Meantime Brewery

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Meantime Brewing Company
Privately held
Founded1999 [1]
Key people
Alastair Hook (founder)
OwnerAsahi Breweries

Meantime Brewing Company is a brewery based in Greenwich, London, England. The company was founded by Alastair Hook in 1999 [1], 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.[2][3]


It was founded in 1999 by Alastair Hook,[4] 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.[5] 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.[6]

In May 2015, it was announced that Meantime was being bought by SAB Miller, the world’s second-largest brewer, for an undisclosed amount.[7]

In July 2015 Alastair Hook was named Brewer of the Year by the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group at its annual awards dinner.[8] In the same year The Beer Academy awarded Rod Jones, Meantime's beer sommelier and brewer, the Beer Sommelier of the Year title.[9]

In August 2015, Meantime were "forced to admit" that production of their London Lager had on occasion been outsourced 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.[10] Meantime confirmed that the use of Dutch beer will be "alleviated" by large investments at the brewery, with the eventual aim of keeping production entirely in London.[11]

Meantime was sold to Asahi Group Holdings of Japan in April 2016.[12] The sale was completed on 13 October 2016.[2] In January 2019 Asahi also bought the brewing division of Fuller's Brewery and its subsidiary Dark Star.[13] It is uncertain whether Meantime will follow Dark Star in having part of its production transferred to Fuller's Chiswick brewery.[14]


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.[15] 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.[16] 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 Farrell, Sean (15 May 2015). "SAB Miller buys Meantime to enter UK craft beer market". Retrieved 3 April 2019 – via
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ "Asahi Completes acquisition of Miller Brands U.K." Fortune. Fortune=3 February 2017. 13 December 2016.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-07-03. Retrieved 2007-06-27.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Foottit, Lesley (2 August 2010). "First brew from new Meantime brewery". Morning Advertiser. Retrieved 2019-02-24.
  6. ^ Protz, Roger (24 May 2013). "The meteoric rise of Meantime". Morning Advertiser.
  7. ^ Farrell, Sean (15 May 2015). "SAB Miller buys Meantime to enter UK craft beer market". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  8. ^ "Meantime brewer Hook wins Parliamentary brewer of year award". Retrieved 2015-11-24.
  9. ^ "The Beer Academy names Beer Sommelier of the Year «". 2015-06-08. Retrieved 2016-11-14.
  10. ^ Alwakeel, Ramzy (26 August 2015). "London Lager 'sometimes brewed at Grolsch factory in the Netherlands'". Evening Standard. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  11. ^ Sutherland, Emily (23 August 2015). "Meantime's London Lager criticised for using Dutch beer". Morning Advertiser. Retrieved 2019-02-22.
  12. ^ Phil Serafino; Rachel Chang (19 April 2016). "AB InBev Accepts Asahi Offer to Buy Grolsch, Peroni and Meantime Beer Brands". Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  13. ^ "London Pride beers sold to Japanese firm". BBC News. 25 January 2019. Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  14. ^ Beeson, James (31 August 2018). "Dark Star shifts 'some' Hophead production to Fuller's". Morning Advertiser. Retrieved 2019-02-22.
  15. ^ "Meantime Brewing". Retrieved 14 August 2008.
  16. ^ "Meantime". Retrieved 14 August 2008.

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