Beer Background
Beer Hall at Hawkshead Brewery #2
Nov 2018

Thomas Hardy's Ale, Meantime

Added: Thursday, November 1st 2018

Style Barley Wine ABV 13.0%

Meantime Thomas Hardy’s Ale

The new vintage of the 13 per cent beer is called  the Golden Edition as it marks the 50th version since the beer was launched in 1968. It was first brewed by Eldridge Pope in Dorchester for a literary festival that commemorated 40 years since the writer died.

It was meant to be a one-off brew but it aroused such interest that it became an annual vintage. For the full story see

The Golden Edition is brewed by Meantime at Greenwich, London, by master brewer Derek Prentice, who has previously brewed with Young’s and Fuller’s.  The recipe is comprised of Maris Otter barley malt from Warminster Maltings, light crystal malt, and Fuggles and Goldings hops. It has 75 units of bitterness.

The beer enjoys two and a half weeks primary fermentation followed by three months secondary and one month cold conditioning. It then has nine months in bottle before it’s released. It can be consumed straight away but it will improve with age for up to 25 years.

The beer is amazingly complex with an aroma and palate rich in dates, figs, honeyed malt, fresh tobacco and spicy hops.

The beer is available from Laithwaites Wine at £5.99 a bottle:

Thomas Hardy's Ale, Meantime