshop, Sketch, Optimizely, Tableau etc).

rdrnation19843 karma

Most craft beers are quite heavy on the hops, which gives a bitter flavor. I'm one of those who really doesn't care for that much bitterness, and quite honestly can't understand why others like it so much. My style if more of the Belgian Whites. Do you carry those and what do you recommend?

honestbrew4 karma

Hey there!

Perfect example of what we do. If you don't like overly-bitter beers then let us know and the boxes we send out won't have them!

As to Belgian whites that we stock, a few that come to mind are Tuatara's Ardennes, Redchurch's Shoreditch Blonde, Pressure Drop's Wu Gang (though it's quite herby), Hale's El Jefe (though it's a little closer to German-style), and Three Boy's Wheat.

rdrnation19842 karma

Are there any comparable beer delivery companies in the US? Your website doesn't appear to allow for US deliveries.

honestbrew3 karma

At the moment there are a lot of hurdles to operating a service like ours in the US.

timaaay1 karma

How do you feel the US Hops shortage will affect the craft beer market?

Do you think it will drive brewers to shy away from using the well known and more towards the currently less popular/ proven varieties?

For one I hope to see a larger variety of brews resulting from it.

honestbrew3 karma

What we are seeing now is a lot more experimentation when it comes to hops. Brewers are happy to use new varieties from countries like Australia and the UK. We've recently seen a push towards European hops that show some of the aroma qualities of US hops. A good example is Mandarina Bavaria from Germany and the folks at Moor Beer are brewing great IPAs with brand new UK varieties like Jester. I think people have been looking for a new direction for hoppy beers and the hop shortage has forced people to change things up a bit. Sorachi Ace is another hop that seems to be picking up a big following lately and has resulted in some great beers

SteveT381 karma

I'm from Pennsylvania where craft beer is pretty much everywhere. Almost to the point that every town has some type of micro-brewery. My question to you is this: What UK beer, that is available in the US, would you recommend to me to try?

honestbrew1 karma

I think Wild Beer Co ship a fair bit of their stuff to the States. They experiment with different local wild yeasts, barrel aging and interesting ingredients like foraged wild fruits. They represent a real connection between the brewer and the land. A Wild Beer Co beer is a little bit of South West England in a glass

SteveT382 karma

Thanks for the reply! I will look them up and try some this weekend. Cheers!

honestbrew1 karma

Glad we could help!

AccidentallyGotHere1 karma

How did you create your website (includes: which languages, and cms)? Did you hire someone to build it or did you build it by yourself? If you hired someone, how did it cost approximately? Have you started your buisness online or were you offline first? Did you brand your site by yourself or did you hire someone for this purpose? How much people are you in the company? Thanks a lot!

honestbrew1 karma

Hey! We answered a bit down before but we use Wordpress and WooCommerce and some own developed tools to run the CMS & E-commerce for our site. We started in 2014 online and while we do some offline activities like attending festivals (find us at Porthleven Fest this weekend), we only sell beer online. We try to do everything ourselves as much as we can, but every once in a while we do seek out some external help to help our endeavours.

CynicalSoup1 karma

Have you ever seen a fish eat a piece of popcorn?

honestbrew4 karma

No but I saw a piece of popcorn eat a fish once

sexrockandroll1 karma

What's your favorite part of the beer brewing process?

honestbrew5 karma

Disinfecting the equipment for hours and hours with caustic..

Nah not really. It'd be hopping during the boil for sure. The aromas that come off when you chuck them in are phenomenal.

alovelydrop1 karma

I'd be interested to know where most of your business comes from in the UK? I'm a HUGE craft beer fan and I'm constantly tempted by services such as yours, but I do live near to a number of excellent beer shops and I find browsing, seeing what is available, looking at the labels, chatting with the staff and buying in person an enjoyable part of the whole beer thing. There is also a premium (albeit a small one) in getting the stuff delivered.

In a similar vein, do you foresee a time when you may struggle to compete if high quality bottle shops keep popping up across the country (even my home city of Hereford has a super shop now)?

honestbrew1 karma

Awesome question. Our customers are spread all over GB & NI.

Hereford Beer House, by any chance? We love seeing new bottle shops opening up all over the place - more people drinking better beer is what we're all about! I think there's plenty of room for more specialty craft beer shops like yours, as well as space for us to grow as a company at the same time. Folks enjoy our service for a few reasons. Getting beer delivered on a regular basis to home or work is convenient. And not just any beer; beer matched to your tastes. Also I think craft beer at the moment can be a bit of an anomaly for a lot of folks who really want to get in to it. A bit like wine was say 20-30 years ago. Lastly, folks love a good surprise, and when it's something they'll love, it's even better!

Movieblort1 karma

Hey, I have a few questions;

1) What advice would you give to someone who wants to go into the "beer" market, whether it be a bottle shop, or mailing service?

2) It is quickly becoming a highly saturated market, and the need to differentiate yourself from others is becoming apparent. The likes of Eebria, Beer52, BeerHawk, Craft Metropolis, Ales By Mail, Hoptimism etc, the list goes on. What is Honest Brew doing to differentiate themselves from the competition?

3) What are your thoughts on the acquiring of certain breweries by the huge behemoth that is ABInbev? Is that your aim to be bought out, or will you strive to maintain independence while utilising your investment?

