Today it has come: today is Northern Monk Brew Co.'s first brew day in their new brewery site.

And it truly has been a long time in the works. I had my first contact with the nascent Northern Monk Brew Co. way back in early 2013 when it was still just a cuckoo-brewing concept with a skeleton website. Yet things have grown quickly for the Monks: they've taken on head-brewer-monk-in-charge Brian Dickson late last year, bought the brewery site sometime around Christmas 2013, and maintained interest in the brand with various collaborations, contract brews, and launch events all over Yorkshire and beyond.

I've gotten to know the founder and Chief Monk, Russell Bisset, pretty well over the past year-and-a-half through various doings. Besides Russ' family and dog, there are very few people (or canines) that are as pleased as I am that this day--in the North--has finally come.

Brian and Russell have almost starved themselves to get to this point (seriously. I guess Russ has only eaten tuna for the past two weeks and is now concerned that he will die from it.) But it has well been worth it. I had the great opportunity to have a nosey around today while they were brewing with a hand from the awesome James Kemp (or JK) and it smelled sooooo good in there. All of Holbeck Urban Village in Leeds smelled delicious, actually. Those are some lucky office-workers over there.

So, with a beautiful new kit from Malrex all fitted and fancy, a head-brewer chomping at the bit, and a cold-store room full of hops from heaven, the time--and the North--has finally come for brewing. And it was truly serendipitous (and truly unplanned) that their first brew of their New World IPA chocked full of Simcoe, Waimea, Chinook, Galaxy, Summit hops took place on none other than International IPA Day. Subsequent brew-days will see Strannik, Monachus Pale, and their (I don't know if I can say the name) Session IPA, among others, being brewed. Hallelujah.

Welcome to town, Monks. You've been coming for a while; we're glad you've finally made it.