Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Thornbridge goes experimental again

One of the most innovative of modern breweries is Thornbridge. They brew a range of beers that cover every style, and fortunately many of these appear on their dedicated pump at the Grove in Huddersfield so us locals don't have far to travel to sample them. However, in and amongst their regular beers we often get chance to try some of their one off specials, and that was what appeared on their pump yesterday.>

Alchemy XVI is 4.1%, very light in colour and a perfect beer for a summer day, but that is not unusual for a beer brewed around this time year. What makes it unusual though are some of the ingredients used. It uses Maris Otter pale malt, and wheat malt as the base, along with wheat itself, and is hopped with Hallertau Northern Brewer hops for bitterness and Hallertau Hersbrucker for aroma, making a subtle thirst quenching beer. In addition there are pink peppercorns added to give it an interesting twist, that complements, rather than overpowers the taste.

I must admit that I have never knowingly drunk a beer with pink peppercorns before, and reading the pub clip made me a little dubious but the combination does work. If you want something a bit different, hunt it out and give it a try. Its another winner from an excellent brewery.

A couple of years ago, at the beer festival at the Baltic Fleet in Liverpool I tried a beer brewed with orange and black peppercorns, this was a totally different experience with masses of black pepper in the background, but pink peppercorns obviously make a less harsh effect in the brew, and create a more subtle beer.


Brian said...

It's XIV (14), not XVI ;-)

Thornbridge have brewed a beer with Pink peppercorns before. I think it was called Exposed and was a stout with strawberry and peppercorn. Neither of which you could taste!

Anonymous said...

I beg to differ Brian, I could taste both, just went for subtle when brewing it. The strawberry came through on the nose and the pink peppercorn (completely different species than normal peppercorns) came through slightly woody/ground white pepper in the finish.

I guess the problem with having the words appear on the pump clip is that people expect big pepper or big strawberry. If only you knew of all the experimentation that went on at Thornbridge where we didn't put it in the pump clip ;)

Cheers and beers!


Timbo said...

Brian...thanks for pointing that out. Never any good at maths, especially Roman maths !!!