The world of craft beer has surged in popularity recently and a Leigh-based company has taken it to the next level.

Hoppily, a beer subscription service, was inspired after a holiday to Toronto in Canada where brothers Mark and Chris Fenn later talked about not being able to source craft beers with ease.

Halstead Gazette:

Good spot - the Hoppily beer lounge

Halstead Gazette:

Selection - beer lovers can find whatever they're looking for

Mark said: “The trip got us thinking about the idea of a beer subscription service but on a local level, here in Essex.”

The brothers spent five months planning the business and working with the University of Essex. The unique service has put the personal touch into subscription while showcasing the efforts of various breweries in Essex and London.

Established in 2016, members can tailor their own packages choosing eight or ten beers a month. An eight beer subscription package costs £25 or ten for £30, plus there’s discounts for those taking a six or 12 month subscription. The choice is purely down to the individual and they make ideal gifts too.

Mark added: “Early on we like to give people different flavours. They’re encouraged to give feedback and over time we can bespoke beers to each customer.”

Even if you’re not au fait with the craft beer industry you can take those first steps into the developing market with lager and then progress to the wider world of craft beers.

Initially, Hoppily was an online retailer but Mark and Chris took it one step further and opened the Hoppily beer lounge in Leigh to appeal to a wider audience.

As well as their online presence and base in Leigh, the Hoppily team which includes Mark’s wife Cheryl front of house, are showcasing their service at events across the county. Southend Pride and the Fling Festival in Chelmsford are just some of the events Hoppily has attended as well as regular farmers’ and food markets.

Mark said: “We can take a selection of our products to events and be seen by those which might not shop online so we’re continuously reaching other people.”

Growing month on month, Hoppily also has more members being added each month and club members can get discounts on products offered onsite or to takeaway.

Mark said: “We’re not beer geeks but we like to take others on a beer journey which is open and inclusive to everyone. It’s good to try different beers and introduce people to a premium product as well as add something to the community, too.”

The partnership with breweries is also proving a success.

Mark said: “Working with local Essex breweries is really important to us. We worked in collaboration with Brentwood Brewing Company to celebrate our first birthday in 2018 and we have a collaboration beer coming out with Maldon Brewing Company very soon.”

Keeping up with buying trends, Hoppily products are also available on Amazon, Not on the High Street but also has a good presence at many events where people can buy simply a bottle or a gift pack. “There’s a wide variety of people we’re appealing so the breweries like that,” adds Mark.

At the beer lounge the “meet the brewer” events are very popular. The idea is to serve beers and talk directly to the guys who have made it. As well as receiving a members discount it encourages them to go back to the source.

Vinyl evenings are also proving a hit and take place on the first Thursday of each month and have different themes with customers encouraged to influence the evenings.

There’s a real community vibe at Hoppily and that’s just what the family wanted to achieve.

Find Hoppily at 1221 London Road, Leigh, SS9 3JB

Telephone: 0203 432 1226

Facebook: @Hoppily

Instagram: hoppilyuk

Twitter: @HoppilyUK

Celebrating the craft beer industry's success, here’s a round-up of Essex breweries

Brentwood Brewing Company – an award-winning and family-run micro brewery known for its passion for making the finest craft beer.

Maldon Brewing Company (Farmer’s Ales) - with regular beers including Farmers IPA, A Drop Of Nelson’s Blood and Puck’s Folly, this brewery even has its own micro pub in the heart of Maldon.

Mighty Oak Brewery - Maldon Gold and Oscar Wilde are listed as favourites and the Maldon-based brewery also has themed beers for every month of the year.

Chelmsford Brew Co Blueshack Beers - flavour and enjoyment are the crucial ingredients to this family-run brewery which is dedicated to crafting traditional as well as contemporary beer.

Radio City Beer Works – described as a nano brewery all beers are brewed in super small batches and are produced, conditioned and canned by hand at the brewery in Felsted.

Fable Brewery – a new cuckoo brewery (meaning it hires other breweries) is described for the modern drinker in an ever-changing world and has different and interesting beers for everyone.