In June 2020, AF Beer Club was launched – the first dedicated club and subscription service for alcohol-free beer.
Following over a year of exploring, photographing and sharing AF beers online, in June Robin Lomax began boxing up a selection of handpicked craft alcohol-free beers each month to send to subscribers – including beers from some of the best breweries around the world.
Using the community Robin has fostered from the social media platforms, the community aspect of the club was very important. Alongside the monthly beers, Robin hosts Meet the Brewer sessions for members to attend and interact, and every Monday Instagrammers share their AF drink of choice using #nolowmonday.
Within the first few months, the club grew quickly and organically to over 100 members, without advertising, marketing or strategic planning! With volume outweighing Robin’s capacity at home, and a desire for this to reach more people, late last year the AF Beer Club was incorporated into the Wise Bartender portfolio, a nationwide family-run ecommerce platform with the largest range of alcohol-free drinks in the country.
Eight months from its inception, the club is thriving. Robin now works with Tom Ward from Wise Bartender to source beers from around the world and curate each monthly box, and continues to host events connected to the beers included.
While other subscription services for alcohol free beers now exist, AF Beer Club is unique in that members feel part of something bigger than simply a box of beers. With the boxes going to all members on the same day, members photograph their boxes and share online, attend the events and wear merchandise, knowing that they are part of a community of alcohol-free beer enthusiasts.
This community came together in December, with over one hundred people attending the inaugural AF Beer Awards. This celebration was free for all to attend, with drinkers joining brewery founders and head brewers to celebrate an amazing year of alcohol free beer. The judging panel featured some top names in the industry including Tesco, Square Root and Club Soda.
With planning going into this year’s event as we speak, it seems only right to mention the inaugural AF Beer Festival last June. For the first time, drinkers could buy a selection box of AF beers and drink along with EVERY producer over three days. Robin spoke to some of the biggest names in AF brewing – Brewdog, Lucky Saint, Big Drop – as well as showcasing traditionally full strength brewers who have brewed AF beers, including Tempest and West Berkshire. This year’s event takes place in mid-April and promises to be even bigger and better.
Thank you for taking the time to read.