It can’t be easy being a craft brewer, there’s all that lautering and sparging to be done, wort, hops and all, then bottling, kegging or casking, tapping and spiling, all the time keeping everything clean and sterile.
And then you have to devise and concoct new brews, exploring new flavours and adjuncts – unless of course you’re Bavarian when your hands are tied by the Reinheitsgebot.
So I suspect it might have been a quiet day in Bakewell when Rob Lovatt, the Head Brewer at Thornbridge, decided to add peanut butter to a 6.2% brown ale. Maybe he was looking at his lunch, in which case we should be grateful his wife hadn’t packed him cheese and pickle!
That said, if anyone can pull something like that off, Rob and the guys at Thornbridge should be able to. As Pete Brown (author of the rather excellent ‘Shakespeare’s Local‘) put it “Thornbridge are exploring the vast library of beer styles that already exist around the world, mastering them in turn.”
The brewery describes this as “A brown ale with a difference. A gently toasted malt backbone gives way to bags of nuttiness making this an enjoyable yet decadent and indulgent brew.”
It pours a rich mid brown colour, not too light and not too dark, with a foaming cream coloured head – the head on the second glass lasted longer than the photograph would imply. There’s not too much nose, but there are distinct hints of peanut in there.
The flavour is malty, not too many hops, there’s dark caramel and yes, there are peanuts in there. It’s an interesting brew, but I don’t think it’s something I’d order again.
As an acknowledged Thornbridge fanboy I find this brew slightly underwhelming, it’s nice, yes, but it doesn’t set the world on fire.
That said, it’s still worthy of three and a half Brewclub Stars, although in my book, for Thornbridge, that’s a disappointment.
So… Branston pickle flavoured Porter anyone?.