Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Buxton Stops Here: Buxton Brewery

This weekend I've been enjoying beers from Buxton Brewery. Although still a relatively young outfit, they are brewing at capacity and quickly collecting plaudits and awards as they go. Head Brewer James Kemp used to brew for Thornbridge, and he's clearly shown himself as a brewer with one eye on tradition, and the other on progression. What you end up with is a really strong core range of beers, with some gentle twists along the way. That's a quality I really like in brewing.

First up was Kinder Sunset (5.0% abv), named after the Kinder area of the Peaks. Red-Mahogany in colour, there's a complex aroma going on; slight hints of almond-cakiness topped off with a note of Pine. That Pine aspect carries on to the taste - Kinder Sunset has a digestive-biscuit body that suggests sweetness but actually finishes grassy, Piney and with an almost minty, herbal note. There's a tart, sour-cherry notes just running under everything that makes Kinder Sunset a much more complex, refreshing beer than the 'Traditional ale' tag it has on the label. Lovely.

SPA (Special Pale Ale) features hop du jour Citra entirely; and in many ways you know what you're going to get. Perfect for this kind of weather, SPA (4.1%abv) is uber-pale, with a much thinner mouthfeel that the Kinder Sunset. All that Citra gives you sharp, pithy tartness with a strong Lemon and Tangerine aroma and taste. It's surprisingly bitter for it's strength, too - the high bitterness hits the back of the tongue and and makes you want another sip. A long, long pale ale that hit the spot perfectly as we ate in the sun this weekend.

Stay tuned for some more Buxton madness over the next couple of days. If you want to keep up to date, you can follow Buxton on Twitter and Facebook; jump over to their blog for more details.


Scott Murray said...

Becoming a fan of this brewery slowly as the weather is getting better, latest Buxton i try'ed was the axe edge. Nice but felt it could have done with a little more carbonisation. Very little fault to spot in any of the rest of their range.

John Clarke said...

Hi Leigh, and welcome to the Buxton Fan Club! They really have transformed their beers since James arrived (although even prior to that they have had their eye on something a bit different - last year they started a range of beers under the Wild Walker name - we had a 7%-ish double IPA at Stockport Beer Festival lst year - but I think this has been abandoned now).

We have three of their beers including SPA and Black Rocks (which I guess you will be reviewing shortly) at this year's Stockport Beer Festival.

Mark Dredge said...

Had my first Buxton beer on Friday - a Black IPA which was great but too intense for the summer sun. I definitely want to try more of their stuff.

Leigh said...

Mark, I know what you mean; great beer but wrong opportunity! JC; as it happens, I couldn't get my hands on any Black Rocks!

JK said...

Mark, at Planet Thanet? That's done a bit of travelling! Hope it was tasting ok!?

Leigh, Black Rocks was bottled on Thursday...looking forward to when those bad boys are nice and carbonated!

JK said...

Leigh, We only just bottled it last Thursday...things have been a bit crazy so not enough time to do it before then!

Mark, Was it at Planet Thanet? That's a fair way to travel....hope it was tasting ok!?

Mark said...

Had the same Black IPA as Mark at Planet Thanet. Thought it was incredibly good, one of my favourites of the whole day. Top, top stuff despite (as Mark says) the hot summer sun making you want to focus on the lighter pale stuff.