Category Archives: Feature
Now that Kernel’s new brewery is fully up and running (including a snazzy new bottling plant!), what does that mean for the beers? Well, first of all it means that a wider range of Kernel beers are now available at any given time, which it nice. Second, it seems to mean that some great beers that were only available intermittently are now available more or less all the time – so far I’ve had no trouble scoring Imperial Brown Stout London 1858 and Export Stout London 1890 on every brewery visit, for example. This is also nice. Third, it means that Kernel’s sour beer programme has officially started – though the first sour has yet to be released, and it’s going to be a very small batch, possibly available at the brewery only. Stay tuned for details. Here follows some capsule reviews of recently-sampled Kernel brews, all from the new brewery.
I had this glorious plan that I would live-blog from the recent Copenhagen Beer Celebration, with several updates per day, lots of pictures… but I was too busy drinking beer, and hanging out with great brewers and fellow beer geeks from around the world. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, as they say. In fact, ever since I’ve come home I’ve actually wrestled with how to actually approach writing about CBC, as it was so massive, so good, so filled with beer (43 samples in two days at the festival – then there was Sour & Bitter, our night at Fermentoren, the 20+ bottles I bought at Ølbutikken and Barleywine and that my Norwegian colleague brought me) that I have had trouble digesting it all (no pun intended) and wrap my head and my tastebuds around the whole thing. So in the end I decided to take the easy way out and do a couple of CBC-related lists – because we all love lists, right?
I’m an avid follower of Pumpclip Parade, a blog that collects, as they put it “Aesthetic Atrocities From The World Of Real Ale” – pumpclips and beer labels that are in such poor taste and with such horrible artwork/design that it is enough to put you off drinking for the rest of the night. Or week. I was therefore happy (in a watching-a-train-wreck kind of way) to be able to contribute what is possibly the worst and most offensive label art I’ve ever seen to the blog in question. Head on over and check out the horror – there’s no way I’m posting it here.
I would normally be reluctant to plug particular beer shop sites on the blog (I use several of them and they all have their strengths and weaknesses), but this I feel has the character of a public service message. I’ve remarked before that I’m sorry Swedish craft beer is not widely available (or available at all) in the UK, so I was very pleased to discover that Beers of Europe had a number of beers from renowned Swedish craft brewery Nils Oscar among their new releases for May. EDIT: just found out that BeerRitz also have the same Nils Oscar beers in stock. Nils Oscar was founded in 2006 which makes it quite an established player on the Swedish craft beer scene. They’re based in Nyköping, around 60 miles southwest of Stockholm, and they also have a distillery where they produce small-batch, craft aqvavit.
If you read my last post, you’ll know that I’m not drinking any (alcoholic) beer for this month. But, as I also said in my last post, that doesn’t mean I can’t buy beer. So I ordered a case from Summer Wine Brewery, very much one of the breweries of the moment – so far I’ve tried their Diablo IPA, their Lime & Coriander Saison, and their Teleporter Ten Malt Porter, and I’ve liked them all. Their mail order service is swift: I ordered the bottles on the 12th and had them delivered after the weekend, on the 17th.
From left to right, you have their Cohort Double Black Rye Belgian IPA, KopiKat Imperial Coffee Vanilla Stout, Reaper Red IPA, Diablo IPA, Maelstrom Double IPA, and the Teleporter Ten Malt Porter. The perceptive of you will note that one bottle of the Teleporter is missing; I gave this to my father-in-law and it got his resounding approval. I can’t wait to have mine!
Also: If you are in London, there are quite a number of Summer Wine beers on tap at the Craft Beer Company at the moment. Head over and have a taste – this is one brewery that lives up to the hype!
So here it is: I’m off the sauce for 30 days. This is the kind of thing that might pose problems for a beer blogger, but it is what it is. I’m going to the Copenhagen Beer Celebration on May 11-12, and attending the warm-up beer ticker wet dream event Sour & Bitter on the 10th, and I just know that there are going to be MANY beers I want to sample. So I decided to detox but good for a month before what already promises to be the big beer event of the year. I also joined the gym (and I’m going, too – three or four times a week). I’m basically a walking turn-your-life-around cliché. But don’t worry, it’s only for a month. I’ll be back to my beer-swilling, sedentary ways in no time, you’ll see.
This preamble is to explain my newfound interest in non-alcoholic beer. Most non-alcoholic beers I’ve had coming from the big brands (Becks Blue and the like) have been universally awful and I’ve often found myself missing the Swedish tradition of lättöl (literally light beer, which are very-low-ABV beers that can often be surprisingly flavourful). So when I made my most recent trip to Utobeer to pick up some bottles of Hardknott‘s limited release Æther Blæc 2011 (hey, I said I wouldn’t drink, that doesn’t mean I can’t buy beer) I asked them what kind of non-alcoholic brews they had to offer. I came away with one bottle of Erdinger Alkoholfrei (which came highly recommended) and one bottle of Schneider Mein Alkoholfreies (Tap 3) (which was also recommended but not as highly) – in other words, two non-alcoholic wheat beers. So brace yourselves, folks, for London Beer Blog’s first non-alcoholic beer review!
Thank you for this, Jonas! The Monk’s Café Russian Imperial Porter (the middle bottle with the dude on it) I’ll save for a double tasting as I have the 2010 edition as well. Really looking forward to the Sigtuna East River Spring Lager now that spring’s here, a flavourful lager is an essential part of summer. And as always I’m excited about the Mohawk Oxymoron Black IPA as Mohawk quickly has established itself as one of Sweden’s leading craft brewers, specializing in small-batch, quite experimental stuff.