Friday, 23 June 2017

Northern Black by Thornbridge & Steve `Papa` Edwards

Now then, lots going on out there in the beery heaven that is Sheffield. Derbyshire neighbours Thornbridge Brewery have been having a great 2017 with a number of initiatives including Monthly Specials but this one has flown under the radar somewhat. June`s offering is officially Wye, a cucumber pale ale (why?!) but a better bitter bet, in our humble opinions, is Northern Black which was brewed in collaboration with local musical superhero Steve `Papa` Edwards. The Beauchief boy has worked with everybody in music Toddla T., Basement Jaxx, Richard Hawley etc. and so a collaboration with Thornbridge must have been the only item left on the Edwards` bucket list!

Northern Black @ Cross Scythes

I was fortunate enough to be one of the first to sample Northern Black (named after Steve`s L.P.) at the Coach and Horses soon after it was released and it hit all the right notes in my book. NB is a `Jamaican Stout` with a dark body and off-white head that lasted well from cask. The mouthfeel is nice and gritty, like a thick coffee, with a malty backbone that is filled out by the muscovado sugar sweetness that has been added to provide that hint of Carribbean rum. At 5% Northern Black is quite
quaffable with a nice, lingering dry bitterness and I`d put this as one of Thornbridge`s better stouts. It is also definitely one of the better collaborations betwixt muso and brewery (please, nobody mention Trooper by Robinson`s and that Worksop pilot bloke!).

Lookin` good @Coach `n` Horses
We asked a few questions to Steve and he was kind enough to reply:-
  1. What was your first experience of `drinking`? Me and our kid having a sneaky swig of Colt 45 at Christmas in the 70s.
  2. Can you name your top 3 local pubs? The Broadfield / The Sheaf / The Greystones
  3. Favourite Thornbridge beer? Sequoia
  4. Ever homebrew? Never but my Uncle John used to make wine - Elderflower, Nettle, you name it.
  5. How did the Thornbridge opportunity come about? I worked on their recent Faux Lord campaign I'm one of the original Lords). Northern Black is my autobiographical song & I may have mentioned that I thought it was a great name for a beer. Something dark, sweet & soulful. They must've like the idea.
  6. What`s your favourite tipple other than beer? Whiskey
  7. Beauchief and Woodseats needs better pubs, doesn`t it? Deffo, the Abbey is ok but's a bit too try hard. I sometimes have a sneaky one with the lads in the Chantrey on quiz nights but there's not a great beer selection. As for Beauchief, well there's no pub anyroad. Says it all.
  8. Food and beer matching is all the rage. Can you name a favourite track or two and an ideal drink to match?! A pint of Northern Black whilst listening to Northern Black or Seqouia listening to A Message To You Rudy.
  9. Musical plans in the pipeline? Any Tramlines tips? My new project Universal Tree are playing the Kabal All Dayer in the Plug Car Park, 4pm on Tramlines Saturday. I'm also doing my Steve Edwards Quartet at the Harland Cafe, Sept 8.
  10. Sheffield is the capital of real ale. Where else is good for a decent pint? Leeds, Manchester, Peak District, Devon, Cornwall, Worksop.
  11. Best Sheff music talent past, present and future?! Joe Cocker / Arctic Monkeys / Human League / Moloko / Crooked Man / Universal Tree / Longpigs / Matic Mouth / Pulp.
Here's a link to a live video of Northern Black
All good things and that. The first track in our In Session with Steve 'Papa' Edwards, directed by Helene Michealides of Cuckoo Films with steadicam by Tony ...

Steve also has a single called A Good Life which is out now. All sales are going to the 60/600 Challenge for the Alzheimers` Society, a great cause.
Download links:
A Good Life: Steve Edwards: MP3 Downloads
Cheers Steve! Plenty of proof there that this chap has taste and now you need to taste Northern Black, whilst listening to the above; you won`t regret it. Peace.