Time to indulge. As some of you may know from my recent articles, I’m in love with great quality pale ale. So this week’s Battle of the Beers is pretty exciting for me as I match two excellent craft ales in a face-off to be the best. The first is the Meantime London Brewery’s 4.3% pale ale, the other is the top-notch Brew Dog Brewery’s Dead Pony Club 3.8% pale ale.
Round One – Appearance
Pale ale isn’t the most attractive beer in the world. It’s often a cross between those gorgeous light yellows you get in blonde beers and the rich, fruity colour of amber ales. Yes, that’s right, pale ale is the one that looks like bad wee. But never mind that because this stuff is delicious.
Dead Pony Club is a very pale ale that looks light and very still, while the Meantime is a little more golden and frothy, albeit just as still. Both, however, look as refreshing as the colour will allow…
Round Two – Aromas
This is where pale ale shows off. Dead Pony Club is brim-full of perfumed flowers, mown grass and pungent citrus, especially grapefruit. Gorgeous.
Meanwhile, Meantime is more subtle with a touch of woodshavings but still mostly full of grapefruit.
Winner: DEAD PONY CLUB
Round Three – Drinking the Stuff
Punchy bitter citrus fights its way over the hugely-hoppy character of the Dead Pony Club. Mainly grapefruit, mango, bit of lime. Underneath is a smooth, fresh water sensation. The finish is perhaps a little shorter than I might have liked. Having said that, with summer coming up that crispness is sure to go down a treat. Light, easy-drinking and very well brewed.
In comparison, Meantime has much more water character and the fruit seems to be much more “integrated”. In many ways that reflects what you get on the nose: a little more subtle. Having said that, this is a much crisper, more easy-drinking pale ale than the Dead Pony Club.
Then again… easy-drinking is all well and good, but don’t we all search for that special something? Going to have to give this one to the Dead Pony Club just for giving so much in every sniff and glug, it’s fine brewing to achieve something like that.
OVERALL WINNER: DEAD PONY CLUB
Written & Photography by Ben Franks, www.benfrankswine.com, @Writer_Franks
Edited by- Laura Thompson