Tag Archive: North Brewing Co


Ilkley: North Brewing: Bonaparte (England: Berliner Weisse: 3.2% ABV)

Visual: Light clear grain yellow body. Thin white head that leaves some white suds.

Nose: Apples and lime. Key lime. Kiwi. Fresh lemon.

Body: Apples. Dry. Flour. Dry hop bitterness. Slight cider vinegar. Pears. Lemon.

Finish: Flour. Apples. Slightly sour. Pear. Vanilla. Kiwi.

Conclusion: Dry hopping made this promise so much, so much lovely fruit in the aroma. However, it seems that the aroma is writing cheques that the body can’t cash.

The aroma is full of fresh green fruit, tart and with a good chunk of complexity – lots to invite you in. That first impression is genuinely amazing. The body that follows is light tart apples to apple cider, with apple vinegar touches and, well, that is just about it.

It is kind of bitter, kind of flour like in the hop grip, but somehow it manages to mute what is usually the huge freshness of the berliner weisse style. In muting that it also seems to mute the complexity and masses of fruit range that the aroma promises. It feels like a real let down.

The finish does manage to recover it again slightly, some of the green fruit comes back and plays again. However generally it feels quite empty – the main body just feels like empty, mild sourness and really doesn’t pay off its gimmick of the dry hopping. Then again, I know dry hopping is basically about adding awesome aromas, but I expect it to follow through with it – I expect it to give something beyond that.

The idea does have promise, adding extra layers to the sour style, and I have seen dry hopped lambics and other sours that do good things with the idea – however in this instance it needs a lot more work to, well, work. This really isn’t worth it.

Background: This was drunk at the Port Street Beer House up in Manchester – was in the area before heading up to Leeds for the NXT wrestling show the next day. Had some good friends with me and was having a very chilled time. Tried a few beers there, they had a very nice tap selection including a good chunk of Cloudwater and a decent, if expensive, bottle selection. Very good beers, if expensive in general. This one is dry hopped berliner weisse which intrigued me.

North Brewing Co Herzog
North Brewing Co: Herzog (HRZG) (England: Kolsch: 5% ABV)

Visual: Very pale yellow to grain. Small white head and small levels of carbonation.

Nose; Boiled eggs. Creamy. Coriander.

Body: Sugar icing. Boiled eggs. Toffee malt character. Slight palma violets. Sulphur. Slight buttery popcorn. Slight steam beer character.

Finish: Toffee malt character. Butterscotch. Light bitter hop character. Bran flakes. Steam beer notes.

Conclusion: Kolsch is a fairly odd style, half ale, half lager. I have to admit I also associate it with a higher than average bitterness and hop character, that is then combined with a smooth lager style easy drinking. So, tad surprised here.

This is toffee sweet, with a slight steam beer like hazy mouthfeel. That last one is not that unexpected considering both the relevant beer styles heritage that mix ale and lager stylings. What is unexpected is the night notal lack of bitterness, barring a mild run in the finish. Now that is not necessarily bad, but the lack of a major presence of the hop character means I need to step back and re-examine it.

So, erm like that it is, well, ok. Easy drinking but without much to recommend it. There is a slight eggy character and a misplaced buttery set of notes that feel like brewing mistakes rather than intentional notes. Again, it is still drinkable, while admittedly feeling closer to a Californian Common, aka steam beer, rather than the intended Kolsch. It just really doesn’t have any stand out elements to recommend it and a few against it. It is smoother and easier to drink that the over fizzy soda-stream styled lagers that are very common, but it doesn’t beat much else.

Background: People not from the UK may wonder why the can says HRZG, when the name is Herzog. The answer is simple, this beer is from Leeds, and thus suffers from the 2016 vowel famine. Due to recent political issues the vast majority of the vowels in the country have been taken by London, leaving the rest of the country, especially the north, to make do. Now you know. Also I looked up Herzog, apparently it is a German hereditary title. So now I know. See, beer helps you learn. Anyway, this was grabbed from Independent Spirit as part of my ongoing effort to drink more quote unquote “normal” beer. Haven’t tried anything from North Brewing before. Kolsch is an odd style as it is initially warm fermented like an ale, then lagered like a, well, lager. This was drunk while listening to Pulp: Different Class. Such a good album – pop sensibilities music with real bitter angry class conscious lyrics. Very good stuff.

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