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India Pale Ale - Meantime Brewing Company Limited

Not Rated.
India Pale AleIndia Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

518 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 518
Reviews: 339
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 13.81%
Wants: 35
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Meantime Brewing Company Limited visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English India Pale Ale (IPA) |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-12-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 518 | Reviews: 339 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 750ml brown glass flask shaped bottle with a dimpled base. Sealed with a cork, cage and steel cap. The cork is branded with the Greenwich Brewery logo on the top and bottom and the sides are branded ‘Meantime share to be different’. The steel cap is equally ornate, silvered background has a white letter ‘G’ set against a dark blue background into the design of a Pocket Watch, signifying the historic importance and contribution of Greenwich to World time. Listed at 7.5% ABV. No freshness date but a ‘51647’ code is inkjet printed on the bottles neck.

The uniquely shaped black, green and silver front label has the words:
“The long sea journey to India transformed pale ale, brewed big and hoppy, into the mighty IPA that slaked the thirst of an empire. Just downriver from IPA's original London home, Meantime is once more shipping beer overseas to undergo the ageing process that makes Meantime Britain's only brewers of authentic India Pale Ale.”

The reverse label continues….
“Small batch production allows us to apply the attention to detail and care we require to produce an authentic IPA especially for you. Pound upon pound of Fuggles & Goldings hops are needed to enable us to achieve the dry hopping rates necessary to recreate this great beer style. Enjoy with hot foods and spicy friends, or vice versa.”

Appearance: Ruddy amber body with a light marmalade hue. Off-white head rest to a thin covering, but never breaks, starts at a few inches deep on the pour but the overall appearance is of an unfiltered offering.

Nose: Caramel, toffee and a light bitterness with a dry aspect. Earthy aromas are generic and have a soft lemon character to them.

Taste: Malty start with a noticeable contribution from the Fuggles and Goldings, but the overall hop bitterness levels seem a little lacking and the toffee malts are dominant. Sweetness is prevalent and tones down the hops I find. As I worked through this I craved the explosion of hops, but it never delivered. Now this is strange because when I sampled this at the Greenwich Union in London only two months ago it was much hoppier as I recall. Bitterness is dry, the hops push through slowly and do contribute to the finish, lingering as it does, but it’s not enough.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is fine tuned, super small and the tiny bubbles lend a velvet texture. Feel is substantial and the body is viscous.

Drinkability: Whilst I was a little underwhelmed by the lack of hops in the taste, the soft malty tones and fine conditioning certainly make for a tasty brew that is a great afternoon partner.

Overall: Cost $9.07 at Hi-Times in Costa Mesa, a little on the high side price-wise but damned good and I truly enjoyed supping this one. It is certainly an authentic IPA, but it is my no means the only one produced in the UK for my money (despite Meantimes label claims), nor the best, and it is rather expensive I feel. At times I think that Meantime play a little too heavy on the “high end” marketing and authenticity card, this is certainly the case with the IPA, and it could be better and falls short in a few areas for me. Still, this is well worth trying and seeking out nonetheless. I hear that Meantime export most of their production to the States and indeed California too - knowing that, would I swap this for the keener priced and better West Coast IPA’s out here that it will surely compete with? Erm, nope!

A nice enough English IPA, that pulls on authentic DNA, but I honestly feel that the bottled version has too much toffee malt and sweetness though. Given the price I will not be picking this one up again.

TheLongBeachBum, Sep 04, 2006
Photo of silver0rlead
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy golden amber with a thick off-white head that retains impressively. The aroma has some serious english hop character, with lemon, berry, floral and herbal notes, along with some cane sugar, orange marmalade and alcohol...incredibly complex. The flavor also has some serious english hop character, with notes of lemon, berry, herbs, flora and minerals, along with some cane sugar sweetness, toasted bread, fruity esters and an alcohol wallop. The mouthfeel is medium with good drinkability. An excellent english IPA, complex and authentic.

silver0rlead, Sep 01, 2006
Photo of wavz
4.7/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From first pop of the cork, all the things that are IPA are in this bottle. Great rich amber honey copper color with traces of cloudy sediment. The pour of the beer gives a great head that sticks to the side of the glass, and hangs around for quite a while. Nicely balanced with a citrus fruit and hoppy flower aroma. And the drinkibility is easy like sunday morning due to that flowery citrus smell. I would like to say a toast to this one.

