Kernel: Simplicity, and No Superlatives

Among the English breweries from the universe of the craft sector, there are of course some that I prefer — for their quality or enthusiasm, their innovative spirit, their appetite for risk, and also their level-headedness. In any case, there is one that stuns me because of its approach: Kernel Brewery.

The brewery, which produces nearly 760,000 litres (200,000 gallons) annually, was founded in 2009 in Bermondsey (London); I quote: “From the need to have more good beer. Beer deserving of a certain attention. Beer that forces you to confront and consider what you are drinking.”

As I have already said or suggested in previous posts, one encounters a lot of breweries who seem to favour fashion effects or sensationalism over fundamentals. They offer, for example, a Saison with elderberry before having simply produced a classic Saison worthy of the name. (Clarification: I do not have any objections to a Saison-Elderberry, but I’m sceptical when only  that is proposed…)

With Kernel, none of this.

Here is a really good India Pale Ale HBC 431, named for the homonymous American hop; a floral, spicy, tropical and moderately bitter IPA. Well, at Kernel, you’ll also find an “India Pale Ale Mosaic,” an “India Pale Ale Citra,” an “India Pale Ale Simcoe Ekuanot,” an “India Pale Ale Mosaic Nelson Sauvin,” etcetera, as if we were sharing Evin O’Riordain’s (the founder’s) hesitations and progressions.

Which brings us to… “Beer that forces you to confront and consider what you are drinking.”

Here, the fundamentals are an incessant experiment. And that’s what I like.