breweries News

Meantime at Large?

This just in, courtesy of Marketing magazine: Adnams have just acquired the rights to distribute and sell Meantime draught beers in the UK, and the sales rights to all of their bottled beers.

I’m taking this as good news — if it means we start to see their London Porter or IPA in more pubs, I’ll be a very happy chap.

The same magazine also brings us news that German brewery Flensburger is launching a draft beer in the UK.

5 replies on “Meantime at Large?”

Adnams already distribute Aspalls cider and Bitburger lager, two decent products. That’s why you often see them together, particularly in pubs that stock Adnams.

However, I’m not so sure about Meantime’s draught beers. Some are essentially British styles, and yet they seem unwilling to offer these in cask form. Why? Our pubs have the set up for cask beer, so why opt for keg? Meanwhile Adnams are promoting their own keg beer now.

Remember that when the big brewers in the 60s and 70s tried to phase out cask beer, they did it for reasons of economy – selling the customer short to increase their own profits. It seems that some brewers that class themselves as craft or micro today are doing the same.

Personally I’m wary of Meantime’s strategy, and I don’t want to see their keg ales in pubs being promoted as a trendy alternative to proper cask beers.

I’m more interested in the bottles, personally. I don’t think Meantime IPA would be flying out of the pumps in my local, but a few bottles behind the counter would do well.

Interesting, the IPA is the only Meantime beer I ever have seen on cask.

And remember the deal here is to distribute the draught, i.e. keg, beers. Maybe the bottles will go with it, maybe not. There are a few restaurants and bars already offering the London Porter and IPA 75cl bottles – but for as much as £12.95!

Probably being dense here, but what’s the difference between “sales rights” and “distribution rights”? In this case, does it mean they can sell the bottles in their own pubs, but distribute the kegs to others?

Basically I think the deal is that Adnams act as a middle man between Meantime and pubs – landlords order the beers via Adnams, who then get them from Meantime, then Adnams distribute them to the pubs.

In any event – I’m not up for giving love to Meantime. That isn’t because I won’t drink keg beers – but because, when it comes to British ales, cask is BETTER, and there is no reason for Meantime not to package beers that way for British pubs.

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