Experts toast top Dales ale

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A DALES ale has been named among the top 50 food and drink items in the country.

Thornbridge Brewery’s Jaipur IPA is on the list drawn up as part of the Guild of Fine Food’s annual Great Taste accreditation scheme.

The ale, brewed in Bakewell, was chosen out of 8,807 food and drink products, which were blind–tasted by 350 experts.

The top 50 food and drink products were chosen from the 123 entries that had gained a coveted three star gold.

Each one has now been nominated for a Golden Fork Award, the highest accolade in fine food and drink which will be announced at the Awards’ dinner at London’s Royal Garden Hotel this September.

Judges this year included Masterchef winner and restaurateur Mat Follas, restaurant critic and Masterchef judge Charles Campion.

Guild of Fine Food chairman Bob Farrand said that each of the food and drink products entered into Great Taste undergoes the most rigorous scrutiny.

“To achieve a three–star grading involves at least 25 experts unanimously agreeing that the product tastes divine,” he said. “But to be included in the Top 50 in Britain meant each one had to satisfy the discerning palates of a further 25 dedicated foodies. These products all deliver the most extraordinary taste.”

Simon Webster, Thornbridge’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “We are delighted with this award. Great Taste recognises the craft and dedication that goes into making superb food and drink. Jaipur has been phenomenally successful and has been instrumental in putting Thornbridge at the leading edge of brewing in the UK.”