GETTING THE BEST FROM YOUR BEER BOX
HANDLING & TRANSPORTATION
Please handle your beer box with care, keeping it level with the tap-side upright during transit. Transport your beer in a cool dark part of your vehicle and avoid a change in temperature where possible (a picnic cool box can be useful for this purpose). Whilst your beer box does not contain any sediment, any physical disturbance will only diminish the quality of your beer. We generally recommend keeping transportation to a minimum.
Beware the bubble!
Your beer box beer contains dissolved Carbon Dioxide which may be released during transportation. If the internal bag starts to bubble, you can release excess gas by standing the box with the tap-side face up and carefully opening the tap to release the excess pressure. You may also do this as a precautionary measure when you arrive home with your beer.
STORAGE & TEMPERATURE
Why is temperature so important?
Controlling your beer box temperature is perhaps the single most important thing you can do to control the final quality of your beer! The temperature you store and serve your beer will have a dramatic effect on its aroma, flavour, carbonation, head, and shelf life.
What is the ideal storage temperature?
Where possible, it’s a good idea to store your beer at the temperature you intend to serve it (meaning it’s ready to drink straight away). For most cask beers this will be around 12°C (cellar temperature) however there are some exceptions (which we cover in the next section).
What temperature should I serve my beer?
Serving temperature is something of a personal preference. Most of our beer box beers are best served at 12°C. Room temperature (21°C) is certainly too warm and conversely, a domestic refrigerator (typically 4 °C or below) will usually be too cold! Please check your beer box label for guidance.
Should some beers be served colder?
Yes. Whilst 12°C is generally recognised as the optimum serving temperature for most cask ales, there are some exceptions. Lighter, hoppy cask beers may benefit from being served a little colder (around 10°C). The lower temperature in this instance better suits the beer style and helps to preserve the freshness and flavour of the hops.
Can the beer be too served too cold?
Yes and no (again it’s about personal preference). Cask ale is not the same as keg beer (e.g. lager) which is typically served at 5 – 8°C or bottled beer (typically served at 4 – 6°C). Whatever your preference, remember that the colder your beer is served, the less carbonation is released, meaning you will get less aroma and flavour! Serving your beer box at a lower temperature won’t necessarily harm it but it may increase the likelihood of a ‘chill haze’.
Where’s the best place to store my beer?
A cool dark place (such as a cellar or garage) will usually be your best storage option. Depending on the time of year (and temperature) a garden shed or outhouse may also be suitable. At the very least, keep your beer box away from sunlight, try to avoid fluctuations in temperature, and do not store anywhere warm (especially not next to a radiator!).
What else can I do to keep my beer cool?
If refrigeration is not an option (e.g. at an outdoor event) then blue freezer blocks or ice packs (the type used in cool boxes) can be inserted between the box and inner bag. The box may also be covered with ice sheets and blankets. In this instance, you will need to you protect the cardboard from moisture and condensation.
When is my beer ready to drink?
Your beer is a perishable product and will lose carbonation quickly. It will always be best enjoyed on the day of delivery/collection from the brewery.
How long will the beer keep before opening?
Unopened (and kept in the right conditions) your beer will store for up to 7 days (and possibly longer) but the generally speaking the fresher the beer is, the better it will taste.
How long will the beer keep after opening?
Again, this depends on storage conditions. Once opened we recommend that your beer is enjoyed within 3 days (although it may last longer).
OPENING THE BOX
1.Carefully remove the cardboard perforated opening from the end of the box
2. Release the plastic tap and position it into the perforated slot
3. Remove the plastic hygiene tab from the tap and discard
4. Reposition the cardboard tab to secure the tap in place
Serving your beer
1. Place your beer box on a flat, stable surface (e.g. worktop).
2. Position so that the tap overhangs the edge of the surface.
3. Place your glass under the tap.
4. Press the button to dispense your beer using gravity.
The perfect pour
For the best results, always use a clean, dry glass.
If necessary, rinse the tap with clean cold water between serves.
Enjoy every last drop
When the box is nearly empty and no longer dispenses, prop the back of the box with a wedge. This will encourage any remaining liquid to pool near the tap. You can also remove the inner bag from the box and (with the tap pressed open) carefully squeeze the bag. Remember with ‘bright’ beer, you can enjoy every last drop of beer in your box!
The beer box packaging is recyclable. Once you have emptied your beer box, please remove the inner bag from the cardboard outer. The outer can be recycled and the bag disposed of or recycled.
GETTING A HEAD
Should my beer have a head?
Whether or not you prefer a head on a beer is a personal preference. Beer box beer does generally not have much a head when poured directly from the tap, however it’s possible to achieve a good head on your beer at home by following some of the tips below.
The hand pull method
Beer box beer can be served through a hand pull beer engine using a special adaptor (the closest to replicating a creamy pub pint at home). We are able to supply adapters at £10 each.
The blender method
A stick or hand blender is generally best (although a larger power blender can also be used). Pour approximately 2-3 cm of beer into a glass jug. Blend this at a high speed for 2-3 seconds (no more). Pour the creamy mixture into a pint glass and top up from your beer box. You can pick up a hand blender online for under £10, such as this one from Currys.
The syringe method
It’s possible to re-create a creamy head using a clean food-grade syringe (these can be picked up online at very low cost). Simply squirt a small amount of beer into the bottom of a glass a few times and a head will start to form. Then top up your glass from the beer box.
The nucleated glass
You can also use a glass that has etchings on the inside. These ‘nucleation’ points will help release any CO2 in the beer, helping head formation and retention.
The height method
Pouring the beer with more vigour (and from a greater height) will help generate some head on the beer when required. The head will not be as ‘tight’ as with the other methods (much larger bubbles) and your results may vary.
ABOUT YOUR BEER
What’s in my beer box??
Your beer box contains the same beer we serve from the cask at our brewery taproom. All of our cask beers contain living yeast (which helps to develop carbonation and flavour). Before it’s ready for serving, each cask needs time to settle allowing the beer to clarify and become what’s known in the trade as a ‘bright beer’.
What are the advantages of a beer box?
Instead of pulling the ‘bright beer’ through the hand pull beer engines on our bar, it’s instead transferred directly into your beer box (a process known as ‘racking’). This gives you all of the flavour and characteristics of a cask beer, in a smaller, more convenient package (and without the need for any special dispense equipment). It means you can enjoy every last drop of beer in your beer box too!
How is it different to keg beer?
Your beer box beer contains only naturally occurring CO2. The beer is not supposed to be ‘fizzy’. As many a ‘real ale’ drinker will tell you, one of the key benefits of cask ale over keg/bottled/canned beer is that it is less gassy and much easier to drink!
Are there any disadvantages of a beer box?
The beer in your beer box is a perishable product and since most of the suspended yeast has been removed it has a comparatively short shelf life… thankfully this isn’t an issue for most of our customers!
Are there any added ingredients?
No. We don’t add anything to your beer box, and since we do not filter our cask beer or use settling agents (finings) most of our beers are vegan-friendly. Please check individual labels for a full list of ingredients and allergens.
What about appearance?
Colour and clarity wise, your beer box beer should appear much the same as it does when served over our taproom bar. Some beers will be very clear, whilst others may have a light, naturally occurring haze. Sometimes (when the beer is stored or served at a lower temperature) a ‘chill haze’ can occur. In either event, you need not worry about a beer being hazy… so long as it tastes good!
How fresh is the beer?
All of our beer boxes are filled to order from a fresh cask on the day of collection/delivery from the brewery.