Life, alas.
Is very dear.
Up with the glass.
Down with the beer!


wavz, Sep 01, 2006
Photo of ccs
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm not sure if this is the same ber that other reviewers have--it came in the same bottle, but it' odd that I had no head on this beer at all. I actually commented to my husband that it had no carbonation. It's a nice lemony-amber color, slightly cloudy in appearance. There's an herbal/citrus hop bitterness and flavor. It's malty enough that it's definitely an english ipa but has a great hop flavor that balances out the maltiness. Is it drinkable? I'm sure that if it was a little more carbonated it would have a lot more pleasant mouthfeel.

ccs, Aug 29, 2006
Photo of wl0307
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My third time to try this bottled version of Meantime IPA, but I still fail to find any bottling date or expiry date on the bottle... Served cool in a straight imperial-pint glass.

A: translucent pale-copper-ish colour with a very thick (4cm!!) and tight frothy head, sustaining extremely well for over 6 minutes and is fed by lively carbonation underneath.
S: refreshing as well as enticing aroma of juicy citrus-fruits, laced with bits of pears and ripe pineapple's slightly sharp edge, a deeply fragrant longan-flowery scent, juicy and candy-ish malts, and a light touch of sour-sweet yeasty hints (as common to quite a few British bottle-conditioned beers). Surprisingly, the fragrant edge is much much more pronounced than my last bottle as well as the filtered tap version, underlined by a good body of pale malts and syrupy malts. Intense and pleasant hops everywhere.
T: upfront is a very intense, semi-sweet flavour of caramely+biscuity maltiness plus marmalade, lychee-juice that settles from a 3D-mouthfeel fast to a lubricating undercurrent of bitter-sweet malty juice caressing the tongue... ensued by piney yeasts, lightly spicy and fullsome feel of whole hops, while an intensifying flow of bitter-hoppyness expands quietly towards the back of the throat but always in balance with the malty undertone... The rounded aftertaste sees tannic and zesty texture deeply attached to both sides of the rear of the tongue, with unlimited herbal bitterness of Fuggles hops lingering hand in hand with a slightly warming, syrupy malty undertone... the superb aftertaste just goes on and on and on...
M&D: softly-carbonated and very creamy on the mouthfeel, allowing the complex flavour profile evolve in its own time without fizzy interruption. The full-body is a natural result of 7.5% alc. strength, but never heavy. Compared with my last note 10 months ago, this bottle seems to feature more maltiness on the palate and more profound fragrance on the nose, yet the aftertaste of bitter and tannic hops remains very impressive indeed. Fantastic to drink~~

wl0307, Aug 21, 2006
Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First of all this is a great bottle, classy yet not pretentious and full of info and eye candy.

The beer pours a bright orange color with lots of floaties. The head is pure white with excellent retention. Copious dense lace formations stick to the glass. The aroma was somewhat of a surprise to me, not nearly as brash and raw as American IPAs (more like a typical English IPA which I thought this wasnt). Its pretty sweet with sherbert, orange and pear notes and some gentle herbal hops. The taste is more hop forward but still subdued by American standards. Marmalade tones and a sweet doughy malt base hit first. As the beer warms, citrusy, woody flavors intensify and the malt profile become more evident. Alcohol is expertly concealed throughout and only adds a complimentary warming. The mouthfeel is full and very luscious with tiny BC carbonation. The finish is fruity and bitter, though not as bitter as I thought it would be.

This is a great English IPA, its just not as bitter as I was expecting, rather its more herbal and floral with a strong malt base. I thought it would be a British version of an American IPA (read: over the top hops), still good though.

CAMRAhardliner, Aug 16, 2006
Photo of hero27
3.4/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle, corked & caged.
7.5% abv.

