The Beer Blogosphere has been buzzing today with many fond farewells to Kelly Ryan, former Thornbridge brewer who departs these shores and heads back home to his native New Zealand. I thought I would add my tuppence worth too and pay homage to a superb brewmaster who has been pivotal in ensuring that Thornbridge Brewery has become a byword for brewing innovation, passion and quality.
Some of the finest beers I've had in the last few years have come from Thornbridge and it has been an absolute pleasure to taste, savour and enjoy the likes of Halcyon, Jaipur, Kipling and Bracia among many others. I have Kelly Ryan and Thornbridge to thank for the emotion of absolute joy I have experienced so many times as I've walk into a pub and my eyes have done a quick scan across the pumpclips and locked on the distinctive Thornbridge House clip. This invariably elicits an internal and sometimes an external Yay! from myself, which often leads to a few strange looks from other punters in the pub. But what the hell do I care because at that moment I know that what I am going to get is a pint of absolute quality and distinction.
So thank you, Kelly Ryan for the part you have played in not only putting a huge smile on my face but also a stunning beer in my belly.
Hope you have a safe journey, mate. Thornbridge and the British beer drinker's loss is New Zealand's gain.