Meantime champions craft of British brewing

hops in a boxMeantime Brewing has embarked on a campaign to highlight the craft of British brewing as part of a range of activities for the business.

It has distributed more than 20,000 hop-growing kits, called Hops in a Box, to over 160 on-trade outlets where consumers will be encouraged to grow their own hops at home.

The Greenwich-based brewer is also expanding the availability of its brewery-fresh “tank beer” to make it available to bars and pubs outside of London for the first time.

Hops in a Box was first introduced last year with great success, with Meantime handing out 12,000 kits, which generated 1.3million page impressions across Twitter and Facebook while sales of Meantime beer in participating outlets rose by up to 27%.

Each of the Hops in a Box kits contains a packet of hop seeds, a mini terracotta pot, dehydrated compost and full growing instructions.

Growers are encouraged to register their hops at to receive stage-by-stage growing information and to be in with the chance to win a selection of prizes. Meantime’s team of brewers are also on hand to post advice on Twitter using the hashtag #hopsinabox.

Richard Myers, marketing director at Meantime Brewing Company, said: “We believe in helping people understand where hops come from, how they grow and the flavour they give to beer. It will mean they will appreciate beer all the more.

“At the heart of modern craft brewing lies quality beer that’s full of flavour. This is achieved by using the best brewing techniques available, longer maturation times, passion of our brewers and of course the finest ingredients.

“The variety of natural hops and malted barley available is huge and it allows us to pack real flavour into our beer. Increasingly, consumers want more from their beer. Better quality, consistency, bigger flavours and proven provenance.

“The brewing industry is being driven by innovation and our Hops in a Box kits have proved to be a great talking point. We see the kits as a link between the brewing process and the drinker, taking them on a journey which starts with the raw ingredients and ends in the glass.”

For a full list of on-trade outlets stocking Hops in a Box kits, visit

The London brewer is also expanding the availability of its “Brewery Fresh” London Lager, or tank beer, which allows drinkers to enjoy the beer entirely unadulterated by pasteurisation, filtering or pressurisation.

It has been introduced at Indigo Pub Company’s newly refurbished Hare and Hounds pub in Brighton after its success at Young’s pubs in London – The Plough and The Grove in Balham. It is also now available in The Assembly House in Kentish Town, The Crown and Shuttle in Shoreditch, The Forge in Shoreditch, The Brooklyn Bowl at the O2 and Jacks in Waterloo.

Dispensed direct from specially engineered tanks installed in the pub itself, Meantime’s Brewery Fresh London Lager is delivered by specially modified tankers direct from the maturation tanks at the brewery. It produces a well-rounded, smoother lager, with enhanced aromas and flavours.

Although widely available in cities such as Prague, which has its “tankovna” or tank bars, Meantime Brewery Fresh marked the first time dispense tanks of this sort have been used in the UK on a permanent basis without being attached to a microbrewery.

Because the beer remains unpasteurised and unfiltered, it continues to mature in the tank and improve even while it is in the outlet. The process also means the beer has no contact with the air until it hits the glass – air used in traditional dispense can adversely affect the taste and ultimately the quality of the beer.

The process means that a pint of Meantime Brewery Fresh is like drinking a beer direct from the brewery itself, as fresh as the day it was made.

Nick Miller, chief executive of Meantime Brewing, said: “Brewery Fresh beer represents a way of ensuring Meantime’s beers retain the flavour the brewer originally set out to create – unadulterated by the processes that other industrial lagers go through which can diminish it.

“We’re pushing craft beer further than ever with Brewery Fresh, using the latest technology to answer drinkers’ call for a fresher, even better-tasting brew.”

Alastair Hook, founder and brewmaster at Meantime, added: “For a brewer, there is only one place to really drink beer: straight from the vats, in the brewery.

“I think Brewery Fresh means we’ve found the brewers’ Holy Grail: Brewery Fresh beer served, unfiltered, naturally carbonated, unpasteurised and as fresh as it could be, direct from tanks at the local pub. It tastes just as the beer does when I taste it in the brewery.”

Meantime has also re-opened its own pub, The Greenwich Union, after a refurbishment. First opened in 2001, it is now furnished with cutting-edge dispense technology and has an updated premium bar and dining aesthetic.

A large selection of the collection of beer labels and glasses from leading beer writer Michael Jackson is also on display around the bar.

The pub showcases over 180 beers from some of the world’s top breweries, which can be accompanied with the pub’s modern British food, matched with every brew. In addition to the à la carte offering, there is a new gourmet breakfast menu.

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