Beer of the Moment: The Kernel Brewery, London

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Mar 14th, 2012
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Your new plans for Saturday

Cancel your plans. Drop everything. Whatever it is on your schedule, you can always do it later. Do you not understand how to procrastinate?  Wikipedia defines procrastination as the act of replacing high-priority actions with tasks of lower priority, or doing something from which one derives enjoyment, and thus putting off important tasks to a later time.

So maybe it’s not procrastination after all. Let’s just say that you will derive enjoyment from a visit to The Kernel.  But who is to say that such enjoyment should not be your priority? You owe it to yourself …  you’ve earned it … what would the Kernel do?

Saturday, you need to reward yourself with a visit to The Kernel Brewery in Bermondsey.

The Kernel was undoubtedly the highlight of last weekend’s WDT London Spring Beer Weekend 2012.

Their single hop series of IPAs and double IPAs are outstanding. Bottle aged, with an impressive yeast sediment, these beers have more depth and body than your typical IPA. And consider this this comment is coming from a fan of US west coast IPAs such as Stone, Sculpin and Green Flash … not to mention the Pizza Port brewpubs.

Kernel Double Citra IPA: A Tasty Experiment in Nuclear Fission

The focus on a single hop series of bottle conditioned beers certainly draws comparisons to Mikkeller. The Mikkeller series is great, but while The Kernel does not have nearly as broad of a range (yet), to me they have more of a small batch charm.

During our visit to the Kernel (and other bars that served Kernel beers), we enjoyed their Columbus (taste is more upfront, the GTG says it’s “A shot of malty vanilla followed by a baseball bat of hops”), Galaxy (more of a slow burn on the back of the throat), Nelson Sauvin (fruitier, almost like a hint of white grape), and Chinook (similar to Nelson, but lighter). We also enjoyed stronger double IPAs … the double Citra was like sunshine in a bottle, bright and excellently balanced … a 9.8% strength beer full of flavour … maybe a hint of lemon, vanilla, peach … or quite possibly active nuclear fission, as it seemed to have the power of the sun … and I’ve never tasted nuclear fission before so it’s hard to compare … so let’s just call it brilliant … and glowing. The aged double Centennial was also excellent, if not quite as memorable (or glowing) as the Citra, although it did have quite the yeasty sediment.

Liquid bread

They also had an Export Stout available … smoky and rich … would probably go quite well with the sausages and cheeses available in the market area around The Kernel. However, after the IPAs, it is hard to switch gears to the stout.

The Kernel is open Saturdays from 9am to 3pm. They are surrounded by a market of food vendors, so it’s a great way to spend your Saturday midday, even if you’re not on a liquid diet.  You can find more information at

In a few weeks time (March 31), The Kernel will be moving to a new location several blocks away. Presently they are about equidistant from London Bridge and Bermondsey tube stops (10 minute walk or so), but the new location looks closer to Bermondsey.

If for some reason you can’t make it out midday Saturday (it is a rather long journey for some of us), try their beers at the Euston Tap (an excellent bar right outside Euston Station) or the Cask Pub & Kitchen in Pimlico.