Back in October I took the boyfriend to the Meantime Brewing Company for a boozy treat. For £15 each you get an excellent two-hour tour explaining the brewing process, the ideology behind Meantime and lots of free beer… if you can drink it that is!

The tours are currently on hiatus as Meantime is refurbishing its visitor area, the latest details can be found here.

A stone’s throw from Greenwich and the O2, Meantime moved to Blackwall Lane two years ago in order to expand its business. The brewery was started by Londoner Alastair Hook on Penhall Road, Charlton in 1999 and at first just brewed and bottled beer for other brands.

As detailed here, Meantime gradually developed its own beers, opened The Greenwich Union pub in 2001, and The Old Brewery restaurant in 2010. I can fully recommend the restaurant’s £15 lobster nights, yum yum yum.

Armed with a tasting glass we were taken round the brewery by charismatic guide Peter Haydon and were shown in excellent detail how the brewing process worked.

The Meantime logo sits atop the ROLEC vats

Huge shiny vats of booze

Spot the London Eye and the Jubilee Bridges on the London Lager labels

Meantime has its own laboratory where batches of beer are checked and tested frequently

Old and current brands brewed and bottled by Meantime

Haydon told us great stories about the history of beer in London and it was great to hear about the changes in business and drinking culture over the centuries.

As a non-beer drinker I only had a tiny amount of the London Lager, India Pale Ale and London Porter offered, but the other half more than made up for it as our tour group was small and you can’t waste five pint tankards can you!

He also bought a case of the Chocolate and Porter Style Ale which he indulged in over the next week or so.

We had a great time and are very much looking forward to the opening of the Meantime shop so we can pick up a well-priced case of beer on a regular basis. Here’s hoping the refurbishment will include the shop!