Sunday, 12 December 2010

College Beer Club from Meantime

This week I am going to share some ideas for Christmas presents for the beer drinker. First up is probably the most extravagant gift of the season, an annual membership of the College Beer Club launched in time for Christmas by Meantime of Greenwich.

An annual membership brings two 750ml corked and wired champagne bottles of specially brewed and aged beers couriered each month to your door. The first beer hopefully delivered in time for Christmas will be a 13.5% imperial Russian stout, aged for ten months in whisky casks and described as liquid Christmas pudding. This will be followed by monthly deliveries of wood aged beers, historic beer styles from previous centuries, recreations of lost recipes plus innovative new brews all created by the fair hand of the Meantime brewmeister, Alastair Hook.

I am not going to deny that £350 for twelve deliveries of two bottles is not a large amount of money, each bottle working out at just under £15 a bottle. However, with membership limited to 500 these beers are going to be scarce. Once they're gone, they're gone and compared to some of the special imports from USA and Scandinavia they represent some value.

I have spent my expenses as London Ale Taster on my membership which I think is a rather neat virtuous beer circle.

I am also rationalising spending that much money by comparing it to the investment made last year in Brewdog. Some of us sent Brewdog money last year when they went through a fundraising to grow the business. There was no beer involved, just an investment, a chance to share in the future growth of the company and a feeling of being involved with one of the country's most innovative outfits.

I see much in common with the College Beer Club. A chance to support Meantime's move to modern new brewery in Greenwich, a feeling of kinship and brotherhood, a chance to feel involved. Instead of a share of future growth, there is the chance to try some great beers over the course of a year.

This College Beer Club "investment" is only for one year and I may be proved wrong but I am guessing that it will be more rewarding and more enjoyable than the future of my Brewdog investment.

So there you have it. An extravagant Christmas present for the beer lover in your life though something with instant payback and enjoyment and a gift that will keep giving throughout the coming year. I look forward to seeing some of you at the launch party in January.

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