Big Hop Bombs: India Pale Ale, Meantime, London, England

I picked up a couple of big format bottles of Meantime beers at some point in my travels last year. I needed a Stonch-like moment to try this micro from the centre of the known universe like the one from last March when he tried this beer on an English spring afternoon. Apparently, this first Wednesday evening in February with a blizzard coming was it.

The brewery has given me some confidence that this beer is fit for the Big Hop Bomb category, if we go by this description on their website:

Jam packed with English Fuggles and Goldings, the beer is brewed with as many hops as we can physically get into the copper. We then fill the lauter tun with hops for a further infusion and then we dry hop with the beer with even more hops using our own unique circulation process to ensure maximum contact between the hops and the body of the beer. All this gives us a final hopping rate of well over 2lbs of hops per barrel.

What a gorgeous beer. Orange straw ale under a rich cream mousse head. French bread and herbed lemon curd nose. Very rich and one has visions of slow roasting chickens that have soaked whole in a bucket of this. Plenty of hop floaties like I last saw in a Founder’s Harvest ale. A succession of quickly changing hop effects spark. None burn like in a big US IPA but there are garden bitter greens, tangerine zest and something like licorice. The body is lighter than a full throttle DIIPA, say, but there is plenty of mildy apple and sultana raisin pale malt balancing this 7.5% brew. A bit of arugula to dry the lightly sweet malt finish. Big BA support.

One thought on “Big Hop Bombs: India Pale Ale, Meantime, London, England”

  1. [Original comments…]

    Fatman – February 7, 2008 5:26 am
    Lovely beer indeed. Just don’t believe the guff that it’s the only IPA in England. Ramsgate & Dark Star have been brewing them for years.

    E.S. Delia – February 7, 2008 10:12 am
    I love the fact that this can be a Fuggles and Goldings hop bomb, as opposed to one using only US hops. Don’t get me wrong, I dig an incredibly bitter and citrusy beer hopped with Cascade, Chinook, Centennial, etc. etc., but this was rather refreshing when I gave it a go because it was off the beaten path for me. An aggressively hopped English IPA with an abundance of complexity; good stuff.

    Boak – February 7, 2008 4:14 pm
    This is one of our alltime favourite beers. Lovely stuff.


    Alan – February 7, 2008 4:46 pm
    I think that bitter green goes by “roquette” in the UK.

    Knut Albert – February 8, 2008 8:23 am
    Yes, it is a great beer. It must also rank high on the top ten list of heaviet beer bottles ever. Not suitable for air transport.
    And it reminds me I still have one London beer review left, the Greenwich Union, brewery tap of Meantime. Classy place.

    crazy one – June 27, 2008 6:08 am
    fatman, know your beers before you make ill informed posts.

    a real IPA has hoppig units over 60EBU at least and over 7%

    Ramsgate and dark stars are NOT true IPAs

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