Brewery visits can mean a lot of things. There are large industrial breweries where you get a standard tour to watch bottles and crates flash past at incredible speed. There are old breweries which may have a museum or a cozy brewery tap with their most interesting brews. There are micros in wastelands of concrete and parking lots where there ain’t much of an interest. And there are micros that blend into the local community, cooperating with other small-scale producers and traders.
The Kernel Brewery in South London is one of the new micros established over the last year or two, and they seem to be present in bars and shops all over London at the moment. They brew an ever-changing range of beers, and if you want to try as many as possible, there is one place to go. The brewery is open for business on Saturdays. You can buy their bottled beers to take home, but you may also try kegged or bottled beers on the spot. There are a few tables and benches, there are a few deli counters with cheese, hams and sausages. Open every Saturday 9-3.
The location? Half a mile or so east of London Bridge Station/Borough Market. The address is 98 Druid Street, but the entrance is at the back, though the railway arches. Very close to Tower Bridge.
A quiet and civilized oasis, particularly compared to the frenzy of Borough Market.
The beers? Pale ales, IPAs, porters and stouts. Quite a few single hop beers.
I tried the Centennial Chinook Pale Ale on tap. Hazy gold, lots of malty body, a hop showcase without getting too extreme. Bittersweet with black pepper and mint.
If I didn’t have other things scheduled, I’d be happy to stay until closing time.