Beer Review: The Kernel Brewery - Table Beer

  • ABV: 3.2%, Style: Table Beer
  • Brewed in London, UK
  • Best before 6 March 2013
  • Served: 330ml bottle poured into a BrewDog stemmed tulip
  • http://www.thekernelbrewery.com/

The Kernel Brewery - Table Beer

Despite this going out today, I actually wrote this on Christmas Eve. Happy late Christmas everyone. I’ll catch up one day. It’s just amusing that I’m only beating the best before date by a few days on this post. I assure you it was a fresh purchase at the time. I think it was at Greensmiths in London, but I’m not sure. Either way, that’s where I usually get my Kernel and recommend you should too.

Not sure why it’s being sold in 330ml bottles, this is surely a candidate for the 500ml bottles if there ever was one!

Look: Pale golden beer with a slight hop haze. Head  is small and diminishing, there’s no lacing. I must have done a good job of standing it as there appears to be very little floating sediment.

Aroma: Grassy and citrus hop aromas, but obviously not as intense as some of the bigger Kernel beers. There’s biscuits and grain there too.

Taste: It basically tastes like a citrus fruit juice. Tonnes more hop fruitiness than I’d expect in a similar beer, but understandably a little shallow on the finish.

Mouthfeel: A little watery and thin with a dry finish.

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Overall: A light, hoppy ale which would be great served cold on a hot summers day in a pint measure. Although I don’t think I’d be able to stop at one. Very tasty and great in context. 3/5

- 2nd March 2013, Sustainable Alcoholic

Beer Review: Beavertown Brewery - America Fuck Yeah

Beavertown Brewery - America Fuck Yeah

I can’t remember where I heard about this brewery, but the first beer from that I saw in real life was at a deli in St Pancras and that’s where this is from. Maybe it was Kings Cross. I don’t know. It was London, it was a long time ago.

Look: Clear amber with a haze. Head is off white with good lacing

Aroma: Loads of treacle, sugar and booze. The pumpkin spice is as heavy as you’d expect. It smells somehow creamy.

Taste: Rather boozy, but very nice though, not quite as thick as the US pumpkin ales I’ve tried, but fulfilling all my expectations of a cinnamon and nutmeg heavy beer. Good spicing.

Mouthfeel: As described above, a little light bodied, but the carbonation was nice and lively.

Beavertown Brewery - America Fuck Yeah

Overall: Very pleasant pumpkin ale, I’d love to try it again next year. Lets hope a few more UK brewers take up the US staple of the Autumnal pumpkin beer, or I’ll have to brew one myself. 4/5

- 1st March 2013, Sustainable Alcoholic

Beer Review: The Kernel Brewery - Mr Lawrence Anniversary Ale

  • ABV: 5.1%, Style: Pale Ale
  • Brewed in London, UK
  • Best before 28 October 2012
  • Served: 500ml bottle poured into a festival imperial pint shaker
  • http://thekernelbrewery.com/

The Kernel Brewery - Mr Lawrence Anniversary Ale

My friend Sarah picked this bottle up for me from Mr Lawrence, a wine shop in SE4 I’ve never been to. It was in the Timeout list of best beer bottle shops in London so I really should drop in some time, but this time I got a Londoner to do the dirty work for me.

This beer is brewed in honour of the 20th Anniversary of Mr Lawrence. It is a Pale Ale with Chinook and Simcoe but notably it’s got rye in it too. I’ve had the Kernel IPA Rye before but not a Pale Ale with rye so it’s interesting in that regard. I fully expect this to be another high quality, fresh tasting, hop forward pale ale.

Look: Quite pale for a rye beer. Don’t those usually come out red? It’s got a touch more red in it than the usual straw colour that Kernel pale ales tend to have. Quite hazy beer. It has a just off white head which isn’t particularly thick and doesn’t stay around long. Small amount of lacing.

Aroma: Zingy fresh hops - tropical notes like mango. Bread, light biscuit malt and a hint of raisin.

Taste: Big on the citrus and wood resin. Finish is bitter but malty - presumably that’s the rye. It’s a subtlely bitter finish, but keeps on going for what seems like ages.

Mouthfeel: Light carbonation. Very easy to drink.

The Kernel Brewery - Mr Lawrence Anniversary Ale

Overall: Yet another lovely pale ale from the Kernel. I know that I’m starting to sound like a broken record here, but they do make great beers. Recommended. 4.5/5

- 12th October 2012, Sustainable Alcoholic

Beer Review: Brodie’s Beer - Dalston Black IPA

  • ABV: 7%, Style: Black IPA / Cascadian Dark Ale
  • Brewed in London, UK
  • Best before ???
  • Served: 330ml bottle poured into my trusty BrewDog tulip
  • http://brodiesbeers.co.uk/

Brodie's Beer - Dalston Black IPA

As the Black IPA debate rolls on (those links are just from the last 3 days) I’d not tried the Dalston Black IPA before so thought I’d pick up this one from Micro Bar and see how it tasted.

