Leeds Northern Monk’s global beer festival

STRIKING: The former flazx mill will host a festival of world beers.
STRIKING: The former flazx mill will host a festival of world beers.
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over 30 breweries from around the world will fill a former mill in Holbeck for an annual beer festival to celebrate specialist dark ales.

Northern Monk Brew Co’s Dark City beer festival, taking place today and tomorrow, is renowned for bringing together breweries from across the world in celebration of the varied styles of dark beer.

Alongside Northern Monk themselves, the breweries will be pouring a vast range of stouts, porters, barleywines, black IPAs and more at the Grade II listed mill, The Old Flax Store.

Keen fans of craft beer will recognise many of the beer manufacturers that are visiting the festival from the UK and Ireland, including Leeds’ Kirkstall Brewery, Verdant, Magic Rock from Huddersfield, Buxton, Thornbridge, Old Chimneys, Siren, Hawkshead, North Brew Co also of Leeds, Left Handed Giant, Wylam, Fyne Ales, Burning Sky, Wander Beyond, Cloudwater, Anspach & Hobday, Burnt Mill, Five Points, Boundary and Whiplash.

There are four American brands making the trip such as J. Wakefield Brewing, Finback, Other Half and Evil Twin while the European names will be Omnipollo, Amundsen, Lervig, Dugges, Dry & Bitter and La Pirata.

Founder of Northern Monk Brew Co, Russell Bisset, said: “We’re honoured to host some of the world’s best breweries at our Old Flax Store home.

“There are brewers flying over all the way from America to serve their beer alongside us, and we’re all really excited about introducing some of the biggest names in brewing to our Leeds community.

“Last year’s Dark City festival was a huge success, but we feel like all the parts are in place to make this year even better.

“We’re looking forward to spending the weekend with people that are as passionate about great beer as we are.”

The festival, which is taking place across all three floors of the mill as well as the outside space, will feature live music from Graces, Nomasta, Barbarian Hermit and Sex Injuries.

Food comes from four well-known Leeds-based food vendors – Parm Star, Manjit’s Kitchen, Temple Donuts and Maude Coffee as well as the Harewood Food & Drink Project which has taken a three month residency in the Northern Monk Kitchen.

The festival will also be running one beer tasting at each session, with Beernomicon running Friday’s session, and Black Malt running both Saturday tastings.

There are a number of sessions running over the weekend and cost £45 each but include the admission fee, a limited-edition glass and unlimited 120ml pours for the duration of the five-hour session.

Sessions run today 5:30pm – 10:30pm, tomorrow 11.30am - 4.30pm and 5:30pm – 10:30pm.

Earlier this year, Northern Monk Brew Co launched Northern Rising, an equity crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube where the business surpassed its £500,000 target in just three hours, with the funding closing at a total of £1.5m raised through 2,161 investors.

The funding has enabled Northern Monk to triple capacity with the installation of 8 x 10,000 litre fermentation tanks and a new canning line, as well as fast-tracking plans for expansion into Manchester and London.