Less than £1 a bottle? Now that’s craft(y) beer buying

Craft beer is all the rage at the minute, and I must admit I have a bit of a weakness for the stuff myself. But with (small) bottles typically going for £1.80+, it’s not the cheapest penchant to sustain. So here are some tips to down the cost of indulging.

Be warned – some of these tricks mean ordering a fair few beers at once, as that’s how you’ll get the best savings. While the prices below were correct at time of publication, they can change regularly, so always check yourself before pouncing on a deal. And please be Drinkaware.

1. Be a beer club tart

In recent months craft beer lovers have benefited from a proliferation of ‘beer clubs’, where you pay a subscription to have a box delivered to your door each month. You won’t necessarily know what exactly you’re going to get, though you can often specify a preference (for light/hoppy/dark etc) – but discovering new beers is all part of the fun.

Where you can really take this to the max though is with the first-month discount many clubs offer newbies. As there’s no minimum commitment with most, you can simply sign up for the first month and get the introductory deal, then cancel and move on to the next one – in other words, be a beer club tart.

But ALWAYS remember to cancel (assuming you don’t want to keep the subscription going), or else you’ll be charged the standard price after the intro month.

Here are a few top introductory deals to choose from (and in italics, what you’ll pay if you don’t cancel). All offers are ongoing unless otherwise stated, though of course they could disappear anytime. Delivery’s included and bottles are 330ml, give or take.

  • Beer52: Ten bottles for £12 (equiv £1.20/bottle) using code MEGAPLAN17 (we’ve also seen you can currently get eight bottles for £8 via a link on The Modern Mann podcast page – equiv £1/bottle). After the first month it’s £21.60/mth for eight bottles if you use the code above, or £24/mth otherwise.OR until 30 May 2017 (or stock runs out), pay £14.99 for eight bottles plus a gift card for eight more bottles (overall equiv 94p/bottle) via Groupon*. After the gift card’s used it’s £24/mth for eight bottles.
  • Flavourly: Ten bottles for £15, when you use code TWIT5 to get £5 off (equiv £1.50/bottle). After the first month it’s £20/mth for 10 bottles.
  • HonestBrew: Six bottles for £9 (equiv £1.50/bottle). After the first month it’s £35.90/mth for 12 bottles.
  • Beer Hawk: Eight bottles for £12 (equiv £1.50/bottle), 12 bottles for £16.50 (equiv £1.38/bottle) or 15 bottles for £19.50 (equiv £1.30/bottle) – all using 50% off code BEERCLUB50. After the first month it’s £24/mth, £33/mth or £39/mth, and you continue to get the same number of bottles.

It’s also worth checking on daily deals sites such as Living Social, Wowcher and Groupon* (as the Beer52 deal above shows).

2. Buy your beer from… Amazon

OK, so when you think of alcohol, Amazon might not be the first name to spring to mind, but it has a pretty strong selection of craft beers. Here are a few tips to cut the cost further:

  • Buy in bulk. Avoid plumping for pricey individual bottles and look to buy a case instead. For example, you can currently get a 12-pack of 13 Guns IPA for £19.24* – equivalent to £1.60/can.
  • Dodge delivery charges. You normally have to spend a minimum of £20 to qualify for free delivery, but if you’re struggling to hit that, use the Super Saver Delivery tool. Alternatively, if you’ve Amazon Prime (or if you haven’t but you sign up to a free trial) you can escape delivery charges entirely – an eight-pack of Shipyard IPA* comes in at the equivalent of £1.65/bottle (500ml) .
  • Use one of Amazon’s regular promos to cut the cost further. Sadly an alcohol-specific one I used last week has just ended, though we sometimes feature codes and gift card deals you can use on our Amazon Deals page. For example, if you’re lucky enough to be eligible and willing to front the cash, you can get a £5 bonus on £100 Amazon credit top-up*.

3. Get discounts and cashback at online supermarkets

If you really want to stock up the beer cellar and are willing to order large quantities, the cheapest option may be via one of the big online supermarkets, using a discount code or cashback deal to max your savings. Here are a couple of examples:

  • Until Tuesday 21 March, Ocado‘s flogging two 12-pack crates of Goose Island IPA/Wheat Ale/Ale for £30 (£1.25/bottle equiv). Until Monday 3 April, newbies can also get £20 off an £80 spend (+ free delivery) – you can use this on alcohol as long as you also buy enough non-alcoholic items to match the value of the discount. So order £20 worth of groceries with four crates of the Goose Island (that should last you a while), and assuming you were going to buy the groceries anyway, it’s effectively just 83p/bottle.
  • Tesco has a pretty good range of craft beers these days, in store and online. At a standard price, 12 cans of Brewdog’s Punk IPA* for £15 isn’t bad at all – and if Tesco online newbies go via Topcashback* they’ll also get £6.30 cashback on top. So order three cases to avoid the sub-£40 order fee, collect in store (home delivery from £1) and after cashback you’re looking at equivalent to just £1.08/can.

So that’s my two cents on getting merry on the good stuff for less – let us know your thoughts and own tips in the comments below.