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Your Week in Brews

Your Week in Brews

We're celebrating our 8th Birthday at our St Albans shop this Saturday 30th Oct! Come celebrate with The Kernel Brewery tap takeover and Neapolitan style pizza (served 5-9pm) by Peddling Pizza. We'll raise a glass of the Kernel's finest and a slice of tasty Neapolitan to all the lovely customers, memorable moments, and of course exceptional beers that have kept us in the game thus far...
Kernel tap takeover
Pils Vic Secret 5.1% / Pale Ale Motueka El Dorado Taiheke Summit 5.4% / Pale Ale Chinook 5.2% / India Pale Ale Mosaic Citra Galaxy 6.9% / London Brick Rye IPA 7.1% / Belgian Pale Goldings 4.7% / Foeder Beer Taiheke 5% / Bière De Saison Apricot 5.5% / India Double Porter Ekuanot Huell Melon 6.8%
Pale Ale Citra 5.1% / India Pale Ale 4C 6.4% / India Pale Ale Simcoe Amarillo 6.6% / Bière De Saison Pacifica 5.3% / Export India Porter Columbus Chinook 5.9%
• • •
If you can't make it over to St Albans this Saturday, on Tuesday 2nd Nov at Hitchin we're hosting Jonny Garrett's 'A Year In Beer' book launch tour event (pours of his four collab beers and discussion).
Jonny Garrett

Tickets can be bought at our Hitchin store. Alternatively get in touch with us.

• • •

In other news, there's a whole lot of Kernel just landed in bottle, the typical array of fussy liquids in pretty tins, and a notable expansion of our natural wines all to follow.

The Kernel Brewery

The Kernel's pales have long been a delightful way to highlight hops against a background of simple malted barley and what we have long suspected is a largely US-05 (yeast) based fermentation. This stock up includes a Pale Ale Citra 5.1%, Simcoe 5.3%, Chinook Vic Secret 5.3%, Mosaic Amarillo Simcoe 5.2%, & the hopefully dank Mosaic Columbus 5.4%.

There's also this year's take on India Pale Ale 4Cs 6.4%, a Simcoe, Amarillo 6.6%, Galaxy Nelson Sauvin 7%, & and a return of the famed London Brick - an annually brewed Rye IPA that typically blends elements of English Red Ales with flavours/aromas borrowed from American West Coast hoppy beers.

Two Bière De Saison 330ml bottles are joining the rest of our expansive wild, sour and funky offering. Quince normally delivers perry like qualities having refermented on the golden, pear-like fruit. The Apricot on the other hand nods decidedly towards a certain, notorious fruited geuze (unsurprising given the series borrows a little of the Senne Valley terroir in a convoluted way). Either of these aged/ blended beers are perfect for anyone into fruity rustic complexity.

And then there's the widely acclaimed dark beers. The Kernel loosely borrows from old Truman Brewery & Barclay Perkins recipes, breathing life into old London beer traditions, as the names allude. We've restocked on their Export India Porter Columbus Chinook 5.9%, Dry Stout Taiheke 4.4%, and the infrequent release of Export Stout Damson 7.1% - the latter bringing some tartness to the table!

There is of course a few bottles left over of their sour and dark beer from the last delivery, so don't worry we've still got the impenetrably black Imperial Brown Stout London 1856 - and it is the season for it...

Hot drops & hype tins

Track continue to release new beers at an astonishing rate with the most sensible this week being Truly Likely So 5.5%, a Citra & Zappa (new herbal & spicy kid on the block) hopped 5.5% NEPA. Floating Moment 8% NEDIPA opts for Citra Cryo, Nelson Sauvin, & Amarillo for a tropical citrus vibe, minus the gold-top lactose additions. But Welcome To The Neighbourhood 10%, a WCTIPA in collaboration with Cloudwater (celebrating the new Track site opening up just opposite), is what we're here for. 100% Pilsner malt - crispy - with a concoction of hops intended to punch out some hefty orange, pine & peach flavours. They've got a proven record with that sort of thing!

On the topics of West Coast & Cloudwater, the Manchester brewer has reproduced their 4% WC Pale Ale, Clear Break. They've also released Inner Realm, 6% NEIPA taking the exclusively NZ hopped concept of Somewhere Within and appearing to dial up the dry and grassy freshness in the tweaked recipe.

Anyway, we're not done with West Coast hype. Duration have been at it too, collaborating with Left Handed Giant on Catching the Big Fish 6.3%. Another standalone beer among our stock this week, Odyssey will be in the fridges once more with The Dawn 6% NEIPA using Simcoe, Azacca, Cryo Simcoe, Cryo Ekuanot.

DEYA Steady Rolling Man 5.2%, Glue 6.5% & Saturated In Strata 8% have also all returned to push the balance of haze versus non-haze back towards the former. And to round-up the freshies, a revelation!

Polly's have been making beer for a few years now and somehow, unbelievably, haven't used Nelson Sauvin! That has changed with the advent of single hop Culture Shock DDHNEPA 5.5%. The Mold team have also re-released Does It Matter How Far 7.2% DDHNEIPA led by 20kg of Citra per litre followed by half as much repeatedly of Mosaic, Centennial & Sabro - their pyramid method of dry hopping, evidently good enough to revisit.

Natural wines

A notable number of customers in-store have made remarks recently about the amount and the rate at which our wine selection has grown. They're not wrong, the world of minimal intervention wines throws all kinds of interesting bottles at us from seemingly all corners of the globe, all the time!

Let's start a brief overview with funky red Serbian wine - Strekov 1075 Fred #8. It's made using 30 % Blauer Portugieser 2020/ 50% Alibernet 2019/ 20 % Dunaj 2020, grapes grown locally in Szerémség, some of which are probably unfamiliar for good reason. Described as being a juicy, medium red with a touch of funk.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Pinot Blanc Nature 2020 produced by Domaine Durrmann in the French Alsace region is about as rustic as white wine comes, made on a really small scale using a blend of Pinot Blanc & Auxerrois varietals. The wine undergoes a totally spontaneous fermentation and comes out the other side with distinctly zingy citrus notes and complex orchard fruit character.

As for choosing an orange wine to highlight, how better to narrow down the field than to select for something both moreish, sensibly priced, and packaged by the litre - and not Calcarius Nu Litr Orange as we go on about that for its drinkability far too often. We'll however stick with Italy, specifically Tuscany. Antonio Camillo's Tutti I Giorni Bianco 2020 is made from a blend of 70% Trebbiano, 20% Malvasia, 10% Ansonica grapes from vines that are approaching half a century in age. Lemon, herbs and enjoyable minerality are all things that'll come to mind when sipping on this casually indulgent table wine.

In the mood for subverting expectations? How about a German Rosé from Pfalz using Portugieser grapes that bears little resemblance to typical Rosé, being earthy, dry and savoury? Weingut Brand's Wild Rose 2019 is just one of three bottles we recently picked up from the interesting wine making family.

And we can't round off without hitting the bubbles. Black Mountain, Herefordshire wine producer, makes a most rare thing in its Col Fondo Red 2020 using a blend of young and vintage wines to achieve refermentation in a manner that'll be familiar to anyone keen on their geuze style Lambic blends. Also, fizzy red wine with fruit salad and rustic perry character sounds sensational to us - a strong contender for festive season sharing!

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