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People thought Geoff Quinn was mad to open a brewery in the height of a recession. Thankfully he paid that particular sort of ‘helpful’ advice no heed when he founded Buxton Brewery in 2009.
Their first-ever brew was mashed-in on a cold, dark, January morning in the family garage. The resulting pale ale was a long way off what Geoff had in mind, but nevertheless, was consumed with relish after a tantalising wait for fermentation and bottle-conditioning to run their course. Over the following months, recipes were tweaked, altered, thrown away and revived as he searched out information and picked the brains of friends and far more experienced brewers.
Within 12 months, the decision to take brewing to the next level and go commercial was made, and for a while Buxton cuckoo-brewed at another local microbrewery. In January 2010, with Geoff going for it full-time, Buxton began brewing in earnest on their own second-hand kit.
In the decade that has followed, Buxton Brewery has become synonymous with quality beer. With modern classics like their Axe Edge IPA to experimental and avant-garde collaborations with the likes of Sweden’s Omnipollo, Buxton have cemented their place amongst the craft brewing elite, garnering fans from across the globe.
Now a team of 11 strong and based out of 7,000 square foot building on Staden Lane, Buxton, the custom-designed, state of the art brewery churns out over 18,000 pints a week, making up a range of over 30 beers.
Many of the beers in Buxton’s range take inspiration from the surrounding area. Geoff is a keen climber and there’s a palpable outdoorsy feel to the brewery. The casual use of well worn outdoor clothing by the staff suggests the Peak District is their ideal home and the names of the beers reflect their connection to the surrounding National Park.
Tonight’s beer is no different. As the name would suggest, the beer takes inspiration from Jacob's Ladder, a steep incline of jagged limestone rocks (depicted on the can) found on a walking trail to Kinder Scout, the highest point in the Peak District.
The beer itself is one of the newer additions to Buxton’s core range. Originally brewed as a special in support of Buxton Mountain Rescue, it was so popular it made its way into the brewery’s core range.
Jacob's Ladder is a 2.8% table beer that shows beers don’t have to be strong to be packed full of flavour. Heavily hopped for aromas of citrus and tropical fruit, balanced against a light malty backbone. It’s the perfect thirst quencher on a warm summer evening. After a long walk of course.