London Pale Ale
Meantime Brewing Company Limited

London Pale AleLondon Pale Ale
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Pale Ale - English
Ranked #128
Ranked #43,796
3.61 | pDev: 11.08%
Meantime Brewing Company Limited
England, United Kingdom
London Pale AleLondon Pale Ale
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Reviews: 48 | Ratings: 169 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of JonnoWillsteed
JonnoWillsteed from England

2.45/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

L- Deep amber, almost towards '1970s Lucozade orange' or Irn-Bru. Pours with 2mm ultra-fine white head, holding well.
S- I don't get a smell, well, beyond a sense of dryness to it.
T- ...and dry it is, 'carbonic' as in tasting of the acidity of soda water, then into dry contemporary hops. Outside the dry notes the flavour seems light. When I sloosh it around my mouth I do get occasional brief floral/perfume notes.
F- Dry, it has a kind of austerity to it's feel.
O- Perhaps refreshing on a hot summers day, but I find the overall sense of austerity unrewarding. Not one I'd buy again.
330ml bottle BB: 20/01/2021. Bought from: Nicolas (wines), London W11 £2.40

Jun 17, 2020
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Shanex from France

3.91/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A 330ml bottled poured into a pint glass

Light carbonation and amber orange color

Smells and taste caramel, citrus and floral notes.

Overall an interesting Pale Ale that goes down quick on a summer afternoon and makes for a proper refreshment. Just not mind-boggling.


Aug 18, 2019
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.31/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

i had this a couple of times around london on my trip there, and sometimes thought it was quite bad, and other times more tolerable, but suffice it to say this is not one of the better pales around anymore, if it ever was. is this the same as their old retired pale ale? i feel like it might still exist in both packages, any info there would be appreciated. its just okay for me, even when we caught it fresher. its got a little more malt to it than is fashionable nowadays, especially in the states, and has that weird slightly sharp meantime ale yeast i have noticed in their other beers over the years. its a little sweet, a little bit metal tasting like pennies, and with some bitterness from hops that dont carry much flavor. i guess its kind of old school and english, and i should appreciate it as such, but it really doesnt do much for me. its a bit filling for its lower alcohol content, and the high carbonation doesnt save it. there is just a weird metallic element and a tiredness, a sort of sag about the whole thing, i dont know, maybe some folks like this kind of pale ale, but it was lackluster at best for me several times around london...

May 20, 2019
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zeff80 from Missouri

3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap. Poured a clear, very bubbly, golden amber color with a long-lasting, tan head of foam. It smelled of toasted caramel, citrus and floral notes. Sweet caramel with a touch of citrus.

Apr 05, 2019
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Act25 from New Jersey

3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

a) Pours a medium amber with short white head that laces steadily.
s) Mid level aroma, flowers, bitters, jam, toast,
t) Follows smell - very fresh, juicy, hops comes through.
f) Session pale ale, best when cask fresh.

Feb 25, 2019
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qrazvan from Romania

3.78/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Nice looking amber colour with medium head.
Fresh herbal and floral aromas, a pleasant surprise.
The taste is full of citrus, some bitterness and again some herbal flavoured hops. Works good.
Really refreshing and pleasant to drink. Great price/quality ratio.

Aug 17, 2018
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Malt_Man from England

3.12/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served cool from 330ml bottle into pilsner glass.

L) Dark amber / light brown colour. Clear, streams of small bubbles. Head has a yellowish tinge.

S) Toffee sweetness is the first thing to note. Fruity hops in there.

T) Slight acidic tinge, the hop taste is there but weak. Mild malty flavour.

F) A nice fizz, which is maybe wrong for the style. Dries the throat out a bit. No rough aftertastes.

O) A real let down on the flavour front, I can't recommend this one when you can get better Pale Ales in anyh supermarket now.

May 20, 2016
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Beginner2 from Illinois

3.63/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

I thought the mix of English and American hops was interesting and the malts were well-blended. But after my thirst was slacked, I noticed a metallic after-taste. It wasn't bad, it just wouldn't give me cause to have this again.

This is a popular beer. Meantime is a favored brewer of Marks & Spencer because Meantime's cans move off their shelf.
Meantime also was one of London's early crafter's in the late 20th Century that got big then. This EPA is listed in the "1001 Beers To Taste Before You Die" published eight years ago. There are many I've had on this trip that deserve to be on that list ahead of London Pale Ale.

