I can’t believe we’re here already. There’s only 2 beers left after tonight and then that’s it until next year. This year’s selection has tested my resolve on a number of beers that have winked at me from the shelf cellar over the last year, and tonight’s beer is one of those. Thornbridge Brewery’s Sour Brown (2013) edition is part of the Thornbridge Hall range and comes in a box, adding a little something to the presentation.

On cracking this beer there was a loud pop followed by enough visible gas to make my kitchen side look like an X-Factor set. At this point I found myself thinking how lucky I had been this year to have not come across a ‘gusher’ as many of #Team12Beers have, and then I looked at the bottle. Yup, beer was pouring out of the top, so I quickly decanted to a glass and relaxed. Until the beer starting pouring out of the top AGAIN, so I decanted the rest to a second glass and sat bag with a certain smugness.

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The aroma is instant and all over the kitchen. It’s that tartness that you come to expect from a sour but amplified by dark berries. It’s like someone has poured a bag of Haribo Tangfastics into my glass and then doused them in beer. In the glass it’s still lively and there’s a big fizzy lick over the tongue as the beer washes through. There’s cherry up front and the finish is a perfectly balanced bitterness laced with a hint of chocolate.

This beer is SO refreshing and easy to drink, it’s almost like drinking cherry coke and it just keeps getting better as it warms, as the red wine barrels that it’s been aged in begin to shine through in the final flavours.

A simply remarkable beer, and one that had I known was this good, would never have survived on my shelf for so long!

Tomorrow’s beer may end up being the one that takes me down for this #12beersofxmas run. It’s the three-way collab between Brewdog, Mikkeller and Nøgne ø ‘Black Tokyo Horizon’ and it’s 16%. Before then check out what else has been going on through Storify below (or on our Storify page) and check the ‘blog directory’ here for the latest writings.