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National Beer Day: Everything you need to celebrate

From Irish porter to bevs brewed by women, honour the occasion with some of our favourites to sup

Louise Whitbread@LouiseWhitbread
Tuesday 15 June 2021 12:36
<p>Organisers are encouraging people to post a message on social media using the hashtag #CheersToBeer</p>

Organisers are encouraging people to post a message on social media using the hashtag #CheersToBeer

Beer lovers, listen up. National Beer Day, also known as Beer Day Britain, is an annual occasion held on 15 June to celebrate the drink by raising a glass to one of the nation’s favourites.

It first began in 2015, created by Jane Peyton, a beer sommelier, drinks educators, broadcaster and author, and each year it encourages brewers, pubs, beer retailers and beer drinkers to celebrate however they like. Previous years have seen festivals and events hosted by breweries and pubs alike, and special “best of British” beer selection boxes being sold.

Of course, with a global pandemic, it will look a little different this year, but you can still participate by joining in the National Cheers To Beer at 7pm and toast your beer, wherever you are,be that in the pub or at home.

Organisers are also encouraging people to post a message on social media using the hashtag #CheersToBeer.

Whether you’re well versed in the many different types or are looking to expand your horizons, we’ve got you covered for the best beers you can drink, gifts for beer lovers and subscription boxes to try.

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You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

Best beer dispensers

While you’ve undoubtedly returned to the pub by now, you can still bring the experienceto you with a beer dispenser that will deliver pints on tap at home.

Choose a simple plastic tap and tower dispenser for quick beer access, or go the whole hog and install a system to carbonate and chill your usual. In our guide to the best, our favourite was the PerfectDraft Hoegaarden starter kit (£249, Beerhawk.co.uk).

Enjoy mouth-watering pints on tap at home with your own beer dispenser

It’s a plug-in machine for the serious beer lover. These kegs come in a 6l (around 10.5 pints) size and are easy to click into the casing and hook up to the tap. Kegs can be chilled down to 3C and the easy-pour pints are perfectly smooth.

This bundle includes the machine and two pint glasses. There are 18 other popular beer kegs in the PerfectDraft-compatible range, including Stella Artois, Becks, Goose Island and Leffe Blonde, with prices starting at around £30 each.

Best beer brewed by women

The landscape of the brewing industry is changing – it’s now bursting with women head brewers, brewery managers, beer sommeliers, bottle shop owners, bar owners and bloggers.

From butterscotch ales to citrus-sharp sours, milkshake stouts to mouth-watering IPAs, women are brewing some of the best craft beers and real ales available today.

In our round-up of the best beer brewed by women, the Stroud Brewery big cat stout, 4.5% (£27, Stroudbrewery.co.uk) took the top spot.

“An outlier in a craft beer scene currently dominated by sticky-sweet, wine-strength milk stouts, this is a proper dark beer, and we loved it”, praised our writer.

She added: “It’s everything you look for in a classic stout, which has become puzzlingly hard to track down. Cracking with a cheese board.”

Best Irish beers

In recent years there has been an explosion of choice in Northern Ireland and the Republic, as wave upon wave of exciting, boundary-pushing breweries have opened their doors.

And while you can’t yet visit the south’s stellar lineup of breweries, you can get a taste of what you’re missing online, as we discovered in our review.

We loved Galway Bay, Althea, 4.8% (£2.89, Honestbrew.co.uk), which our reviewer found to be a “smooth and fresh-tasting brew, loaded with grapefruit and orange flavours, with both a juicy sweetness and pithy bitterness in evidence”.

“If you’re after a few cans to chug for an evening session then this American pale ale from the outstanding Galway Bay Brewery will serve you well.”

Best beer subscription boxes

While discerning drinkers can of course get their fix at shops, supermarkets and the pub, we don’t think these outlets can beat the reach of specialists who make it their business to search high and low for new and exciting beverages.

As such, allow us to introduce you to themyriad online subscription services offering regular drop-offs to your door; and with them the chance to discover fantastic products, often from small, independent or far-flung producers which you may not have otherwise come across.

Our favourite is the Fetch cider club (£39.99, Fetchthedrinks.com) which delivers a box of 12 bottles to your doorstep. Fetch deals predominantly with specialist independent producers which use traditional methods; from household name Thistly Cross, to Bristol’s Beard and Sabre, to UK cider royalty Tom Oliver and, of course, plenty of Somerset and Devon cidermakers.

Subscription boxes are a great way to expand your palette and try new beers from upcoming breweries

The selection offers a good range of fruity and medium to dry ciders and perries, plus a copy of Full Juice magazine with articles from top writers like Pete Brown and Gabe Cook. Becoming a member of Club Fetch also gets you a discount on its pick-your-own cases and 35-pint bag-in-box ciders – hard to come by for home delivery – as well as invitations to special events.

Best beer gifts

If you know a beer lover whose birthday is coming up, there’s no shortage of ideas, from a home-brew garden kit to a book on how to cook with booze. In our guide to the best beer gifts, one of our favourites is The Gluttonous Gardener beer garden (£30, Glut.co.uk).

If the beer lover for whom you seek is also a dab hand in the garden, a homebrewer, or both, this “grow your own beer” kit is a great way for them to indulge in their interests from the ground up.

Their beer garden, grown from seeds, will contain hops, naturally, as well and coriander and meadowsweet, and be crowned with the all-important personalised slate.

We would also highly recommend The Beer Kitchen by Melissa Cole (£9.03, Amazon.co.uk), a cookbook designed for those who want to merge brewing and culinary passions.

Recipes calling simply for “beer” didn’t cut the mustard for award-winning writer Melissa Cole, so she took things further… much further.

She breaks down the science of why you should cook and pair your food with beer, and gives numerous suggestions for just that alongside each of the more than 70 inventive recipes that guarantee a beer-laced feast.

Voucher codes

For discounts on beer and other alcohol offers, try the links below:

Enjoy a range of new and wonderful beers without leaving your home with our review of the best beer and cider subscription boxes

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.