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30 July 2021

Old Luxters Farm Brewery: craft ales of the moment.


This multi-faceted business is also known as the Chiltern Valley Winery & Brewery and Old Luxters Vineyard and Barn (wedding reception venue), with a luxury farmhouse B&B (four rooms) and cookery school too; in addition, they make a range of fruit liqueurs and sell local cheeses, honey and chocolates among other things! Certainly couldn't accuse them of not being enterprising.
The stated address is Hambleden, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire RG9 6JW, which is a tad confusing as the very wee village of Hambleden (a couple of miles away) is actually in Buckinghamshire while Henley is few miles down the road in Oxfordshire. This beautiful area with its rolling hills, curved fields, shaded woodland and now undulating vineyards is also called the Hambleden Valley (pic. above) which, like the vaster Chiltern Valley, straddles county borders (Berkshire isn't far away either by the way).
Depending on which direction you approach from, it can be quite difficult to find this farmhouse complex located up a steep lane somewhere between Fawley, Stonor, Fingest and Skirmett (and High Wycombe lying to the northeast isn't much further than Henley to the south)! Find out more at www.chilternvalley.co.uk.


On this occasion, I didn't taste or buy any of their wines (my excuse being it was hot that day), which gave a sound reason to go back again sometime. In the meantime, I did purchase a couple of bottles of their tasty beers, both of which are recommended in their own different ways.
The slightly fuller bodied IPA (5.9% abv) has all those classic hallmarks of a 'modern' craft IPA (I seem to remember bottles of IPA or Pale Ale back in the day that were a bit weak and wishy washy, nothing like these IPAs being made today?): fruity, floral, hoppy and crisp, and fairly strong. And their Dark Roast (5% abv) is ideal for fans of malty tasting beers: dark amber brown colour, toasted coffee / chocolate notes, quite rich yet with nice bitter twist. Both cost £3.30 for a 50cl bottle from Luxters' shop or online (quantity discounts apply).


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