The beers I’ve enjoyed this week once again highlights how great the British brewing scene is at the moment. First up is Northern Monk New World IPA. On yet another visit to the on-site tap room and kitchen I sampled a number of halves of their flagship IPA. The first beer brewed by Northern Monk is a massive improvement from their days cuckoo brewing in North Yorkshire. Head brewer Brian Dickson has ironed out all the kinks and given it a super-charged hop injection. Loads of juicy orange, grapefruit yet balance with fresh pine and sugary malts.
Next up another Yorkshire brewery and a surprise I expect for most people reading this blog…Wharfebank. The Otley based brewery are in most people’s minds a traditional brewery creating cask ales like Tether Blonde, Camfell and Celtic Glory, nothing wrong with them but nothing much to get excited about. Brewer Steve Crump has whipped up a wonderful new pale ale named Oberon choc-full of citrus laden Centennial hops and a rounded off with a smattering of Chinook a real “Juicy Banger”. Oberon is one of the best cask ales I’ve drank in quite sometime and if this is an impression of what Wharfebank have in store for the future then things are looking good.
Inevitably this weekly round-up wouldn’t be complete without some bottles I quaffed at home and yes a big chunk of them end up being from across the Atlantic. As well as seeing the return of one of my all-time favourites Founders Breakfast Stout once again hit the shops near me. The bottled highlight was without doubt Westbrook Brewing Mexican Cake, a imperial stout with cocao nibs, cinnamon, vanilla and Habanero chilli peppers. This was epic stuff, one of the best beers I’ve had all year if not one of the best ever. With big chocolate, smooth vanilla and well measured whack of chilli heat this is one special beer.