If The Kernel were a winery, they’d be a first growth. In a very competitive craft beer market, they are still making astonishingly good stand-out beers. This is another great example.
The Kernel India Pale Ale 5NZ
Fresh but rounded and smooth with nice concentration and harmony. There’s nice hoppy, spicy, passionfruit and grapefruit character, sitting beautifully in the midst of a smooth but not intrusive malt base. The alcohol adds a bit of depth and smoothness, too. Such a lovely beer. 8.5/10
Stone are a famous craft brewery. They began life in San Diego back in 1996, and from relatively humble beginnings they are now the eighth largest craft brewery in the USA. They have also opened a brewery in Berlin, and this beer is made there.
Stone Go To IPA
Brewed in Berlin, this is an extremely hoppy but sessionable IPA. Pale in colour, it’s quite dry and tart with some herbal, slightly earthy hoppy characters and relatively restrained tropical/pine notes on the nose. It’s bright, focused and has some bite on the palate. Quite savoury in character, it’s nice without being stunning. Lacks a bit of harmony, but there’s definitely plenty of bite here. 7.5/10
And here’s another note from a few months ago:
Stone Go To IPA
Brewed in Berlin. A session IPA with plenty of hops. This has a lovely aroma of herbs, spices and some tropical fruit, with just a hint of pine. There’s freshness on the palate: really hoppy with nice bitter bite, but also some sweetness and a lovely fruity balance. Finishes dry but not drying. Exotic and appealing, and very nicely balanced. 8/10
The Yeastie Boys are a leading Kiwi craft brewery. The ‘boys’ are Stu McKinlay and Sam Possenniskie, and they’ve been making beer since the late noughties from their base in Wellington (though the beers are actually commercially brewed down at the tip of South Island in Invercargill). These beers are now seen in the UK also, although these are UK-brewed (by Brewdog). They taste just as good. This beer was purchased and drunk in New Zealand.
Yeastie Boys Digital IPA
Focused and citrussy with orange peel, grapefruit and spice. Clean malt character provides a neutral background for the vital, hoppy spicy notes to play. Very refreshing and complex. Finishes quite dry. This is a really nicely balanced, complex, flavoursome and refreshing IPA. 8.5/10
This is nice. It’s from Hearthstone, a new brewery from Vancouver’s north shore. It’s simply packaged, in a tall can, and it manages to carry off the west coast, hoppy IPA thing really well.
Hearthstone Brewery India Pale Ale, Vancouver, Canada
95 IBU. Amarillo and El Dorado hops. This has beautiful floral aromatics of green tea, passionfruit, pine needles and fine herbs, with just a touch of malty sweetness. It’s certainly in the fresher spectrum of IPAs. The palate has some sweetness, too, from the alcohol, and it meshes together nicely, with lovely detail and complexity, and attractive resiny/pine-like bitterness keeping the palate focused. A good example of a more hoppy IPA that also shows great balance. 8.5/10
This is an interesting beer from Brewdog. ‘Born to Die’ is a fresh, hoppy IPA, with a date on it. It’s a heavily whirlpool and dry-hopped beer, and the idea is that it should be drunk fresh. The inspiration for this came from San Diego brewer Stone, with their ‘Enjoy By…’ series of beers. They are released as special batches with the idea being that they should be consumed within the month. This is a really lovely beer.
Brewdog Born to Die Terminally Hoppy IPA 04.11.2016
I missed the drink by date by 2 days, but this is still a lovely beer. It’s a gold colour, and has beautiful aromas of spice, grapefruit, cut grass and passionfruit. The palate has sweet tropical notes hemmed in by lovely spicy citrus notes, with orange peel and herbs and a lovely tangy bitterness. There’s some richness, but not as much as you’d expect from the alcohol level. This has real complexity and delightful, balanced hoppy bitterness, and it’s more restrained than you’d expect, and better for it. So fresh. 9/10
I’m currently sitting in The Yeatman, looking over the river to Porto, and drinking a craft beer from the city. This is delicious and a bit different. Cervejas Sovina is the first Portuguese craft brewery I’ve come across, and this is a delicious beer that’s a sort of English/American hybrid in style.
Sovina IPA Cerveja Artesanal, Portugal
Golden bronze in colour, with nice grippy, spicy hoppy notes complementing a rich malt core. There’s a savoury, earthy, herby edge to the palate which shows some bitter hoppy character but also a trace of more exotic fruity notes, too. Tangy, spicy finish is really refreshing. I’d say this is more English in its flavour profile but more American in its intensity and richness. 8/10
Thornbridge are one of the UK’s most exciting breweries. They’re based in Derbyshire, and the brewery started life in the grounds of Thornbridge Hall in 2005. Things grew, and now their main site is a modern brewery in Bakewell, although the original brewery is still operational for smaller brews and experimental batches.
This, the Jaipur IPA, showcases their expertise. It’s a seriously interesting beer, with plenty of hoppy complexity, but also lovely balance and freshness. It’s wonderfully consistent, too. And widely available (Waitrose stock it, for example).
Thornbridge Jaipur IPA
Very fresh and linear with lovely bright citrus fruitiness, coupled with intense, direct piney happiness, as well as some attractive floral notes. Citrus peel and dried herbs, too. It’s a really zippy, refreshing style of IPA which carries its considerable hop load really well. 8.5/10
Here I taste the Punk IPA from noted Scottish Craft Brewery Brewdog. We’ve only previously reviewed one of their beers here, which is a bit of an omission. This, their most popular beer, can now be widely found. See what I made of it here:
The Yeastie Boys are a leading Kiwi craft brewery and I ran into this in a bar in Blenheim, the country’s wine capital. The boys are Stu McKinlay and Sam Possenniskie, and they’ve been making beer since the late noughties from their base in Wellington (though the beers are actually commercially brewed down at the tip of South Island in Invercargill),
This particular beer is brewed with the addition of Earl Grey Blue Flower tea, and the result is thoroughly intriguing and quite delicious.
Yeastie Boys Gunnamatta Tea Leaf IPA
This India Pale Ale has some Earl Grey tea added. It’s powerful rich and malty with a lovely spicy bite. Hoppy and exotic with bass from the malt and warm herby notes, combined with lively spice characters. 8/10