Seven surprising subscription gifts: for Father's Day and beyond

The gifts that keep on giving: monthly deliveries of everything from unusual beers to pies and t-shirts

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Dads have spent most of their lives earning themselves two reputations. The first is for being terrible at staying in touch - unless you count the minute and a half before they pass the phone to your mum. And the second is for being incredibly difficult to buy for.

This Father's Day, you can kill two birds with one stone, by signing them up to one of these inventive and unusual subscription services . You'll get them a winning gift - and because it comes through the door on a regular basis, there's always the hope it inspires your dad to get in touch.

Of course you could opt for a dull magazine subscription, but why would you when there are seven much more interesting options.

1. Beer
Beerbods is not just a chance to send your dad a load of beer, it's far more interesting than that. You get 12 beers delivered to your doorstep every 12 weeks - featuring unusual beers you will never have seen before, and some brewed especially for subscribers (their tagline is 'Drink Better Beer'). The idea is to drink one a week. You will be told which one to drink, and sent tasting notes and the story behind the beer. Then there's a live Twitter chat where you can exchange your views with other subscribers and rate the beer. The subscription costs £36 every 12 weeks.

2. Pies
The British Fine Foods Pie Lovers' Club will pick a selection of award winning British pork pies, and gourmet pies and deliver them to your door once a month. You will typically get around five pies a month - including one larger one. These will include a number to be served hot, and some to be served cold. It'll set you back £360 a year, which is a fair wedge for Father's Day, but you can subscribe for one month for £30 too.

3. Say cheese
The cheese society will send you a selection of five cheeses each month. They will be things you have never tasted before, and come complete with tasting notes, so you know what you are trying and why. Between them they'll weigh about 1kg, and for that you'll pay £390 a year. If that blows the budget, you can get a month's worth for £35.

4. Meat
The Carnivore Club will send you a box regularly - it's up to you whether that's every one, two or three months. Each box will focus on one charcuterie producer, who will select the products themselves. So, for example, one from Great Glenn included venison and pork chorizo, green peppercorn venison salami, chill venison chorizo, venison bresaola and venison pork salami. And for that you'll pay £29 a month.

5. Geeky stuff
If your dad is a fan of all things geeky, then MyGeekBox might be the answer. They'll select a box of surprises each month - including a t-shirt and between four and seven geeky collectibles. You'll pay £17.99 a month and the box will contain around £35 worth of items.

6. Coffee
There are lots of coffee subscription gifts for dads who are caffeine fans. Pact Coffee stands out not just because they select coffee direct from the farms and pay at least 25% more than the Fairtrade price, and not just because they will help you select the right roast for your tastebuds, but also because your first delivery will only cost you £1. After that it'll cost £6.95.

7. Chocolate
The Hotel Chocolat Tasting Club is a high end chocolate subscription service with a massive discount. You'll get a different box of chocolates delivered every four weeks - along with a free bag of salted caramel puddles - and instead of the usual price of £22.95 you'll pay £9.95 a month. You can pick from five types of subscription - from classic chocolates to high cocoa ones, mellow ones, fortified ones, and Rabot 1745 (featuring a smaller selection of rare chocolate from around the world).

Of course, when you sign up to any subscription service, it's important to check the rules for renewal. If they impose automatic renewal, you will need to make a note in your diary to cancel whenever your chosen subscription runs out - or whenever you decide you have spent enough. You also need to see if there's a notice period, in which case you might need to give notice of cancellation in advance. Otherwise these could prove to be far more expensive gifts than you ever intended.

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