December 14 2018 – Simon Yarwood
Well, it seems that summer is well and truly gone. We find ourselves waking up to crisp, cold mornings and carpets of crunchy golden leaves. Long gone are the warm afternoons of sipping light, effervescent saisons in the afternoon sun, along with our cravings for cold, crisp lagers. I don’t know about you, but that’s absolutely fine by us. Because with the cold, dark evenings come sticky, syrupy impy stouts, spiced and smoky ales and dark fruit flavours. So, it seems that Northern Monk timed things perfectly with their mid-November Dark City beer festival - a celebration of all beers dark, with some street food, fire spinning and heavy metal thrown in for good measure.
Chris (Epicurean team member and resident bottle jockey) was lucky enough to make it over to Leeds and has been making us all jealous with tales of his adventures and the ‘insane’ diverse choice of beers. Here are a few of his top picks from the festival…
Brush (Soft Serve) - J Wakefield x Omnipollo - 12%
Now, normally, there’s nothing you can do to improve a delicious imperial stout packed with vanilla, chocolate, ancho chillies and hazelnut coffee. Sounds like the perfect balance of sweet and spicy already, right? But what about making it SOFT SERVE? A very grown-up beer, but served in a way that makes you feel like a great big kid.
Mutual Feelings - Boundary x Northern Monk x Odyssey x Track x Verdant x DEYA Co - 7.4%
Just looking at the list of breweries who teamed up for this beer, you know it has to be something special. This is an imperial oatmeal milk pecan vanilla cookie stout. Dessert in a glass.
Slow Life - Whiplash Brewing - Nitro Porter - 4.5%
A break from the heavy-hitting booze bombs above, this is a smooth, velvety porter. According to Chris, this is a little more like some traditional Irish stouts you may have had before, and as such, holds a special place in Irishman Chris’s heart.
Didn’t manage to get over to Leeds for Dark City? Don’t worry - we’ve got you covered! We have several beers which were pouring at the event and, of course, loads more dark beer on top of that!