Meantime Brewery
Alex was our host for the evening on the Greenwich Meantime Brewery Tour. We were taken up to the marketing suite where we found him wiping down the bar. He explained that he was running late as the earlier tour was two groups of 30 people. In contrast we were a select group of nine. It turned out that the group included three people called James, two Chris, Patrick, Katie, Laura and Hannah. As this was his third tour of the day I am sure Alex thought he was in for a relatively easy time. It soon became apparent, however, that Patrick had a lot of beer savvy and could ask some challenging questions. Alex asked had any one heard about the German beer purity laws to which Patrick responded “Oh the Reinheitsgebot”. The tour starts with beer tasting starting with the weaker beers and progressing to the higher ABVs. Alex was very enthusiastic about the Oktoberfest and explained with some conviction why it cost over £5 a pint. The group, knowing, by now, that Patrick was a regular at the Munich beer festival looked to Patrick for a view. To Alex’s relief, the man from Sweden said it was excellent one of the best he had tasted.
Although, a self confessed non brewer our host conveyed compassionately the principles behind Greenwich Meantime. He compared the beer to a well aged steak and drew on his experience as a former chef often and to good effect. The brewery’s principles are to use the best ingredients and ensure consistency. The price reflects that this is a premium product or as Alex said “ it’s like your Montgomery Cheddar – you get those great flavours that excite your palate”

Brewery Tour
This was my first brewery tour so I didn’t know what to expect. After about an hour and a half we did the tour of the brewery. I wasn’t that interested in learning about the actual process but did welcome the short respite from the bar. On our return to the bar we tasted the Indian Pale Ale with an ABV of 7.4%. My favourite was Yakima Red 4.1% ABV. It has a deep ruby colour and is made from hops from valley of the same name in Washington State, US.

Michael Jackson's beer collection
The brewery is the largest to be opened since the 1930s. It was the brain child of Alastair Hook a local boy who had been inspired by his teacher at Thomas Tallis school. It’s a fine example of local innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. The Classic Tour costs £15 and is available Thursday – Saturday plus a Sunday afternoon tour. On Friday and Saturday they have a Pie and Pint night costing £30. It was a very enjoyable evening and I was assured by Patrick that it is one of the best brewery tours.