Those of you who read the blog regularly will be aware that I was less than charitable about Thornbridge 'Raven' a couple of entries back, for which I have had plenty of feedback, from brewers and drinkers alike.
As a result, and since I managed to find a spare afternoon, I thought it a good idea to revisit the Thornbridge beers available at the 'Grove', to check on their quality. It is unusual for me to drink a brewery's core range, I generally go for their new beers when they are available but on this occasion all the beers there I had drunk previously, so I knew roughly what to expect.
In case you were not aware, Thornbridge have recently started brewing on a new and larger plant so some - not me I hasten to add - would class these as new beers. First up was the 3.5% 'Wild Swan'. This was excellent and how I remember it, crisp, clean and flavoursome, in fact loads of hop flavour for a beer of its strength and one I could have quite happily drunk all day. But tasting waits for no man, and it was onwards and upwards, strengthwise anyway, to 'Jaipur'.
This is a 5.9% IPA, again packed with flavour, and even better than I remembered it. The slight haze may have been explained by the heating at the 'Grove' being broken - where else do you get served by glove-wearing bar staff?!! The beer tasted superb, allowing all the hop character to come out as the beer warmed up. I think a revisit may be in order when the heating is back on.
The last of the trio, was even stronger at 7.7%, and a stout. 'St Petersburg' is again a great example of its type, and dangerously does not drink its strength. A beer to be treated with respect but certainly none the worse for this. In retrospect, I may have been harsh on the 'Raven', I would certainly try it again now but after my experiment I can report that all is well with Thornbridge, and their brewing goes from strength to strength.