Buxton Brewery celebrated it’s tenth birthday in 2019 and having never made a visit, decided that this year we’d head down to the Peak District and make it our first brewery visit of 2020.
Just outside the centre of Buxton the brewery is currently opened every Saturday for beer in their tasting room upstairs above the main brewery. With large windows overlooking the brewing hall it’s a nice setting to have a few beers in and try their recent brews. The brewery currently produces over 30 different beers, with 3500 litres available to brew 3 times a week, so they’re growing but continuing to brew right.
The tasting room itself had six lines on keg and a well stocked beer fridge so plenty of choice available and when I arrived, about a 30 minute walk from their town centre taproom, I saw the flights sat on the side and went for a four 1/3 beer flight. With space for about 40 people to sit comfortably, the tasting room is a good size for its location and feels busy with ten but not overcrowded with 30+.
As is standard when getting a four beer flight, I did mix and match a little the order of drinking but I jumped straight into the Buxton Blonde (Untappd: 3.47) , a 4.6% ABV Blonde Ale. This one does pretty much what it says on the label, it was a strong blonde ale that was malty, smooth and had a bitter aftertaste. Not normally a fan of continental style blonde’s (I’m more of a Farmer’s Blonde kinda guy), this was actually really palatable and I saved most of it for the end of the flight rather than drinking it all first.
Two of their beers from the core range followed Low Tor (Untappd: 3.47) a 3.8% Bitter and Shelterstone (Untappd: 3.56), 5.6% IPA. Low Tor was a good bitter and is a session version of their popular High Tor Red IPA; having had High Tor before, I was actually shocked to taste much of the same flavours. Whilst the percentage is significantly lower, Buxton have managed to retain the core malty, hoppy flavour of it’s bigger brother whilst making it a highly drinkable session bitter.
Shelterstone was a bit stronger, but even at 5.6% it wasn’t overpowering and, dangerously, I could have drank this as a session pale quite comfortably. Whilst probably my least favourite in terms of flavour compared to the other three, Shelterstone is a beer that I can imagine many would like, and its current Untappd rating of 3.56 echoes that thought. By saying this was my least favourite isn’t a negative either, it was a good beer, I’m just much more into traditional flavours which the other three offered.
Now what I just said, ignore that, as Lupulus X – Chinook IPA, was far from traditional flavours but certainly wowed me. Buxton’s Lupulus X series is their experimental single hop programme whereby they take Lupulus and combine with a different hop. Currently available are eight varieties including Ekuanot, Simcoe and my choice, Chinook. I’ve always liked Chinook in beers, the grapefruity taste isn’t overbearing but the taste and aroma are still strong. This 5.4% IPA is good, but I’d be interested in trying all of the other versions to see how it compares; highly recommended though if it’s on whilst visiting the tasting room.
After the flight, I had one can for the road. The missus had Lupulus X – Cascade which was as good, if not slightly more fruity and fun than the Chinook equivalent and I had the Myrcia (Untappd: 3.59) 4% Oatmeal Session IPA. Canned just a few days before, this was ridiculously fresh, and I was so surprised at how smooth and creamy this was out of the can. It was hoppy and light, due to the dry-hopping nature of the beer, and this was a standout. I’d love to try this on keg, but from the can it was just as strong.
All in all it was a successful visit out to Buxton to see what the buzz around the brewery was all about. The tasting room at the brewery was dog friendly which is always an added bonus and it was a really pleasant room to drink in. The flight came in at a reasonable price and £20 would allow you to have 2/3 drinks of all on tap and leave room change for some snacks. With the cans available to takeaway we absolutely did that and I’m looking forward to trying those.
The Beers Ranked
1. Lupulus X – Chinook– IPA – 5.4% – Untappd: 4.00
2. Myrcia – Oatmeal IPA – 4.0% – Untappd: 4.00
2. Low Tor – Session Bitterr – 3.8% – Untappd: 3.75
3. Buxton Blonde – Blonde Ale – 4.6% – Untappd: 3.50
4. Shelterstone – IPA – 5.6% – Untappd: 3.25