All I ever wanted was to give beer drinkers a wide choice of flavourful, interesting beer. That is why I trained to be a brewer and why I have been heavily involved in the development of modern craft beer in the UK over the last 25 years.
The new world-wide wave of microbrewers has found a strong commercial foothold in the beer world: they champion consumer choice, are passionate about flavour and have a strong local identity. All of the great, modern craft brewers that are growing sales exponentially are responding to a consumer call. At Meantime we may have produced over 100 different styles of beer in our short 15 year history yet we have learnt our science from the world’s biggest breweries, including SABMiller. Passion for beer means aspiration to make it perfect and these values are shared by all great brewers, large or small. I have always aspired to make more beer and better beer and I have never seen scale and quality as mutually exclusive.
Meantime will now benefit hugely from the science and experience of SABMiller, one of the world’s great brewers: with a free hand to innovate at every corner, finding and making new friends for beer. I see the term ‘Craft' disappearing within ten years as the brewing world recalibrates itself and aligns itself with a passion for great beer made well. ‘Craft’ could disappear as it reforms and redefines what is the new world of beer, a world that provides choice to an inspired and responsive consumer. The real winners in this deal are beer drinkers and Meantime's team of passionate, technically cutting-edge and creative brewers who want to see perfection in a glass.
I know some craft brewers have reservations about working with bigger brewers, but if this association means Meantime and SABMiller producing a wider range of better beer, in greater volume, served to more and more appreciative beer drinkers, my brewers and I raise our glasses to the future