Hazy orange. Frothy head of soapsud-like consistency. Aroma is some lackluster toffee malt and a good dose of herbal hops.
Heavy herbal hop flavor..plenty of Fuggles & Goldings used here for sure. Some orange peel and a bit of spice in the mix as well.
Sticky mouthfeel, fairly dry finish.
It was alright for an English IPA, just not worth the nearly $10 price tag in my opinion.

hero27, Aug 12, 2006
Photo of mcallister
4.28/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cork comes out of the bottle with the slightest hint of pressure. I thought this was going to be flat. Upon pour a nicely carbonated white head appeared but did not hold well, however some good lace retains on the glass. The liquid is very hazey copper colored with a dull orange showing when held to light.

Rich hints of malty goodness. Chewy caramel covered apple, very floral citrusy hops, and also some alcohol is present.

Sweet resiny hop flavor. The hops are somewhat subdued and chewy. A rich creamy mouthfeel leaves a candied apple flavor on the 25 second finish. Other citrus fruits show inside. This is nearly perfectly balanced by the toffee/caramel malt.

Could honestly drink this all day. Smooth as a IPA can be. Very good

mcallister, Jul 25, 2006
Photo of GreenCard
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: coppery brownish orange, quite hazy, voluminous layer of sudsy off-white foam, great head retention, lace

Aroma: rich appley-piney hops, guava fruitiness, underpinned with caramelly malt

Flavor: malty sweetness together with a lemony zing at first sip, then a bready fullness followed by a peppery-piny hop flavor and a rough peach-pit bitterness, finishes dryish with a lingering bitterness and hint of dulce de leche

Mouthfeel: full body, zippy carbonation (almost Belgian in character), slight astringency

Other comments: This is a great beer. Probably the best American-esque IPA brewed in England. It's not as piny or citrusy as the usual American IPA, but there's a kinship there. Scrumptious!

GreenCard, Jul 17, 2006
Photo of haz77
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a cloudy dark amber with an inch of off-white head. The head falls to half an inch and retention is helped by loads of carbonation.

S - Floral hops, cut grass, grapefruit, apple, a little caramel, toasted bread, lemon.

T - Initial tart citrus turns creamy and toasty in the middle. Finishes with caramel and a floral hop bitterness into a lingering aftertaste.

M - Starts light an refreshing before becoming creamy from the middle on.

D - Lovely stuff. 750ml was quickly gone.

haz77, Jul 08, 2006
Photo of carln26
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Copper in cooler, and very hazy, there is a ton of sediment in this beer. It’s topped by a fluffy egg-white head that leaves a nice lace on the side of the glass as it settles. The head shows nice retention in the process. The nose is all noble hops. Very floral, a little grassy with a nice citrus back., There is a touch of light caramel on the finish. The flavor is a wonderful balance of hop and malt. More of herbal quality, like fresh cut hay, with a nice citrus lemon bitterness midway through the drink. The malt does show with a nice balancing sweetness. A little caramel and green apple. The mouth feel is slick, and smooth. Really nice drinkability. I think this is a marvelous beer.

carln26, Jun 24, 2006
Photo of maxpower
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml corked and caged bottle pours a clear light amber color with a creamy white head that leaves a sticky lacing in my glass. Citrus, grapefruit and lemon aromas, grapefruit, caramel and lemon flavors. Medium bodied with a full and creamy mouthfeel, an all around great English IPA.

maxpower, Jun 24, 2006
Photo of Bitterbill
4.7/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from corked and caged 750ml bottle a hazy reddish gold with light carbonation and a medium sized head of foam that sticks around forever and has nice lacing.

The smell has a nice grassy hoppy nose to it but I also get a good wiff of caramel malt.

The taste is big and bold! Huge sweet caramel malt up front with a bit of grassy and citrusy hops(love them Fuggles and Goldings) right behind it and man, after a few sips, you get the feeling that this is gonna balance out but...it doesn't. Make no mistake aboot it, this is a malt dominated IPA and it works so darn well! My hat's off to Meantime!

Bottom line: Best example of an English IPA I've ever tasted and I hope to buy more on my next visit to Colorado. Folks, this is a winner!!

Bitterbill, Jun 18, 2006
Photo of mdagnew
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle bought from Sainsbury's...

