Meantime Brewery

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Meantime Brewery
Privately held
Industry Brewing
Founded 2000
Headquarters Greenwich
London, SE10
United Kingdom
Key people
Alastair Hook (founder)
Products Beer
Owner Asahi Breweries

Meantime Brewing Company is a brewery based in Greenwich, London, England. The company was founded by Alastair Hook in 2000, and was purchased by SABMiller in May 2015.

As part of the agreements made with regulators before Anheuser-Busch InBev was allowed to acquire SABMiller in 2016, Meantime Brewery was sold to Asahi Breweries of Japan in October 2016.[1][2]


It was founded in 2000 by Alastair Hook,[3] who trained at Heriot-Watt University and the brewing school of the Technical University of Munich of Weihenstephan. He started the brewery in a small lock-up on an industrial estate opposite Charlton Athletic’s ground, before moving to the Greenwich Brewery, 0° 2' 12" east of the Greenwich Meridian, and then to a site on nearby Blackwall Lane in 2010.[citation needed] The new brewery, including Rolec brewhouse, cost £7M; by 2013 they were producing 50,000 hectolitres but a growth rate of 60% per year meant that they expected to reach their capacity of 120,000 hectolitres by 2016.[4]

Its coffee porter, launched in 2005, was Britain's first Fairtrade beer (using coffee from the Maraba Coffee cooperative of Rwanda), and went on to win a gold award at the 2006 World Beer Cup. Meantime was the first British brewery to win awards at the World Beer Cup in 2004 and is the only British brewery to have won medals at every WBC since.[citation needed] However, only beers that pay to enter are judged.

In 2007, Meantime had four beers ranked in the "World's 50 Best Beers" as compiled by the UK-based International Beer Challenge; a feat it repeated in 2008.[citation needed] Alastair Hook was named the 2008 Brewer of the Year by the British Guild of Beer Writers.[citation needed]

In May 2015, it was announced that Meantime was being bought by SAB Miller, the world’s second-largest brewer, for an undisclosed amount.[5]

In July 2015, Alastair Hook was again named Brewer of the Year, this time by the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group at its annual awards dinner.[6] In the same year The Beer Academy awarded Rod Jones Meantime's Beer Sommelier and Brewer and Beer Sommelier of the Year title.[7]

In August 2015, Meantime were "forced to admit" that production of their London Lager had been outsourced on one occasion to Grolsch (another SAB Miller brand) in the Netherlands to meet demand, but that the Dutch beer makes up no more than 10% of any bottle.[8] It has since invested to future-proof capacity at the brewery to ensure all Meantime beers are and will be brewed on site in Greenwich.[citation needed]

Meantime was sold to Asahi Group Holdings of Japan in April 2016.[9] The sale was completed on 13 October 2016.[1]


Meantime beer bottles, from left: Coffee Porter, Chocolate, Raspberry, Pale Ale

Prior to September 2009, Meantime manufactured all the beers in Sainsbury's "Taste the Difference" range.[10] Meantime brews a range of twelve regularly available beers which focuses on traditional British and European styles such as Lager, Pale Ale, Porter and India Pale Ale.[11] In addition, it also produces an annual range of limited edition seasonal ales, which vary each year.


Meantime owns and operates the Greenwich Union public house on Royal Hill, Greenwich and, in 2010, opened the Old Brewery bar and restaurant with brewery in the original 1836 Brewhouse of the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, making it only the second brewery in the world to be located within a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Meantime also operates a visitor's centre attached to its brewing site on Blackwall Lane. In August 2014, Meantime opened the Beer Box on the Greenwich Peninsula close to the North Greenwich underground station, and in December of the same year, the business opened its Tasting Rooms and Brewery Shop within the grounds of its Greenwich brewery,


  1. ^ a b Evison, James (12 October 2016). "Asahi Completes acquisition of Miller Brands U.K." Morning Advertiser. William Reed Business Media. Retrieved 3 February 2017. 
  2. ^ "Asahi Completes acquisition of Miller Brands U.K." Fortune. Fortune=3 February 2017. 13 December 2016. 
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-07-03. Retrieved 2007-06-27. 
  4. ^ Protz, Roger (24 May 2013). "The meteoric rise of Meantime". Morning Advertiser. 
  5. ^ Farrell, Sean (15 May 2015). "SAB Miller buys Meantime to enter UK craft beer market". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
  6. ^ "Meantime brewer Hook wins Parliamentary brewer of year award". Retrieved 2015-11-24. 
  7. ^ "The Beer Academy names Beer Sommelier of the Year «". 2015-06-08. Retrieved 2016-11-14. 
  8. ^ Alwakeel, Ramzy (26 August 2015). "London Lager 'sometimes brewed at Grolsch factory in the Netherlands'". Evening Standard. Retrieved 24 November 2015. 
  9. ^ Phil Serafino; Rachel Chang (19 April 2016). "AB InBev Accepts Asahi Offer to Buy Grolsch, Peroni and Meantime Beer Brands". Retrieved 14 November 2016. 
  10. ^ "Meantime Brewing". Retrieved 14 August 2008. 
  11. ^ "Meantime". Retrieved 14 August 2008. 

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