The last couple of years have been tough on cask beer, both for producers and the pubs that sell it. A combination of government guidelines and hesitation among the public at returning to venues and public spaces led to nationwide decline in the category, as consumers opted to stay at home and drink small pack beer instead.
With pubs reopening and a return to normal hopefully not too far on the horizon, things are starting to look up for cask. We certainly think so, and that's why we're unveiling our plans for a cask Year of Beer for 2022.
Started in 2017, Year of Beer is a project where we announce a new draught beer for every month of the year. Originally envisioned as a way to give trade customers and consumers the means to plan ahead months in advance, it quickly evolved into something more ambitious: a showcase of the range of Thornbridge’s output, and an opportunity for our Brewing team to explore and innovate with different styles.
The rise of Covid-19 and national lockdowns in the UK seriously affected our huge plans for our 15th Anniversary in 2020, where we had planned a year of highly innovative keg beer and cask collaborations with the best and brightest of British brewing. The continued stresses of the pandemic prevented a Year of Beer announcement for 2021, so 2022 will be a return to form, being a brewery that has always pioneered craft and cask beer.
You’ve already seen Hacksaw, an East Coast IPA with all the haziness and tropical fruit flavours that entails, and you might have had a chance to try the return of Twin Peaks, an Anglo American pale ale that when it was first released in 2013, was California brewing legend Sierra Nevada’s first UK collaboration. The lineup for the rest of the year will go from strength to strength, as we'll be putting out everything from a Golden Mild to a Pina Colada pale, by way of returning cult favourite ice cream porter Salted Caramel Lucaria. Perhaps most excitingly, we've has teamed up with rising star of Mexican Brewing, Cervecera Macaria, to create Carlota, a Mole inspired Chili Chocolate Mexican Stout, in time for Cinco de Mayo. This is a truly excellent year for drinkers of cask beer.
Simon Webster, our Chief Executive Officer says:
“Cask beer has always been in our DNA, from our very earliest days brewing at the hall to today. The last couple of years have unfortunately required us to make less of it than we’d have liked, but that’s why we’re all the more excited to get it into people’s hands this year. We’re so lucky to have such a talented team of brewers working for us and such an enthusiastic audience ready to sample their creations, and hopefully this Year of Beer will do them all proud.”
But cask is not all in our future. Our market leading craft beer subscription Thornbridge Beer Club continues to grow at a steady rate, augmenting our online shop that saw an explosion of business during lockdown. This is boosted by our growing output of packaged beer, including brand new projects and series that have been gaining momentum already. Combine that with the recently launched Thornbridge Experience at our Taproom and brewery in Bakewell, and it looks like have much more to give in 2022.
Read on for more information about the upcoming beers:
Pica Pica – 4.8% Oatmeal Stout
This is a classic Thornbridge cask beer from the archives. It pours a rich, deep black and white in colour so we thought the name Pica Pica (scientific name for a Magpie) suited perfectly. Expect a balanced sweetness throughout with notes of roasted nuts and coffee.
Block Island – 5.7% Hazy IPA
A brand new offering in our range, Block Island is named after an idyllic getaway just off the New England coast. It pours a light gold colour with an enticing haziness to it, we use a huge amount of American hops and the pleasant tropical aromas can be noticed even as the beer is being poured. Mango, pineapple and guava flavours all burst forth with a great rounded mouthfeel, this type of beer is known for its soft and pillowy body and with the cask conditioning this becomes even more pronounced.
Carlota – 7% Mexican Stout
Carlota is a smooth, spicy stout inspired by the magical cuisine of Mexico and created with Cervecera Macaria. This is a complex beer which uses 7 different malts in the grist and as well as hops, we infuse cocoa husks, cinnamon sticks, chipotle chillies and ancho chillies. Fermented using a Mexican lager strain of yeast, during the maturation phase we add vanilla, more cinnamon and a prodigious amount of ancho, pasilla and mulato chillies, known as the ‘holy trinity’ of Mole Poblano – Mexico’s national dish. More chipotles are used for a touch of heat and smokiness. No Mole Poblano would be complete without an indulgent addition of chocolate, so cacao nibs are also blended in to complete the recipe. The resulting beer is a rich celebration of warming spice, raisiny sweetness and chocolate goodness.
Rattlesnake – 6.5% West Coast IPA
We love brewing West Coast IPAs and appreciate how well they work in beautifully conditioned cask beer. Rattlesnake is a great example of this and it’s absolutely packed with classic hops from the USA, the aroma is all grapefruit and pine leading to a fantastic display of flavour across the palate with lemon, melon and lychee all coming to the fore. It’s perfectly balanced with a malty sweetness in the body, and a refreshing bitter bite to finish.
Escape – 5% Pina Colada Pale
What better way to celebrate the height of summer than with a Pina Colada Pale! Escape is a brand new beer and we really wanted to have some fun with this one, it explodes with a resplendent bouquet of tropical fruit including of course huge notes of pineapple and coconut. It’s fresh, fruity and the perfect complement to a summers day relaxing outside.
Gold – 3.6% Golden Mild
We’ve been very excited to see Milds rightfully regain their popularity amongst British brewers and drinkers, particularly as we really enjoy making them! Gold uses a range of all English ingredients carefully selected to work in harmony, they create a fantastically sessionable ale with flavours of caramel and marmalade combining with a light spiciness from the hop addition.
Fresh Hops – 4%
Every year we celebrate the hop harvest with new beers brewed using the best and freshest varieties! This year will be no different and we want to ensure we can get the best ones possible, we’ll be working on this with the hop farms through the year, and be confirming the best ones closer to the time.
Tapit – 6% Chocolate Orange Stout
Tapit is made to be savoured and truly enjoyed while being seated in a cosy chair, in a local pub, right in the heart of winter. Its deep black appearance is inviting and the orange works in fantastic tandem with the robust stout body, the dark malts introduce notes of luxurious dark chocolate and espresso. This is a real treat of a beer.
For enquiries please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01629 815 999.