Poured a golden orange / amber colour... Slightly off white head pours quite thick and foamy then fades to thin layer... Some yeast floaties... Some patchy lacing...

Aroma - Spicy / floral hops, grassy, very light honey sweetness, nice fresh fruitiness (oranges, grapefruits, pears), slight nuttiness, perfumey, very light biscuity malts...

Taste – Strong juicy hop bitterness, nice biscuity malts, spicy fruits (oranges, grapefruits), peppery, basil hints, grassy, maybe some slight medicinal notes, very light nutty sweetness just about coming through...

Feel - Pretty sharp and dry. Light body... Very refreshing and drinkable...

Overall - An excellent IPA.... Glad i can now get my hands on this... Highly recommended...

mdagnew, Jun 12, 2006
Photo of neonbrown82
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a good english IPA. Pours to a nice hazy peachy color with a thick creamy foam. Carbonation is quite active. Lacing could be better considering the awesome qualities of the head.

The smell is quite hoppy. Very spicy, grassy, and piny. Fuggles and Goldings. Nice pale malt aroma, not too buttery. The taste is just as good, though it has a hint of alcohol that doesn't show up in the smell.

Body is nice and full with a very good carbonation and bitterness. Quite drinkable.

neonbrown82, Jun 11, 2006
Photo of ypsifly
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Corked and caged 750 with BB 03 11 08 jetted on the neck. Purchased at Bello Vino in Ann Arbor and poured into an imperial pint.

Clear brass under two fingers of ivory that shows very good retention and leaves lots of webby rings as it slides down the glass.

Floral hop nose with some apples and a hint of caramel malts. Nice balance and I like the suggestion of apple.

The taste follows the nose step for step. A bit of lightly toasted malt, fruit like flavors that again suggest apples and a growing hop flavor that has earth and leaf. Very well rounded and flavorful.

Medium in body with a good amount of carbonation.

An exceptional beer, quite possibly the best English IPA I've ever had.

ypsifly, Jun 04, 2006
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.55/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

But friends, this beer changed my life.

Appearance: Pours out a blurred coppery orange with a very fluffy, very inviting white head.

Smell: Exhilarating aroma of fresh bread, butter, and toffee tied to the spicy, herbal scent of English hops.

Taste: Yum! This brew was a perfect blend of caramel sweetness, rich grains, and a citrus hop flavor reminiscent of orange marmalade. Nice spicy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Carbonation is soft and fine.

Drinkability: Very much so. I can't help but lavish this beer with uplifting compliments, positive energy, good-cheer thoughts and sugarplums.

ChainGangGuy, Jun 03, 2006
Photo of mmmbeer
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big 750 mL olive-green champagne bottle with a buncha info about the beer on the label. As I removed the cork, there wasn't much of a "POP!" so I was a bit worried it could be flat, but it pours a sediment-laden orange/apricot color with a half inch head that reassures me it isn't flat. It smells citric and soapy with sweet, vinous malts and hints of melon rind that are sharp/tart. It is medium and smooth on the palate with flavors of perfumy/citric hops, soap, the same tart melon rind character, yeast, and a good bitterness that is there to let you know it's an IPA without ruining your palate. Interesting to see an amped-up English IPA designed for the US "bigger-is-better" market, and I'd say they hit their mark, I just wish it weren't 10 bucks a bottle.

mmmbeer, May 21, 2006
Photo of cypressbob
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, beautiful 750ml bottle with tasteful text and subtle artwork

Smell, thick sweet english hops, reminds me of an english celebration ale (only with goldings and fuggles hops). Very aromatic. Little bit of lemon and other citrus coming through

Taste, thick dry biscuity flavour, some lasting dry hops with a very english character. Some degree of the usual pine found in US ipa's, but a degree none the less. Slightly spicy, peppery mouthfeel also

