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Meantime Brewing Co - London Urban Farming and Crowdsourced Beer
by Startacus Admin
Did you know that beer was first brewed in London in the 1300’s? Needless to say a lot has changed since then, not least of all the UK brewing industry, which has over the last century been under tremendous pressure for international imports which can be brewed faster and cheaper. For a while there it seemed that it was 'last orders at the bar' for the great British Pint… but the story isn't over yet! The past decade or so has seen a resurgence in the public's thirst for traditionally crafted local tipples and London’s Meantime Brewing Company has positioned itself at the forefront of the country’s renewed patriotic vigour.
Established in 1999 they set themselves the mammoth task of bringing back traditional craft brewing processes to the London pub scene… a venture which represented the largest single brewery startup in the UK for over 80 years. Today business is booming down at their brewery in Greenwich, producing the likes of ‘raspberry wheat beer’ ‘chocolate porter’ and ‘London Stout’ through exacting, age old, tried and tested brewing methods.
In equally enterprising and devilishly cunning spirit, Meantime Brewing will soon be bringing the UK’s first crowdsourced beer to pumps the length and breadth of the capital (In case you aren't familiar, crowdsourcing is a process by which a service that would normally be carried out by a contractor is solicited from a large group of people - usually organised via the internet.)
If you have been wandering around central London over the past few months you may have noticed some odd vegetation hanging from a number of lampposts and balconies around historic landmarks. These are in fact hops planted by the Meantime Brewing Co. in the first stage of their crowdsourced London beer. The hops have just been harvested by local volunteers in an event designed to mimic the hop-picking tradition of the 1920's to '50s when 200,000 city dwellers would head for the countryside to reap the rewards of the autumn harvest - a practice that became known as 'the Londoners’ holiday' They played a key role in the traditional craft brewing process and Meantime has managed to emulate this and combine it with an imaginative new form of urban farming, the end result of which will make approximately 1600 pints of beer.
We love Meantime’s dedication to their cause and are very excited by this project as it will be the first ever truly London beer, made by Londoners for Londoners and represents a promising indicator for the future of the British beer industry. In keeping with their innovative style they have left it up to the public to name the beer and have allowed them to vote for their favourite name suggestions on Twitter and Facebook.
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