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.

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