Podcast Episode 336: Reimagining London Porter and Stout with the Kernel’s Evin O’Riordain

From their South London outpost in the arches beneath a bustling elevated railway, the Kernel has embraced London brewing history with a craft ethos—respecting and referencing tradition while thoughtfully building their own identifiable, modern, hop-forward character.

Jamie Bogner Dec 22, 2023 - 6 min read

Podcast Episode 336: Reimagining London Porter and Stout with the Kernel’s Evin O’Riordain Primary Image

Photo: Joe Stange

Subscribe to the Craft Beer & Brewing Podcast:

The Kernel founder Evan O’Riordain embodies a few interesting contrasts—he’s an Irishman in London committed to shining a light on the city’s own dark beer past, and he’s a brewer in Britain who caught the craft bug after experiencing hop-forward beers in the United States—but it’s this dynamic range that drives and defines Kernel today. History is important, yet no modern techniques or ingredients are off the table, as the beers they make respect and reference the past without dogmatically recreating them. There’s no such thing as textual accuracy when ingredients have changed so much over the past 100 years. Every act of recreating an old recipe from original text is an act of interpretation, and what matters most now is connecting that past to where drinkers are today.

Over the past decade and a half, O’Riordain has focused particular energy on stout and porter, and we focus on that in this episode. Along the way, he covers:

  • embracing hops as a defining creative angle
  • helping rekindle London’s dark beer lineage
  • interpreting historical stout and porter recipes
  • using brown malt as a main signifier of “London flavor”
  • debunking the idea that British beers are less bitter
  • the history of East India porter
  • using whole-leaf hops for texture in dark and pale beers
  • fermenting historical styles with London and California ale yeast strains

And more.

This episode is brought to you by:

G&D Chillers
For years G&D Chillers has chilled the beers you love, partnering with 3,000+ breweries across the country. They are proud of the cool partnerships they’ve built – offering 24/7 service and support. G&D builds with non-proprietary parts, expert craftsmanship and constant innovation! G&D’s in-house Engineering crew have been piping breweries, wineries, and distilleries for over 30 years. They offer FREE piping design and consultation with the sale of every chiller they build. Reach out for a quote today at gdchillers.com or call to discuss your next project.

BSG horizontal Primary logo EC3400 12284B 200px
Sponsored by BSG and their partners HVG, who bring you the very best in German hops. Including Amira, the latest from their hop Breeding Program. With its classic hoppy, slightly herbal, and zesty lemon aromas it’s the ideal hop for those looking to capture the traditional flavor of a classic German lager. Visit BSGCraftbrewing.com to learn more.

Old Orchard logo 200px
Scheduling freight carriers should be the last thing on a brewer's mind, so why not trust the experts to handle freight for your ingredients? Old Orchard has partnered with a leading logistics firm in the craft beverage industry to transport your flavored craft concentrate blends. When you order two pails or more from Old Orchard, you qualify for freight quotes. To get started, head over to oldorchard.com/brewer.

ProBrew Logo 200px
ProBrew is excited to announce that we are currently featuring short lead times, between 2-4 weeks, for our in-stock ProFill Rotary Can Fillers! These can fillers run at speeds between 100 – 600+ cans per minute while achieving precise and consistent filling volumes not achievable by most inline and mobile fillers. For more information, fill out our contact form on www.probrew.com or email [email protected] to learn exactly how we can take your operations to the next level. ProBrew, brew YOUR beer.

Oh you like wildly aromatic IPAs and tropical lagers? Good thing Omega designed Thiolized yeast for just that reason. Thiolized yeast are a new tool for brewers to bring intense guava and passionfruit aromas out of your malt and hops. And wait, there’s more! Omega Yeast makes yeast-to-order with a consistent one week lead time ensuring peak freshness and reliability.

Brewers, are you looking for the best beer, mead, and cider recipes on the planet? Join the American Homebrewers Association to unlock the 2023 National Homebrew Competition medal-winning recipes! American Homebrewers Association members have access nearly 1,400 trusted and tested recipes, plus a Zymurgy® magazine subscription, exclusive discounts, live webinars, instruction videos, and more! Plus, sign up for a membership by December 31, 2023 and select a free brewing book—a $25 value. Learn more at HomebrewersAssociation.org/cbbpod

Building a brewery requires coordination: equipment, supplies, funding, and more. It's enough to overwhelm any savvy brewer. Lotus Beverage Alliance simplifies the process, offering all the elements for your business in one place. Need an ally for your brewing venture? Their team of engineers, brewery consultants, and financial advisors are here to help. With Lotus on your side, you can focus on what you do best: brewing exceptional beverages. Lotus Beverage Alliance

Jamie Bogner is the Cofounder and Editorial Director of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine®. Email him at [email protected].