We hope you're enjoying your December Beer Vault box!

We hope you found your beers in the massive boxes we accidentally bought.... Perhaps some smaller ones for next time... 😉

Seriously, Thanks for Being One of Our First Members

We can’t tell you how much we appreciate you putting your trust in us, right now when we’re launching the club. It means a lot to know that people like the selections we’ve put together. We’ll be working hard to make sure we keep impressing you!

This page is designed to guide you to the tasting notes, and the further information about the beer. We want to give you as much information as we can about what you’re drinking, so we thought it was far better to do it this way than try to stick a big book in the box. Plus, it means we can make sure our costs go to better beer rather than printers!

PS. Seriously, those boxes were huge weren’t they? Make sure to rummage around in the packaging and find an extra wee treat. Enjoy!

Lockbox Member? Here’s The Skinny

You’ll find all the information on the beers you’re drinking below. Click on the more info link to get the full details.

We’ve also recorded a Podcast for you where we’re tasting the beers, talking about the brewers, the history and the industry at large, so get that downloaded onto your phone and have a listen! It’s a little long (we’re still learning!) but hopefully it’ll be entertaining enough to keep you going! You can listen below or download it from here. We’ll be making this available as a true Podcast feed soon, so you can subscribe in iTunes or on Android.

Please let us know what you think of the podcast, and the tasting notes. We’d love to provide more of what you want to see around the beers, so all feedback is appreciated. Just hit us up on our contact page.

Partizan Iced Tea

(3.8% ABV. Saison, London, England) 330ml bottle Like tea? Like beer? So do Partizan, so much so that they’ve carefully fused the two most enjoyed beverages in the world together for your enjoyment.  Partizan love saisons and clearly love experimenting with adjuncts in them. In beer terms adjuncts are anything other than malts, hops, yeast and water. In the past, the bold and clever bods at Partizan have spiced saisons with everything from black pepper, thyme and mango to lemongrass, fennel and lychee. The practice of adding unorthodox grains and fruit to farmhouse ales isn’t without historical precedent. French and Belgian farmers would frequently use leftover small batch grains and fruits to add fermentable sugars and flavours to their provisional ales.  With Iced Tea, Partizan have taken this notion and ran with it in a quite literally fresh direction. The beer is brewed with lemon, lime and orange zests and a healthy amount of green tea. The result is a spicy and refreshing Belgian farmhouse table beer with an earthy, slightly astringent body and dry finish. Needless to say the aroma erupts with citrus notes. We think Partizan are one of the most exciting new breweries in Europe, so expect to see more beers by them in future Beer Vault... read more

Beavertown Neck Oil 

(4.3% ABV. Session IPA, London, England) 330ml can Neck Oil is rapidly becoming one of the most requested and enjoyed U.K. brewed American style pale ales. Light, refreshing, dry and absolutely loaded with citrus aromatics.  Citrus forward pale ales with a clean dry finish are staples of the best Californian brewers. This particular style of pale ale has become a calling card for many of today’s best modern breweries, not only across the U.S. but around the world. Beavertown’s Neck Oil is a bright all-American hopped (Magnum, Simcoe, Amarillo) example of this highly quaffable sub style but brewed fresh here in the U.K. Beavertown are one of the U.K.’s most forward thinking and quality focused new brewers, one of a cluster of talented and ambitious breweries that have sprung up in London in the past few years. Their attention to detail, enthusiasm and understanding of modern brewing practices comes through strongly in not only Neck Oil but their core range of beers as a whole. We here at the Beer Vault are big fans of Beavertown and are excited for what they’ll cook up... read more

