What’s in the box?

While I’m venturing to Dublin today, I thought I’d finally share a decent find from Cardiff’s Gravity Station.

About a fortnight back The Gravity Station were selling mystery cases of beer containing 12 different beers for £32. For the value conscious, such as myself, that’s about £2.67 per bottle, so a variable saving of around 40p to £1 per bottle. Not too shabby.

Apart from the irresistible lure of curiosity in opening a sealed box that could contain any 12 beers (and given the Gravity Station’s ever-changing stock, it almost could be anything in there) it pushes you out of your comfort zone and encourages you to try beers that you may not have otherwise: labels that don’t appeal, breweries you’ve never heard of, styles you aren’t too keen on – all of these mystery bottles could be hiding a great beer that you wouldn’t have tried otherwise.

There were eight mystery cases available when they started, minus one, so there may still be a couple left now; they may have even topped up their pile of mystery boxes entirely. I’m not going to list the contents of mine as each case will differ, but only one I have had before (the Waen Chilli Plum Porter), so for £32 I get eleven beers I haven’t tried before plus one I love.

One or two of the beers I recognise from hanging around on the shelves at the Gravity Station, beers I wouldn’t have tried because of a slightly snobbish approach to labels*, so it’ll be interesting to see what discoveries I make a sI chew my way through the box. So far I’ve nibbled on a few and found at least one new brewery I’m fast becoming fond of.

Cunningly, the Gravity Station are effectively discounting stock before it becomes old and tired and making space for new, fresh beers, so I do hope they keep the scheme rolling beyond the first eight boxes, even if only on an ad-hoc basis.

*I like to pretend I’m not affected by the quality of a bottle label but I know I am, like most people I suspect. They say never judge a book by its cover but at least you can flick through the pages and pick up some of the contents; you can’t crack open a bottle in a shop, sample it and put it back if you don’t like it, so sometimes the label is all you have to work with.

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