So, a few months back, I had the very pleasurable experience of travelling up to Thornbridge Hall to judge their home brew competition along with talented fellow wine journalist Victoria Moore and food/drink writer and beer maker Daniel Tapper, along with representatives from Waitrose and Thornbridge. There were 200 entries.
The winner was this beer, made by former sail maker Graham Nelson. You can read about him in Victoria’s Telegraph column on the event. Graham didn’t win any cash (a shame for him), but he did get his beer brewed on a commercial scale by Thornbridge, and it’s now being sold in Waitrose stores (it arrived in 67 branches yesterday). The good news? It tastes great. It’s not just another big IPA, but it has real personality. You should probably buy some.
Thornbridge Vienna IPA
5.9% alcohol; £2.50 for 500 ml, Waitrose
Wonderfully aromatic with a lovely perfumed hoppy nose showing dried herbs, straw and passionfruit. The palate is fresh with some warmth to it and spicy, earthy, savoury hoppy notes, as well as a rich creamy texture. Very interesting, and not your standard big IPA. I love that this beer is so distinctive. 8.5/10