The Meantime story seems analogous to Goose Island in Chicago. Both were bought by majors (after using its distribution prowess for about a decade.) Both continue in the whole lifestyle/quasi-community marketing strategy. We can argue about if corporatism and contract-brewing changes the beers, but one fact is certain: Goose Island was kept by AB and SAB quickly sold Meantime to Asahi. But it is all good because Chicago's craft world and London's craft world are both thriving.

May 10, 2016
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jonb5 from England

3.67/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pint at the Market Porter.

A: Bronze, clear, lively looking, medium well retained head, clear.

S: Noble hop, Hallertau? More Pilsner than Pale Ale.

T: Sour dough, lots of rye bread gave way to fruity bitterness.

M: Lots of carbonation, had a real snap to it.

O: Seemed stronger than it was, I would probably revisit. More of a European than American take on a pale ale.

Apr 17, 2016
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mothman from Minnesota

3.03/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap in London. White head. Golden orange color.

Very macro like. Grassy hop profile. Bready and biscuity.

I had a hard time with this one. It kind of reminded me of a steam ale.

Mar 26, 2016
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EmperorBevis from England

3.36/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Was works Christmas party
they actually had 'Craft' hardly the best tho, Meantime Pale
tho to me, it seemed like their IPA watered down
vast improvement however on last year, Black Sheep Ale
& the year before FuthaMucking Peroni (funnily enough in the same place as this year)
I would say competent
nicer aroma than flavour

Dec 18, 2015
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captaincoffee from Virginia

3.64/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Nose is muted, with a bit of earthy hops coming through from the EKG and a touch of American-style hops from the cascade. Not much there. Taste is not off, but dull and uninspired. A really average and forgetable pale ale.

Aug 24, 2015
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ARoman from Illinois

3.36/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

330mL bottle, poured into a balloon snifter. The aroma is a dank pine with orange and grapefruit notes that turn towards caramel with a light floral touch, and a leathery note. It's a brilliant, clear bronze hue with a thin, white soap head that has only a light retention and no lace. The taste is a moderate, balanced bittersweet. The thin oily texture is supported by a fizzy carbonation. The medium light body contains notes of caramel and leather with secondary notes of herbs and citrus. It finishes crisp with citrus and pine and has an aftertaste of floral pine and leather that's mild and leaves and astringent and clean aftertaste.

Jun 04, 2015
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jazzyjeff13 from England

3.49/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 330ml bottle with a BB of June 2015. Picked up a while back from a supermarket. The label mentions that this is hopped with Goldings and Cascade.

A: Poured into a cervoise. A deep orange-amber hue with some floating sediment and light carbonation. Yields a decent head of frothy white foam that lasts for a minute or so before collapsing to a patchy surface layer.

S: Aroma of sweet caramel malt with hints of subtle pine, mild weed, grass/hay, barley sugar, ale yeast and stewed hops. Pretty good.

T: Tastes of caramel malt and leafy hops with a restrained bitter finish. Notes of mild pine, weed, grass/hay, faint citrus, barley sugar, a touch of grain, ale yeast and stewed hops. Slightly sweet, followed by a subdued bitterness upon swallowing.

M: Mouthfeel is smooth, tingly and dry, with prickly carbonation and decent body. Somewhat astringent, accompanied by an aftertaste of stewed leaves/cardboard, caramel malt and faint ale yeast.

O: Not bad; won't blow you away though. Lacklustre looks - lack of carbonation and head. The aroma and flavour are alright, with a good caramel backbone and balanced hop bitterness. Body is OK. A satisfying pale ale that goes down easily enough. The only remark I have is that it isn't actually that pale. Worth trying.

May 04, 2015
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jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

3.03/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On draft, poured into imperial pint glass.

Light amber in color, foamy white head. Mild hops in the aroma. Slightly sweet. Thinner body. definitely an English, not American style

May 03, 2015
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BigGold from Mississippi

3.31/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

First had poured from 330 ml bottle into Pilsner glass, and again a year later on draft at Meantime, The Old Brewery, Greenwich, London, into pint tulip. A mild English(-style) pale ale.

Jan 07, 2015
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interzen from England

4.09/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into a Vedett tulip glass - bottle trade with a co-worker.

Look: Pours a dark amber with a fingers-width of white head. The head disappears pretty quickly to leave a diffuse froth cap and some lacing around the sides of the glass. Stand the beer long enough and this will disappear almost completely.

Smell: Earth and hops - it's a pale ale so that's not entirely unexpected. Not much in the way of fruitiness but it's there once the beer has warmed up a bit.

Taste: Again, it's a pale ale so it's very much hop-forward but not excessively so.

