I first heard about The Kernel Brewery through Chunk who has since posted about it here. Then, when I went up to drink jugs of Saints and Sinners’ Hoptimum at Brew Wharf, Evin O’Riordain, the guy who runs the Kernel, was there. “I need to try some of your beers.” I told him. He then reached under the table, presumably into a magic sack, and pulled out a couple of smart looking bottles and slid them across the table to me.
I opened the Centennial Pale Ale first. It’s no secret that I’d put Centennials into every single beer in the world if I could, so I always like to see it in a single-hop brew. This is 5.7% and pours an awesome flame gold colour with a bold white head – it inspired me to write the word ‘sexy’ in my notes. The aroma is bread and marmalade followed by the distinctively floral and orangey Centennial. The mouthfeel is the winner here and it’s full-bodied, smooth and clean without being loaded with sickly sweetness. It’s toasty and bready with just a hint of sweetness before the hops come through, intensely floral and deliciously bitter with a great orange pith finish. I finished it within minutes and loved every mouthful. It’s lacking sweetness, not in a bad way, and could handle a few more hops for the insatiable lupulin lover like me, but these are quibbles (and incidentally the same notes as Chunk made) – the beer is absolutely spot on.
The Porter is 5.9% and pours a dark brown with a good looking tan head. There’s chocolate, a waft of smoke, some phenols and lots of roasty malt – a classic nose. It’s another wonderfully smooth mouthful, roasty, dry, chocolatey and just a hint of roasted fruit sharpness which adds a great balance to a porter. There’s a long-lasting roast finish, it’s smooth, very drinkable and has a perfect balance of flavour. Fantastic – both beers seriously impressed me.
Inspired by the US craft scene, Evin is brewing once a week beneath the train arches of Tower Bridge, not far from London’s Borough Market. He’s on a small batch plant and bottling and then labeling everything by hand, with love. If you want to try his beers then go along and find him on Saturday’s from 9-4 and he’ll happily sell you a few of his bottles. A few more brews will be available soon and hopefully there will be some casks in the future. If you are in the market, jumping between Utobeer, the Market Porter, The Rake and Brew Wharf then take a bag and make an extra stop to see Evin – the Kernel Brewery is another exciting addition to the ever-growing London beer scene.
Centennials are class. I love getting a good nosefull of em at work just before they go in the copper. If your ever in the northeast lookout for Durham brewery White Centennial, it's a good one.ReplyDelete
Good post that Mark. I will make an effort to seek them out when next in my London abode. I might have no money left mind you after a visit to the IoM this week and Chicago next. And you always need a wallet full in that area.ReplyDelete
Cheers for the info Mark, I'm going to try to find him on Saturday. Just a question about location though. You said he brews in the railway arches at Borough Market but the map on his website put's him at the other end of Druid street a fair distance from the market. does he sell in the market and brew elsewhere?ReplyDelete
Nice post, thanks for sharing this wonderful and useful information with us.ReplyDelete
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Rob, I'll look out for it - I'm eager to try more Durham beer.ReplyDelete
Tandleman, I've been meaning to put together a list of ultra-rare beers for you to look for in Chicago, should I send that along to you?!
Sam, I missed a small detail, which I've added into the post now... it is at that address on his website but he brews beneath Tower Bridge, not London Bridge (it's nearby, hence my confusion! Plus, I navigate London by tube stops so if I say London Bridge it probably means that's the closest train stop!). You should go down and check them out, it's definitely worth it!
Herrien, thank you but please don't spam me - we drink beer here, not green tea.
Cheers Mark, lookng forward to trying these out.ReplyDelete
I'd love to see that list of Chicago beers too if I may, I'm taking a trip to the States in July for a food tour/honeymoon, so I'm pretty excited about trying as many beers as possible. We are going to New York, Chicago and San Francisco so I have been reading about your trip to SF with relish. If there are any other breweries you have visited there or would like to I'd love to hear about them.
Sure thing Sam. Send me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll list a few beers to look out for. It sounds like a great trip - I'm jealous!ReplyDelete
I here the white horse is getting some in fro there 40 beers from 40 miles festival, end of this month.ReplyDelete
Mark - If you have a list to hand that'd be great, though a lot of what I will be doing is dependent on others.ReplyDelete
Andy, great news!ReplyDelete
Tandleman, I knew you couldn't resist an ultra-rare list of beers to chase!!
I've never been to Chicago so not sure how helpful I can be but if I were going then I'd be straight to Goose Island, of course. After that I'd want to drink Three Floyds. I've heard very good things about Piece recently and Flossmore. Melissa's latest blog should tell you everything you need to know!!
I look forward to hearing about it!
Cheers for the info, Mark. I chilled with him and Ang when you left at Saints and Sinners. He's a great guy. Really easy going. He gave me a beer after at the end of the night. I would have bought him one had I known he was going to give me one!ReplyDelete
I had the Pale Ale and I'm reserving it for a tastings' evening.
I hope to acquire the stout once I get back to London on a Saturday. Now I'm not in the City I sure miss Utobeer. I luckilly have a lot from beermerchants and the PRE-ZBF 2010 beer shop.
Going to, hopefully, Spontanious Fermenation Weekend in May. It's a lambic festival. I will write about it.
From a completely narcissistic p.o.v - those labels look fucking great. I bet the beer's good - usually is. Nice score!!ReplyDelete
Just cracked open the Porter - it's bloody good!ReplyDelete
And Leigh's right, lovely labels