Having been inspired by a fellow fan of Thornbridge (and Sheffield FC media man) Stuart James, I totted up how many different Bakewell brews I had supped, wrote them down and this figure recently slipped seamlessly past 100. To be honest, the last couple (Bamberg a 6% smoked bock and the 5.2% American Sister an APA) were not favourites of mine but there have been plenty of highlights, some recent, showing that Thornbridge live up to their latest legend 'Never Ordinary'.
In the early years (founded in 2005), Thornbridge forged their formidable reputation around pale hoppy brews and their recent Jaipur X was a fitting celebratory tribute to ten years of this.
Rarely has a beer been so hyped and local outlets like Beer Central and Hop Hideout flogged their allocation in pre-orders alone. On-line it was a similar story. At 10% JX was a big hitter whilst more recently Bear State appeared in bottles and this 7% West Coast IPA is worth hunting down. Intense citrus and lasting bitterness with just a hint of malt sweetness.
The previously blogged Cocoa Wonderland is a cracker. It really is a fantastic 6.8% treat best got from the cask but also now a part of the ever expanding bottled offerings. The rye IPA Desert Sessions was also a favourite of mine. Brewed in cahoots with the good folk at The Bath Hotel, at 5.7% DS was dangerously drinkable too. Puja is in similar vein albeit a Jasmine IPA and both of us have struggled not to sup too much of this rare 6.7%er.
Lowlights? Misses? Well neither of us could manage Doppelgänger, or whatever it was called, but then we're not weisenbock type of boys. Ditto Ruin. Gin? Yes, but botanical beer.... Arghhh!
I'm sure there will be plenty more highlights ahead in my next 101 Thornbridge brews and this might well start next week in their exciting collaboration with Somerset stars Wild Beer Co and the eagerly anticipated Bakewell Sour. `Never Ordinary`, indeed! Cheers.