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  • Dark Star Brewery Dark Star Brewery

    We had the pleasure of escaping the daily grind of the warehouse and cyberspace to hop down to Partridge Green in West Sussex for a visit to the Dark Star Brewing Co. Born in the Evening Star pub in Brighton, Dark Star has been brewing award winning cask ales and craft beer in the heart of Sussex for 20 years. The guys quickly moved from the pub (a pub they still own) as demand outstripped supply, first to Ansty near Haywards Heath and then on to today’s bigger operations in Partridge Green, outside Horsham.

    The brewing team, led by head brewer Andy Paterson, were at the end of a massive brew of Hophead a perennial favorite and just getting ready for the 2nd brew of the day. They we’re kind enough to give a quick tour, let us taste the current seasonal brews (wow that Critical Mass was awesome!) and answer some questions, before we adjourned to The Partridge Pub in the village (which by the way is effectively the Dark Star tap room) for a proper meeting.

    How Big Is Dark Star?
    Currently we brew about 5 million pints a year. We have about 30 staff and we run 2 pubs. We’re starting to out grow the current brewery site and are looking to move to a bigger location.

    What’s The Range of Beers?
    We normally brew 25 different beers throughout the year. This includes the permanent range, a seasonal range and monthly specials. For Christmas this year we have a new brew available Crème Brulee and the Critical Mass.  [btw - you see can the range here.]

    What Style of Beers Do You Produce?
    The majority of our beer is in cask, but we also do kegs and bottles. We also supply mini-kegs, which are popular in the brewery shop and we will be looking into craft cans later in 2015.

    Looking Ahead to 2015, What New Stuff Can We Expect?
    We’d like to do collaboration with one of the US craft brewers and also brew again with some old friends, maybe the likes of Magic Rock. And there’s the new brewery location, maybe canning and thinking up some new recipes – as always!

    When You’re Not Drinking Dark Star, Who’s Beers Do You Like?
    Well there are a lot. To name a few we like drinking Magic Rock, Downland, Surrey Hills, The Kernel and Burning Sky.

    Is there any rivalry with Burning Sky (Mark is the ex Dark Star Head Brewer)?
    No, not at all, Mark’s a great guy, brewing and blending the beers he is passionate about. We’ve been really impressed with every beer we’ve tasted of his since leaving us.

    Can People Get Brewery Tours?
    Yes, those are on Saturdays. You need to book in advance. All the details are on the website.

    Dark Star also have a great shop, where you can get fresh growlers of beer to take home, bottles and merchandise. It is open Monday – Saturday [Here’s the map].

    Brew Time at Dark Star Brew Time at Dark Star
  • Christmas Mixed Beer Case Christmas Mixed Beer Case, 2014

    …and ‘the woman’ of course! Don’t worry, we’re not becoming a conglomerate, we’re just celebrating the fact that you’ve supported our 2014 Beer Advent Calendar in your droves. Thank you!


    Our beloved calendar has I’m afraid now SOLD OUT – and we wait patiently for the sound of thousands of little perforated doors popping come December 1st. Thank you for your support – and if you’re one of the lucky few to receive one, don’t forget to post to our Twitter / Facebook pages about your daily treats!


    ‘Oh no’, I hear you say, ‘How am I going to get Festive Beer now?’. Do not fret – the elves have been busy and have put together a number of other mixed cases perfectly suited for the festive season…


    Festive Cases in 12 / 24 / 48 Bottle Versions


    1. Christmas Beers 12 Bottle Festive Mixed Case - In the box you’ll find:

    • Cotleigh : Red Nose reinbeer
    • Ilkley : Mary Christmas
    • Batemans : Rosey Nosey Holiday Ale
    • Bristol Beer factory : Bristletoe
    • Naylors : Santa's Darkside
    • Fyne Ales : Holly Daze
    • Saltaire : White Christmas
    • Hardknott : Figgy Pudding
    • Backyard Brewhouse : Bad Santa
    • Naylors : Scrooges Christmas Barrel
    • Salopian : Hollybush
    • Hogsback : Advent


    2. Christmas Party 24 Bottle Case - This case contains:

    • 6 x Camden Helles Lager (330ml)
    • 6 x Freedom Stout (330ml)
    • 6 x Camden Pale Ale (330ml)
    • 6 x Brewdog Punk IPA (330ml)

    There is also a 48 bottle case of the above available for bigger parties!


    3. Winter Seasonal Beer Selection - In this box you will find:

    • Fourpure Session IPA
    • Camden Pils
    • Ilkley Holy cow
    • Bristol Milk Stout
    • Five Points Pale
    • Fyne Ales Naughty
    • Hardknott Continuum
    • Saltair Hazelnut Porter
    • Wold Top Bitter
    • Backyard Brewhouse SRD
    • Slaters Haka
    • Oakham Citra
    • Moorhouses Pendle Witches Brew


    As always, we have a wide variety of beers that you can pick and mix in any combination. Plus keep an eye out later in the week for some up-coming Black Friday specials.

  • Beer Advent Calendar 2014 Beer Advent Calendar 2014

    If beer lovers made advent calendars, they'd probably be the best advent calendars in the world.

