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I’ve had a lot of great Thornbridge beers in the last two years. Jaipur is always a big neon sign which pulls me uncontrollably towards it; Bracia is just about the best beer I’ve tasted; Halcyon Vintage 2009 is fantastic; Kipling is an irresistibly great beer; Lumford, Alliance, Handel, St Petersburg... the list doesn’t really end.

This one’s for Kelly Ryan. It’s a simultaneous virtual wave goodbye, a man hug and the chinking cheers of a fresh pint before he heads back to New Zealand. And it’s deserving because he’s taken the time to talk to people, to write blogs and read blogs, to update twitter, to answer questions (and there have been times when I’ve sent strings of emails asking questions I don’t know the answer to just to make me seem less stupid) and to ask them, to engage with people, to say thanks if someone says they’ve enjoyed a Thornbridge beer or to find out why if someone didn’t enjoy one (if such a thing is possible), and, of course, to make great beer; it’s about making the time and putting in the extra effort just because he’s passionate and cares. Britain is an exciting place for beer and Thornbridge are at the forefront of that – long may it continue.

I'm sure many others will join in raising a glass to say cheers to Kelly, all the best for the future and make sure you get your new beer (whatever it is and wherever it’s made) sent over to us!