Beer #271 - W/C 4th May 2020
BREWERY // Northern Monk launched in Leeds in late 2014 and quickly established an excellent reputation for producing brilliant beers. As their name suggests, they take inspiration from the ancient tradition of brewing monks. During the 11th century the brothers at nearby Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire would produce 60 barrels of strong ale every 10 days. During a time when water was insanitary and tea & coffee yet to be introduced to England, ale was consumed with all meals. Community is a major part of the business and they were recently listed on the Sunday Times' Best 50 Small Companies to Work For 2020. The heart of Northern Monk is the Old Flax Store which was a mill during the Industrial Revolution and is now home to the first Northern Monk brewery and 'The Refectory', their taproom which hosts regularly changing kitchen takeovers. We're already planning a pilgrimage.
BEER // Faith is a very different Pale Ale to those that would have been drunk in Leeds in the late 18th Century then the style first became popular. Those forebeers were novelly pale due to the use of coke (rather than wood) to roast the malt without darkening it. An 'India' version of this Pale Ale style was developed with a considerably higher abv and hop content in order to preserve barrels of beer on the long sea voyage from England to India. These hoppy ales were the inspiration for California brewers of the 1970s who developed the American Pale Ale, a style packed with hop aroma and bitterness. A few decades later, brewers in New England took the style in a new direction by increasing the body, reducing bitterness and allowing the complex delicate character of different hop varietals to truly shine with scant regard for clarity. And that's where Faith takes inspiration - the haziness comes from the oats and wheat which give the beer body and a full mouthfeel as a soft base for the tropical, juicy hops. It's a thoroughly modern Pale Ale packed with orange and pineapple notes from the hefty dry hopping schedule.
BREWERY // Northern Monk
BEER // Faith
STYLE // Pale Ale
ABV // 5.4%
TEMPERATURE // Cool. Around 10C
FOOD MATCH // Scotch Egg. Cauliflower Tacos w. Cashew Crema. Thai Red Curry. Beanburger.
VESSEL // IPA Glass. Tulip