In praise of Thornbridge; I can't say enough. For me, they remain at the very forefront of brewing in the UK, consistently brewing top-quality beers that not only challenge, but satisfy at the same time. They must be close to being the most-blogged about brewery out there too, so I know I'm not alone in my blind love for Kelly, Stef and the team.
In fact, Stef was recently named UK Brewer of the Year, which is just the icing on the cake and a massive acheivement not just for Stef but the entire Thornbridge team. For a personal toast, I popped up to Beer-Ritz (where else?) and stocked up on Halcyon (7.7% abv). It's my current favourite Thornbridge Beer (although that changes with nigh-on each new one I taste) and perfect for a toast.
Russet-amber in colour, and topped with a head that lasts and last, the beer is a lesson in balance: a sweet, honeyed body that supports a fruit-burst of hop aroma (Grapefruit, Gooseberries, even some Strawberry in there) and a long, smooth sip that hits you right at the end with a juicy, bitter hit. It's green-hopped, and you can tell when it's a fresh batch; Green is an apt word to describe the overall hop profile. I could drink this all day and never be bored with it (until they brew something new, anyway).
So well done, Stefano - and keep up the good work. You're making this guy very happy indeed.