Friday, 14 August 2009

Light at the End of the Tunnel


After a meeting to talk about the beer part of the Manchester Food and Drink Festival, a beer was in order. One of our number gave us the glad tidings that Thornbridge and Meantime both had beers on at Micro Bar. Good enough. We hot footed it over there, dragging our thirsts behind us.

We all plumped for the Thornbridge Julius to start and we seized (geddit) our glasses eagerly. What a disappointment. On this showing, no world beater, just an ordinary, dull, vaguely mandarin tasting, brown beer with no distinguishing features. We grumbled our way through it and ordered the Meantime London Pale Ale. Another shocker - vaguely wet dog smell, a lot of odd and off flavours - just grim. Two of us four, me included, couldn't finish it. Now the beers were a bit warm. The barmaid confided that though an engineer had allegedly fixed the cooling system, he'd have to come back, as the beer was still too warm. I'm giving both these beers the benefit of the doubt and will try them again. I just don't believe they were a good sample. That happens.

Things got no better at the Angel where Hornbeam Lemon Blossom was at its toilet cleaner worst, though the Dunham Massey Stout was thoroughly admired by one of our party. No such problems in the Marble Arch though, where Pint was on stunning form. When we'd drunk that dry, we switched to Summer Marble which was a bit of a stunner too. Good things come to those that wait. That could be an advertising slogan eh?

11 comments:

dan cave said...

Glad to see you made good in the end.

So would you say the Angel was not the "god send" (I can make a pun too, haha) you had hoped it would be?

jesusjohn said...

Can't speak for the Thornbridge Julius, but Meantime London Pale Ale is an agreeable drop on form (not exactly a world beater, but a welcome pale hoppy little number, nonetheless...)

So this Marble Beer House - that the go-to Manchester pub?

Dan Cave said...

Also the meantime Wheat is nice

Tandleman said...

Dan - The Angel seems to have got itself in an unappealing (to me anyway)groove of Hornbeam, Dunham Massey and Allgates.

JJ. I was in the Marble Arch on Rochdale Rd. The Marble Beerhouse in in Chorlton. The MA is a classic and usually very reliable.

jesusjohn said...

Ah - thanks. Will give that a go, then. we're on a mission this weekend and no mistake.

Bailey said...

Me and Boak have been disappointed by the Meantime Pale Ale everywhere except at the Greenwich Union. And the Elderflower Maybock we had at the Charles Lamb the other week... yeesh. Hope they sort out these quality control issues soon.

Wurst/Whorst- Brewing Arts Instructor, CEO APRK said...

Did you have the shakes when you took that pic?

Tandleman said...

It does look like it.

ChrisM said...

Had some great Meantime Saison on draught at Pivo in York the other week. Had a bottle of the London Pale Ale from Sainsbury's and it was disgusting, I had to pour it away.

I've always had pretty poor beer at that bar in the Arndale, although admitedly in its previous incarnation. I don't think the casks, but pull the beer through a flash cooler (or they did when it was the Paradise bar).

Penny said...

Obviously try them again under better conditions. But, in my opinion, Meantime have struggled recently with quality and that one is pretty average. As for Thornbridge, they are England's most over rated brewery.

Tandleman said...

Penny - I have a sneaking feeling you are right about Meantime and I know what you mean about Thornbidge. Too many times their beers disappoint, even the blessed Jaipur.

Still, I will try them again. As for meantime, I thought Alastair Hook was very keen on quality and sub standard beers not leaving the brewery. I heard a rumour that poor quality was why the same beer was pulled from the last JDW fest.