Warning: non-beer drinkers need not read on.
For those who do enjoy the stuff, and craft beer in particular, this is definitely one you don’t want to miss. Meantime is one of London’s best craft beers, and we’re fortunate in that they open up their brewery to us in the form of their Meantime Brewery Tour.
I loved every minute of this date, but to call it a “tour” is a stretch of the imagination. If you think about it, there isn’t much to see at a brewery beyond some giant metal tanks (that is the technical term, I believe) and a production line. Instead take this more as a beer tasting hosted by a natural comedian. Big Al (the nickname is more than fitting) has been running the show for years, and is the most cockney fella I’ve come across by a long way. By default, every word that comes out of his mouth is hilarious.
Comedy aside, Big Al is extremely knowledgeable and takes you through five Meantime brews, including limited edition or discontinued ones. He explains the brewing process in user-friendly terms, at one point even encouraging everyone to take a handful of barley and chew on it until a sweet taste comes through, in essence mimicking the fermentation process. The first 1hr 20 mins of the tour is spent getting merry whilst enjoying Big Al’s commentary, and then it’s a 40-minute wander around the brewery itself.
Although North Greenwich and beyond is a bit of a trek for most, it’s definitely worth it, and you could even make the journey part of the date by taking the scenic route via Emirates Air Line. Tours run evenings and weekends, with up to 6 tours on Saturdays – which goes some way to explaining how Big Al got his rotund figure.
Date factor: great for 100th dates, mate dates, day dates, special dates
Price: £17.50-£20 for 2-hour tour including 5 beer tastings
Getting there: 15-minute walk or short bus ride from North Greenwich station
More info: http://meantime.london/