Words: Brody Rossiter
While many may well be familiar with Northern Monk’s more widely available brews, such as their Eternal Session IPA, you may yet to have discovered the wonders of their Patrons Projects.
Northern Monk define the projects as “…an initiative set up to foster collaboration, creativity and community between artists, athletes and creatives across the north.” The releases have blended daring visuals with extraordinary beer to create a series of celebratory offerings that have left us eager to see and taste much more. The Projects were also one of the main reasons why we named Northern Monk as our ‘Best UK Brewery of 2017’ in our Independent Beer Awards.
The latest release comes in the form a “light” sessionable IPA. Conceived in collaboration with Cumbrian fell runner, Ricky Lightfoot, and featuring photography from Leeds-based photographer Tom Joy, Striding Edge is a distinctly daring beer that bucks the trend of boozier brews – a trend which Northern Monk are no strangers to themselves.
Wonderfully smooth and soft on the palate, the beer also punches well above its weight when it comes to flavour. Juicy and tropical despite the low ABV, and bearing little of the bitterness that often overwhelms Session IPAs, the term “light” is fitting. The fruit additions of previous releases have been relinquished in favour of a extremely pale beer that showcases the piney, citrusy bite of Simcoe, Amarillo and Mosaic hops. In case that wasn’t satisfactory, Northern Monk brought notes of orange and mango to the race with a bonus Citra hop addition.
Beautifully labelled and acting as a new standard bearer for low ABV brews, Striding Edge is a beer that highlights the brewery’s skill and creativity, while once again placing the spotlight on the region and individuals that seemingly prove so inspiration. True North, truly good beer.