By Marco Malcorps from Mikkeller & Friends Bottleshop.

A good week ago, I had the pleasure of attending Dark City Fest 2017. The first of its kind, it is the brain child of the good people at Northern Monk Brewing Company, based in Leeds UK. 

If the name sounds vaguely familiar, that is because the same company puts on another festival, called Hop City. If I gift you with the information, that Hop City has its attending breweries focusing solely on hoppy beers, then I'd say you have all the pieces you need to figure out what was flowing though the taps at Dark City. That's right. Beers black as night, thick, full bodied, and on the heavy end of the alcohol scale.

As things would have it, I ended up going straight from the airport to the hotel to drop off my things, and then straight to the Refectory that houses Northern Monk. It was a beautiful old three storage building, which housed a small scale brewery on the ground floor, a taproom and bar on the second floor, and a big open space on the third floor – which is were the main part of the breweries were set up.

We had obviously brought out the big guns, and kicked things off with Beer Geek Vanilla Maple Shake, and from the second the first thirsty guests poured through the doors, it was clear that the rumor of this beer had preceded it.

Anyone that knows Mikkeller though, will be aware that we seldom play entirely by the rules. After all, if you never challenge the boundaries set for you, you'll never push the limit of what is possible, so with that in mind, we'd packed a small ten liter keg in there, with a beer that was dark, but wasn't a stout by any means. I'm talking about SpontanQuadrupleRaspberry, and apparently a lot of people wanted to get in on that action. From the first session, people were asking when it was going to be put on, their eyes either gleaming with excitement, when they got the answer (and if they held a ticket to said session), or going slightly dark, before then ordering a tall glass of what I was currently pouring.

When the seal was broken on the small keg, it turned out that a lot of the other brewers were lining up for it too. At this point, it seemed like everyone needed something to rinse their pallets of that thin, oily layer that several hours of stouts will coat your mouth in. The keg was a trooper though, and actually managed to hold its own long enough for a couple of guests to get their second glass.

When the second night was topped off with two local metal bands playing sets in the middle of the main pouring room on the third floor, everything came together. Dark beers, dark music, and good times were had, and we'd love to return to Leeds for what will hopefully be a regular occurring festival in the future.

Get your hands on the SpontanQuadrupleRaspberry.


Good job guys and gals!

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