Best Ale Subscription Box in the UK (2022 Update)

The art of brewing ales is as ancient as baking bread because they both use similar types of yeast, which is the major difference between ales and larger beers. The yeast traditionally used worldwide for brewing ale and indeed wine goes by the name ‘saccharomyces cerevisiae’, which rises to the top of the liquid in the fermentation process, making it easy to remove once complete. The resulting ale has a sweet, full-bodied and fruity taste compared to more bitter beers. India Pale Ale (IPA) is actually originally from the UK. It’s pale ale that is usually made stronger and more bitter by including beer hops and harks back to the early 1800s, when this type of ale became a popular export to India.

The UK is home to hundreds of ales made in breweries all over the country, many of them offering real ale subscriptions and craft ale gifts, most with alcohol content between 4 and 5%. In our lineup of the best ale subscription boxes in the UK we’d like to introduce you to crates of ales from the big beer suppliers alongside some really bespoke buys paired with snacks such as Cheshire cheeses and pork scratchings.

Best ale subscription boxes in the UK

Mini Cask Subscription

Cheshire Cheese, Chutney & Real Ale

Honest Brew Ale Subscription

The Real Ale Shop

Piggin Mystery Box

Devon Dozen Ales Hamper

Allsop’s Ale Gift Set

Craft Beer Box of 12

Real Ale Case of 15

Beer 52 Light & Hoppy

Mini Cask Subscription

Best cask of ale subscription

Mini cask ale subscription

Let’s start with the casks to set up your own bar at home! Get 5 litres of a dark ale, pale ale or golden ale with a Mini Cask Club subscription, introducing you to a variety of ‘World Top Beers’ with lots of ordering options that you can top off with a few bottles of beer or ale to boot. And if one cask isn’t enough or you like a bit of variety in your home pub set up, you can order two casks at a time with the Cask Duo option to receive one core range beer and one seasonal beer each month. Believe it or not, gluten-free options are available too! Subscription periods range from 3 to 6 or 12 months at a time and includes free delivery in the UK.

Cheshire Cheese, Chutney & Real Ale

Best real ale and cheese hamper

Cheshire chees real ale subscription hamper

This real ale and cheese hamper is perfect for a summer picnic on the village green while watching a game of cricket. We absolutely love this tasting experience from the Cheshire Cheese Company, which lets you pair award-winning cheeses and tangy chutneys with real ales from award-winning microbrewery Wincle Beer Company. Build your own hamper by choosing from more than a dozen different cheeses, choose your chutney and then choose your ale from a list of eight brews. We went for a nice, strong ‘Life of Riley’ English hopped India pale ale (4.8%) with 200g of Ploughman’s Cheddar and some Gourmet Old Hag Pickle. It was an amazing tasting experience that smacked of traditional English summers! Oh and you can choose to have it all bundled in a real or faux wicker hamper; both being eco-friendly packaging options.

Honest Brew Ale Subscription

Best 12-pack of pale ales

Honest Brew ale subscription

Get a monthly 12-pack of IPAs and other pale ales from world-leading breweries with a monthly subscription from craft beer specialist Honest Brew. The 12 beers is an eclectic mix of glass bottles and craft cans, including IPAs, Session IPAs, New England IPAs, Pale Ales, and American Pale Ales. Some are smooth. Some are strong and others are an ale experience that we can’t quite put into words. Getting this ale subscription is a great way for you to support independent breweries and give them some recognition. Plus you’ll be doing the earth a favour with the packaged in recyclable cardboard box with protective packaging.

The Real Ale Shop

Best case of India Pale Ales

The Real Ale Shop ale subscription

If you or a friend have a soft spot for pale ales then the IPA Lovers Case from The Real Ale Shop will hit the spot. The case of twelve 500ml bottles of really hoppy real ales for £39 is an ideal craft ale gift from Branthill Farm in Norfolk. With names like ‘Beast of the East’ and ‘Grizzly Beer’ and ‘Wild Caribbean’ you’re in for a wild adventure through some of the world’s finest India pale ales.

