Some breweries are well known for making consistent, good quality beer. Brewers such as Adnams, Bath Ales, and Colchester roll off the tongue as easily as ABC. You’ll see them on the supermarket shelves, if you’re lucky, or behind the counter at a wine merchant if not.
Then there is Northern Monk. You will not find their beers lining the shelves at your local Tesco Express. You will almost certainly not find their beers gathering dust at Oddbins. No, pretty much the only way to get hold of these beers is to go to a specialist beer shop or head straight to the source. One day, I’ll make the journey to Yorkshire. For now, the bottle shop will have to do.
You’d think I’d have tried enough yuzu beer for a lifetime on my trip round Japan, yet here we are.
Culinary Concepts is a series of collaborations between Northern Monk and restaurants in their local area. Most of the series seems to be either coffee or cake-based, but in this yuzu IPA we have what is billed as the perfect accompaniment to a hearty bowl of ramen from Cocktail Beer Ramen and Bun.
Sadly, I don’t have a hearty bowl of ramen to slurp alongside. The beautiful label will have to suffice.
The aroma is fresh and oaty sweet, with yuzu and mosaic notes floating over the top. The mouthfeel is wonderful, somehow soft and fluffy; a serene Zen monk. The yuzu is subtle on the tongue: it’s clear there’s some citrus in the brew somewhere, but it doesn’t smack you in the face. More oat and apple sweetness, rounding off to a hint of mosaic bitterness on the finish.
I’m not sure how this beer would taste alongside ramen, but I’m rather enjoying it on its own. 4/5