There's something about the first beer after a long shift, especially when you've not had one in four days, that really makes you sit back and just say aaaaahhhhh! I'm not sure what this says about myself or how much I like beer, but I was definitely craving one today. I've not had some Meantime beers in a while. One of my fondest memories of my introduction to good beer was sharing my fair share of bottles of Meantime IPA (75cl) round the poker table in college with some of my good friends.
We've just acquired some new bottles in the shop from Meantime and I think it's pretty safe to say that the makeover they've received has been well received! Meantime has always had a knack for producing beers in packaging that's well designed, but these ones look just that bit extra special, I couldn't help but write about them.
Meantime London Lager;
Aromas: Light lemon, pale straw malts - reminds me of a few pilsners I've tried in the past.
Tastes: Starts with sweet malts, clean, crisp, refreshing - it ticks all the bases. A pleasant drying finishes leaving a moorish malt flavour in the mouth making you want the next sip before you've put the glass down.
Overall: a beer showcasing the best of Kentish hops and East Anglian malted barley. At 4.5% this little bottle of the fizzy stuff will be much better to get down you than any other commercial lager out there. It's not a hop bomb. It's not going to blow you away with it's IBUs or alcoholic content. But it's not meant to, it's a London Lager - and that's all it should, and needs to be.
Meantime London Pale Ale;
Aromas: Light sherbet, grassy and an inviting citrus fruit appeal.
Tastes: Initially, lots of orange rind bitterness. Grassy, slightly floral. A little melon fruitiness and a mineral quality. Clean malts and a hint of earthy hops.
Overall: Although it has a good carbonation to it, the head seems to disappear almost immediately. At 4.3% it comes across rather light, but very easy going. Goldings and Cascade hops used in this brew that "embraces London's past as the brewing capital of the world." London Pale Ale; it certainly is!
I think it's easy to try beers these days and compare them to your favourite beer ever. A few people might try these two and say they don't like them because they're not hoppy enough, they're not strong enough or rare enough. I think maybe we're a little spoilt today, with the range of beers out there, and brewers trying to push the boundaries, that we could have lost a bit of the magic about what beer really should be - a pleasurable experience. Meantime and these beers do a very good job of bringing us back down to earth to enjoy good, well crafted and enjoyable beers... and they're pretty tasty to me too! (and a bargain at £1.49 a pop!)
I think the art work on them is excellent. You can't really get a great image from the photos, so you'll just have to get out there, buy a couple, and see for yourself.