“It’s a bit like a book club for beer”

By BeertownNZ Wed, 19 Jul 2017 National

Beer Jerk is a craft beer subscription.

Each week its members open the same beer, as announced every Thursday afternoon.

Then they share their impressions on Beer Jerk’s members’ Facebooks, Instagrams and Untappds to dish out some good, honest, fast feedback.

The original beer jerks are Luke White and Brent Grove. Both are Deliberate Kiwis – Luke’s from the UK where he enjoyed both cask and craft ales; Brent’s from South Africa where he really didn’t enjoy Castle Lager at all.

“One day I was sitting in Galbraiths and Luke gave me a beer that was incredible. And ever since I’ve been on this wild discovery ride. That’s the germination of the idea behind Beer Jerk – how can we discover new beers and try new styles?” says Brent.

“We started it because we wanted to be members of it really,” Luke says.

The original plan was to open a specialist craft beer store, covering local brewers and imports. Licencing, rents, imports, regulations – it all got complicated and Plan B was Beer Jerk.

For a weekly subscription of $8.50* you get a dozen craft beers at your door every dozen weeks. You can look but don’t touch just yet – every Thursday Luke & Brent email members, announcing the beer of the week, with tasting notes, a brewer video, and recommended meal and music matches.

Then it’s on to the socials to share your approval/confusion/disdain/all three with all the other jerks. It’s a different beer every week and once it’s been jerked it won’t be back ever again.

“Luke does a good job of building a box that makes sense. There’s a good range of styles, it pays attention to the season, it pays attention to where the beers come from, it’s well thought out. It’s a curated selection that produces a good assortment of beers” Brent says.

“We just love to champion the little guy when they’re just starting off,” says Luke. “This is an opportunity to get your beer in from of some of the biggest enthusiasts in the country.”

Those little guys have included Mythica, North End, Double Vision, Outlier Cartel, The Herbalist, and Duncan’s. It's not just little guys, either. Coming up soon are beers from Hallertau and Yeastie Boys, and imports through Beertique. Some of the offerings are exclusively bottled for Beer Jerk.

Brent says they have “a few hundred” members and membership is growing at about 15% each month. “Brewers see us as a marketing opportunity and the chance to get in front of people. Now they’re starting to understand that we’re not a bar, we’re not a bottle shop, we’re a marketing company. Our exposure benefits the brewery and the bottle shops.”

“We like the idea that people are exposed to a new brewery for the first time and they might become a friend of that brewery and begin championing them in their own way.”

*Has Beer Jerk got a deal for you! Use the code BEERTOWN when you subscribe and you’ll get $20 off your first dozen. Check out Beer Jerk here

By BeertownNZ Wed, 19 Jul 2017 National