U.S. and British Craft Styles are perfect mix of UK Brewery
Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin said, “What people don’t realize is that professionals are sensational because of the fundamentals. The sensationalism has taken over the professionalism.”
He was talking about sports, but the same could easily be said for the U.S. craft beer scene. Trendily hyper-bitter, rich, and sour flavor profiles are often overzealously pursued by new brewers in search of superlatives. They go straight to the experimentation phase without mastering the fundamentals.
At the other end of the spectrum is the U.K. network of brewers, which hews to a specific dogma of orthodox brewing practices. Beer is brewed there, in large part, the way it has been brewed for hundreds of years.
Enter the Kernel, a London brewery aimed at producing beer that is neither basic nor gimmicky. “We have taken a lot of inspiration from the States because of that lack of dogma,” said Kernel’s head-brewer and founder, Evin O’Riordan. “On the other hand, the English tradition, in its strength, provides a framework.”
Established in 2009, the best-of-both-worlds operation brews out of an old railway arch near London Bridge. The pocket of Bermondsey in which it’s situated resembles a farmer’s market on Saturdays, when a miscellany of small, artisanal businesses collectively open doors to the public. “We’ve got a couple of coffee-roasters, two or three butchers, a baker, jam, cheese, cheese, cheese, three or four wine importers,” said Evin. “So that’s our ‘family.’” The Kernel’s contribution to this family dynamic has yielded some of London’s very most sought-after beer, appearing on the menus of such top London restaurants as Yotam Ottolenghi’s Nopi.