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Thornbridge Brewery

August 26, 2010

Innovation, Passion, Knowledge.

What do we really know about beer, except that we all love having one poured freshly from the tap of our favorite local pub after a hard day of work, or for a night out with friends.

From my foreign point of view, that beverage is one of the most important things in the United Kingdom.

Beer links people, makes people meet, talk, argue, but always brings them together around the table of a pub.

Since I arrived in Yorkshire, everybody keeps telling me that we are in the region of the Beer and of the best Breweries of the country: 32 micro Breweries in Derbyshire, and 84 Breweries in the East Midlands.

South Yorkshire is reputed for its big number of breweries and for their beers of quality.

In those breweries you can find Kelham Island Brewery and Abbeydale Brewery, both  based in Sheffield, Acorn Brewery in Barnsley, Salamander Brewery in Bradford, and without forgetting it, Thornbridge Brewery based in Bakewell in Derbyshire which for 5 years now has carried on growing thanks to the trust that Pubs put in their different beers. A trust well deserved thanks to the high quality and the exoticism of their beer.

I have been here in South Yorkshire for a year now, and every time I’ve had a beer coming from that Brewery it was just pure delight, I have never been disappointed, great flavours, textures, and for an good price.

Sometimes we should be a bit more curious. One afternoon I had the occasion to go to Bakewell, to take a tour of Thornbridge Brewery. That was quite interesting for once to go on the other side of the curtains and see how the magic is operated on those big vessels to provide the most delighting beverage, Beer.

First, just a bit of history, 5 years ago Thornbridge  Brewery was only a Micro-brewery among plenty of  Breweries. The Beer was brewed in little quantity at Thornbridge Hall, beginning with Jaipur – a fresh citrusy Indian Pale Ale with a rising crescendo hoppiness accentuated by the aftertaste of honey.

This beer had been introduced to the beer professionals and to the customers during Beer festivals all around United Kingdom.

Due  to the great success of Jaipur IPA duirng those Beer Festivals and to a massive demand, the Laboratory/Brewery from Thornbridge Hall had to be  transfered to the Riverside location in Bakewell. The Former Brewery was not big enough to face the massive production of Jaipur.

Thornbridge Hall is still used though, and still provides some of the most exotic beers on the market using different types of herbs, fruits, hops, to satisfy adventurous customers. The former Brewery is used as a laboratory for beer experimentations for our great pleasure.

How to explain the success of their products?

Thornbridge Brewery’s beers success is probably due to the quality of all the components used on each of their beers but also due to their daring and adventurous Brewers who dare mixes that nobody would have thought or dared before giving to their beers flavours of chocolate or coffee depending what hop they use and how they roast it, or using fresh spices or fruits.

Even Thornbridge Brewery has extended itself to become a proper brewery, but they stay a  traditional brewery leads by two craftmen master Brewers:  Stefano Cossi  a young italian brewer, brewer for 5 years by now and elected brewer of the year in 2010 in United Kingdom and also Kelly Ryan, a  young New Zealander Brewer. That’s maybe why their beers are so exotic and so particular.

How do they make their beer?

Brewing begins with water. In the world of brewers, water is called « liquor» .

The water added a flavour to the beer, unfortunately Derbyshire’s water is relatively soft and not beneficial for brewing. So the water needs to be modify with the addition of mineral salts to become finally a proper liquor. That way they can recreate the water from all around the world, for example they can recreate a London ‘s style water for the elaboration of a Porter, or a Dublin’s water style to create a dry stout or a pale ale.

Water is the base of everything.

Afterthat the magical process can begin, after mashing the hop or the malt with the different spices, the result of the mash is added to hot water, boiled and filtered and finally kept on vessels for the fermentation.

My explanations are maybe clumsy and simplisitic…. but I am not a brewer!!!

By now, I know that I am drinking not only a beer but enjoying all the craftmenship work done by those amazing Brewers.

If you know already their wonderful beers, but want to learn a bit more about them,  go and say « hello » to the lovely Thornbridge Brewery team who will welcome you on a tour of their brewery in Bakewell.

You can find them at this address:

Thornbridge Brewery,
Riverside Brewery,
Buxton Road
DE45 1GS
Bakewell, Derbyshire.

You can also visit their website:

Aurore @ LoveSheffield


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