This post has been a long time in coming. Mainly because so much has happened since our last update back in May…
For those less familiar with our journey, we moved into the Old Flax Store in Holbeck, a short walk from the center of Leeds in January this year. However the decision to make our home a Grade II listed building with industrial heritage in an accessible location and to have a tap room, kitchen and bottle shop on site, coupled with restoring it to its former glory led to many delays, hurdles and obstacles. It took a LONG time. They say pictures tell a thousand words, so there’s a few thousand in the form of a slideshow that tells our journey at the bottom of this post.
However, we are now finally up and running… August 7th was the day and New World IPA the brew that became gyle No. 1 in the Old Flax Store. Chennai Export Porter, True North and Monacus Pale NZ followed and on August 28th in North Bar, Northern Monk Brew Co. re-launched to a packed house. Huge thanks to all who came down to try the beers and show their support. A mid-evening dash down to the brewery was required to collect extra kegs to keep up with the demand of the thirsty Leodians. This was followed by 19-line takeover of the Craft Beer Co. in Clerkenwell, London, which saw the first pouring of our collaboration with Weird Beard, ‘Blue Habit’, plus a number of one off casks and dry-hopped specials.
We’re starting to hit our stride in the brewery, as we dial in our flagship range, continue to develop new beers and hook up further collaborative projects. Look out for, amongst others, Northern Star Mocha Porter (in collaboration with North Star Micro Roasters), Indian Spiced Ale (With Gateway Brewing, Mumbai) and Bruno’s Cossack (brewed with Adam from Against the Grain, Kentucky).
Two months in, and the beer is out and about around Leeds, out to Manchester and York, and further afield to the North East, West, South coast and into London. We were delighted to be invited to Indy Man Beer Con in Manchester and Leeds International Beer Festival and look forward to 2015’s beer festival calendar.
Close to home, we’re working closely with some of our favorite watering holes; Bundobust. Friends of Ham, Tapped, Belgrave Music Hall and others are also taking a regular supply of the Monk. Plans are afoot for events in Huddersfield, Manchester, London and beyond.
We opened our Refectory tap room on the 24th of October to a thirsty crowd of locals, friends, family and fellow beer aficionados. The feedback on the bar has been great and we’re stoked to be working with the kitchen wizards that are the Grub & Grog Shop. We’ve got 20 taps showcasing the beers made in house as well as some of the best from craft breweries in the North and beyond. Come and catch up with us where we work, rest and play or drop us a line on 0113 243 6430 or therefectrory [at] northernmonkbrewco.com for hire, events, brewery tours and open brew days.
Our crew has also increased (and we are now no longer a brotherhood) as we welcomed Kath into the fold as our Operations Manager and have a team of rad bar folk ready to cater for your every beery need.
Our first few months have not been without hurdle as we work to hone our craft. We ditched a batch of New World IPA as we felt it wasn’t quite hitting the mark and Brian ditched a batch of Dark Arches because he forgot to turn a tap off whilst making a brew (the hot beverage kind). However we’re already running at capacity and our beers are picking up awards across the country.
Next step is bottling and international markets but we’ll save that post for another time!