Thornbridge Brewery, Ashford in the Water, Derbyshire A trip to Thornbridge Brewery, based at Thornbridge Hall in the village of Ashford in the Water, is as much a visit to the land of Homes & Gardens, as it is to see and taste the fruits of John Barleycorn. The Hall boasts sweeping staircases, high-ceilinged rooms, gorgeous views over ornate gardens and windows by William Morris and Edward Byrne-Jones. It also houses a new 10-barrel brewery which has been set up by local businessman Jim Harrison (who owns the house with wife and entrepreneur Emma), along with Dave Wickett, the owner of the Fat Cat pub and its adjoining Kelham Island Brewery in Sheffield. Initially used to brew Kelham Island ales to cope with increased orders after Pale Rider’s championship title at Olympia 2005, the brewery is now producing Thornbridge’s own brews including Craven Silk, an aromatic, rich and fruity session bitter whose palate is enlivened by the addition of elderflower into the mix. The elderflower is part of Jim’s brewing plans as he hopes to use other herbs, flowers and fruits from the estate to create Thornbridge’s special beers.
Monday, 8 November 2010
Thornbridge — at the beginning
In the spirit of the farewell-to-Kelly mass blog postings I thought I would reprint this — it’s my impressions of Thornbridge when I first went there in 2005; this was used in The Big Book of Beer (CAMRA), as part of a spread of breweries in scenic locations — the brewery was already starting to think beyond a pint of the normal. As for Kelly, he’s one of the good guys, great brewer and — and from my point of view — always ready with an articulate quote (I got a few on Friday for a Pilsner piece I’m currently researching); I remember him doing an excellent talk on continuous fermentation at the Guild’s Lager seminar at Thornbridge a couple of years ago (I suspect his past as a teacher came in handy). Never seen him do the haka though…