I’ve written before that Thornbridge are based in the Derbyshire town of Bakewell, in the heart of the Peak District national park.
In the UK , if you mention Bakewell to anyone but a craft beer afficionado then the first thing they will relate to is Bakewell Tart – a dessert made with almond frangipane.
There’s a shop in the heart of Bakewell that claims that the original tart was actually a pudding, created by accident in the kitchen of the town’s ‘Rutland Arms Inn’.
As a consequence, when Thornbridge decided to brew a sour beer there’s little else they could name it.
It’s another collaboration, this one between Thornbridge, one of my favourite breweries, and the Wild Beer Company – whose beers I have tried and enjoyed recently.
The Wild Beer Company, as its name suggests, specialises in brews with wild yeasts, out on the edge of Brettanomyces, and their head brewer – the appropriately named Brett Ellis – was consulted in the creation of this brew.
It pours the colour of the palest straw, with a crisp, white head that fades rapidly.
The nose is mellow citrus, lemon and grapefruit, with notes of elderflower, it’s reminiscent of the Nelson Sauvin hops that Thornbridge use in Kipling, their ‘Pacific Pale Ale’.
Their brewers blog reports that it’s actually dry-hopped with Amarillo, but my nose has its suspicions.
Initially, the flavour starts very much like Kipling, slightly sweet and citrussy, before the promised tartness kicks in, lemon and grapefruit juice, but not as grapefruity (is that a word?) as Brewdog’s “Elvis Juice”.
There are pine notes in there, but overall the flavour is that of bitter lemon soft drink.
It’s not a lip-puckering tartness that makes your jaw ache, but a refreshing bite that’s thirst quenching, a bit like a Berliner brew.
I could quite happily sink a couple of these on a warm summer’s day.