Buxton Brewery x BeerBods, Tropic Blunder
At the beginning of the year all of us here at BeerBods wrote down on a scrap of paper the 3 UK-based brewers we most wanted to make a beer with. Then we compared notes. Buxton was top of all our lists.
It’s hard to believe that Geoff Quinn only founded Buxton Brewery in 2009. What with their award winning beers, adventurous collaborative brews, the slightly controversial Yellow Belly and obvious commercial success (you can even buy Moor Top in Marks & Spencer). Buxton are already a stalwart of the UK craft beer scene.
Geoff is a keen climber and there’s a palpable outdoorsy feel to the brewery. The amount of well worn outdoors clothing suggests there’s more to working here than just the beer. The names for the beers also reflect the connection to the surrounding National Park which dominate the landscape around the brewery.
The current head brewer, Colin Stronge (above left) is often attributed to much of Buxton’s success. Colin joined Buxton in 2013 having previously been the head brewer at Black Isle and before that had worked for Marble Brewery in Manchester whilst he was a student there. Whilst Colin garners rock-star status in the craft beer world, he’d be the first to admit that he’d be nothing without the talented folks he works with day-to-day. Take Denis Johnstone (above right), brewery and sales manager, whose gentle Scottish accent and modest demeanour belies the fact he knows a thing or three about beer. A graduate of the well regarded Heriot-Watt masters programme in brewing and distilling he’s a good person to spend an hour or so in the company of.
When we sat down with the team to discuss beer ideas for our collaboration we put forward a few suggestions. It was a fruit pale that caught Colin’s imagination, who in turn suggested we use pineapple. We’d never tried a beer like that before, so why the hell not?
Named by Dan (one of our brilliant subscribers), the resulting beer is in fact a tropical wonder. The wheat (which makes up 20% of the total malts) give it a nice, smooth body. The pineapple is subtle, but definitely gives it an unusual sharpness which is very pleasant indeed. The Equinox and Citra hops offer up more fruit flavour, notably mango and citrus. The finish is clean, bitter and dry. Ridiculously drinkable, even if we do say so ourselves.
At the end of the day's brewing we had a wander up to Solomon’s Temple, a Victorian Fortified hill marker on the edge of the town. It features on the Buxton Brewery logo and is a small, but mighty structure. Much like the place we'd just made a beer in.