Saturday, November 24, 2007

Cask ales from Thornbridge are coming to the Public House.

Now that the weather is again chilly, allowing of course for global warming, B. United International’s cask-conditioned firkin program has resumed.

For the uninitiated, B. United imports various classic beers from Europe and Japan. During the cooler months, firkins of cask-conditioned ale from the UK are brought in on a very limited basis and allocated on a pre-order basis to selected accounts.

Today, along with a handful of hard and soft spiles and clips for the handle on the beer engine, I received the badges for two real ales I’ve never tried and barely was aware existed.

They are both from Thornbridge Hall Brewery in Derbyshire, UK.

Building on the foundations of brewing in the UK we look to styles, and respond to influences, from around the world to help us achieve our vision. We have a highly skilled brewing team with a desire to learn about great beers and a passion to develop and produce them.

Fair enough. The two real ales that we’re expecting are Jaipur, an India Pale Ale, and Saint Petersburg, a Russian Imperial Stout. They’re pleasingly beefy by ordinary English standards, at 5.9% abv and 7.7% abv, respectively. Advance reviews are favorable, and when they arrive, the hand pull will come alive.

Most intriguing to me is the brewery’s location in Ashford in the Water, Derbyshire. As it turns out, Thornbridge is just up the road from Matlock and the nearby spa, Matlock Baths, where my first wife and I stayed with friends in early 2001. Ashford on the Water is squarely in the middle of the Peak District, a beautiful natural area, with the cities of Sheffield (east) and Manchester (west) roughly equidistant on either side. The county capital of Derby, to the south, has an abundance of real ale.

Sounds like another road trip in the making … beercyclists, take note.

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