The Meantime Brewing Company in Greenwich, London, launched its "brewery fresh" beer concept last month. Brewmaster Alastair Hook tells Janie Manzoori-Stamford how it works
What is the "brewery fresh" concept all about?
The concept is currently installed in three Young's pubs for use with Meantime's London Lager. Are there plans to roll it out to other locations and beers? The technology used is applicable to any style of beer. It allows perfect expression of taste and flavour. It cuts distribution costs, carbon footprints, retailing costs and wastage and improves theatre and taste. It is like "bringing the mountain to Mohammed" and if we had our way we would be serving Meantime beer this way in every pub or bar in the land.
Is there a type of pub that the "brewery fresh" concept best fits? In short, craft beer bars or beer-orientated pubs that deliver volume and high-end quality. The reason for this is that it's vital a level of understanding of craft and the passion for good beer is abundantly present in the place in which it is sold. Young's has a unique commitment to sourcing and developing their range of craft beers, which is something we at Meantime vehemently cling to also.
What investment is required to install the hardware?
Quite simply the sums add up. With short returns on capital invested through savings at each and every level of supply, plus the inclusion of a price premium to the end consumer for superior fresher-tasting beer, the economics of the venture makes for a simple and straightforward model.
How has demand for craft brews changed in recent years? It is flying. It is also no surprise. In all other areas of food and beverage greater demand for enhanced taste and flavour has created "craft" demand. Modern technology and passion for great-tasting beer, served "brewery-fresh" or in conventional craft formats, is booming in Britain. The Craft Revolution is on its way.