The story of how your ratings and reviews led to the creation of a brand new craft beer range. By beer lovers, for beer lovers.
For the past four years, Flavourly has been uncovering the most delicious craft beers from the best and brightest brewers all over the world, and delivering them right to our community members’ doors in the name of discovery. In return, we’ve asked our community for their honest thoughts, opinions, ratings and reviews so that we could learn which beer styles, breweries and flavours they love most. Just like us, they delivered.
At the time of writing this, the Flavourly community have given us an incredible 138,000 ratings and reviews – from our Craft Beer Discovery Club to our new, online bottleshop. This has put Flavourly in an inimitable position with a unique insight into our community’s preferences and the ability to profile which flavours are most popular with out community.
We knew that this enormous bank of reviews from our community of beer lovers was seriously special, and something that should be utilised to its fullest potential, but it wasn’t always clear what to do with them. The reviews are vital to our buyers when making decisions on which beers to target for Craft Beer Discovery Club, and now the online bottleshop, but there had to be something more. And there was.
It was an exciting day in the Flavourly office when the team began batting around the fledgling idea that would soon become Crowdsourced Craft Beer; the decision was made that we would use the reviews to create a brand-new range of craft beers designed specifically for our community.
Flavourly CEO David Moore tells me: “We’re an online drinks tech company, so launching our own range of beers is an important step for us but we wanted to involve our tens of thousands of beer fans. We felt creating a range of democratic beers designed by our community was a great way to build a bridge between our business and our customers. These beers truly are made by beer lovers, for beer lovers.”
After combing through a seeminglyendless amount of beer reviews, we landed on an initial range of four beers: a Dry-Hopped Lager, a Session IPA, a Tropical Pale Ale and a Porter with a sweet twist. Moore explains: “We knew that a lager would be important in the mix but we’ve added a special twist with heavy dry-hopping to stand out from the mainstream.
“Tropical Pale Ales are very popular with our community – hence its inclusion. A Session IPA was another important inclusion and, based on the feedback we have had, we focused on making it a citrus-tasting, refreshing ale.
“Last but not least, we have a large community of dark beer adorers who we wanted to enjoy our Porter. We have made it very accessible as a Chocolate Marshmallow version. However, it still has the characteristic bitterness of the beer style.”
Armed with four beer styles and a whole lot of excitement, we were faced with the next challenge: how are we going to brew them? Though the Flavourly team knows their beer – with a few of us even dabbling with homebrewing – none of us are experts at brewing on a commercial scale. As well as collaborating with our customers, we knew we were going to collaborate with a great craft brewer. Up stepped North Yorkshire’s BAD Co.
“BAD Co. beers have been extremely well received in both discovery club and bottleshop so they were a natural partner to choose for our first major collaboration,” says Moore. “They have been a flexible and pacy partner to work with and their head brewer Paul is extremely talented and passionate about what he does.
“We were confident they would draw on the team’s best work from their own range to make us four great collaboration beers, with which we’re delighted.”
Richard Sullock of BAD Co Brewing said: “BAD Co. was delighted to be asked to be part of this unique project. We loved the innovative way the beer styles were chosen and it not only gave us the opportunity to put our creative brewing expertise to use but to brew some truly unique beers.
“The crowdsourced styles really gave us a great starting point on the flavours we wanted to see in the beers and meant we could develop some truly unusual recipes.
“Not only are the beers themselves fantastic, but also the names that were chosen, giving a nod to the unique flavours and ingredients in the beers, as well as getting across Flavourly’s fun and creative personality.”
Ah, the names. In the ultra-creative, seriously fun craft beer space, a good name is almost as important as the beer itself. The Flavourly community was central to the development of these four unique beers so it was only fitting that we included them in the next stage of the process: naming them!
“We wanted to go to our community to ask them to name our four new craft beers,” explains Moore. “We thought that the project would be fun and engaging with the winners who inspired the ideas receiving a case of the beer they helped to name.
“The joy of online engagement is that we can get an instant response – and in this case almost 1000 suggestions came in the first 48 hours. We hope that they had as much fun as we did!”
From almost 2000 suggestions overall, four names emerged victorious that perfectly matched our four, brand-new beers.
Karl Byrne’s Lazy Days led us on a journey to the Endless River, which was the perfect choice for our 3.8% ABV Session IPA; a golden ale made with Centennial, Columbus and Summit hops. Notes of tangy lemon and lime with hints of pineapple characterise this sessionable ale.
Lager 2.0 and we soon realised that Electric Boogaloo was ideal for our sequel to lager; crisp and refreshing but with a twist. Generous dry-hopping with Summit, Perle and Mosaic adds depth and flavour with a juicy citrus bite.
Matt Morgan’s submission of Fermented Flamingo inspired us to get juicy with Flamingo Juice, which gave off the same tropical vibe as our pale ale. Low in bitterness and smooth with sweet malts, Summit and Mosaic hops give waves of resinous pine, punchy papaya and juicy mango.
Finally, with some added punch, James Downing’s Pillow Porter became Pillow Fight and was the champion choice for our Chocolate Marshmallow Porter; a dark, roasty-toasty ale full of organic Peruvian cacao nibs and chocolate malts. An infusion of vanilla pods and marshmallow fluff adds a balanced sweetness to complement the subtle Herkules and Polaris hops.
With the launch of Gin Discovery Club and our cross category online bottleshop, 2017 has already been an exciting year for Flavourly but the launch of Crowdsourced Craft Beer has been one of our most fun and rewarding projects yet. One that makes us incredibly proud to be part of the craft beer industry and revolution.