Taste: Very hop-forward but not as insanely bitter as some of the American IPAs. No malt or yeast was discernable but again, not entirely unexpected.

Feel: The word 'crisp' would probably sum it up quite nicely - a fair bit of a hop punch up front diminishing to some lingering astringence. Quite light, all other things considered, and eminently 'sessionable'.

Overall: My first encounter with the Meantime Brewery's output and unlikely to be my last - compared to other English pale ales it's not anything particularly special but taken on its own merits it's not bad at all. Interesting to note that Meantime do a lot of the 'own brand' beers for Marks & Spencer and the like. On the right side of good and worth trying if not particularly worthy of special attention.

Dec 19, 2014
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Bworfus from Austria

3.75/5  rDev +3.9%

On tap, Terminal 5 - LHR; english bitter.. Mmmmmh. Love that style. Very underhandedly earthy with teasing tea leafy hops and cute bisquit. Love much as it warms.

Sep 15, 2014
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smanders from Virginia

3.71/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the bar in the St. Ermin's hotel, Westminster London, UK.

Appearance: a clear amber with a solid head.

Aroma: slight notes of spicy hops followed closely by the sweetness of sugar/malt/fruit.

Taste: excellent balance of fruit, spice, and herbs. Very little bitterness.

Mouthfeel: light

Drinkability: you could drink a dozen of these without thinking. A great session beer that would satisfy.

May 22, 2014
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Hoppsbabo from England

3.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Amber with strings of bubbles. Small off-white head.

S: Floral hops. Citrus. Caramel.

T: Dry, woody and earthy, which I like, but it's quite acidic. Has some of that prickly ginger quality. Fudge and toffee as it warms. Quite strong lemonade in the immediate aftertaste. Admittedly I cracked it open when it was too chilled. As it's warmed it's become a lot more personable. It gets earthier, and nothing turns me on more than earthy beer.

M: Almost creamy. Kind of weird but maybe I'm just being nitpicky.

O: Not bad, just make sure it's closer to room temperature than chilled.

Oct 02, 2013
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vinicole from England

3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Light amber. Thin head.
Mild caramel aroma. Some grassy hop present.
Flavour resembles the smell. Some toffee. Bitter completion.
Light to moderate feel.
Not much to write home about.

Jun 27, 2013
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flyingpig from Scotland

3.52/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

330ml Bottle from Utobeer, Borough Market (£2.50):
Light & clear range tinged amber with a thumb sized, bubbly white head that stays quite well over the opening couple of minutes, only reducing slightly in size.

Light with some grassy hops and a subdued malt base to begin with. There was some light fruity notes in the background but to be honest it smelt a bit basic although still pleasant and most definitely an English pale ale in smell; if only it was stronger in smell.

A balanced beer with some light malts and a grassy hop taste initially along with some background fruits and a nice bitter finish. This one was a nice and very easy to drink beer but I felt it could have been more in your face and less subdued. There was floral notes and caramel.

Carbonation is about medium to lively with this one and the beer is probably light bodied with a very smooth mouthfeel and only the slightest of citrus tangs to go with a somewhat dry finish. Livelier than usual for the style but much as you would expect.

A nice and well made beer I felt it was a little weak in both taste and smell although things became more pronounced and noticeable the further down the glass. There was a nice floral hop and malt base but to be honest nothing in this beer was strong enough for me and it's not a classic.

Apr 23, 2013
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thierrynantes from France

3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer bottle (33 cl.) purchased from Bières & Chopes, and tasted in 2012.

Appearance : amber color with white foam head.
Smell : malty and fruity aromas.
Taste & mouthfeel : malty and hoppy flavors with citrus notes, a dry finish.
Drinkability : a good beer in the style English Pale Ale.

Dec 19, 2012
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FLima from Brazil

3.78/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber color with a decent head and good retention. It was very fresh, well I tasted it at the brewery spot.
Aroma of herbal and floral hops. Sweet malt taste balanced with an herbal and fruity hop flavor, plum and peach more easiest identifiable.
Bitterness that continues in the aftertaste along with a dry finish.
Light Body with a medium carbonation with small bubbles.
Very refreshing beer, holds a long session.

Dec 06, 2012
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rarbring from Sweden

3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The brew is clear light amber, has an off-white head with good lacing and small curtains.

Smelling of honey. grass and pears.

The taste starts with bread and honey, toffee, then some pears and also peaches.

Medium carbonation, small bubbles, a fresh texture, medium body and a light dry finish.

A good fruity pale ale, sessionable.

May 02, 2012
London Pale Ale from Meantime Brewing Company Limited
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 169 ratings