Thornbridge could be considered one of the founding members of the craft scene in the UK; their seminal Jaipur IPA was a revolutionary beer which went on to inspire a certain Punk IPA and we all know what happened next…
Thornbridge have stayed true to their early offerings and you’ll struggle to find anyone who says a bad word about the mystical pint of Jaipur on cask, though sadly we at C&S have yet to sample this particular icon. Recently, and surprisingly to many, Thornbridge announced they would be canning beers which was a reversal to their policy – they had previously been open that they didn’t think canning could match the quality of bottling but improvements in the ability to keep dissolved oxygen to acceptable levels changed their minds.
This is a VERY good thing for us – continuing our look at the recent influx of craft beer to supermarkets, we check out Green Mountain, a session IPA, and Florida Weisse, a sour ale.
Thornbridge – Green Mountain
Juicy, Dry & Light best describes @thornbridge Green Mountain which is a SNEIPA brewed in Derbyshire. ???#MvA @mtravis63 @badhopper @beerhunter74 @JohanBBT @linda_lballis @thburne @1icKey @JonMontag @Jagoff33 @Claus1974 @wrayzors @wolv54b1 @avsharma77 @beeryeti @15jjc @Tribod pic.twitter.com/XQd5UPd06x
— ?Man vs Ale? (@ManvsAle) November 25, 2018
Coming in at a session friendly 4.3%, this is anything but a lightweight IPA. Brewed with Vermont yeast and dry hopped with Galaxy, Mosaic, Citra and Amarillo, this beer has everything necessary to pack a real punch and this is evident from the moment you open the can – when poured, the aroma fills the nose with huge mango and peach, carried by the lively carbonation and gives a beautiful fruit juice, hazy appearance.
The first sip has a crisp bitterness that really works with this flavour profile, it keeps everything beautifully balanced. The hops release so much fruitiness, tropical up front with a sharpness of citrus and then again the bitter finish dries the palate and begs you to lift the glass to your lips and repeat the process. At this low ABV and supermarket price point (£1.80 a can in Tesco), we’d struggle to recommend a better session IPA available right now. It’s that good.
Thornbridge – Florida Weisse
— Hop & Cleaver (@hopandcleaver) September 30, 2018
If you feel like something a little sharper to cleanse the palate after a couple of cans of Green Mountain, then check out this cracking beer. It’s a 4.5% Raspberry kettle sour that pours an appealing hazy pink/red with a smell of freshly picked raspberries with that distinct sharpness.
As you lift it to your lips, the aroma intensifies with a full-on raspberry jam character which comes through on the taste – Thornbridge haven’t held back with their fruit addition here – but it never becomes overpoweringly sweet or tart, balanced with what I perceive as a soft vanilla character, something I tend to pick up from kettle sours. The sourness has a sherbet quality, this isn’t a beer that’s going to challenge the palate and leave you puckered up.
When Thornbridge released Tart in bottles, we thought that was about as good a sour beer we’d see from a UK brewery in the supermarket. We were wrong; they’ve surpassed themselves.
At time of writing, we haven’t tried Jaipur in cans but you can bet that we’ll be keeping an eye out for that and all future Thornbridge releases. A giant is re-awakening.