Meantime opens bar as part of new ‘immersive’ visitor complex

Meantime Tasting Rooms

Meantime Brewing in Greenwich, London, has opened a bar as part of The Tasting Rooms, its new multi-purpose venue for visitors.

The business has invested £6.4million over the last 18 months to create the “fully immersive” brewery and “modern craft beer” experience in a 9,000 sq ft space next to its existing brewery.

The Tasting Rooms include a 100-capacity bar (pictured) and visitor centre, with views across the brewery, as well as new brewing equipment such as 800-hectolitre maturation vessels and a 21st-century kegging robot on view.

There is also a shop open seven days a week, which stocks not just beer and branded clothing but, through its Cold Store room, the public can take home ready-chilled beer, including growlers from the newly installed growler filling station.

The opening of the new site has created 20 new jobs, with more brewers, bar staff, tour guides and retail workers recruited. It brings the size of the brewery’s main facility up to 35,000 square foot.

Nick Miller, chief executive of Meantime Brewing Company, said: “The Tasting Rooms will bring our customers even closer to the brewing process, allowing them to enjoy high-quality modern craft beer and food, with the added theatre of being in the heart of a working brewery.

“The way people think about beer is changing. Provenance and the use of the finest ingredients, coupled with the latest brewing technology enable our quest for better tasting beer.

“Consumers are also more engaged than ever with quality and locality, wanting to engage with, and understand the brewing process, and this deeper education is becoming part of the enjoyment.”

The Tasting Rooms form part of Meantime’s ongoing investment plan, which has seen investment of £9.5million since 2010 when the company moved to the current brewery site.

In 2013, Meantime became the first British brewer to introduce the tank beer concept to the UK market with its successful Brewery Fresh offering. It has completed its 25th installation of Brewery Fresh tanks in premium accounts across the country.

The cutting-edge storage and dispense method protects the beer from light, oxygen and fluctuations in temperature and allows the beer to continually mature, meaning consumers can enjoy the best taste as if straight from the brewery.

Nick said: “The category is shifting as beer drinkers seek a better-tasting, premium pint. The craft offering in London alone is huge so we need to stay ahead of the curve, driving the category forward.

“We have one of the most technologically advanced breweries in the world and we were the first to bring a ‘Brewery Fresh’ beer offering to the UK. The Tasting Rooms marks a new chapter for Meantime and we’re excited to share our passion for great beer with consumers.”

The improved brewery site has the capacity to make 120,000 hectolitres of beer per year and host over 1,500 people on brewery tours each month. There are plans to expand on Meantime’s current educational focus for consumers and the trade in 2015, with the introduction of new courses designed for beginners right through to advanced brewers and future sommeliers.

Meantime will use the new space to step up its offerings of beer and food matching events and tutored tastings, as well as offering the bar and restaurant area for year-round use.

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