apparently the universe has decided to make a beer just for me. this one comes with pop rocks.
from Northern Monk Brew Co.:
NORTHERN MONK PATRONS IS AN INITIATIVE SET UP TO FOSTER COLLABORATION, CREATIVITY AND COMMUNITY BETWEEN ARTISTS, ATHLETES AND CREATIVES ACROSS THE NORTH.
so this beer is probably about as ‘high concept’ as you could imagine and 100% the kind of beer people make fun of when they complain about craft beer culture, but those people are reactionary dickheads so fuck em!
the key theme of it is rhubarb, both in flavor and design concept, which is all thoroughly explained under the peel-off label.
the exterior label (from Lord Whitney, ‘Connoisseurs of Make-Believe’) is weird and shiny in a way both fun and reminiscent of a hologram comic cover, and the bottom of the can includes pop rocks because why not this beer is already wonderful might as well just go completely silly.
honestly the packaging was so interesting i was kind of worried i might have shaken it up too much looking at everything.
the interior includes a whole description of rhubarb farming and the inspiration behind the photoshoot and the beer itself but i’m not gonna bother writing about any of that other than including the photos here because if you really want to see it all, go buy this beer because it’s super!
so, in a very simple sense this is exactly what it says on the (extremely ornate) label: it’s sour and kind of tastes like rhubarb. the color is a very pretty cloudy ruby/pink grapefruit.
more than that though, it’s dry and vegetal in a really interesting way because the taste is so unlike the big fruit flavors that tend to come in sours. i almost want to say it’s chalky, if that didn’t have a maybe negative connotation. tbh i kind of lack the vocabulary to describe this because it’s just very different in flavor and mouthfeel even though the basics (sour and rhubarb) are so straightforward. it’s just neat and weird in exactly the way small batch/craft/experimental beers should be. 5/5
p.s. the pop rocks are the only slightly less-than-stellar detail of this beer, because unfortunately they’re just flavored with cocoa butter instead of some kind of sour or fruit flavor, which would have made the whole thing perfect. (i suspect this is because we’re in the uk, where vanilla/plain pop rocks exist and are a thing people use/eat, instead of being considered a freakish aberration.)
that said, they still actually work with the beer as a pairing and not just a gimmick because the sweetness of the pop rocks fills in some of the sweetness you might expect from a fruit sour or even a rhubarb dessert. you can almost think of the beer + pop rock combo as a super de/re-constructed rhubarb crumble.