Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Reverend & the Makers Summer Ale - Thornbridge

 Thornbridge have been one of our very favourite brewers over the past 5 years producing some tremendous ales like Jaipur (before it `evolved`), Kipling, Raven and St. Petersburg. More recently the likes of Thorny Goat, Pollards and Puja have added to their armoury. This year though there seems to have been so many new brews that it has been easy to lose track so let`s have a look at what has been shipped out from Bakewell.

Earlier in this blog we reviewed some of the stronger new Thornbridge ales plus Baize which divided our opinions but many of 2013`s efforts have been collaborations, some with brewing amateurs.

 The University clash produced Brearley and Karha with the latter being the better with its gentle but distinctive spicing. Colorado Red was very tasty but nothing new whilst the recent 4.8% Summer Ale is a step forward from RatM`s first effort, Costello. It`s really light and the sort of beer you could imagine happily knocking back at a festival with sunburnt shoulders blaming your thirst on the need for rehydration. The inevitable Tapped collaboration Lady Grey was a real disappointment of an IPA and £4.50 a pint on keg! Steelmaker was fine but not one to seek out whereas the Belgian Blonde was very true to its wheaty and floral Flemish roots with summery citrus notes hidden in the underscore.

 Ginger ale is not to my taste but Parkin is very smooth whereas the 20 hop-per made for the Doc-Fest was just confused. Weizenbock reminded me of a Steel City Brewery ale called Brew M 101 where they put everything in that they wouldn`t want in a beer but that one was better (and cheaper)! Endeavouring to keep abreast Thornbridge`s latest releases is an expensive past-time.

Karha  : Mike`s Score - 6/10 - Danny's Score - 6/10
Colorado Red : Mike`s Score - 7/10 - Danny's score 8/10
Costello : Mike`s Score  - 4/10 - Danny's score n/a
Weizenbock : Mike`s Score - 1/10 - Danny's score 1/10
Steelmaker : Mike`s Score - 5/10 - Danny's score n/a
Belgian Blonde : Mike`s Score - 6.5/10 - Danny's score 5/10
Parkin : Mike`s Score - 6.5/10 - Danny's score 7.5/10
RatM Summer Ale : Mike`s Score - 7/10 - Danny's score n/a
DocFest 20 Hop : Mike`s Score - 5/10 - Danny's score 3/10
Lady Grey IPA : Mike`s Score - 5.5/10 - Danny's score n/a
Reverend & The Makers Summer Ale: Mike's score  Danny's score 7.5/10

None of these would rate as a Thornbridge classic. The trend of guests, collaborations and interpretations of European beers has not yet yielded the sort of ale that we expect from the Bakewell brewers yet the prices remain `top end`. Personally, I am looking forward to the sour experiments that are allegedly in the pipeline but I really hope that 2013 does not prove to be an unlucky year at Thornbridge Hall.

Colorado Red was the best of an average bunch for me. Quite like Parkin as well. And really enjoyed the Reverend & The Makers Summer Ale, perfect for a sunny day.

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