Friday 22 June 2012

Meantime Friesian Pilsener

A glass of this beer please, golden and gleaming like the last rays of the sun at the end of a perfect day, the aura that surrounds the elegant glass a reflection of the thirst that hangs around in my mouth with the persistence of a memorable passage from, say, Shostakovich’s 1905 Symphony (4th movement maybe). Meantime’s Friesian Pilsener is a beer I have wanted to try for a long time, wanted to really study, wanted to sink into as if it were an ice-cold pool of glacier melt that would wake me up for good, but it being a seasonal and me not being in the right place at the right time has always been the foil of this desire. Did I mention desire? Can you desire a beer? Yes, you can desire a generic beer to plague the demons of thirst, but to desire a particular beer whose spec falls plumb centre in the North German Pilsener tin tray of style is a different matter, a matter of more consequence, the difference between a one night stand and falling in love. And so yesterday I tried the beer that has been wandering in and out of my thoughts for the past couple of years and disappointed I was not. As the name suggests, it is to Jever that the brewmaster Alastair Hook turned on creating this beer, and even though I love Jever I love Friesian Pilsener even more. It is as crisp as St Crispin’s Day, bitey with a mailed fist bitter lemon character and a Saaz-led hoppiness that leaves footprints in my mouth (I burp Saaz all afternoon). Dryness finishes it off and I am offered another in the tasting room of Meantime Brewery, where I have been invited to see these stainless steel maturation tanks create a beer fugue that JS Bach would have been happy to riff on if he could have found a way of playing beer. In this place time and beer collide and spend a minimum of four weeks in each others’ company. And at the altar where the brewers come and go and check the flow you can look down on this endless landscape of metal, evidence of Meantime’s commitment to the management of time. Oh and while I’m at it, time for another. 


  1. Ever since you spoke about liking Joyce, I keep thinking your more positive reviews are going to end with "and yes I said yes I will Yes".

  2. As Crisp as St Crispin's day? that might be a personal best for you, mate! Always a pleasure....!

  3. BP — and she stayed with Bloom and they all lived happily ever after until a shell landed on their house in 1916…and her last word was no…
    Cheers Leigh