North Brewing

Fundamentals #41: North Brewing Co x Ritual Lab Triple Fruited Gose Blueberry + Apricot + Blackberry

The last time I reviewed a beer from Leeds’ North Brewing Co. I diligently – some might even say successfully – compared the New England IPA to that most visceral of musical genres, post-punk. Sometimes you just need the melancholic gratification that only racing drums and angular guitars can provide. But other times, you just wanna jam it out, endlessly. So you light up some Nag Champa (hell, feel free to light up whatever’s your preference so long as you’re sharing), stick on Can’s epic Ege Bamyasi and reach for a can of gose.

That’s right folks, gose is the Krautrock of the beer world and I’m very much here for it. Especially when your jam is triple-fruited and, well, tastes like jam.

North’s latest Triple Fruited Gose (triple fruited meaning that three different fruits have been liberally applied to this beer, in this case blueberry, apricot and blackberry) is brewed in collaboration with Italy’s Ritual Lab. The can is as striking as you’d expect from North, with their award-winning branding twisting its way around your eyeballs and into your fridge. The beer inside is no less striking, pouring cosmic purple, the foam even more vibrantly rouge than the beverage itself.

And the smell! Deep hedgerow fruits bolstered by a hint of salinity and a promise of tartness draws you in. Although sadly, this is as far as my own sensory experience of this beer was allowed to travel.

You see, I’ve decided to take a few weeks off the booze. Not because there’s anything wrong with me, but because after drinking a lot of beer in 2018 I fancied giving my body the chance to recover (and maybe shift a couple of pounds) before diving headfirst into 2019. Not wanting to let the good folks at Hop Burns & Black down, I asked my partner Dianne (who works at London brewery Signature Brew – go say hi to her at their Haggerston taproom sometime soon) to do the honours.

“Cor,” she says as effervescent layers of mauve upon violet (seriously, this beer is really purple) make their way into the glass. She’s excited that there are apricots in this beer: “Really bringing balance to the blackberry and blueberry,” she says. I am genuinely nervous for my job at this moment.

It’s fun watching her take that first sip and screwing her face up as the tart beer forces her mouth into a pucker. Sips two and three are less physically and more verbally emotive, with plenty of cooing over the beer, which, if anything, leaves Dianne wanting a little more sourness to balance the voluminous levels of fruit in this gose.

It’s a two thumbs up from her, so make sure you grab some of this one before it inevitably sells out. [ED: Sold out now, sorry! Victim of its own success.]


Matthew Curtis is a freelance writer, photographer and author of our award-winning Fundamentals column. He's written for numerous publications including BEER, Ferment, Good Beer Hunting and Original Gravity. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @totalcurtis.

#HBBAdvent Beer 7: North Brewing Co Kurious Oranj IPA

North says: This juicy IPA is absolutely bursting with flavours of fresh citrus. A generous helping of oats ensures this beer is soft and full-bodied, whilst the addition of Mandarina Bavaria hops give it a raw zesty finish.

We say: The North team are some of our absolute favourite people in the business but not only that, they’re making some of the best beers in the business too (and winning ALL the awards). We had to include one of their specials in this little capsule of 2018. Kurious Oranj has all the sweetness, juiciness and pithiness of fresh mandarin, and couldn’t we all use a bit of Vitamin C at this time of year?

Fundamentals #26 — North Brewing Co. Transmission IPA

One of my favourite historic pieces of music television is the clip of Joy Division performing Transmission on BBC2’s Something Else back in 1979. The performance is bookended by an interview with the band’s then manager, Tony Wilson, alongside drummer Stephen Morris. In the clip, Wilson laments how the Manchester-based band’s track doesn’t have a universal appeal, due to it being “unsettling… slightly sinister and gothic”, despite its “hypnotic melody”.

For many beer drinkers, modern beer – in particular the opaquely hazy and enticingly juicy IPAs that have shot to fame over the previous 24 months – may hold similarly unsettling qualities. Who knows what terrors may lie within a beer that will not drop bright?

By rights, with enticing, accessible juicy fruit flavours and little to no bitterness, the modern hazy IPA has all the qualities that should hold universal appeal to all beer drinkers. But the nonconformity of the style gives it that unsettling character, because it doesn’t look like what we’re told beer is supposed to look like. New England IPA is the Joy Division of modern beer, and a keen sign that we’re in the post-punk – or dare I say the post-craft – beer era.

Transmission is also the name of a hazy IPA from Leeds based North Brewing Co. The brewery’s founders Christian Townsley and John Gyngell made their name in the Yorkshire city as the founders of North Bar, which is sometimes referred to as the first craft beer bar in the UK.

North Bar has been a trendmaker and bastion within the Leeds scene since its founding in July 1997. Then, in 2015, Townsley and Gyngell decided to take the next step and launch their brewery under the same moniker. In recent months the brewery has really hit its stride and is producing some stellar beer.

Transmission is an IPA that follows the modern trend of being hazy and juicy. Flavours of mango interweave between sheets of candy sugar, which are all tied together with a subtle dry and bitter snap in the finish, something that should satisfy even the most hardened of purists. Although its appearance and flavour may be unsettling and slightly sinister to those accustomed to the traditional, its accessibility will no doubt welcome an equally high volume of people to the genre.

You can find more from beer writer Matthew Curtis as UK editor of Good Beer Hunting and on Twitter @totalcurtis. We love Transmission so much that it's now a core beer at HB&B. Pick up a can in store or online.

HB&B Sub Club - our July and August boxes revealed

Our All Killer No Filler HB&B Sub Club boxes just keep getting better. Check out the most recent boxes below and then get yourself over to the shop to join the club...

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