London’s leading craft brewer creates urban hop farm

Meantime Brewing Company Creates First Hop Farm in London for a Century on the banks of the River Thames directly on the Greenwich Meridian Line

Pioneering craft brewery, Meantime Brewing, has turned a construction site next to the Thames into an urban oasis with the first permanent hop farm in London in over 100 years. In September the hops will be harvested and used to make a beer that reflects a true flavour of the Capital.

The urban farm, which can be viewed from the Thames pathway, is part of Meantime’s ongoing commitment to engage people with the art of British brewing. The brewery – named due to its Greenwich location – has built the farm on the Meridian Line on Greenwich Peninsula, next to The O2 and across the river from Canary Wharf.

Designed by landscape gardener Kate Lonergan and her team, a total of 48 hop roots have been planted into 12 hand-crafted wooden planters. The urban space has been transformed from construction site into an attractive hop garden featuring hops plants, colourful marigolds, wood-chip flooring, hay-bale seating and empty beer kegs.

Meantime have also commissioned renowned street artist Xenz to transform the wooden planters into beer-themed works of art. It is hoped that the plants will produce around 9lb of hop buds in their first year, enough to brew a 10 hectolitre batch. The beer will then be ready to drink in the autumn.

London is experiencing a dramatic revival of interest in brewing – with over 60 breweries of varying scales now making beer in the capital. Only seven years ago the industry had all but died out with just three working outlets left.

Following the success of Meantime’s True Brew of London campaign last year – where hops grown by different people around the Capital were used to make a crowd-sourced beer – Meantime hopes that the farm will get more of the public interested in London’s brewing heritage, as well as with the modern industry that is thriving across the city.

In September, the hops will be harvested and used to create a beer at the Meantime Brewery in Greenwich. Hops, which can grow up to 10ft tall during their first year, are one of the key ingredients used in brewing. They are used to add aroma and flavour to a beer, as well as to provide bitterness that offsets the sweetness of the malt.

Dozens of Londoners, including celebrities and pubs, will be asked to contribute to the brew by sponsoring hops across the summer.

Rich Myers, Meantime’s Marketing Director said: “London is an exciting place to be a brewer right now. The variety of ingredients at our disposal is huge and it allows us to pack flavour into our beer. I hope that our hop farm – the first in London in over 100 years – will make more of the public aware of that fact.

While brewing was an industry that declined to an almost terminal point in London during the 1990s, a new generation of modern craft businesses has got it back on its feet and there are some fantastic beers that are bold, full of flavour and character – just like the city itself. The beer we will create is about championing our Capital’s rich brewing heritage.

Meantime Brewing, which was founded in 1999, is the leading light in London’s craft brewing movement. Since it opened in Greenwich, it has become the city’s largest modern craft brewer. Modern craft is a style of making beer that fuses heritage recipes and techniques with modern technology and brewer’s passion. It champions quality ingredients and beers that are unpasteurised, unfiltered and allowed to mature ten times longer than some industrial beers to develop maximum flavour.

To find out how the hop farm is getting on, visit Meantime’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/meantimebrewing and if you are interested in sponsoring a hop please contact hops@meantimebrewing.com

Editor’s Note
As readers may know I am growing some Meantime Hops in my South London back garden. The seeds have germinated and will soon be planted out. I will keep you posted on future growth.

About Meantime

Meantime Brewery was founded fourteen years ago in Greenwich, London. The brewer is now one of the UK’s largest modern craft brewers and still continues to make its beers in the same way, having built a state-of-the-art brewery in 2010. There are seven bottled beers in Meantime’s core bottled range: London Lager, London Pale Ale, Pilsner, Yakima Red, IPA, London Porter, Chocolate Porter, Wheat beer, Raspberry Wheat and London Stout. The brand also packages its London Lager, London Pale Ale, London Stout, Meantime Wheat, Yakima Red and Pilsner on draught. Meantime is now stocked in over 700 on-trade outlets as well as Wait

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