Trends can often spread like wildfire amongst Beer Bloggers; the way we communicate with each other constantly and our eagerness to share new finds with each other means simply that if your beer is good, it will be known across the land in a very short space of time.
Brewery of the moment is undoubtedly The Kernel. Although 'Trend' might be the wrong word to use, please don't think I'm attaching negative connotations to the term; The Kernel have produced the most exciting beer over the past year - simple as that.
What makes their beer so damn good? If I had to coin one word, it would be freshness. Or maybe vitality. Their beers are so uniformly vibrant in flavour (something Evin touches upon further down), and the flavours so clean, well balanced, that I seriously can't think of a brewer with a stronger portfolio right now. Even the branding works; simple to the point of unassuming, modern and yet all-purpose. When lining them up to take pictures for this feature, the design - geek in me was very pleased indeed.
Over the next few days I'll be letting you know what I thought of their beers, but I did manage to pin Evin down for a little intro.
Despite being quite possibly one of the nicest blokes I've ever spoken to, he spent years selling cheese and trying to write a phD on Samuel Beckett. However, homebrewing soon took over (as it does), and The Kernel was born. When I asked him what inspires him to brew, he said: 'Flavour. Does that mean anything? The fact that there is this world of flavour to explore, and share. To get people to taste things, and to learn to trust their own tastebuds. To experience flavour'.
He's spot on of course; brewers - like chefs, cooks, piemakers, butchers, chocolatiers - are sensualists at heart. It's nice to hear that sort of statement coming from a brewer; surprisingly it doesn't happen that often. He doesn't believe in an all-time-greatest beer either, simply stating: 'The world is too full of wonder and beauty to limit yourself to favourites.'
The Kernel are busy; according to their site there's a collaboration with Redemption which which will be bottled for Kernel and Casked for Redemption. In fact, looking down their news section reads for a collaboration overload; Square Mile Coffee, ZeroDegrees, Glyn from The Rake, Saints & Sinners, Phil Lowry, and Dark Star have all had the pleasure of a day's brewing with Evin.
Anyway - this is just an intro. If you've not tried any of their beers (and there can't be that many of us now, surely) then consider it a beginner's guide. For more behind -the-scenes action, you can check out fellow Leodensian Ghost Drinker's excellent post here.