As a man who lives life on the edge, and juggles the morality of visiting a supermarket just to buy beer, I visit most supermarkets Eastbourne has to offer on a weekly basis. During this time I’ve gotten to know what beer they have, and the level of idle small talk I have to make with the security guard before he winks me through to begin my emergency ration shopping.
Northern Monk can be found in most supermarkets who have a hipster in their alcohol head office. It can also be found places without hipsters in high places, but these places don’t open when viruses are lurking. This particular version, Orange Zest IPA, of Northern Monk caught my eye because it’s orange (very clever) and it’s got the name Rapscallion. When I’d done some light crimes as a child my Nan would often call me a Rapscallion, immediately watering down any wrongdoing on my part. It is my pleasure to announce that no watering down has happened here.
As displayed by Lionel above, the head is bubbly and sits on top of a very Robinson’s Squash coloured body. Does it go down as smoothly as Lionel when he’s whispered entendres at me all evening? One word...YES. More words, this beer gets right which so many flavoured IPAs get wrong: The ability to make a good flavoured beer which doesn’t taste like water that’s been drained through a fruit pickers sock.
The orange zest is timid, but is apparent enough to make you look at the can after a sip and nod thoughtfully. The orange background helps slap this beer along your tongue into flavour country. Not somewhere I ever thought of visiting, but here we are. It’s non refundable. There’s a tang of bitterness as it leaves flavour country and waltzes it’s way into Downtown Gullet. There will undoubtably be a welcome party when it arrives. This is a refreshing, smooth, summer beer, which should be considered when deciding on sunny beverages. My criticism, as much as it pains me, is that it falls away from you too quickly. You’ve forgotten the flavour quickly and it doesn’t stick around unless you make it.
We should all take a moment to thank the monks, all of the Monks, on both sides, for doing what human beings always seem to do given time and boredom...make things alcoholic. These 21st Century Monks have made it taste good too.