Northern Monk Patrons Rhubarb Sour

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.

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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.

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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.) 20180731_1850271622122339.jpg

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.

 

beer and candy review! Thornbridge Tart Bakewell Sour and Tesco Strawberry Flavour Lances

the beer:

golden honey color just hinting at red; you can definitely imagine pastry, especially with the nose and beginning, the sour really comes through after and is nice and fizzy.

the candy:
20180220_174308575823263.jpgwtf is this name? they don’t have gummy worms here, first of all, just gummy snakes, and then Tesco sort of uses a snake in all its tubular gummy things, like laces and ‘straws’ which are gross because they have the fake milk flavor.

the strawberry flavor comes through but it’s diminshed by the slightly plastic taste, which is what makes the strawberry laces good/gives them the right snap but here it’s a little disappointing; definitely not sour compared to the sour beer but the sugar/acid layer is satisfying — taking a moment to mourn real sour skittles that had all the sour dust and not these smooth-shelled impostors —

the biggest disapointment, obviously, is that the ‘lances’ aren’t hollow like the gross strawberry-n-milk straws so i couldn’t actually drink the beer through the candy. nevertheless, the combo works because the candy brings out the more vegetal/wheat/yeast notes of the beer while the sour fizz of the beer cleans the chewey plasticine from your mouth. good combo would recommend but maybe different brand o’ sour candy

candy review! Marks and Spencer Fizzy Pop Sweets

these are wonderful! i already love soda candy, obvi, but these are extra nice because the sour powder is designed so there’s an actually fizzy sensation in addition to the usual ‘sour’ coating on candy of this sort.

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the ingredients include citric acid and sodium bicarbonate so it seems like maybe they only react once you eat them and make the fizz. it’s a small thing but i think a lot of soda gummies don’t bother with this so it’s nice that these do. truly the m&s difference.

bottlecaps appreciation interlude: my favorite part of trick or treating was getting bottlecaps and/or trading my chocolates and whatnot for other peoples’ bottlecaps, because those are one of my fav candies, alongside big sweet tarts, gummy soda bottles, OG sour skittles, nerds, and pop rocks. interlude over

also the flavor combinations are magical, because the assortment means you can make all sorts of extra bonus flavors, like cherry ginger lemonade or cherry cola and whatnot. truly a marvel of contemporary civilization.