Wednesday 25 August 2010

IPA challenge bout six: Meantime IPA Vs Greene King Very Special IPA

It took a long while to organise this bout - how do you find a match for Meantime IPA? Weighting in at an impressive 7.5% ABV this beer is clearly in the cruiserweight category, and coming in a 750ml Champagne bottle has far more stamina than any other cruiserweights I've seen. It would take a brave beer indeed to take on this gladiator from Greenwich.

Fortunately my favourite brother in law found a young hopeful prepared stepped up to the plate. 

Greene King Very Special India Pale Ale.

When they squared up at the weigh in the audience were visibly shocked at what looked a terrible mismatch. But unbeknownst to the crowd the British Board of Beer Control had borrowed something from the rules of professional wrestling in order to ensure a fair fight. Greene King would be fighting as a tag team.


The formalities over it's time for the main event. 

The Meantime starts with a flourish as the cork pops but the jab looks weak. A good IPA should have a crisp penetrating jab to the nostrils but all we get is a slight floral smell.Greene King counters powerfully in the brutal, unsophisticated style all fighters from that stable favour: that's right it, smells like every other Green King beer. 

When it come to the taste the slugger from Suffolk stays true to type and tastes like Green King IPA on steroids: plenty of alcohol but also a nice full bodied toffee taste that drinks very nicely. 

Meantime is looking very pale and is thin and lacking in body. It can only offer up a hint of grapefruit which is brushed aside by Greene King and it shows it's very special by throwing a rich rounded and full bodied counter. A slug to the liver causes Meantime to sink to its knees and in the biggest upset since Buster Douglass knocked out Mike Tyson the ref steps in and starts counting. 

Meantime struggles to its feet but the fight's gone out of it and a fresh bottle of Greene King is leaning over the ropes, eager to be tagged in. The once mighty Meantime fades throughout the rest of the round and the bell sounds like an act of mercy. 

A win for Greene King Very Special IPA by 10-8.


  1. Your merking on the wrong criteria Ed. Meantime IPA is clean and quaffable with a touch of elegance to it. The Green King sounds a bit boring.

  2. You can't argue with the judges after a knockdown Rob! More seriously, I think the way we're tasting them (by passing the glasses round to compare sips) favours the big in your face flavours rather than subtlety.

  3. Did you detect any hop in and amongst that GK "house flavour"? :P


  4. I can't recall any hops myself, but if I see the beer I will buy it and try it on its own. We did like it, though one bottle at a time is probably best.