Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Northern Monk Brewing Co. Holbeck, Leeds

It's a striking image isn't it, the Northern Monk Brewing Co logo? One I was immediately drawn to when I first laid eyes on it earlier this year, and one that you will be seeing a lot more of from now on. The team behind Northern Monk Brewing Co have a spanking new home in the heart of Leeds from which they will not only brew their range of delicious beers, but have a refectory along with a bottle shop, tap room, events space and a kitchen. Located in Holbeck, this grade II listed building is the only publicly accessible mill in Leeds. As you enjoy their wares, sipping down one of their beautifully brewed beverages from twenty available taps, you can see partial elements of the brewing process through huge glass windows. Your beer literally being brewed before your very eyes! The refectory has been stripped right back to bare brickwork and stone floors giving it a real traditonal Northern feel.

The kitchen will be hosted by Leeds' pop up shop types The Grub And Grog Shop. Collaborating with NMBCo and directly with those delicious drinks, their menu will feature fine foods of the vegan, vegetarian and meat variety with beery ingredients a plenty. Fronted by Dan Palmer and Jim Hurst, here's Jim  to explain...

  “We'll be serving breakfast, lunch and dinner and will change the menu on a monthly basis with ingredients sourced direct from local farms where possible. For breakfast we'll be making homemade crumpets using the yeast from the brewery and for lunch a range of sandwiches and salads including a great beef brisket sandwich cooked in Chennai Porter. Dinner will be served all day and items will change depending on what's in season. The initial menu will feature a vegan celeriac stew, an ox tongue hash and gin-cured river trout.”

And what about those beers then eh? Naturally I encourage you to pop along to their HQ in Holbeck and try for yourselves. NMBCo have in fact been brewing beers for a number of years, albeit in a 'cuckoo' fashion at other breweries premises as well as collaborations. Now permanently in control of their own destiny they can produce their own regular beer on a larger scale as well as plan more of those collaborations with local, national and international partners (watch this space). Co founder Russell Bissett on the launch...

  "We always wanted to create one of the most accessible taprooms in the UK. This is by no means a Brewpub. We have a capacity of up to 5,000 litres  per week in house and will have 20 beers on at any one time in the tap room. We want it to be a real showcase of Northern British craft brewing; aiming to keep it at 80% produced in the North (of UK) with the other 20% world beer from progressive brewers. The Refectory will also host a bottle shop and will be doing brewery tours soon. It is very exciting. Northern Monk currently has a core range of nine beers plus a range of specials and collaborations all brewed in house.”

What's not to like? A fine building full of heritage and a working brewery. The beer brewed before your very eyes and available in keg and cask. Guest beers also availabe from various Northern brweries. And some delicious food to feast on. Not to forget some fine folk who have worked their socks off to bring this venture to you. Don't just take my word on this, get on down to the address below and see for yourself....

Words - Pete Jackson

The Northern Monk Brew Co can be found at...
The Old Flax Store, Marshalls Mill, Holbeck, Leeds LS11 9YJ
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