|  Meantime


A few words from Alastair…

Our friend and colleague Glenn Payne passed away yesterday. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and closest friends who will feel his loss tremendously.

His colleagues in the beer world knew him as ‘Glenn’.

‘Glenn’ was an institution, something that is always there, writ large, uncomplicated, was ‘what it said on the tin’. Not bad for an institution…. Not many institutions are eccentric epicureans with no identifiable geographical abode that sprinkle magic dust and fun on all that they come in to contact with. Not bad for a man so kind of spirit that he would drop his plans at any time in the pursuit of pleasure for others. Not many institutions get away with a sort of glorious unaccountability normally reserved for artists and rock stars. ‘Glenn’ did.

And what this meant was that the beer world had an evangelist and a saint that worked tirelessly to improve the lot of others by bringing the best out of them by inspiring relationships with people they thought they didn’t know, or better still, didn’t even like. The beer industry has seen its tipping point in the noughties…dramatic change that has rendered the customer King. If anyone has read Malcolm Gladwell’s book ‘The Tipping Point’ they will recognise ‘Glenn’ in his chapter about ‘Mavens’….. Without the institution of ‘Glenn’ we could still be walking in to our local boozer and getting a choice of warm ale, cold lager or Guinness.

At Meantime for two fun years ‘Glenn’ was the name of our Sales and Marketing department. This was his career move from the fallout of Morrison’s takeover of Safeway. From Beer buyer to Beer seller and marketeer …’Poacher turned game-keeper’. All of us know his work at Safeway was revolutionary. He opened the supermarket door to the new wave of American, European and British beers that were hereto being ‘gagged’ by the use of indiscriminate listing fees. It was here that he gendered an astonishing relationship with the brewers of the American craft brewing revolution that has now changed the brewing world for good. His values echoed Meantime’s and we were thrilled he wanted to work with us.

At Meantime, don’t laugh, in his words not mine….he was not much good at his day job! ‘Glenn’ however, was untouchable, because his quest and role were more important than just a job. As a colleague he was a ‘confident’ and rock. He was perceptive, passionate and had a clear vision…’to change the way people think about beer’. I for one was the first to admit that ‘Glenn’ helped see me through some very tough times.

It is easy to get carried away with the euphoria that surrounds the current beer scene. Without ‘Glenn’ the institution, and thanks to ‘Glenn’ the institution, we will now all venture forth and prosper. Mission accomplished.

Without Glenn, the man, the friend, his whimsical pose and gate, his awful one-liners, perfectly delivered, we will all be poorer people. For that may we pause, and once again in our lives think of Glenn. For once without him thinking of us first.

Alastair Hook
7th December 2015.

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