A taste of things to come at Northern Monk Brewery
Located within a grade two listed mill in the Holbeck Urban Village area, Northern Monk is true hidden gem.
Two businesses in one with the brewery downstairs, large outside seating area and restaurant refectory upstairs, it is an interesting set up. Former home to the Grub and Grog kitchen which has now moved to Sheaf St Cafeteria, Northern Monk have sourced their own chef to produce British seasonal food to pair with their excellent section of beers. We were invited to try their new menu ahead of Thursday night’s launch party.
6 courses with 6 beer pairings – let the tasting commence…
We began with ‘Slow baked trout and pickled cucumber dressed with coastal herbs’. The trout was delicious and coastal herbs really unique. This was paired with ‘Banh mi Thai Gose’ 4.8% which came from a collaboration between Northern Monk and Banh mi Booth (Vietnamese Street Food Traders) for Leeds Indie Food 16. This was one of our favourite beers of the night with its refreshing and zesty taste.
Next was ‘Venison tartare mixed with Dijon mustard and shallots, served with quail egg yolk, parsley, chard leek and rye bread crisps. With an emphasis on local suppliers, their venison is sourced from a Yorkshire National Park. This dish was surprisingly light, with no strong game taste and paired very well with their ‘New World’ IPA 6.2% beer.
We know everyone has seen bread and butter but this had to have a mention as it was a dish in itself rather than an accompaniment. Beer bread from Edward Street Bakery and home smoked butter.
Excellently presented ‘Broad bean waffle with oak smoked goat’s cheese from the Ribble Valley in Yorkshire, pea puree and nasturtium was up next. This was teamed with ‘Northern Star Mocha Porter’ 5.9%, a smooth dark beer created in collaboration with North Star Coffee Roasters, perfect pairing with the creamy goat’s cheese.
Course four was ‘Poached cod with pistachio nut butter, grilled spring onion, roasted pistachio and lemon’. The cod was to die for and a perfect match with the spring onions and nut butter. The beer pairing was with their award winning ‘Eternal Session’ IPA 4.1%, zesty and light low strength hops but not lacking on flavour. This beer took the bronze medal in its category ‘India Pale Ale’ for the World Beer Cup.
Once again with eye catching presentation course five was ‘Pan fried duck breast with carrot puree, sautéed carrots, fennel and jus’. ‘Heather’ IPA 7.2% was served with the duck. Perfect pair with a full tropical fruit taste with mangos, citrus, peach and pineapple. Juicy, juicy, juicy as Brian put it!
Last but definitely not least this fantastic tasting menu was finished with ‘Vanilla yogurt topped with Northern Bloc’s gorgeous strawberry and black pepper ice cream, strawberry compote, macerated strawberries and an impressive elderflower fritter’. Unique ‘Neapolitan Ice Cream Pale’ 6.2% was perfectly teamed. Coming out of Little Leeds Beer House’s Birthday beer, it is a real spring seasonal beer that has been brewed four times, includes lactose for a cream base, 20/30kg of strawberries went into it and not to mention chocolate sauce from York’s Cocoa House has also been added. The beer smelt and tasted like vanilla and strawberry ice cream with an underlying chocolatey hint that was also surprisingly light.
We were blown away by Northern Monk’s seasonal food, emphasis on working with local producers, presentation and fantastic varieties of beer. We cannot wait to go back following their launch to try it all again!
P.S Look out for their new beer ‘822’ 8.7% launching next month.