A fantastic english big bad ipa, lots of flavour and worth the cash. I'm happy and proud that an english brewery is making such a big bold beer, great drinking such a big beer that isn't a US import

cypressbob, May 19, 2006
Photo of rajendra82
4.63/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer came in an elegant looking Champagne style brown-green bomber with the information about the beer printed on contoured labels. Having a wire cage and cork added to the overall refinement of the packaging. As the beer relinquished the confinement to the appointed Imperial Pint glass, the color looked golden amber, the body slightly hazy, carbonation ample, and head well proportioned at two-finger thick. The appearance was pretty spot on for an IPA from either side of the Atlantic, while the smell was that of signature English hops. The restrained spiciness, and full on earthiness of the hops could not be mistaken for anything but Fuggles & Golding. The taste indicated that the hops had been added in amounts typically absent from the beers brewed over there. It wasn’t overly bitter, but it was certainly spicy and snappy. There was also a good deal of citric acidity that makes the American versions of the style so quaffable. The very cohesive flavor profile set off fireworks in my mouth with each sip. The body was medium thick and carbonation soft and creamy, i.e., the typical IPA mouthfeel that makes me long for the next sip. Aftertaste was long drawn out and citric. Kudos to Meantime for incorporating the American influences so well, while keeping the beer an English IPA at its heart. Will have to pick up more next time I’m at Green’s.

rajendra82, May 08, 2006
Photo of AaronHomoya
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL corked bottle poured into a couple of pint glasses.

Shared this with a friend the other night. As some have mentioned, this is not a high-powered hop beer but is very good for what it is.

Pours an amber color, a bit cloudy at the end, decent head.

The aroma is not very strong, no crazy hop assualt, but does have nice malt character with some subtle, more earthy hops.

Flavor is big, strong with alcohol warming and a bit of roasty, biscuit flavor. Has a nice, clean hop finish that is more restrained and earthy compared to American IPA's. Almost tastes a bit like a dopplebock with more hops to me.

Mouthfeel is nice and creamy, smooth and fairly full-feeling. Rather little carbonation.

This beer is pleasing to drink, but seemed strong as I had it. I probably wouldn't have wanted to drink the whole bottle, but I'd get it again to share.

AaronHomoya, May 01, 2006
Photo of Imstillthegman
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This Meantime poured a slightly dark golden color with about an inch and a half of off white head that leaves light lacing. You can smell the fruity hops and the malty sweetness almost evenly. The taste starts with the sweet malt but citrus hops take over in the end with a little caramel flavor as well . Medium bodied with only slight bitterness from the hops. Shouldn't have any trouble finishing off this big bottle my self. My new favorite English IPA.

Imstillthegman, Apr 07, 2006
Photo of Crosling
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Burning forest in color, with a full lofty foam. Fruit cocktail hop aroma (peaches, apricot, pear), with a touch of floral aromas, along with a mildly vibrant sweet malt, caramel thing going on in the nose as well. Well balanced malt and hop flavor, though it is hop accented. The hops are still fruity, just like the aroma, but they also seem piney and resinous as well. Definately not your typical "English" medicinal, antibiotic hop flavor, which some American brewers seem to seize, but rather a fresh, very lively and fitting hoppiness. The malt was very sweet and lingering. Overall, I found it very tasty.

Crosling, Mar 22, 2006
Photo of beveragecaptain
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, corked and caged. Meantime IPA has a hazy orange topped with a large, white head. The aroma is mainly hops, with citrus and herbal qualities. Bready malt flavor with lots of fruit, including orange and pineapple. Sweet in the middle, but the finish is fairly bitter. There is a herbal hop flavor that I didn't like at first, but it grew on me as the beer warmed. Creamy mouthfeel. Good drinkability. It was by no means a difficult task to finish the 750 ml bottle on my own. It's a bit expensive, but worth it.

beveragecaptain, Mar 08, 2006
Photo of lou91
4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow what a nice bottle presentation. Poured golden and hazy. Great smell of hops – definitely not an American IPA but the british IPA with use of fuggles and goldings. There are some great flavors of fresh baked bread, pear jam and pineapples. Crisp, clean with enough body and alcohol to tell you this is a serious pale ale. I wish I had seen this in England.$11.99 @ Chevy Chase Wine in DC.

lou91, Mar 03, 2006
India Pale Ale from Meantime Brewing Company Limited
88 out of 100 based on 518 ratings.