Friday, 28 January 2011

RESULTS: The Meantime College Beer Club Poll.

You voted, I listened. Of the 95 people who voted, a slim majority came down in favour of me keeping the bottle to open and blog on at a later date - as you can see, the score was 41 votes to 54. I remain, good gentlefolk, your humble servant, and so am happy to do your bidding.

On a wider level, it also elicited a bit of debate about the club itself, and elitism in general, which I think is healthy. The beers are £15 each, which is undeniably expensive, but not outrageously so - they compare favourably to BrewDog's Abstrakt series, for example.

In an email to me, Peter Haydon from Meantime points to the amount of research that goes into each of the recipes - these are bespoke recreations of historical styles, not whimsical creations (not that there's anything wrong with whimsy, of course). He also suggests joining with friend to split the cost, or even selling one of the bottles on eBay - purely as a collectable, and not for consumption of course.

I'll post soon on the concept of value vs. cost (ooh, I bet you can't wait for that one, can you?), but until then, a couple of questions. What would you pay per year to join a club like The College Beer Club? And would you purchase the bottles individually, even if this meant paying, say 10% more for them than the club members?


  1. I am very supportive of The College Beer Club. Elitism is a good thing for the industry, it needs to be dragged out of the gutter and it annoys me that there is so much inverted snobbery about.

    However, would I invest in this club? No, not at all. I've got much better things to do with my money, and although I'm sure the beers are very good, I prefer to save my money and choose beers on a case-by-case assessment. (no pun intended)

    I might, on the other-hand, buy the beers separately, even if it did mean I had to pay an extra 10% or more.

  2. Dave - I'm not sure that I have 'better' things to do with my money, but certainly there are a large number of obligations to fulfil before I get to a big sum of money that I can spend on beer

  3. What would you pay per year to join a club like The College Beer Club?

    You miss the point that, for a lot of people, it's not a question of not wanting to join a club like this; it's just not possible.

    When the iPod Touch came out I decided I was definitely, definitely going to get round to buying an iPod, just as soon as I had a couple of hundred quid in my bank account and I was confident I wouldn't need it in a few months. I'm still waiting.

    (Admittedly I'm not the typical low-wage-earner: I was on a pretty good wedge between about 25 and 35, when I decided to go off and be an academic instead. Getting a well-paid academic job wasn't easy back then, and it hasn't got any easier since. But lots of people who don't have money to throw around like drinking beer, and some of them like drinking good beer.)

  4. Or (looking at your comment which crossed with mine) maybe you don't miss that point at all. Never mind.

  5. I like the idea, but for me Meantime don't have the pedigree to do this - not that I think they could but I personally don't much care for their beers. If it was a Thornbridge club I probably would have paid that amount. I also think it's a bit disappointing that it's an all or nothing affair. I may have considered it if I got one bottle per month rather than two or if I had been able to try one of them before commiting to the full thing. For me, I love the idea and would love to sign up but it felt to much like a risk. And the brewer suggesting that you sell the bottle on ebay? That's pretty shocking.

  6. LOL at 'the amount of research that goes into' 'bespoke recreations of historical styles'. It must take hours to look at Ron's blog (shut up about barclay perkins) or buy the Durden Park Beer circles' recipe book (old british beers and how to make them).

    I'm sure Meantime take great care over these beers but there's huge amounts of detailed historical research on historical beers easily available at the click of a mouse.

  7. No list of cheap. college-ready beer would be complete without Keystone, the “hangover beer” which can be had for pocket change at package stores around the country. Bearing a similarly mediocre taste as Pabst, Keystone is frequently used in games like beer pong and flip cup, where low volumes of beer are consumed and taste is not the main factor.know more


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