Look: I think Brodie’s might be starting a war with Kernel to see who can offer a bottle with the most sediment. This one was pretty dense down there and despite a week in the fridge, I struggled to pour this one clean. As a result I’ve got murky, dark brown, black beer. The head is tan and so lively that I failed to keep it in the glass. I think that’s the first time that’s happened while I’ve been taking pictures of beer. Bad form.

Aroma: Charcoal, cherries, molasses and something very unsavoury which smells a little like old sweat. There’s a very light hint of off milk at the back there which can be a worrying indication of an infected batch.

Taste: Thankfully there’s no sourness in the taste. It is however, very, very bitter indeed. Dark chocolate underpins the whole thing and really develops in the finish. There’s grapefruit and resin too, but it’s the flat dark chocolate that really stands out to me.

Mouthfeel: Medium to high carbonation. Quite drying.

Brodie's Beer - Dalston Black IPA

Overall: So much bitter chocolate and fruit it’s a bit of a black forest gateaux of a beer. I think though that ultimately it’s a bit too much, the flat bitterness just tramples over everything else and leaves it rather unbalanced. I wouldn’t recommend this as a good example of the style and I don’t think I’d buy it again, it would need a bit more syrupy, malty smoothness to work better for me. 3/5

- 8th September 2012, Sustainable Alcoholic

Beer Review: Brodie’s Beer - London Lager

  • ABV: 4.5%, Style: Premium Lager
  • Brewed in London, UK
  • Best before ???
  • Served: 330ml bottle poured into a BrewDog tulip
  • http://brodiesbeers.co.uk/

Brodie's Beer - London Lager

Micro Bar had some new look Brodie’s bottles in so I picked up a couple. I quite like the new bottle shape and simple labelling, however, this means there’s not much in the way of description. The best before date is meant to be stamped on the cap on the seal label, however, of the bottles I saw, not had been stamped. Considering that I’ve only ever seen 500ml Brodie’s bottles before this, I can safely assume that they’re rather fresh though.

Brodie's Beer - London Lager

Before today I’d never seen or heard of London Lager by Brodie’s. Meantime has a namesake, which is also 4.5%, but from what I remember is far closer in taste to an adjunct macro. However, I’ve only ever had that beer accompanying food at Meat Liquor and the food takes most of the attention in that venue.

Look: Immediately confounds expectations of lager by being a cloudy pale straw coloured beer. Clear white, foamy head that lasts. Very little lacing.

Aroma: Sweet but sharp citrus, so it’s reminiscient of lemonade. A little herbal. Malts very low profile. Not very lagery.

Taste: Intense citrus bitterness right from the start, not much noticable yeast but it’s a touch bready. Good long bitter citrus finish.

Mouthfeel: Lively and frothing, a little dry.

Brodie's Beer - London Lager

Overall: In honesty, it’s not a million miles away from the Kiwi I had at the Old Coffee House, in colour or flavour. The commercial description on this beer says “100% Saaz lager beer. Aged for ten weeks at 5 degrees before being bottled for a smooth taste. You’ll struggle to find a hoppier lager.” I’d be inclined to agree (ignoring Mikkeller’s Danish/American Dream), but frankly, it tastes more like a lively pale ale than a lager. It’s not really refreshing in a way I’d expect a lager to be. However, if you ignore the name of this beer, I think this is a very tasty pale ale. 3.5/5

- 6th September 2012, Sustainable Alcoholic

Beer Review: By The Horns Brewing Co - Stiff Upper Lip

  • ABV: 3.9%, Style: Pale Ale
  • Best before 11 May 2013
  • Brewed in London, UK
  • Served: 330ml bottle poured into a BrewDog tulip
  • http://www.bythehorns.co.uk/

By The Horns - Stiff Upper Lip

I know nothing about this brewery. A glance at the label suggests another new brewery who’ve spent a bit on a designer. While I’m not a huge fan of retro imagery presented in a modern style, it’s a handsome enough label and the yellow crown cap makes the bottle look interesting. I’m curious as to why they’ve bottled a 3.9% pale in a 330ml bottle - something that even the Kernel don’t dare do. I guess I’m about to find out.

Look: Pale orange, cloudy beer. Large two finger deep head. Seems to be quite a lot of bubbles coming from the bottom of the glass, so I’ll expect this one to be a bit effervescent.

Aroma: Cereal malt, rhubarb and slight citrus fruit.

Taste: Starts watery and sour then becomes a little citrus before turning all cereal malt. Finish is a nonedescript lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Chalky, I assume that’s from the sediment, but it’s had a week stood upright in a fridge so there’s not much to be done about that. As fizzy as suspected, watery going down and drying. Worst of all worlds.

By The Horns - Stiff Upper Lip

Overall: Oh god, they’ve got this wrong. Tastes like bad homebrew. Never again. 1/5

- 30th August 2012, Sustainable Alcoholic

Beer Review: The Kernel Brewery - IPA Double SCCANS

  • ABV: 10.1%, Style: Double IPA
  • Best before 14 October 2012
  • Brewed in London, UK
  • Served: 330ml bottle poured into a tulip glass
  • http://thekernelbrewery.com/

Kernel Brewery - IPA Double SCCANS

I went to the new premises for The Kernel a few weeks back and I had a glass of this lovely beer. It’s the double version of SCCANS (Simcoe, Columbus, Citra, Amarillo, Nelson Sauvin) so it should have a lot of fruitiness and bitterness.

