It’s week 10 and we have our first visit into the East Midlands with Derbyshire. We are really talking central England here, there is a point in Derbyshire, near Swadlincote, that has been measured as the furthest point from the sea than anywhere else in Great Britain. Due to its rural, quite wild at times, landscape there are quite well preserved Neolithic tombs and burial mounds showing settlements up to 12,000 years old. The Romans were drawn to the area due to the abundance of lead deposits in the limestone hills. The Romans initially built forts at Brough and Glossop then later settled around what are now Buxton and Derby. During the Dark ages Derbyshire was within the Kingdom of Mercia with several Mercian Kings buried in the area. After the Norman Conquest the uplands in Derbyshire were subject to the forest laws, keeping the land open and available for hunting by the Lords of the day. The county really took off during the Industrial Revolution being particularly favourable for Cotton Mills with fast running water and coal deposits nearby to power the mills. The City of Derby, initially a mill town became a centre for engineering.
Most of the Peak District National Park lies within Derbyshire, the west of the county being high hills and deep river valleys. The Derwent is the longest river within the county, running from the peaks through to Derby, on its banks stand many of the now empty or re-utilised cotton mills. The east of the county was more mining based and through which the main transport links came. Canals were particularly important moving coal and timber into the main areas and manufactured goods out, subsequently this was taken on by the faster rail links.
The largest places are Derby, Chesterfield, Long Eaton, Ilkeston and Swadlincote, although beer wise Buxton, Belper and Glossop would be better known than a few of those.
On Ratebeer we have 65 Active Breweries and 37 Closed, Totalling 102. Of these 8 are Client / Commissioner Brewers.
The Oldest Brewery we have is The John Thompson Brewpub, Ingleby with brewing commencing in 1977 but they did have a break in production, recommencing in 2002. There hasn’t been a great tradition of historic breweries within the current county border, the most famous was probably Offiler’s Brewery of Derby, founded in 1876, brewing in Ambrose Street from 1884. They were snapped up by Charrington in 1965 and closed in 1966.
The largest range we have for a Derbyshire Brewery is from Thornbridge Brewery with 406 beers.
We are still looking back to 2019 for the latest Ratebeer Best, the new lists are currently being worked on. The Best Brewer award was for Buxton Brewery and also their Buxton Single Barrel Rain Shadow 2019 named as best beer. There was a New Brewery award made for Heist Craft Brew Co. who moved to South Yorkshire in 2020.
The Top 10 Beers for Derbyshire are –
- Buxton / Omnipollo Yellow Belly Sundae
- Buxton Rain Shadow Single Barrel (Bourbon)
- Thornbridg Hall Bracia
- Buxton Rain Shadow 11.8% ABV
- Buxton The Living End (Bourbon Cask)
- Buxton Kentucky Woods
- Buxton Moray Flow
- Thornbridge Hall Courage Russian Imperial Stout
- Buxton / Stillwater Subluminal
- Buxton Rain Shadow 2019 Single Barrel
The Top 5 Pubs / Bars in Derbyshire –
- Buxton Brewery Tap House & Cellar, Buxton - 95
- Coach & Horses (Thornbridge), Dronfield - 85
- Brunswick Inn, Derby - 84
- Alexandra Hotel (Castle Rock), Derby - 84
- Chesterfield Alehouse, Chesterfield - 83
The Top 5 Raters of Derbyshire beers are –
You will require a substantial 151 ratings to enter the top 50 for Derbyshire.
The person who resides in Derbyshire with the most ratings is –
@haddonsman – for those of you who don’t know, Simon was a very popular member of our community who sadly passed away quite suddenly. He will always be remembered fondly.
The highest currently active Rater from Derbyshire is - @DraftTun9