So, I do not normally review food and drinks items. But when it came to this product from London-based Honest Brew it seemed a pity to deprive you, dear readers ...especially as they allowed me to give the stuff away!
And on that TGIF note, I introduce you to the Howler: a portable tube of craft beers, delivered to your door on request and designed to fit in your bicycle's bottle cage. Is this in jest, you ask? Not at all. This product exists. And you can read about the enthusiastic maker's philosophy here, including their thoughts on the virtues of canning craft beer.
When the sizable parcel arrived and I imagined it as a portion to be consumed on a single bike ride, I was reminded of the awful joke that kids of Irish descent at my 1990s New England school used to tell, not without some measure of pride:
"What's an Irish seven course meal?"
"A six pack and a potato."
Well, by those standards, you don't quite get a full meal out of a Honest Brew Howler. But you won't be left starving either. For most, I should think the 3-pack will suffice for a liquid picnic by bike.
If you reside in Great Britain or Northern Ireland, you can order samplers of various hand-picked craft beers from local micro-breweries, and the bicycle-ready Howler shall arrive at your door lickety-split. You can order as many samplers as you like, according to various themes, at the cost of £6.60-£8.50 per pack, and a one-time shipping charge of £3.49. It's not cheap. But it's not expensive either, considering the cost of craft beers. And if you enjoy this sort of thing, it can allow you to sample beers from micro-breweries that may not be otherwise accessible. All in all, I would say it's a fun project.
Now as far as limitations, the main one I can see is fit: While the container seems compatible with most metal bottle cages, it won't clear small bicycle frames. The husband's 53x54cm machine is basically at the limit of what will accommodate the mighty Howler. Whether that means this beer-transport method is not for you, or that you need to rethink your bicycle frame sizing, is of course up to yourself to decide.
As for evaluating the quality of the beer itself: Well, I have no cause to question its excellence, considering it looks like it comes from some cool micro-breweries. However, I am not a craft beer expert. And in addition, I am off the drink these days, completely. So I will leave it to you, fellow islanders, to take this fine product off me and determine its merit.
This give-away is open to readers from (all-island) Ireland only. If you fit this description and would like the Howler to be sent your way, please leave a comment, briefly outlining your thoughts on one of the following topics (song/poem/grunt form acceptable):
a. Drinking whilst cycling: does it give you "strengh" or a headache?
b. The craft beer situation in Ireland, North and South: Discuss
Please do this before the end of this coming Sunday. And make sure I have a way of contacting you.
Looking forward to sending this beer to a good home, and wishing you all a happy weekend!