I wrote last year about the home brew competition run jointly by Thornbridge and Waitrose.
Last year’s winner was a ‘Vienna‘ style IPA that I gave 4½ Brewclub Stars and I mentioned the stated intention to run the competition again in the summer of 2015.
Well they ran it, and the 2015 competition was won by Will Alston, an astrophysicist from Cambridge who brewed a Saison, then added some home grown rhubarb.
Thornbridge’s Head Brewer, Rob Lovatt, said “Will’s beer was a very worthy winner – a refreshing easy-drinking beer with complex flavours that came together well, showing great skill in the brewing process.”
He added, “We’ve never brewed anything like this before so we’ve been really excited at the brewery to be involved in making this winning recipe.”
It pours a bright golden colour, slightly hazy, with a full, white head that dissipates slowly, lacing down the glass as it fades.
There’s not too much nose to speak of, a yeasty bready, mustiness.
The flavour is surprisingly well balanced, there are hints of lemon and rhubarb, but not as much rhubarb as I was expecting.
I’ve written before that Saison beers don’t usually float my boat, but the sweetness of the rhubarb modifies the Saison tartness.
I was expecting into something really sharp, more like the Thornbridge Tart, but this was a mellow/sweet revelation.
I really wasn’t expecting to enjoy this, but I did.
Sitting in the garden on a warm summer’s afternoon this went down a treat.