Shopping: Review - Beer site gets straight to the pint

Ever spent an afternoon at work, slaving over a hot PC, and started fantasising about beer? Me too. So under the guise of 'research', I searched for 'beer of the month' on Google. Yorkshire-based Beersinabox.com came seventh in the organic listings. The site claims that it is "a great value and easy way to get a fine selection of beers delivered to your doorstep." You can order beer from your desk. It could bring meaning to "going Google-eyed".

The home page was clear and easy to navigate. Customers can order one pint, or combinations of speciality beers from British microbreweries. You can order a box of 12 beers, with a mix-and-match option, or post a corporate pint to charm your business contacts. You can even "create your own beer".

Serious beer lovers can join a beer of the month club, sign up for an e-newsletter and take advantage of special offers and merchandise. The site was up-to-date with links to Father's Day and Euro 2004 offers: the firm put together a beer selection for armchair football fans, while for those who hate the game there was a commiseration kit. I toyed with the idea of joining the Euro 2004 Beer Club to receive three boxes of beers throughout the stages of the competition for £69.99 + P&P. (Other orders on the site over £60 include free postage.) Worried that my work might suffer, I opted for the post a pint option.

Visitors to Beersinabox.com collect the products they want in a shopping basket, in the usual way, then go to the checkout. The site accepts all major credit and debit cards, and listed its address and phone number, so I felt confident inputting my details.

Data requested includes email address and date of birth - there are 'over 18 only' notices all over the site.

I ordered a pint of Haggis Hunter at £2.30 with £2.50 delivery, which the site said would arrive in 48 hours. (You pay extra for 24-hour delivery, and must request Saturday deliveries. No Sunday deliveries.) The bottle arrived, packed in cardboard, on the third morning after ordering.

So if the editor asks me what I am doing with a Haggis Hunter on my desk, I can honestly reply: "Working."

PRODUCT: Pint of Haggis Hunter

VENDOR: Beersinabox.com

Price: £2.30 + £2.50 p&p

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