Northern Monk

Fundamentals #37 — Northern Monk x Lervig Dark City Devil’s Delight Imperial Stout

As summer fades and the nights draw in I, like many of you I’m sure, begin to crave darker beers again. There’s something about the bite of a northerly breeze on your cheekbones and the crunch of dead leaves underfoot that makes me long for a bar to sit at, a log fire, and a pint laced with the myriad flavours that roasted barley can provide. Bitter chocolate, roasted coffee, sweet molasses… there are certain boxes that can only be ticked by a dark, rich stout.

Last year’s Dark City beer festival in Leeds - the brainchild of Northern Monk Brewery and Richard and Bryony Brownhill of Little Leeds Beer House - was a perfect celebration of these beers. So it’s fitting as we cascade towards the winter months that the event has returned and takes place at Northern Monk’s original brewery and taproom this weekend.

My experience of last year’s event was a highly enjoyable one. The Refectory, as Northern Monk’s taproom is known, is a wonderful space to hold an event such as this, taking place over two floors within the three-storey former linen mill, around a mile from Leeds city centre.

Being presented with the darker and typically stronger beers presents you with an interesting perspective when compared to other festivals of this ilk. Instead of rushing from bar to bar, eager to try as many small pours from as many breweries as possible, I found myself taking more time with each sip, appreciating the nuance of each beer as I ambled around the venue.

To mark this years event, Northern Monk has teamed up with Norway’s Lervig Aktiebryggeri to bring you Dark City Devil’s Delight Imperial Stout. And if that sounds like a mouthful then it’s with good reason. The unctuous beer weighs in at 9% ABV and features additions of crème du cacao, vanilla, oats, dextrose and lactose, all shoring up the already hefty blow dealt by the malted barley, hops and yeast.

Initial fears that this beer would be too sweet for my own palate (which typically prefers beers on the dry and bitter side of things) were soon put aside. Yes, there’s plenty of thick, sweet flavours that aren’t unlike chugging condensed milk straight from the tin, but these are balanced by a snap of dark chocolate and a faintly bitter hop twang, bringing balance to the intensity. My only complaint is perhaps the serving size. This is a big beer to be crammed inside a relatively large 440ml can, so I advise finding a pal to split it with. I can guarantee with certainty that they’ll appreciate the gesture.

Find our beer writer Matthew Curtis on Twitter @totalcurtis.

#HBBAdvent Beer 24: Northern Monk Black Forest Strannik Imperial Stout (Leeds)

Northern Monk says: So nice, we literally double mashed twice. We're bringing another favourite from last year in the form of the delightfully decadent Black Forest Strannik. An Imperial Russian Stout with added cherries.

We say: We wanted something really special to finish off the advent calendar, and what better than this ridiculously sumptuous imperial stout. Rich, boozy and exploding with dark fruitiness, we couldn't think of a better beer to sit back with on Christmas Eve - so that's what we're going to do. Merry Christmas, everyone - thanks for coming along on our advent ride and for all your support in 2017. - All of us here at HB&B

Our December All Killer No Filler box revealed

We've still got a couple of All Killer No Filler beer subscription boxes left for you to pick up before Christmas (or get it delivered in time for NYE). If you've been wavering, check out what's in this month's box to get you excited (SPOILER ALERT). What a way to end the year!

 

 

HB&B Sub Club - our May and June boxes revealed

We're on to it as usual... Forgot to post May's amazing All Killer No FIller line-up so here it is in all its glory (and one error where the designer forgot to swap out the descriptors) - Marble's Lost Your Marbles Forest Fruit is definitely not Bold - Roasty - Hoppy), along with June's equally awesome line-up. That too has an error - we missed the Cloudwater IIPA of the list which topped off the box in fine style. Sheeeesh.

We'll be more onto it this month, we promise. And we can also promise that this month's box is nothing short of SHOCK AND AWE. Sign up here - you can opt for a monthly rolling sub or save by signing up for a 3, 6 or 12-month period. You won't regret it.

May

June

The Beer Lover’s Table: Jerk Pulled Jackfruit Buns and Northern Monk, Fieldwork & Lonely Planet Travel Notes IPA

Jackfruit is one of the food world’s cleverest sleights of hand. Raw, the fruit’s yellow lobes are hidden within a huge, spiky expanse; like a durian but larger and without the controversial pungency, jackfruit has a delicious, tropical sweetness.

But when it’s cooked down with onions, spices, and other savoury ingredients, jackfruit offers up an entirely different realm of culinary possibility. Famously, its cooked texture is so peculiarly reminiscent of pulled pork that it’s hard to believe you’re not eating meat, apart from a whisper of fruity sweetness. I especially like it with a Jamaican jerk-style preparation, here adapted from Bobby Flay. Hand to heart: even die-hard carnivores will likely find it irresistible.

