Two pints of Meantime
|Alastair Hook (founder)|
It was founded in 1999 by Alastair Hook, 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. 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.
In July 2015 Alastair Hook was named Brewer of the Year by the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group at its annual awards dinner. In the same year The Beer Academy awarded Rod Jones, Meantime's beer sommelier and brewer, the Beer Sommelier of the Year title.
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. 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.
Meantime was sold to Asahi Group Holdings of Japan in April 2016. The sale was completed on 13 October 2016. In January 2019 Asahi also bought the brewing division of Fuller's Brewery and its subsidiary Dark Star. It is uncertain whether Meantime will follow Dark Star in having part of its production transferred to Fuller's Chiswick brewery.
Prior to September 2009, Meantime manufactured all the beers in Sainsbury's "Taste the Difference" range. 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. 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,
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