Piggin Mystery Box

Best ale and salty snacks subscription

Piggin Mystery ale subscription box

If you are looking for a night in with nibbles and ale, try out The Snaffling Pig Co., which offers a variety of monthly subscription options that pair ales, beers and ciders with their branded pork scratchings and other swine-derived snacks, including some bespoke spicy options. We reckon Piggin’ Mystery Box Monthly Subscription is the best way to try out new craft ales and new snacks in a very fun way.

Devon Dozen Ales Hamper

Best hamper of ales

Devon Dozen Ales hamper

If you are on a budget then your ‘hamper’ of ales can just be a cardboard box, which is included in the £46 price tag but if you really want to push the boat out or make this a memorable real ale gift hamper then you can add a real wicker hamper to your order but that puts the price up to over £74. Simply choose your hamper type when placing your order. The 12 ales are an eclectic collection of 500ml bottles. We especially liked the smooth Dartmoor Brewery India Pale Ale with its slightly spicy aftertaste.

Allsop’s Ale Gift Set

Best ale gift set under £15

Allsop's Ale gift box

Looking for a gift for an ale lover but on a tight budget? For the princely sum of £14, you can order an Allsop’s Ale Gift Set containing an Allsopp’s Pale Ale, Allsopp’s India Pale Ale and a branded, etched pint glass. The family-run brewery in Burton-on-Trent – Britain’s original beer capital – is more than three centuries old; established in 1730 by Benjamin Wilson Sr. and becoming part of British history by discovering India pale ales and making life-sustaining ale for a lost Arctic expedition commissioned by Queen Victoria.

Craft Beer Box of 12

Best savings on a box of 12 beers and ales

Craft Beer Box of 12

You can get a mixed box of 12 beers and ales from Club 84, a brewhouse on the edge of the North Yorkshire moors that’s been growing a range of craft ales, beers, largers and stouts for more than 30 years in an old quarry. Every month they’ll send you a dozen different craft beers and ales from their own vats and some special limited edition and single-batch brews with the assurance that you’ll get to try at least 3 new brews each month. Buying them by the dozen makes it cheaper, and you can save up to £60 by getting a year-long subscription. Definitely great value for ale aficionados.

Real Ale Case of 15

Best surprise real ale crate

Real Ale case of 15

A lot of these ale subscriptions are by the half-dozen or dozen but if you want a few more bottles to keep in stock, you can get a crate of 15 bottles of ale (500ml) from the Best of British Beer. It’s pot luck with this ale order as you can’t customize the crate but you can be sure of getting a veritable mix of flavours, strengths and styles from different breweries up and down the country from Shropshire and Cheshire to North Wales and the Scottish Highlands.

Beer 52 Light & Hoppy

Best crate of ale gift subscription (8 – 12 bottles)

Beer 52 Ale subscription

Another great ale gift comes from Beer 52, where you can order a case of 8, 10 or 12 ales by choosing their Light & Hoppy subscription: a selection of lighter, hoppier beers including pale ales, IPAs and other unique brews on the lighter side. We took the middle road and opted for a case of 10, turning it into a gift subscription, which comes with the latest copy of Ferment Magazine and a snack. For an extra 99p you can add a greeting card with a personal message too.

Ale subscription boxes: The verdict

Getting into ales is a great way to discern yourself as a knowledgeable beer aficionado. The only way to really learn the difference between ales and other brews is to taste them and take notes. Better yet, pair the ales with foods that really bring out the full flavour of both, which we recommend you do with the Cheshire Cheese, Chutney & Real Ale subscription and the Piggin Mystery Box of ales and pork snacks on the list above. If you are on a budget and just starting out on your ale exploration, then Allsop’s ales gift set hits the spot. Another cheap option that gives you a dozen different ales without any frills is the Craft Beer Box of 12.