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6th November 2017

Mr Smith Goes to Thornbridge to brew his Gose for Waitrose

Waitrose, in partnership with Thornbridge Brewery and Brew UK, has announced the winner of the 2017 Great British Homebrew Challenge – a watermelon-infused beer brewed by digital designer, Josh Smith.

The Gose, a German style of beer, is named ‘Mr Smith Gose to…’ after the well-known 1939 Frank Capra ‘Mr Smith Goes to Washington’ and made with watermelon juice. It will be available in Waitrose shops from the 13th November.

The Great British Homebrew Challenge, now in its fourth year, sets out to find the best home-brewed beer in the country.  The winning recipe, chosen by a panel of experts including Thornbridge’s Head Brewer, Rob Lovatt, and Waitrose beer buyer, Sarah Hammond, is brewed by Thornbridge and sold at Waitrose shops across the country.

This year, the winning beer was brewed by Stoke Newington resident Josh, 32, who has been brewing at home for five years.

‘The beer was inspired by a watermelon, feta and mint salad recipe I really like. Watermelon works so well with salty flavours and I naturally made the connection to Gose –  a sour and salty beer. I had tried Mello watermelon juice from Waitrose and was impressed by how much flavour it had, so used that in my beer. I’m so excited for Waitrose customers to try it, as I think it’s quite unusual. This beer can be made into Mexican inspired cocktails too, like Michelada, and is also delicious mixed with tequila and lime.’

Rob Lovatt: Josh’s beer really stood out amongst very strong competition in the final judging stage, with the level of quality instantly shining through. We have been brewing quite a few sour beers recently, but not with Watermelon yet, so this will be a very interesting one for us.

Sarah Hammond, Waitrose beer buyer, says: ‘I always look forward to judging on this panel, as the beers created in this country by people in their kitchens and sheds are always so innovative and fun. This beer is no exception and is the first watermelon beer we’ve launched.’


Notes to Editors

The Thornbridge ‘Mr Smith Gose to…’ will be available in over 70 Waitrose branches.

Picture: Rob Lovatt (Thornbridge Head Brewer left) Josh Smith (Winning home brewer – left)

Tasting notes: ‘Juicy watermelon flavours combine perfectly with the lemony Gose. Brilliantly refreshing and fruity with a salty, sharp twang, this is a fantastic twist on this traditional German style.’

More from Josh:

‘I’ve been brewing beer for around 5 years, starting with tiny stove top kits but slowly moving to more elaborate setups. I’m still a small batch brewer compared to most, mainly making 10-litre batches in my kitchen and fermenting under my stairs. Having a small London flat means I have to adapt, but I think you can brew in whatever space you have, it’s a pretty adaptable hobby.’

‘I brew because I really enjoy the process of recipe creation and experimentation. I split lots of my batches into smaller sizes and add different ingredients to each, from hops to different fruit and other, sometimes strange, additions. Some turn out well, some less so, but it’s great to push boundaries of the things you can make at home.’


Alex Buchanan

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