It’s hard to deny that Bakewell-based Thornbridge are one of the hardest working and most innovative breweries working in the UK today. The range of beers they’ve put out to date has been little short of staggering, and with everything from Peanut Butter Brown Ale to the knock-out Imperial Russian stout routinely doing the rounds in both keg and bottle – all with that recognisable and stylish packaging which changes colour palette for each product – they show little sign of running out of ideas. Another thing they’re notable for is having fun experimenting with their pale ales; on occasion, pales can be the ‘safe’ beers of a range, but Thornbridge aren’t content to rest on their laurels in this respect either, and they’re often to be found playing around with pale ales, adding an extra dimension of interest to them.
Along those lines, we were keen to track down Twin Peaks, a transatlantic project put together between Thornbridge and yet another fine brewery, the US-based Sierra Nevada, showcasing ‘the best of both’: the recipe was developed when Sierra Nevada Brewing Ambassador Steve Grossman approached Thornbridge with the hopes of putting something special together. The result – brewed using American hops and British malt – is an aromatic, easy-drinking pale ale. (Though the beer’s name is to do with the respective geographical locations of each brewery, rather than being a reference to the David Lynch TV show!)
We picked this up in bottle form and as ever, the product looks great with its green and gold hues – but how is the beer itself? Firstly, it’s a very, very pale gold, and not at all lively at first, pouring notably clean, although on further pouring, some more bubbles are evident. As the brewers intended, Twin Peaks has a lot of aroma: floral notes, quite zesty, and even rather sugary on first impressions. The zesty notes are borne out most of all in the flavour, though this isn’t at all an overpowering experience and the overall taste is a very subtle one. A tangy aftertaste pushes through after a few mouthfuls, with even some spice in there too.
At 5%, and in keeping with the majority of Thornbridge beers, Twin Peaks isn’t overpoweringly alcoholic and would make a pleasant ‘keeper’ for a few pints. It’s a nicely refreshing pale ale and we can’t help but hope that it’s going to be around in the hotter months (such as they are here in Yorkshire) as it would be a real treat to enjoy in the sun. Most of all, it’s great to see a collaboration of this kind, and we hope other brewers take note – good things can come in twos.