Buxton Saison

(6.3% ABV. Saison, Buxton, Derbyshire, England) 330ml bottle Say hello to the British farmhouse ale! Saison, Belgium’s quintessential farmhouse beer style is now being brewed to a very high standard across the U.K. Buxton’s is one of the best. Saisons have become a staple of many of the U.K.’s best modern brewers and we here at The Beer Vault couldn’t be happier that this massively overlooked style of beer is finally gaining the recognition it deserves in Britain. This traditional Belgian farmhouse style of ale is hugely versatile and robust. A style in the broadest sense of the word, saisons are beers that were originally brewed upon farms in Belgium in the cooler months when the temperature was conducive to fermentation. The beers were usually then cellared for consumption in the warmer summer months by the farmers themselves and their saisonaires or seasonal workers. Typically possessing a potent spicy aroma, mostly the result of the lively ester producing yeast strains used, saisons are most often very dry and highly effervescent, giving them an almost Champagne quality. Clocking in at 6.3% ABV, Buxton’s house Saison sits very comfortably in the typical alcohol range for the style, which is usually somewhere between 5.0 and 8.0% ABV. although can go as high as 11.0 or 12.0% ABV. Due to their effervescent, dry and floral nature, saisons pair extremely well with a broad range of savory foods and Buxton’s delicate and complex take on this traditional farmhouse ale is no exception. Why not use this beer to experiment with some saison food pairings of your... read more

Brew By Numbers 03/01 Porter – Original

(6.0% ABV. Porter, London, England) 330ml bottle What goes around, comes around, and that’s a good thing in the case of porter beers. Original is one of three outstanding porter styles that London upstart Brew By Numbers produces. Once upon a time robust dark brown and mahogany porters were the toast of London, being drunk in abundance by the working class and elite without prejudice. They were particularly popular with hard working street and dockside porters after whom the beer style is said to have acquired its name. In terms of aroma and flavour, think of the porter as stout’s slightly more astringent and tart fruity cousin. Porters fell out of mainstream favour in the U.K. in the face of the ever more pervasive mass produced pale ale and lager onslaught of the 1960’s and 1970’s. Happily though, the style, alongside fellow English stalwarts the India pale ale and barleywine, found new appreciation in America among the uninhibited fledgingly craft brewers of the 1970’s – being most notably championed by San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing Co. Today porters are brewed on a regular or seasonal basis by most craft breweries in the U.S. and U.K. and are once again a staple of any self respecting pub in the British Isles. Brew By Numbers actually brews three porters as standard, the lushly textured, rich and chocolatey Original that we’re featuring this month, the complex and boozy Traditional, and Liberty, a more aggressively hopped American style porter. So then, enjoy this outstanding ode to London’s brewing past brewed by one of the it’s newest and best breweries. After one bottle, we think you’ll agree... read more

Fourpure Pale Ale

(5.0% ABV. American Pale Ale, London, England) 300ml can Great beer does come in cans! It’s time to explode this silly myth once and for all, and thanks to London’s Fourpure Pale Ale we have some damn fine ammo to do so.  Fourpure Brewing Co. are one of the fledgling London based breweries that make up what has become referred to as the “Bermondsey Beer Mile,” a cluster of seven breweries and a specialist bottle shop that include Anspach & Hobday/Bullfinch, Brew By Numbers, Partizan Brewing, Southwark Brewing Co and The Kernel Brewery. Like many of the U.K.’s new craft breweries, Fourpure are heavily inspired by modern American craft beer styles and brewing techniques, especially the gorgeously aromatic and long dry finish pale ales and IPAs brewed in California. Fourpure Pale Ale has the pretty herbal aroma and even bitterness of Sierra Nevada’s classic Pale Ale with a slightly more resinous body and fuller fruity finish. Fourpure have chosen, like some of America’s most leading edge craft brewers such as Colorado’s exemplary Oskar Blues, to primarily can their beer alongside a handful of bottled offerings. It’s a decision that has been made surely in part to help prove incorrect the myth that canned beer is poor quality beer. Fourpure’s striking line-up of cans makes quite a visual statement, a statement that is reinforced thanks to the high standard of the ales and lagers contained... read more

