Trying some new British beers

For yesterday’s dinner activities I bought some beer to have on hand in case anyone wanted some. I bought some Staropramen and some London Pride so that I’d be covered on the lager and ale fronts.

I also bought three bottles of British beer just because they had interesting bottles. Here they are:

Three bottles of beer on the wall, three bottles of beer... (click to enlarge)

Three bottles of beer on the wall, three bottles of beer... (click to enlarge)

The leftmost bottle is Hop by Greene King. Greene King typically make ales, and are one of the larger UK brewers (too large, say some of the stalwart real ale drinkers who find them to be more business- than beer-focused). The back reads: “Hop is crafted in England using centuries of brewing expertise. We use Tettnang hops and the lightest malts to give a rich golden colour. Subtle soft fruit aroma & smooth citrus taste.” It’s 5% alcohol by volume, and came in a 750ml bottle. It was okay on a hot day, but nothing much different from most ordinary lagers. It seems that’s exactly what Greene King was aiming for. I won’t bother with this again.

The middle bottle is St. Peter’s India Pale Ale. Like all IPAs, it has a lot of hops (this was done in the 19th century to make the beer robust enough to ship to troops in India: hence the name). The back has a blurb about the brewery, which is in Suffolk. The shape is very satisfying, an oval flask of a bottle, modelled after one made for an innkeeper in Philadelphia. It’s 500ml, and the ale is 5.5% alcohol. Unfortunately (for me), one of my guests had this bottle and I only had a small taste. That taste was good, though, very crisp but flavourful. I’d like to try a whole bottle.

The rightmost bottle is Meantime Wheat Grand Cru. They’re here in London, in Greenwich. They seem to be going in a Belgian direction, making raspberry, chocolate, coffee, porter, IPA, and several other beers. This wheat is, according to the label, “always the favourite beer among the brewers here”. It’s in a 330ml bottle, and is 6.3%. It was very, very tasty at lunch today in the sunny back yard. I’m definitely picking up some more of this range.


1 Response to “Trying some new British beers”

  1. September 22, 2008 at 11:57 am

    fyi, meantime beer is rather brilliant, and is brewed in my local, The Greenwich Union, my favourite pub in London… so should you ever fancy trekking miles across London, you can have it on tap, with my company too if ya like!

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