    And thus the elves at Ales By Mail have taken up the challenge. They’ve been extra busy this year keeping an eye out for great craft beer. All with the aim of putting together our new and exclusive Christmas Advent Calendar for 2014. The Ales By Mail Advent Calendar contains 24 hand-picked picked craft beers to bring taste and a little extra Christmas cheer each day or evening during the run-up to Christmas.


    What’s in the box?
    Behind each window there is a craft beer from some of the best craft brewers from around the world and the UK. The box contains a selection of 330ml and 500ml Craft Beers to suit the festive season, each with their own tasting notes. This is a mix of seasonal and special Christmas beers plus a bunch of our favourites.


    Some ideas on how to enjoy the calendar.
    There is no wrong way to enjoy these beers. We suggest you mix it up a bit and share with friends and family. Maybe have the first few beers quietly at the end of a long day. Another idea is to open the windows daily but save up 2 or 3 beers for a little tasting session with friends on a Friday or weekend afternoon. You could even save the last beer for Santa and leave out for him on Christmas Eve, or not …


    Get yours today or send as the perfect gift!
    The Beer Advent Calendar retails at £60 – which is good value when you consider that’s just £2.50 per bottle. And we can deliver right to your house, office or as gift to someone you like. You can order today - just go HERE.

  • Here's a date for your diary. We will be holding another Live Twitter Beer Tasting event on the 19th November 8pm-9pm. This month we will be tasting two beers from Alechemy Brewing : Ritual Pale Ale and Onyx Black IPA. The event will be co-hosted by Matt Chinnery, the Half Pint Gentleman.

    In addition to the tasting of the beer we will also be giving away spot prizes of Alechemy beer and clothing, supplying you with a beer tasting card so you can rate the beers. We'll also be challenging you with a cryptic picture quiz.  It should be a great night full of lively discussion.

    A bit about Alechemy Brewing Co
    Alechemy Brewing Co is a modern, forward-thinking brewery from West Lothian. They have been turning grain into gold since 2012.

    We now stock a wide range of Alechemy beers to pick and mix, plus a mixed case. Take a look at the Alechemy brewery page here.

    A bit about Matt

    In his own words, Matt is a "Beer Blogger/Leyton Orient Fan/Craft Beer/Belgium/Real Ale nutter!" He is also a fellow Essex dweller. Visit his blog to find out more.

    How to join in

    Purchase our special Twitter Twin Pack of Ritual and Onyx for the special price of £3.60. Add anything else you want to the order of course, you can add another 22 bottles for the same shipping price! You will need to get your order in pronto to ensure we can get it out to you on time.

    On the night simply tweet using the #beerybits hashtag.  If for some reason you are not showing up in the discussion do check that your account is not protected.

    We look forward to seeing you then!

    Alechemy Twitter Tasting

  • On 9th October 2009 we officially launched Ales By Mail onto the unsuspecting beer-buying public. On the same day I appeared in the Financial Times in an interview about how I'd come to start a mail order beer website. Every day since then, it's been a pleasure to work in the beer world. I've not stopped learning about beer over the last 5 years - I doubt that will change any time soon.

    To all our customers over the last 5 years, a massive thank you for your support and for joining us on this journey.

    The first version of our website, held together with the electronic equivalent of double-sided sticky tape and Blu-Tack, was a far cry from the place you're visiting today. We launched our new site yesterday and the reception from customers and suppliers has been very positive. However, in a lot of ways, the site is the jumping-off point for the next evolution of Ales By Mail.

    Join us over the next few months as we continue to grow the new website's functionality - features to help you decide what beer to sample, extra payment and shipping options, links to other beer resources and the chance to leave your own reviews of the beers we sell.

    One major ambition we have for the site, over coming months, is to be in a position to increase the quality of the information about what is available to buy - as close to the advice you'd get from a beer expert face to face as we can get. Our team is working to bring that to you as soon as possible.

    Now, crack one open and join us in celebrating our 5th birthday - and to mark the occasion, use the code birthday to get 10% off your order, until midnight Friday!

    Paul Kruzycki, Managing Director


  • For some time now we’ve been working away in the background building our new website, but new beers keep coming to market and we’ve been crazy busy working with brewers to deliver their beer, as well as developing the latest additions to the Discworld Ales range – all of that kinda kept getting in the way.

    However, now, finally, we’re up and running!

    This new site delivers beer lovers with more functionality, more features, a cleaner design and most importantly, easy access to a wide range of beer. You can now quickly browse beers by brewery (with our new Brewery specific pages) and we’ve increased our range of delivery options.

    If you’re a regular to alesbymail.co.uk you’ll also notice that there’s a fresh new look to the website.

    We hope all the work has paid off -  and makes the site easier to navigate and find your way to the information you want in double quick time - we’re rather pleased with it!

    Our thanks go to the team at Attain Design.

    Do tell us what you think on facebook.com/alesbymail or at twitter.com/alesbymail, as we're not resting on our laurels, and will be continuing to develop and expand the website even further based on your feedback

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