By chance I called in The Grove yesterday afternoon. Generally when I go up I have checked the beer list on line so have more or less worked my drinking out in advance but this time went with no prior knowledge of what was available. Heading into the tap room, I surveyed the pumps and selected a Williams Bros beer that was not bad at all, but Brian was behind the bar and looked a little strangely at me.
'Haven't you seen the Thornbridge?' he asked. I confessed that I hadn't. To be truthful, I generally look at the guests first of all when I go in and ignore the regular pumps, but on spotting the 'Larkspur' clip, a quick half was tried on his recommendation.
It was superb. If you like your beer light, hoppy and refreshing but with a bit of strength behind it, then this could be the beer you have been searching for. I believe the base is similar to their 'Kipling' but with the scarcity of some New Zealand hops this year, Citra has been used to fill the gap. It is single hopped so it shows all the flavour that Citra imparts in a beer, with its orangey, grapefruity overtones, and the balance that the 'Kipling' background gives it makes it a well crafted moreish beer - even at 5.2%. So much so, that I think I could prefer it to 'Kipling,' which is high praise indeed. I will certainly have to go again today and recheck!!!
(Incidentally, if you haven't seen it, Thornbridge has one of the best brewery websites about, full of information and up to the minute news about the brewery and the beers. Take a look.)