Food & Drink

Craft beer: The Kernel's Export India Porter and Brett Pale Ale

The Kernel's Export India Porter could easily stray in the Black IPA category
The Kernel's Export India Porter could easily stray in the Black IPA category

US HIT comedy Schitt's Creek gave us many things, not least among them the chance to see Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara on top of their game.

It also spawned many unforgettable lines, among them "I like the wine, not the bottle". For the week that’s in it, this line became a motto for the LGBT+ community in the wake of the show, but it also taught us a lesson about trying to define the contents of a bottle/person/book based on a name or label.

For wine, also see beer - as applying a name to a beer often doesn’t really tell the whole story.

Take The Kernel’s Export India Porter, for example. Here is a beer which pours a black colour with a tan head and clocks in at 5.7 per cent.

It’s nominally a porter, but given the brewing method and final flavours, there’s more to it than that.

True, there are some roasty aromas and some smooth coffee and chocolate flavours. However, it is in the hopping stage where things start to get interesting.

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This is one of Kernel’s stable beers, but depending on the batch, the hops used can vary and the method used is akin to how they make their pale ales and IPAs.

Dry hopping and late hop addition mean this porter can boast some fruity flavours and a sharp, bitter finish. It’s a beautifully rounded beer.

They could conceivably label it as a black IPA and no-one would bat an eyelid.

The Kerne's Brett Pale Ale
The Kerne's Brett Pale Ale

On the other end of the scale (although maybe not that far over) is Kernel’s Brett Pale Ale with Mosiac and Taiheke hops.

This one clocks in at 4.4 per cent and pours a light amber colour with a fluffy white head. The use of a brett yeast strain adds to that frothy top but also gives it an almost creamy smoothness, which offsets some of the sharper hop flavours.

Taiheke in particular is a New Zealand hop, which brings strong and sharp citrus flavours but also a tangy hint which goes well with the funky yeast.

There are sweet, stone fruit flavours too, with pear drop flavours from the ester of the yeast, before a clean and dry bitter finish.

It’s a light enough beer with a little bit of funkiness to keep it interesting .