Young's becomes first pub company to trial Meantime's Brewery Fresh tank beer

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Beer

London-based Meantime Brewing Company is calling its Brewery Fresh system, now available in pubs, 'beer utopia'
London-based Meantime Brewing Company is calling its Brewery Fresh system, now available in pubs, 'beer utopia'
London brewer Meantime Brewing Company has launched Brewery Fresh, the UK's first tank beer, in three Young's pubs in the capital and is hoping to introduce the system it calls 'beer utopia' to other hospitality businesses.

The company's London Lager will now be available to drinkers without pasteurisation, filtering or pressurisation, offering drinkers a beer which Meantime has said is as close to drinking a pint in the brewery as it is possible to get.

Craft beer

The Greenwich-based firm has installed the technology in The Plough in Clapham, The Grove in Balham and The Windmill, also in Clapham.

However, speaking to BigHospitality at the launch of the system at The Plough, Meantime chief executive Nick Miller said he was already in discussions with other firms keen to install Brewery Fresh.

"We have got another three pubs lined up – there is no exclusive arrangement with Young’s," he said.

Pubs looking to install the system will need to fund an initial investment - between £500 and £3k - and sign up to an agreement for a period of time to allow the brewer to recoup the costs of the tanks and distribution. 

As well as the funds, space in their venue to show off the system and a high volume of drinkers, what do publicans need to really benefit from the revolutionary system?

“You need to understand what craft beer is about," Miller said. "Come and visit these sites and taste the beer. There has got to be an affiliation with the customer to understand what craft beer is because it is expensive technology."

Utopian moment

Although widely available in pubs on the continent, tank beer is uncommon in the UK despite the growth in popularity of craft beers.

The nearest drinkers in this country can come to the quality promised by the beer is at pubs attached to microbreweries. 

Using a complex system of vacuum bags, the beer is delivered from Meantime's maturation tanks using bespoke DHL lorries.

The drink is then dispensed direct from specially-engineered tanks installed in the pubs.

The first time the beer is exposed to air, which affects the taste and quality of the drink, is the moment it is poured into a glass to drink and at no stage in the distribution process does the beer's temperature rise above 2-3°C.

"For a brewer it is a utopian moment," said Alastair Hook, Meantime brewmaster and founder of the company. "A brewer’s job is to create pretty-flavoured beers of character and there are some major enemies to stop us doing that – one of them is air.

"This system is technically the best way of making and serving beer," he concluded.

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