August marked five years since the start of our Patrons Projects series, so it seemed an appropriate time to delve back through the archives and relive the many memories we’ve enjoyed over the years.
Our Patrons Projects are a key part of the Northern Monk DNA and were born out of a passion for community, collaboration, and creativity.
We’ve worked exceptionally hard since day one on each of our projects to uphold the highest possible standards of brewing, producing exceptional beer that we could be proud of, executed alongside our Patrons’ creativity.
Across 33 series we’ve collaborated with 50 Northern creatives and built some lasting friendships with illustrators, bands, photographers, chefs, street artists, journalists, podcasters, archivists, prop and set designers, survivalists, surfers and loads more.
To celebrate the five-year milestone, we arrived at the concept of the Patrons Hall of Fame tournament, with the winner being complete with a final one-off, last-time-ever re-brew.
Over the years, we’ve launched over 150 beers under the Patrons Project banner, using that spark of creativity from the meeting of imaginations to push boundaries and create ‘wow’ moments whenever somebody sees that peel and reveal label for the first time.
With so many to choose from and staff favourites aplenty, we decided that we’d put the vote out there and hand the reins to the public to pick a favourite.
Across social media, we announced a 32-beer knockout tournament to ultimately crown the winner that would be inducted into our Patrons Hall of Fame and be stamped with gold-star status.
To kick things off, we asked our social media followers for their favourite to enter the tournament. In just 48 hours we were inundated with nominations, spanning across every beer style and series we’ve ever ventured into.
The stage was set, so at the start of September we kicked off the tournament spanning over a week on our Instagram stories and Twitter. Our followers were invited to vote for their favourite in each individual match up until we had a winner.
From the outset, Twitter was stirring, and it became clear that a certain beer from back in 2018 was a frontrunner, as the term ‘Inevitable Vortex’ was coined.
We watched as Infinity Vortex stormed through the preliminary rounds, to ultimately be crowned winner, just edging out the excellent Drew Millard’s Northern Tropics Jungle IPA.
It was no great surprise to see Infinity Vortex come out on top. It was the first in our Patrons series with Tank Petrol and was brewed alongside New York hop-heavyweights Other Half and Equilibrium.
At the time, we couldn’t wait to bring Tank Petrol on board. Tank had made a name for himself on the Manchester graffiti scene before going on to be famous for his stunning stencil art, as well as his different techniques ranging from typography and traditional painting to freehand murals and fine woodwork.
Even upon its initial release, Infinity Vortex was met with an incredible reception, and we knew it was special.
Infinity Vortex was brewed with a 7.4% fluffy base of Pale, Wheat, Naked Oats and Flaked Oats, with Citra for a mid-fermentation dry hop, followed by two 12g/l additions of more Citra, El Dorado, Cashmere, and Mosaic Cryo, bringing a perfect harmony of tropical juice, citrus fruit, and pine from our then-biggest dry hop addition ever, totalling 30g/l.
In November, it was rebrewed. Infinity Vortex was released on our webshop and it went on to sell out completely in a little over two hours, one of our fastest sell-outs ever.
This game-changer of an IPA is still the benchmark by which all our other IPAs are judged and was a worthy winner of the public vote.