Wild Beer Scarlett Fever

(4.8% ABV. American Amber Ale, Evercreech, Somerset, England) 330ml bottle Wild Beer Co. have many brewing talents, one of which is utilising bold new world hops varieties to enliven old world beer styles. Ladies and gentlemen, Scarlett Fever. West Country craft beer pioneers Wild Beer Co. are rapidly becoming best known on both sides of the Atlantic for their increasingly creative and admirably consistent funky saisons and pucker inducing sour beers. In addition to their more esoteric beers, Wild Beer Co. brew an outstanding selection of core beers, beers like their highly quaffable Fresh pale ale, dank and resinous Madness IPA and their reimagined English red ale Scarlett Fever. Scarlett Fever is the careful result of blending a traditional English amber pub ale with big bold citrus and pine evoking New World hops. The deep caramelised backbone of the beer is perfectly offset by a robust earthy bitterness while the late addition hops provide a fresh pithy finish. The aroma has a wonderfully concentrated herbal bite. Scareltt Fever is proof, if any were needed, that Wild Beer Co. are one of the U.K.’s most exciting and diverse craft breweries, able to brew everyday session beers of the highest standard, as well as some of the most interesting and challenging beers in... read more

Weird Beard Black Perle

(4.5% ABV. Sweet Stout, London, England) 500ml bottle Artisan roasted coffee is rapidly becoming a standard fifth ingredient in the professional brewers arsenal and when the end result is this good, you might start wondering why it took so long! Brewed in collaboration with South London coffee roaster Alchemy, this single hopped milk stout is allowed to condition on heaps of Costa Rican Zamorana beans, producing a rich, but extremely sessionable beer that evokes many of the best attributes of an early morning latte. Sweet, ever so slightly creamy, with a deep dark roasted cocoa roast, it is one the U.K’s standout low ABV. stouts. There’s no actual milk in milk stouts, their sweetness is derived from lactose or milk sugars. The beer is brewed exclusively with Perle hops, a German all purpose variety with a delicate floral quality, perfect for a sessionable stout with a lot of complex and potentially conflicting flavour and aroma characteristics. Try pairing this sweet little number with a bar of your favourite milk chocolate and you’ll be utterly hooked; possibly to the point of writing a thank you email to the beardy weirdies at Weird... read more

Kernel Table Beer 

(2.9% ABV. Session IPA, London, England) 330ml bottle Style defining Session IPA. All of the hop forward character of a much stronger India pale ale at only 2.9% ABV. A crown jewel of modern British craft brewing. Kernel Table Beer has become something of a modern classic. Alongside the abundantly hopped likes of BrewDog Punk IPA and Thornbridge Jaipur, the bright sunshine coloured beer has proved to be an important ale in Britain’s craft beer revolution. At its easy drinking, yet fully bittered heart, Table Beer is a highly aromatic modern American pale ale. The hops Kernel uses to brew the beer can and do change from batch to batch, just enough to keep things interesting though, never enough to significantly alter the overall character of the beer. So too the ABV (alcohol by volume) of the beer can and does fluctuate slightly. The ebb and flow of the hopping regiment and ABV craftily reminding the drinker that beer is and should be respected as a live product. As one of most impressive examples of modern British craft brewing by one of the U.K.’s most creative and consistently above par brewers, we felt that Kernel Table Beer had more than earned its slot in our first Beer... read more

Vault Reserve Member? Here’s Yours

You guys have a real treat in store, and it’s not only the legend that is the Westy! Our bottles this month from Burning Sky and the Bristol Beer Factory are simply outstanding. Have a look below for the background and tasting notes for each of these amazing bottles.

Westvleteren 12 (XII)

(10.2% ABV. Quadrupel, Westvleteren, Belgium) 330ml bottle Westvleteren 12 (XII) is the most sought after beer on the planet, bar none. A world class Trappist Belgian quadrupel style beer with few peers. The most limited production, regularly brewed, Trappist ale. Laden with rich candied dark fruit and bittersweet molasses flavour and aroma. Matures incredibly well when cellared. With few notable exceptions, Russian River’s Pliny the Elder and Younger, and Three Floyds Dark Lord aside perhaps, no beer has ever garnered so much buzz and rumour as Westvleteren 12 (Westy 12 to its friends). For many beer lovers and beer geeks, Westy 12 is an extremely elusive fermented pot of gold at the end of a hoppy rainbow. To say you have actually tasted the beer continues to be a point of pride for beer drinkers both old and new. A mark as it were, of just how serious a beer nerd you actually are. There are a few simple reasons why this one Belgian beer has become such an iconic point of desire. It is brewed in relatively small amounts at the Trappist monastery Abbey of Saint Sixtus of Westvleteren, alongside only two other beers; Westvleteren Blonde, a 5.8% ABV. Belgian style pale ale and Westvleteren 8 (VIII), a malty 8% ABV. mahogany coloured Belgian style Dubbel. With the exception of a small amount that was sent to market a couple of years ago in Europe and the U.S., the beer is not distributed at all and must be collected from the brewery itself. This lack of distribution combined with the fact that the beer garners the highest ratings... read more