It’s both the satisfying richness of this recipe, as well as that touch of tropicality, that helps it pair so well with the limited-edition Travel Notes IPA. Brewed as a collaboration between Leeds’s Northern Monk, Berkeley’s Fieldwork and Lonely Planet, this is an IPA with a globetrotting pedigree. Ingredients hail from five continents, from European-sourced malt to hops from North America and Oceania, from African mango to South American açai berries. The latter two additions lend the beer a subtle blush hue and a bit of sweetness; it’s fruit-forward and soft on the palate, but by no means shy and retiring.

To tie it all together, I topped the jerk-marinated jackfruit with a crisp and crunchy mango slaw that brings an extra dash of exotic fruit flavours, as well as some textural contrast. Vegan barbecue fare? This summer, you’ve got a reason to give it a go.

Jerk Pulled Jackfruit Buns with Mango Slaw
Serves 2

For the jerk pulled jackfruit:
2 spring onions, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, minced
1 tbs fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
2 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tbs dark soy sauce
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground cloves
3/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 small scotch bonnet pepper, stemmed and seeded
2 tbs olive oil 1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 tbs tomato paste
200g fresh jackfruit, de-seeded
200ml vegetable stock

Blend the spring onions, garlic, ginger, thyme, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, spices, salt, pepper, lime juice and scotch bonnet in a food processor for 1-2 minutes, pausing to scrape down the bowl occasionally, until you have a rather thick and homogenous paste. Set aside.

To a large saucepan, add the olive oil and heat on medium-high until hot. Add the onion and stir frequently for 5-6 minutes, until softened and translucent. Add the tomato paste and stir for 1 minute more. Add the reserved paste, your fresh jackfruit, and the vegetable stock, heating the mixture on high until it begins to boil. Turn down to medium-low heat and cover. Allow to simmer for 45 minutes, checking and stirring occasionally to make sure the mixture isn’t sticking, or until the jackfruit has almost completely broken down into fibrous pieces (you can nudge any larger pieces apart with your spoon). The liquid should be thickened; cook for a few minutes longer with the lid removed if it is still quite watery in consistency. Season with extra sea salt to taste.

While the jackfruit cooks, pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C. Cover a large baking sheet with nonstick foil. Once your jackfruit has finished on the stove, spoon it onto the foil- covered baking sheet and spread out into a thin layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating and stirring halfway through, until the mixture has darkened and started to crisp at the edges. Texturally, it should have the same caramelised stickiness of pulled pork.

For the mango slaw:
Adapted from Feasting at Home

1/4 red cabbage, thinly sliced
100g mango, sliced into matchsticks
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
20g coriander leaves, roughly chopped
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
Zest and juice of one orange
1/2 tbs olive oil

Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix well. Allow flavours to mingle for 10-15 minutes before serving. Note that this recipe makes more than required for two servings; it also works well as a nicely crunchy side salad.

To serve:
2 large white baps
Extra handful fresh coriander

Spoon a heaping amount of the jackfruit onto each bap. Top with as much slaw as you can reasonably fit, as well as an extra handful of coriander for a bit of brightness.

Claire M. Bullen is a professional food and travel writer, a beerhound and all-around lover of tasty things. When she's not cracking open a cold one, she's probably cooking up roasted lamb with hummus. Or chicken laksa. Or pumpkin bread. You can follow her at @clairembullen. Pick up a a can of Travel Notes in store or at our online shop

Matthew Curtis's No More Heroes XI – Northern Monk New World IPA

Last week saw the ingeniously named US beer-rating site RateBeer hand out its annual awards. Finally, all of the brewers who had spent the last 12 months complaining about the bad reviews their beer had received on the site were able to finally sing its praises as they collected their medals at the ceremony.

Now don’t get me wrong, RateBeer can be a useful resource, especially if you’re visiting an area for the first time, and you want to know some of the best places to grab a decent beer. However, despite a select few young breweries receiving a collective pat on the back at the awards, much of the opinion on the site seems to be heavily weighted by the opinions of a handful of super users. It only takes one or two of this elite inner sanctum to go crazy about a release to send hundreds upon hundreds of traders ape-shit with ISO (In Search Of) requests on trading forums. Yes, these things actually exist.

This got me thinking: why do some breweries get all this praise when others don’t, despite brewing beer that’s equally as accomplished? Hyperbole can be a brewery's best friend or its worst enemy – and it might cause the casual enthusiast to miss out on some fantastic beer.

One beer I came back to recently was Northern Monk’s New World IPA. It was a decent beer to start with, but with time, research and effort it’s grown into a truly magnificent product. It’s redolent with notes of pine, mango, lemon juice and has that West Coast sweet malt thing going on that helps you effortlessly ride the wave of bitterness that follows. It’s from what I perceive to be a cool brewery, who've got a cool taproom just outside Leeds city centre, and it’s in a cool 330ml can. I can’t for the life of me figure out why people aren’t losing their heads over this beer. So maybe it’s time you did.

