Stuck for something to do last Saturday morning and at a bit of a loose end, I decided that a good way to spend some time was to visit a local brewery. I say local, the XT brewery is fairly local and was only 35 minutes (22 miles) by car (Long Crendon near Thame, Buckinghamshire). I have been meaning to visit this brewery for a while but was waiting for them to have a few different beers for sale in their shop. I won’t talk too much about the beers as I have mentioned them in another post that can be found here. Suffice to say their beer range runs from XT1 all the way up to XT9 and beyond! On checking the website before leaving I found that they were currently selling XT3, XT4, XT6 and a new beer Roast Cacao. So, definitely worth a visit.
Located on a small business park at Notley farm, the brewery was easy to find (well I was using the sat nav on my phone). I pulled up in the car and walked into the brewery to be greeted by a very friendly, enthusiastic member of the brewery team. She asked if I had been before to the XT brewery or indeed to any brewery, I reeled off a small list of places I had visited and mentioned that I had attended the XT brewery festival last year. I had a short tour of the brewery, all in one building with three or four large vats, the brewery was only small and then I got to try a couple of the fresh beers. The first was XT2, a golden ale that was quite refreshing and not too bitter. The second was XT13. I have tried XT13 before at The Nags Head but this one was version 2 made with a slightly different mix of hops compared to version 1. I liked XT13 v1 but v2 was even better. A really tasty pacific red ale with a tropical fruit taste followed by a crisply bitter dry finish. I could really drink a few pints of this one. So down to business, the reason I went to the brewery, buying a few beers. There was a good choice as revealed to me by the website. I decided to buy a bottle XT3 (I have tried this one already this year), two bottles of XT4, two bottles of XT6 and four bottles of Roast Cacao. I also came away with a new beer glass and a bar runner that shows the different beer styles that the brewery brew. I am looking forward to trying the Roast Cacao bottled beer, a beer that has been brewed in collaboration with Will Torrent, an award winning Patissier and Chocolatier who sounds like he knows his onions (chocolate onions).
Some facts I gathered whilst talking to the knowledgeable brewery team person at the XT Brewery (sorry I didn’t get her name):
1. Roast Cacao is sold as XT99 on draught
2. XT have never brewed XT7. So for the completionists out there you may have to wait as there are no current plans to brew XT7. She did not know whether this would ever happen. Depends what the brewers decide.
3. The XT Beer Festival last year at the Lamb and Flag was the only time that all nine beers have been available at the same time (apart from XT7)
4. XT Brewery have only been going for about 18 months
If you are ever in the area then I would recommend a visit to XT Brewery. They are very friendly, knowledgeable and sell great beers. I know they are great because I have tried quite a few of their beers before. Although currently they only open on Saturdays, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm, they have an open day on the 27th April which would be an ideal time to try some of their beers.