Trilogy MMXVIII by Northern Monk Brew Co


Thank you, Santa! I had been eyeing this trilogy boxset for a while. This is Northern Monk’s third year of these projects, with the Roman numeral symbolising the year of release MMXVIII = 2018. The aim of the trilogy series is to highlight the key components of beer: yeast, hops and malts. The trilogies consist of 3 different collaborations, with each brewery working with Northern Monk to create the same variety of beers, each showcasing a different principal ingredient. For 2018, the IPA variety was chosen. The collaborating breweries and core elements were as follows:

All three cans have a black can wrap, with gold accents. The primary ingredient features in both text and picture form, in white and grey respectively.

Mandatory “Sour IPA” Facts

  • Untappd Rating: 3.72 (at time of writing)
  • ABV: 6.5%
  • IBU: 25
  • Style: IPA
  • Serving: Can, 440ml

With Verdant Brewing being the collaborative partner on this beer, the following words immediately came to mind: juicy, hoppy and punchy. With yeast being the star in this beer, I was expecting tartness and a lactic bite – just enough to make my tongue seize in shock. It poured a beautiful golden-orange colour, with a very high level of carbonation and had a tall, foamy white head. The bubbles thrashed around like waves crashing against rocks. From scent alone, the sourness and yeast notes were immediately evident, bringing a strong citrus tartness. The beer, unsurprisingly given the appearance, had a big carbonic fizz on the palate, creating little tingles of sour bursts. Flavours were of sharp, juicy pink grapefruit, orange and lemon. The sourness peaked before transforming into a warming, satisfying bitter finish. Side note – this was my last beer of 2018.


Diagnosis: 4.0/5. “Sour IPA” certainly delivers on taste. It manages to highlight both the comforting bitterness many IPAs are recognised for and the strong lactic acid sour profile that blends the styles together. This isn’t overwhelmingly sour, so is certainly a beer I would recommend for any sour novice keen to gently introduce themselves to this variety. For another beer from Verdant, check out Fruit Car Sight Exhibition


Mandatory “Triple IPA” Facts

  • Untappd Rating: 3.75 (at time of writing)
  • ABV: 9.5%
  • IBU: 40
  • Style: IPA
  • Serving: Can, 440ml

My first beer of 2019! Just after the countdown struck “0”, as fireworks flared and street parties raged on live tv, I took this can from the fridge. This was the can I was most excited about: a triple IPA, dominated by hops. It poured a light-orange with a moderate bright white head. On the nose, the alcohol warmth was noted in amongst aromas of citrus and pineapple. The beer was light in texture, and moderate carbonation carried hoppy tastes of lemon and pine. These faded into a pronounced, warming and sweet, yet almost bitter, pineapple finish. The 9.5% ABV was noticed but did not overpower the experience.


Diagnosis: 3.0/5. “Triple IPA” is a thoroughly enjoyable way start to a new year, though I’m not a huge fan of pineapple, so it is not necessarily the best beer for me.


Mandatory “Brut IPA” Facts

  • Untappd Rating: 3.52 (at time of writing)
  • ABV: 4.5%
  • IBU: 15
  • Style: IPA
  • Serving: Can, 440ml

I had only ever had a few brut IPAs; typically, I expect them to be very dry. This beer poured a slightly cloudy-straw colour, similar to a fresh lemonade. It had a slim white foam head, that gave aromas of lemon, clementine and herbaceous notes. The beer was light to taste in so far as carbonation. I was surprised as I felt as though that it lacked the core element it was meant to be emphasising – malts! I noticed the delicate malt base develops on further sips, but it remained very mild. Upon elongation of the tasting profile, the beer left a lingering sharp and dry finish that made me want to keep sampling.


Diagnosis: 2.75/5. “Brut IPA” is nice and has dryness that isn’t overwhelming for a brut beer. Unfortunately, I don’t feel the malts are showcased enough and is therefore not as advertised; hence why whilst enjoyable overall, the beer loses points.


An enjoyable and creative selection, each trying to showcase one of beers main ingredients. I wonder what 2019’s Trilogy will bring.

Thanks Santa!




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