A good mix of brewers, regulars and bloggers were in attendance. I include the usual 'pap' shot of Young Dredge
The event attracted a good mix of regulars, tickers, bloggers and brewers, and the first firkin kicked within about 90 minutes of opening. Luckily a second cask was ready and consumption continued seamlessly.
There have been a few beers of this style knocking about over the autumn and winter, and I've been keen to try as many as I could find. The British cask versions seem to have a pleasing balancing sweetness in the mouth, rather than masses of dark malt bitterness wrestling with the assertive hopping. Standout for me have been The Conqueror from Windsor & Eton (me thinking they were a brown beer merchant - what do I know?), and the collaborations between Thornbridge and Dark Star (Thornstar), and Fyne Ales (Fynebridge). The latter had been my favourite, but the Kernel pushed it very hard. Definite Top Two.
A big hop nose under a tight white creamy head gave way to a mouthful of red fruit and roast coffee, with a long bitter finish. The fruit was less noticeable in the beer from the second cask, and the mouthfeel was silky smooth. Those who'd tried both said the bottle was better, so I've got some to drink now and one to sit on. I want to see how it changes once the hops attenuate.
Kernel was my brewery of 2010, and other bloggers picked up on the high quality of their beers in the Golden Pints. Coming up is an Imperial Marzen (brewed with Mark Tranter from Dark Star), and the whisper is an Oyster Stout made with your actual bivalve mollusc might be found at Wright Bros. in Stoney Street. Evin has quickly built a following for his beers and hasn't disappointed. It's surely a no-brainer to forecast a successful 2011.