Friday, 7 January 2011

Meantime Brewery Tours

Now that Meantime are newly ensconced in our new home, we can finally fulfill our longstanding ambition to offer brewery tours.

We offer a variety of tours. If there are jut a few of you why not join one of our regular scheduled tours which take place every Tuesday evening. Tours start at 6.30, last a minimum of 2 hours but can go on longer if everyone is having fun and asking good questions.

If you are a party of 10 or more you can tell us when you want to come and we can tailor the tour to your requirements. If you are a party of 12 or more, we'll even open up the brewery for you at the weekend.

For further details and prices visit our website.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Meantime College Beer Club Membership - The Perfect Christmas Present

Meantime College Beer Club Website

Meantime are delighted to announce the launch of the College Beer Club ( - the world's most exclusive beer aficionados' club.

Named after the Old Royal Naval College where the club beers are specially brewed on Meantime's Old Brewery brewhouse, the beers will be amongst the rarest in the world and once drunk will be gone forever.

The beers will be brewed as part of Meantime's forensic brewing project, which attempts to recreate and ressurect old recipes, old brewing methods and old ingredients. Innovative new beers and woold aged beers will also be featrued.

Each  month members will receive two individually numbered, corrked and wired, 750ml champagne bottles of that months beers, complete with tasting notes. Mebers get a introductory pack, containing tasting glasses, taste notes folder, beer styles guidebook, and a membership card that uinlocks a full range of member benefits, including a programme of events run with meantime key partners.

The first event will be a private viewing of one of Manet’s last great paintings, the Bar at the Folies-Bergère, 1882. Dr Barnaby Wright, the Courtauld’s Daniel Katz Curator of 20th Century Art, will talk about the painting, while Meantime will provide Club members with refreshment of a similar nature to that in the beer bottles famously featured.

To receive further details and to join the Club visit

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Beer Has Style

The British Guild of Beer Writers annual seminar took place the Meantime's Old Brewery last night. The seminar theme was 'beer styles' and Meantime CEO, Alastair Hook, Beer Academy Supremo, George Philiskirk and the newly appointed London Ale Taster, Steve Williams (pictured), all gave their own, and highly individual, perspectives on the topic.

Alastair argued that the brewing industry needed to learn from the example of the new world wine makers who used grape varietal styles to demystify wine and open a dialogue with the consumer.

George and Steve took a more pragmatic line, focusing rather on the dangers of  the over-rigid application of a burgeoning number of beer styles that threatened to confuse rather than enlighten the consumer.

The Q&A session at the end of the seminar showed that the issue is more contentious than one might initially assume, and  - like most things where beer writers are concerned - there were strongly held opinions both in favour of beer styles being a necessary mechanism to grow the beer market and those who preferred the status quo.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Tanks In - Outing Over

Like a scene from Toy Story 3 the big boys' toys - or brewery vessels as we usually call them  - have arrived at their new home and found found new toys waiting for them, and this time it's all better than before.
Don't they look all shiny and happy after yesterday's traumatic trip down the Woolwich Road?

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Meantime Moving - Bulletin Report

August 10th was another big day in the saga that is the Meantime Move. Today tanks started leaving the building in order to make the move to their new home in the slightly posher suburb of SE10.

A specialist team of riggers was on site early doors to move as many tanks as possible, taking three at a time on their flat bed lorry. As our video shows. they don't hang around. The first wave of 12 tanks have now gone leaving a further 17 to move later in the month, once they have been emptied of beer and the initial tanks have been reinstalled in their new home.

Friday, 23 July 2010

The End Of The Beginning

Many brewers might think that the last brew at a brewery was a sad affair. Not Ben Cash. When he got up this morning - which he does at the ungodly hour of 4 AM - he thought to himself. "This is the last time I will ever brew on this brewhouse. I know, I will put on one of my wife's skirts and dress up like an accident at a PostIt Note factory."

Ben, no doubt is looking forward to brewing at the new all spangly and shiny, easy to keep clean, fully automated, decently lit, warm, dry, dust free, state-of-the-art new brewhouse currently being road tested only a mile and a quarter away, but for some others who have been with Meantime throughout it's turbulent 10 year history July 23rd 2010 will go down as, to employ an old cliche, the end of an era.

We don't know as yet where the old workhorse brewhouse will end up. We do know it has served us well for a decade during which it will have produced close to 5000 brews. Some of these ended up winning medals and others have been enjoyed as far apart as Brazil and Brisbane.

Meantime is moving towards a new stage in its history. Everyone is looking forward to bigger, brighter, more professional, less chaotic future, where it is not freezing in winter and sweltering in summer, but down in the Union on a Friday night there will be plenty of moist-eyed nostalgia, beery reminiscence and fishy tales of brewing at in the old days at Penhall Road.

And why not? After all, it was not one of the world's prettiest breweries, but it did make some of the world's best beers.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Tanks For The Memory

As an unmemorable World Cup fades into the past, life at the Blackwall Lane brewery construction site is now focused, once more, on completion of the largest new brewery investment in London since Guinness built their Park Royal plant in 1933.
Sine our last bulletin more vessels have arrived, including new 200 Hl fermenters and maturation vessels, and a lattice of stainless steel pipe-work continues to snake ever more intricately around the newly painted walls of the brewhouse.

Pipes in a brewery invariably end in valves and given the size of the brewery there are only two methods of managing the large numbers of valves needed. You can either train octopuses to brew, or  - since no textbooks actually recommend this - you can automate the brewhouse.

Accordingly the pipe-work has to be matched by control systems, so a parallel network of cabling is being installed and linked into the computer system that will control the whole brewhouse. The octopuses will therefore be kept purely for backup purposes.