Burning Sky Monolith Vatted Black Beer

| 8.0% ABV | English Wild Ale | Lewes, East Sussex, England | 750ml bottle | Monolith is one of a rapidly growing number of English produced sour and wild ales. Bittersweet with an acidic edge and an intentionally funky aroma, this soured black beer spent eight months resting in an oak foudre that previously housed Chianti. Sour beers and ales fermented with “wild” Brettanomyces (or Brett) yeast strains, are becoming more and more popular in the U.K. This is in large part due to the sterling efforts of Somerset’s Wild Beer Co. While there are other breweries in the U.K. producing excellent sour and Brett fermented ales, few are doing it with the dedication, regularity and celebration that Wild Beer are or to the extent that many U.S. craft brewers now are. You can however now add Burning Sky to the short list of British breweries taking sour and Brett beers very seriously indeed. Like Wild Beer Co., this East Sussex based brewery is dedicating significant time, infrastructure and cash to building an ambitious barrel aging and sour beer program. In an effort to help supplement their bold wood based venture, Burning Sky produces a core range of high quality American style pale ales, IPAs and Belgian farmhouse style saisons. The relatively short turnaround time of these ales means the brewery can remain financially operational until the sour projects, which have a much longer maturation time, are ready. Monolith has many of the same characteristics that distinguish the archetypal Flemish red sour ales produced by Rodenbach, the much lauded modern pioneer of aging soured beer on a large... read more

Bristol Beer Factory Wheat Wine 

(10.0% ABV. Wheatwine, Bristol, England) 330ml bottle One of the very first commercially brewed wheatwines in the U.K. Rich, desserty and beautifully complex. A beer with massive cellaring potential as well as being moreish and delicious freshly bottled. In keeping with many native examples of this new American strong ale style, Bristol Beer Factory have keenly experimented with the base idea of a strong wheat ale by aging it in bourbon barrels and by blending in some cold brewed coffee courtesy of Bristol’s Extract Coffee Roasters. The malt bill of the beer is 75% wheat. For the uninitiated and non-brewers among you, that is a very high percentage indeed. The result of so much wheat; without getting too sciencey, provides loads of fermentable sugars for the yeast to eat up and convert onward to a hefty 10.0% ABV. Equally important is the uniquely smooth, creamy and full mouth feel that so much wheat protein gives the beer. Add to that the vanilla notes from the oak bourbon barrels and the roasted cocoa notes of the high quality Extract coffee and it’s not a stretch to describe this beer’s overall flavour and aroma as vanilla latte like. This is the third release in Bristol Beer Factory’s new Unlimited series of small batch limited release beers following a 7.0% ABV. Belgian Rye and an 8.5% ABV. Double IPA. This being a robust and strong wheatwine, it’s the first brew in the series that has significant cellaring potential, the Belgian Rye and DIPA being designed to be enjoyed as fresh as possible. The aging and evolutionary potential of Wheat Wine is especially exciting... read more

Thanks again for Joining the Beer Vault!

We’ll see you again next month for more amazing brews.

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Looking For More? Here's a Beer Gift, for You or Someone Else!

We mentioned the Cellar Builder in your printed newsletter. If you want to check it out, either as a self-Santa (c’mon, you deserve it!) or as a last minute Christmas present for someone else, then have a look here.

The Cellar Builder Box

Last Call for Pre-Xmas Delivery