Look: Golden orange colour cloudy beer. Sparse head which dissipates quickly. Good lacing. No sediment in the beer.

Aroma: Soft fruit, bready yeast, orange peel, flowers and loads of booze. Slightly buttery.

Taste: Heavy on the oranges and wood resin. Huge, bitter grapefruit finish that lingers for ages. Not much malt.

Mouthfeel: Round mouthfeel, goes down slickly. Bottle sediment was a bit chalky but that’s to be expected.

Kernel Brewery - IPA Double SCCANS

Overall: Proper American styled double IPA. Bit too warm, but sadly I can’t take it home, chill it and drink it in the comfort of my own home on this visit so it’ll have to do as served. Really nice, and as usual for a Kernel, highly recommended. 4/5

- 3rd August 2012, Sustainable Alcoholic

Beer Review: London Fields Brewery - Motueka IPA

London Fields Brewery - Motueka IPA

Despite being unimpressed with my last two London Fields brews, I’m always a sucker for a single hop IPA that’s over 5% ABV. A few places have been using Motueka recently, so much so that I think I’m going to have to learn how to pronounce it. It is an New Zealand hop with relatively low Alpha Acids (6.5%-7.5%) so I don’t expect it to be overwhelmingly bitter. But let’s see how it goes.

Look: There is a murky, browny, orange shade to this beer with little sediment. Not too fizzy on the pour, the one finger head disappeared pretty quickly. Light lacing.

Aroma: Tropical fruit and loads of orange.

Taste: Starts rather orange, but then there are tropical hint of sourness. It’s not particularly bitter. There is a sort of bitter finish, but not prominent. The finish is mainly a bit of muggy alcohol flavour.

Mouthfeel: Very light carbonation. Overall, it’s a little watery.

London Fields Brewery - Motueka IPA

Overall: Yeah, I should have stuck to my instincts, another London Fields beer that smells like it’s going to have a bit more to it, but again the taste is a real let down.

Perhaps the brewers really like light feeling beers, but I just don’t get it myself. If you’re going to sell your beer on its hoppiness, I think you should back that up with some real bitterness and even out that bitterness with a good malty backbone.

To me this feels like a bit of a claggy pale ale with an off-flavour. 2/5

- 12th July 2012, Sustainable Alcoholic

Beer Review: The Redchurch Brewery - Great Eastern India Pale Ale

Redchurch Brewery - Great Eastern India Pale Ale

Following the Bethnal Pale Ale, I’m quite looking forward to this. 7.4% ABV should mean that it rounds out the slight hollows in the pale ale. Let’s see how we go.

Look: Pale gold, big fluffy head - about 3 fingers - although it quickly died down.

Aroma: Alcohol forward with pine, citrus, lots of sweetness.

Taste: Tropical fruit, citrus. Very light malt. A little bit soapy. Finish is long and grapefruit.

Mouthfeel: Light carbonation. Finish is really very drying indeed - it feels like my tongue is shrinking.

Redchurch Brewery - Great Eastern India Pale Ale

Overall: The similarities in colour, nose and taste with the Bethnal Pale make me think that it’s a very similar recipe and the raised ABV is all sugar. Really disappointing considering how much I’d enjoyed the Bethnal Pale Ale, however, it still has hops and kick so I can’t totally write it off. But I was hoping for so much more. 3/5

- 10th July 2012, Sustainable Alcoholic

Beer Review: The Redchurch Brewery - Bethnal Pale Ale

Redchurch Brewery - Bethnal Pale Ale

I’m sure I had this at the Draft House last year and thought it was really dull. I picked it up from the Crouch End Oddbins along with their India Pale Ale. I figured I’d do one after another to get a better feel for their range.

Look: Cloudy pale orange, fluffy white head. Soft bubbles, retained a little head all the way down with rough lacing.

Aroma: Grassy, floral hops, cereal malt, a bit of pine

Taste: Starts with a light bitterness that grows and grows up to a good mid bitter grapefruit finish. The cereal malts taste a little stale and hollow, but that could be because of the relatively low level of alcohol for a beer with this much hopping.

Mouthfeel: Pin-pick carbonation, a little dry on the finish.

Redchurch Brewery - Bethnal Pale Ale

Overall: This is a really nice light American style pale ale: tangy, bitter and very tasty. Really enjoyed this and will be buying it again soon. I’m also impressed by the nicely minimal labelling even though they are maverick with their use of capital letters, I like the simple labels and harmonious colours. I can also forgive the use of the London place name reference because they don’t seem to be yelling about being from London. This is refreshing following my recent Meantime and London Fields brews. 4/5

- 9th July 2012, Sustainable Alcoholic