Change is brewing

The term ‘craft’ means different things to different people. For Greenwich-based modern craft brewer Meantime, it’s about putting a unique twist on different beer styles that have been around for centuries.

“Harnessing technology, keeping an eye on tradition – but not being a slave to it – and spending extra time maturing our beers, gives us greater taste and flavour,” explains Meantime CEO Nick Miller. “Our London Pale Ale has a got a small quantity of American hops in it, so it’s a traditional London recipe but it’s got its own twist.”

Meantime brews a wide variety of high-quality modern craft beer (keg and bottle) for retailers and bars across the UK and also exports to 40 different countries. Alongside its London Pale Ale, main lines include London Lager, Pilsner and Yakima Red, but it brews up to 40 other varieties in a typical year.

  • Meantime exports to 40 different countries

By autumn 2015, the company’s production capability will have increased to 175,000 hectolitres – almost a nine-fold increase from its 2011 levels. Its biggest challenge, according to Nick, has been keeping up with demand and “sizing the brewery in the most capital-efficient way to service customer and drinker requirements”. 

And those requirements are changing, as consumers’ palates become ever more discerning. “The beer market is being reinvigorated, a bit like the coffee market was 20 years ago,” says Nick. “People are drinking less but better quality and are seeking out products that have a point of difference – and that’s something we have.”