Greene King IPA – In Search of Lost Hops

Greene King brewery has on offer a series of their own IPA. Today I taste version with a green label.
In front of me are as many as two bottles of Greene King IPA.


In previous post on the blog visited in glass East Coast IPA.
If to skip the issue of non-compliance with the style it was a pretty decent aromatic ale.

Greene King offers to its customers three more beers, which, at least in name to represent the style India Pale Ale.

I put them myself in accordance with increasing alcohol content – in turn these are:

  • Greene King IPA with green label – 3,6% ABV
  • Greene King IPA Gold, yellow label – 4,1% ABV
  • Greene King IPA Reserve, red label – 5,4% ABV

As you can see the brewery does not consider that their IPAs require extraordinary preservation with alcohol. See how it will with the other characteristic feature of the style, it means with hopped.


Today I’ll take care of the weakest version – with a green label, the more that label has undergone a change of design and by the way I’ll try both beers.

Beer was introduced for sale in bottles in 2006.
Its cask-ale version won gold in 2004 in the Bitter category in CAMRA Great British Beer Festival and second place in the category Champion Beer of Britain – which reportedly sparked some controversy.
Well, but I’m not looking for sensation – in front of me there are two bottles of the amber beverage and I will be happy to convince myself of their value.


Beautiful colour of this IPA, without false modesty proudly presenting in the colourless bottle, derived from the malt used in it. Used three varieties: Pale, Crystal and Black.
As for the hops label mentions two varieties: Challenger and First Gold, added in the brewing process “by hand”. On the website there is information about the Pilgrim variation.


First, make tasting of beer with a green label, secondly – the new version. By the way will be to compare – to check whether there are any differences in flavour, though I do not expect them.


Name: GREENE KING IPA (Bitter, alc. 3,6% ABV)
Brewery: Greene King (Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England)

Expiration date: 08/2016 (50cl bottle)

Greene King IPA
Greene King IPA - labels


test-look-small Dark amber in colour, with a copper tint.
White foam medium height, pretty quickly falling,
remain its remnants as a thin layer.
test-sniff-small The aroma is mainly malt and caramel, in the background – hops notes.
test-drink-small The taste is mild.
In flavour we have malt and some caramel notes.
Its taste is sweetish.
I am looking for a flavour of hops… I can’t find.
Wait a minute… there is bitterness – somewhere touched the back of my tongue.
Medium carbonation. Watery.


For now, I will refrain from commenting – yet, for comparison, bottle in new design.


Name: GREENE KING IPA (Bitter, alc. 3,6% ABV)
Brewery: Greene King (Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England)

Expiration date: 12/2016 (50cl bottle)

Greene King IPA - new design
Greene King IPA - labels in new design

Colour is the same,
beer foams as if more, but are mainly large bubbles that quickly perforate the foam.
Aroma and flavour – the same.

Bitterness is a little clearer, but that’s because I drank this beer immediately after the first,
bitterness then “accumulate”. This is not necessarily due to the fact that beer is more hopped.

Because this bottle I drank any longer, beer had time to warm up
and from aroma began to leave some notes similar to cheap lager – not very pleasant.


Greene King IPA – in aroma of this ale we have elements of malt and caramel, can also detect some notes of hops.
But the taste is a failure. Beer is called IPA, but hops there you do not feel. It is sweetish, almost no bitterness (even it is not enough as for bitter). In the feeling – watery.

There is no question of any compliance with the style. Maybe the point is that mass consumers of the brewery with a more conservative palates can boast, that they also drank IPA.
I’m sorry for the irony, but really I do not understand this beer, simply.

On the label is written: “Handcrafted India Pale Ale”, and inside the product is not as described, which does not even try to imitate that style – so I feel cheated.
Assessing East Coast IPA also I wrote about non-compliance with the style, but that beer, and this… there’s no comparison.




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