New World IPA Brew Day

Six months, three monks, one brand, one beer. We’ve made it this far and our outlook is one without limits.

We settled on a ten barrel run of what will be our solitary launch beer, with three more core beers to follow. With this in mind and knowing we want to share our beer with as many people as possible, an India Pale Ale style beer seemed to be a solid choice. We’re British, we have big ideas about where we can take this Brew Co. over the coming years and we want to brew quality beers, so the concept of the beer seemed obvious to us. A traditional beer style, British business partners, British water, yeast and malt, with hops from Kent, the West Coast of America and Australia.

Despite the sleepless nights leading up to the brewday, upon arrival at the brewery my careful preparations paid off. Mashed in by 09:00 and suitably relieved to hit my 65C target. After a 75 minute mash, I opted for a fairly slow sparge rate, mainly because of my anxiety over getting a good extraction on a relatively unfamiliar kit. My fears were alleviated when the first runnings were in the region of 1.090. Weighing the hops out, which I’ve done many times at home and a few times on a commercial scale, was a joy! Opening boxes of Pilgrim, Chinook, Cascade, Centennial and Galaxy filled my nostrils with hops and hope. I went for the whole hop experience and went gloveless. My bright green resinous hands a temporary keepsake of this landmark day.

75 minutes later the brewery was smelling great and the transfer to the FV went smoothly, making a small adjustment to hit our 1.060 OG. I pitched the yeast at 19C and eventually tore myself away from standing above the FV and breathing it all in. Being a cheeky cuckoo brewer I accepted help to clean the kit, only to be told not to get used to it!

And so, Northern Monk Brew Co.’s first beer was born, our New World IPA, 6.2% abv and with bitterness to match. I have high hopes that this beer will have an aroma fitting of the hops that were added late in the copper and dry in the FV. Only time will tell now, and if you want to meet myself and my monk accomplice, we’ll be nervously pouring this beer for you at our launch party at the Sparrow Bier Café on Thursday 18th July, from 7pm.

The North is Coming.