The Bentley Brook Brewing Co. is a gem of a micro brewery, situated in Lumsdale Valley. I stumbled across it whilst discovering the peak district and was impressed by the set-up for such a young business.
On a recent trip to the peak district, I was on a mission to head to three different breweries or taprooms. Basing ourselves near Buxton turned out to be a genius move then as we visited Buxton Brewery, headed to the Redwillow Taproom in Buxton, and Thornbridge…oh wait, no our plan was to visit Thornbridge but through some exceptionally bad planning, the brewery was closed. I then scoured Google for something else nearby, and stumbled across The Bentley Brook Brewing Co.
We headed there on the Sunday, driving deep into Lumsdale Valley. The brewery is located just ahead of Lumsdale Falls, and it’s easy to miss if you’re not looking for it. With space for about 30 to sit, it defines microbrewery as you are sat amongst the brewing equipment, bar and bottle shop, all in 1 and a half rooms. I would, really, call it a glorified home-brew set-up and I was therefore not expecting much from the two beers that were on that day, March of the Gladiators and Down Dale, but I was proved wrong.
Greeted with a smile, a range of excellent beer snacks, and those two beers on, I was instantly in love with the small brewery. Only having two to choose from compared to the previous day at Buxton and Redwillow was actually perfect; a half of each, a bottle to go and I’d be satisfied.
I started with the March of the Gladiators (Untappd Rating: 3.52), a 4.3% ABV Golden Ale, named with a nod to the local football team Matlock Town. This was explained to me as their flagship brew, the one brewed most and the most popular, even served now and again down at the ground. It was earthy, flat but after a few gulps, started to flourish. There were fruity flavours I couldn’t quite make out, but it was fruity enough to mask the floral notes (which personally I can’t normally stand). The unfiltered ale was unbelievably easy to drink; the hop:malt balance was spot on and I would have happily sat and drank it all day. Did it set the world alight? Absolutely not, but judging it for what it is, it was a solid beer.
Next up, the most popular choice in the brewery whilst we were there, Down Dale (Untappd Rating: 3.58). Not in the core range, this 4.7% ABV Pale Ale, went down an absolute treat. Again, unfined and unfiltered, it was easy-drinking but also packed with hoppy, fruity flavours. Flatter than expected for a pale ale, it took a bit of getting used to, especially when comparing to some other pale ales out there in the local area. It was decent though and certainly my partner’s preference of the two. It lingered on the tongue with citrus and hoppy flavours; it was a nice aroma and overall, very drinkable.
To takeaway, and I’m drinking it as I write this review, I took a bottle of their Mic. Hop (Untappd Rating: 3.75). Part of their core range, the hazy pale is their most hoppy, citrusy beer they’ve brewed and it’s noticeable drinking it. Unlike the other two which feel like they were brewed in the small room in Matlock, Mic. Hop tastes like a beer that could have been made by bigger commercial breweries such is the quality. At 5.3% ABV, this one has more bite, and more flavour than the others and I am a bit gutted I only took one bottle away with me.
If you are ever over in the area, head to this little place. It’s great supporting independent businesses and you won’t regret your trip. With 2 beers generally always available to drink and a host of their own bottles and guest cans in the fridge, there’s plenty of choice. Card and cash accepted and they open on weekends 11-5pm.
The Beers Ranked
1. Mic. Hop – Pale Ale – 5.3% ABV Untappd: 3.5
2. Down Dale – Pale Ale – 4.7% – Untappd: 3.25
2. March of the Gladiators – Golden Ale – 4.3% – Untappd: 3.00