You can find more from beer writer Matthew Curtis at his excellent beer blog, Total Ales, and Good Beer Hunting, and on Twitter @totalcurtis. 

New stuff in store: 11 December

Deck the halls... with shedloads of beer. Here's what's in your Christmas stocking this week.

  • Glorious new 750ml sharing bottles, including Anspach & Hobday's White Coffee Milk Stout, Wiper & True's Winter Ale Abbey Rye and Vocation's Naughty & Nice Chocolate Stout (also now in can too).
  • We went a bit overboard on Bristol breweries this week, knowing how much you love them. From Arbor, we've got their Grifter APA, Breakfast Stout and Basta Rosse, a red ale brewed with Italian brewery Mezzo Passo. We also see the triumphant return of their Yakima Valley IPA, one of the most-requested beers we've ever had. From Wiper & True, we've got Amber Simcoe Steam, Small Beer #13 and Sorachi Ace IPA in addition to the 750ml Winter Ale Abbey Rye. Be quick, these won't hang around.
  • On a South-East London stylee, we've got Partizan's delicious 300th Brew, Don Biere de Garde, as well as Late Knights' roasty Penge Porter and the return of the ultimate shirk, rest and play beverage, Deserter IPA.
  • Also from within the M25, say hello to Big Smoke Brew Co's sublime Underworld Milk Stout and the return of Weird Beard's Duke Of Dank Red IPA. (The clue is in the name.) A little further out, Siren's Pompelmocelo is a delightfully tart grapefruit IPA that will definitely put a pucker in your pint.
  • Brewdog has launched its annual Prototype series, where you get to have your say on which beers should make it onto their core line-up. We've got two this week: Milk Stout (see a theme here?) and Black IPA
  • One final Christmas beer joins the ranks: Rogue Santa's Private Reserve, a hoppy, sprucey, malty amber ale.
  • And finally - because: Star Wars - we've re-upped on Northern Monk's It's A Trap.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New stuff in store, 15 October

The best new beers! The best new hot sauces! The best old records! Who loves ya, baby? Here's what's new on the shelves this week...

Beers:

  • New breweries alert! We welcome Surbiton's Big Smoke Brew Co to our London shelves. These guys are making some cracking beers, of which we've got three: Medicine Man IPAElectric Eye Pale Ale and Dark Wave Porter.
  • We've also got double can action from Leeds brewery Northern Monk, another new entrant to the HB&B shelves. We've got their terrific New World IPA as well as It's A Trap, a collab Belgian IPA with our friends at Yeastie Boys.
  • Plus after winning all the plaudits on flagon-fill, we've got Mad Hatter Brewing's Toxteth IPA in bottles, as well as Fear Of Eating Words, a hoppy bretted Trappist-style ale.  Get in!
  • From Pressure Drop, we've got the gloriously named and designed Alligator Tugboat IPA, as well as the welcome return of (the equally well-named) Strictly Roots, a beautiful earthy porter made with foraged dandelion and burdock.
  • Buxton Yellow Belly makes its somewhat sinister debut. This beer was one of the hits of last year's Rainbow Project - a peanut butter biscuit imperial stout made with Swedish superstars Omnipollo. (FYI the provocative packaging is the breweries' protest against racists, the most yellow-bellied of them all.)
  • You can't drink enough Arbor Ales it seems, so we've got another one to add to the line-up - Half Day IPA, a super-tasty American Pale Ale from our Bristol buddies.
  • Our first-ever French beers hit the European section - Brasserie du Quercorb is run by former Dulwich residents Jayne and Paul, and they're making some terrific brews. PS - we're the only place you'll find these in London, so drink these and feel special...
  • And as always, phenomenal new beers coming up on flagon-fill...

Sauces:

  • We had a great day on Saturday with Harry from GingerBeard's Craft Preserves and Justin from Moor Beer in the house, launching their new collab sauce, Ghost Pepper Fusion 2015. All of Harry's sauces incorporate beers from Bristol breweries - i.e. practically made for HB&B - so we took the liberty of relieving him of all his stock before he went back home. Choose from Ultimate Stout BBQ Sauce (made with Bristol Beer Factory's Ultimate Stout), Moor Amoor Chipotle Ketchup (made with Moor's Amoor Porter) or the insanely good Beer Bacon & Chilli Jam (made with Arbor's Smokescreen Porter).
  • We've also got two more local sauces lining up on the chilli wall - Vicky's Kitchen Caribbean Pepper Sauce, straight outta West Norwood, and Dalston Chillies' delicious fruity new Bajan Sauce.

Records:

  • Cheers to customer Ian, who brought in a gold mine haul of eclecticness including Roxy Music, Motorhead, Aphex Twin, Black Sabbath, Bikini Kill and an original pressing of Pulp's Different Class with all six inserts... Get in to trawl the bins before Saturday when we're hauling them down to the New Cross Oxjam festival for the day. (Catch us at the Job Centre in Deptford and pick up some sauce and records while you catch loads of awesome bands.)