Kipling, Exceedingly Good Beer - Thornbridge Brewery

Thornbridge - Kipling

Kipling from the Thornbridge Brewery, England is a terrific pale ale. Sampled in laboratory-like conditions at Tweed Towers here are the results of our tasting:

The ale is very light in colour and produces a creamy head on pouring. Getting the snout in the glass, the aroma is a sensation. Billed as a South Pacific pale ale, you get the scent of grapefruit and pineapple putting the salivary glands in squirt mode. The ale is light-bodied and the taste is hoppy and fruity with a pleasant tang. Beer experts might mention the nice lacing from the head.

Do try it.

About Thornbridge Brewery

Thornbridge began in 2005, starting in a 10-barrel brewery, housed in the grounds of Thornbridge Hall, Ashford-in-the-Water near Bakewell, Derbyshire, England. In 7 years they've won countless beer awards and competitions.

Tweedy Facts: As I've mentioned before, Bakewell is home to the famous Bakewell pudding - most commonly referred to as a tart. Almondy, delicious things. You've also got Brocklehursts in town and their excellent Tunstead moleskin trousers.      

Continuing at Thornbridge, they also have a second 30-barrel brewery at Bakewell, which opened in September 2009. Their guiding principle is "innovation, passion, knowledge" and they apply it to brewing and developing high quality cask, keg and bottled beers - innovating in the brewing process and use of ingredients.

The Award-Winning Jaipur IPA

Mention must be made of Thornbridge's Jaipur India Pale Ale. Described as "meadow in a glass", Jaipur IPA was recently named in the Top 50 Food and Drink within the UK in the Guild of Fine Food’s annual Great Taste accreditation scheme. Congratulations Thornbridge.

Thornbridge Pubs

Thornbridge also manages 12 pubs and bars in the Sheffield and North Derbyshire area. Thornbridge recognise the important role pubs play in their communities. Unlike the big high-street chains, it's not all about targeting and encouraging binge-drinking teenagers to maximise profits nor destroying the historic fabric of pubs that they commandeer.

As Simon Webster, Thornbridge’s Chief Operating Officer say, “We try to develop each of our venues in a way that suits either the local community or specific communities of beer, music and art.”

We like to hear the views of industry insiders on the future of British pubs. Andy Buchanan, Marketing Manager at Thornbridge, feels the government has not been particularly pub-friendly:

"On the question of pub closures, there are a multitude of factors causing this but the one I would highlight is the increase in beer duty- 43% in the past 5 years which makes the role of the publican much more difficult."

Hidden Gem - Bath Hotel Sheffield

Thornbridge's latest pub is the Bath Hotel in Sheffield. The pub is a CAMRA heritage listed pub, with an interior barely touched since the 30s. Thornbridge is committed to respecting the history of the pub and quietly invigorating it. The interior could serve as a template for how to create a perfect city pub ambiance. (Who really enjoys the cavernous open-plan bars where noise echoes around the generally minimalist interiors and it's difficult to talk?) It gets a serious Tweedy thumbs-up. Old Town should do one of their photo shoots in there.

As it isn't a tied house, they'll be showcasing the best British cask and keg beers. Thornbridge was recently judged best pub operating micro brewery by The Publican magazine.

Simon says of the Bath Hotel:

"It's great to see Sheffield become a national centre for beer and pubs. I often felt that we were an outpost fighting a lost cause, but now see that things have turned around with more and more people enjoying the ever increasing variety of beers now available and as always a great place to drink it - I'll certainly be visiting the Bath to enjoy both."

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