26 October 2009

Eastenders

I was really quite disappointed with Meantime's India Pale Ale when I tried it last year. Still, I've been roaring through their amazing London Pale Ale ever since, and they're a brewery of considerable repute, so there was no hesitation when a bottle of Meantime London Porter crossed my path recently.

Like the IPA it's an historical recreation, conditioned in a corked 75cl bottle, and weighing in at a respectably hefty 6.5% ABV. The colour is a gorgeous dark ruby which just catches the light, and is topped with a long-lasting creamy head. There's a touch of roastiness on the nose, but it's not until the first taste that the action starts. My first reaction is digestive biscuits: slightly sweet yet slightly salty baked graininess. But the flavour continues, hitting milk chocolate notes as well as mellow dryer roastedness. It's really quite a wonderful experience, with nothing metallic, phenolic, or otherwise off at all. The smoothness of the carbonation carries it all along beautifully. This beer is a definite hands-down world classic.

I'm heading back to London in early December, for the annual round of work things that happily coincide with Pig's Ear in Hackney. I'm determined to get some other beery stuff done too this time, and was thinking of heading eastwards to Greenwich. Anyone know if Meantime opens for visits?

23 comments:

  1. They have a brewery tap, the Greenwich Union. Definitely worth a visit.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's a corker, alright (although Boak's not as big a fan as I am). Doesn't taste as strong as it is, though, which can be dangerous.

    Btw, I commented on your previous post, and it didn't show up. Technical trouble?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yeah, the Union's on my list, Knut. I'm nosier than that, though.

    ReplyDelete
  4. We tried to finagle a brewery visit through a London connection without success... Good luck to you...

    ReplyDelete
  5. If you can get out to Henley-on-Thames, I recommend trying to get your hands on some of the Reserve range from Lovibonds.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've enjoyed Meantime Porter very much on this side of the pond as. Can't share you're opinion of the IPA which I've really enjoyed as well. I'm not as big of a fan of their Coffee Porter, which tates like someone carelessly dumped some strong coffee into the brewing vat of a pretty generic porter.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm not sure if they do tours, but if you find out and you get in there then let me know - I'm less than an hour away and would love to have a look around! The Greenwich Union is a good place to drink - cask LPA in there is superb.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Maybe they'd be more inclined to do a tour for a bunch of beer bloggers at once...?

    ReplyDelete
  9. For a beer that claims decency for l9th century London porter its does not seam to contain much brown malt. I would have thought would be the hall mark of London porter, nice beer though

    ReplyDelete
  10. It's a nice beer, but I'm not as big a fan of it as you are. Would it be sacrilege to say I prefer Fullers London Porter?

    ReplyDelete
  11. 'course not. I'd love to try London Porter on cask but it's never come my way.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I prefer Fuller's London Porter, too, but they're both great beers.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm crazy for the London Pale Ale also-- the hops in that, coupled with this mineral tang which might be from the water? Anyway, it's gorgeous. I can't get enough of it. I hope we can meet up at the Pig's Ear and/or the Union as well!

    ReplyDelete
  14. That'd be great! Current plan is to arse around London on Friday 4th, but nothing's booked yet.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I like beer, but always be drunken after one bottle's drink, sad.

    ReplyDelete
  16. "Would it be sacrilege to say I prefer Fullers London Porter?"

    I prefer it too! :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm planning on taking the 4th off work (the 3rd is the Beer Writers dinner) and was going to go to the Pigs Ear in the eve so if you guys do head to Greenwich, etc, then keep me posted.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Good stuff, Mark. Will do.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Nope, sorry, Fuller's porter too sweet. Meantime porter nicely dry, with hint of Brett - lovely beer.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh this is where I was writing about being in London next month. That was bugging me -- cheers Zythophile.

    Pembury and Pig's Ear on the evening of the 3rd, and toddling around Borough and Greenwich on the 4th. That's the current plan.

    ReplyDelete
  21. John, if you contact Brent Smith at the brewery I'm sure he'd organise something for you. But bear in mind the brewery isn't in the nice part of Greenwich!

    ReplyDelete
  22. PS. I think I saw you at the Pig's Ear two years ago. I'm afraid I'd rather have my teeth pulled than go back (awful venue), but if you have time please drop by the Gunmakers - I don't think you've visited yet!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Had a bottle of this last night and loved it, agree with your asessment, just a fantastic Porter.

    ReplyDelete