The Kernel’s New Premises
Unless you obsessively follow London brewery news, you might have missed that from March 31, the Kernel Brewery is trading from their new premises. It’s still under a railway arch in Bermondsey, but a bit further east than the previous location (and closer to Bermondsey tube station rather than London Bridge) – and the neighbours are still the same, as they’ve moved along with Kernel, which means you can still get meat from The Butchery and cheese and cold cuts from The Ham and Cheese Company to go with your beer (other nearby traders include The Little Bread Pedlar, Coleman Coffee Roasters, and The London Honey Company).
The new digs are significantly roomier with more tables and inside space for visitors/drinkers, and it seems like they will regularly offer two or three beers on tap every Saturday alongside the bottle range (on opening day, there was Pale Ale Citra Columbus, India Pale Ale Motueka and India Pale Ale Black Rye on keg – all wonderful, of course). Can one perhaps hope for more tasting events and similar things to make optimal use of the new space? Kernel has hosted such events in the past so it seems a distinct possibility.
I had a chance to speak briefly to Evin O’Riordan, founder and brewmaster at Kernel about what the move will mean for them (and for us Kernel fans!). Obviously, the greater capacity will mean that Kernel can now supply more bars, pubs and retailers with beer – but demand still far outweighs supply, and there is still a waiting list of people who want to sell the beers (the best chance to get the beers, and to get them fresh, is of course to go down to the brewery on a Saturday – that way you won’t miss any of the new releases!). In terms of new stuff, Evin said that they don’t plan to do too much experimentation as they’ve now arrived at a range of beers they like (that said, Evin’s standards for what “limited experimentation” means might be different from us mere mortals – you can still expect to see an impressive range of single hop IPAs and Pale Ales as well as mixed-hop ones, alongside massive double/imperial IPAs and big stouts and porters) – but there are still some new things in the pipeline. For example, we will probably see some sour beers (lambic/geuze) from Kernel in the future – you heard it here first! “We can brew it, just stick it in a barrel, and leave it for a while”, as Evin put it “And it’s all we drink at the brewery nowadays, except our own beers!”. Anyone else totally excited by the prospect of Kernel taking on sour ales? I know I am.
So do come down on a Saturday and see what the new place is about. I predict that come spring and summer, this place will be heaving, despite the distinctly un-hip industrial estate surroundings.