4) Finally, what are your thoughts on the hype-train surrounding certain beers as of late? Either I'm fairly late to the party on it all, or I have never seen it like it is before. Cloudwater DIPAv3 for example, it's crazy. Unhuman Cannonball - it's scarcely available. People are clamouring for these beers, and yet, a brewery like Buxton are making incredible beers, and are readily available. Where has this fear of missing out appeared from?

honestbrew1 karma

Heya - all good questions

1) Be passionate about any business you're looking to begin.

2) We're different from similar online beer shops in the way we tailor every Honesty Box to our customer's tastes. No single box (not just from month to month, but between customers) is the same. One size fits all mostly leads to a few beers in your box you're not going to like.

3) Acquisitions like these were always bound to happen. Behemoth's just aren't as flexible as small businesses who are elbowing in on the beer market in general, so their reflex is to buy. As for us, our present focus is to continue to get craft beer out there to as many people as possible.

4) Ah, the hype! Well, one thing's for sure: scarcity and hype draw attention to the beer world and can only be a good thing! You're right though, breweries like Buxton (we freaking love them, by the way) are continuously making fantastic beers and shouldn't be forgotten. Having said that, their Yellow Belly Peanut Butter Biscuit Stout was a bit hype-ish :) It was great, but had loads of chatter around it.

Movieblort2 karma

Thanks for replying.

I've completely succumbed to the hype train, reserving bottles of the rarest all over the place. Running about like a mad-man alcoholic, the problem is, if you drink every single decent beer released, you'd be a mess!

In the spirit of things, I'll be honest though, I'm reluctant to join HonestBrew. While I love what you do, and what you stand for, when I see photos of the beer hauls people take I tend to have tried all the beers you include. It's not to humblebrag, just I have to go a bit further to find new delicious beers.

Cheers for the follow on Instagram this morning btw (@millionbevs), right back at ya!

honestbrew1 karma

If you would like to give us a go I'm sure we can surprise you. We cater every box to peoples individual tastes and if there are any breweries you might want us to steer away from you can include them in a special note.

3urritos1 karma

How hard is it to open a brewery/brewpub in the uk compared to the us?

honestbrew1 karma

I would say in some instances it is easier to open a brewery in the UK. Having recently spoken to some brewers from New York I realise that it is only possible to have so many brewers in the centre of a city like London due to the abundance of refurbished railway arches. Otherwise a small brewery would be completely priced out of the property market. London now has nearly 100 breweries with the whole of the UK now having more breweries per capita than the US. That gives its own challenges as the UK brewing scene is very competitive now

TheBigLipinski1 karma

Do you plan on or will you ever ship your Beer Kits to the United States?

honestbrew1 karma

All our focus is on the UK at the moment. It's a really exciting time to be involved in craft beer here in the UK and we feel like we haven't even scratched the surface of what we can achieve.

Themagicbaker1 karma

Are you aware of any companies like yourself in the US?

honestbrew1 karma

There surely is - some of the best beer in the world is brewed in the US at the moment.

Themagicbaker1 karma

Also, favorite style of beer?

honestbrew1 karma

Ooooh, it depends on who you're chatting with. I'm saying at the moment I can't go past a nice White IPA.

Jamslap1 karma

How does your beer compare with Brew Dog? And are you purely based online or can I find your beer in local pubs?

honestbrew2 karma

We're not brewing all that much these days; we're more about introducing new craft breweries from around the world to our customers who are keen to discover different beers that are matched to their tastes. We brewed one Pale Ale a few years back that was similar to BrewDog's PunkIPA called Straight Up Pale Ale.

Jamslap1 karma

Thanks for the reply!

Have you thought about doing a service similar to Beer52, providing a random selection of craft beers via home delivery?

honestbrew2 karma

No worries!

Check out our site - we deliver regular boxes of craft beer from different breweries from around the world, but we tailor each selection to our customer's tastes. Basically it's a way of ensuring the beer you'll receive you'll actually enjoy. One size fits all isn't what we're about.

Bothagrius1 karma

What is the best beer you've ever drank? What style of beer do you like making the most? Also, how do you feel about American beers these days?

honestbrew1 karma

The best beer ever drank? Well, the most memorable was probably Pale Fire by Pressure Drop in London a few years ago.

Some of the best beers in the world are brewed in the US at the moment. That doesn't mean they're all fantastic, but if you were to take the top 100 craft beers in the world at the moment, most would be from there.

Miserygut1 karma

Why is that? What are US craft brewers doing that the British aren't?

honestbrew3 karma

It's not what they are doing, it's just that they've been experimenting a little longer with new styles of hops, trying different techniques etc. British breweries are catching on fast though. Check out the likes of Buxton Brewery, Tiny Rebel, Beavertown and Wild Beer Co.

The_13_Snakes1 karma

How much like marmite did the first beer you that ever brewed taste like, on a scale of 1 to 10? Mine was a strong 10.

honestbrew3 karma

Hah! Yeah the first beer we brewed was a little paler, but certainly didn't quite hit the mark. We brewed another beer not long after that was a little to heavy on a particular hop. Cat pee all round. 10/10.

All-Shall-Kneel-3 karma

have you ever lied?

honestbrew5 karma

Once at dinner at a friends house the host kept giving me Bud light Lime. Asked if it was OK I replied that it was delicious

user465-9 karma

Do you ever lose sleep at night knowing you're just a legal drug dealer preying on a persons addiction?

honestbrew9 karma

We're always about enjoying alcohol responsibly; quality over quantity.