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Meantime was founded by visionary Master Brewer, Alastair Hook, who gathered around him like-minded friends, family and his parents' dog to form a brewing company to help him realise his vision to connect with the British drinking public in a way that no one else was doing.

Alastair's mission was simple. To demonstrate the full flavour potential that beer has to offer, and to engage the drinking public with those flavours. Meantime exists for no other reason, (well, that and to make a bit of profit, obviously). Co-founders included South London school friend Ben Joseph, who owns the Carhartt clothing brand in the UK and old university friend Lars Huser, former financial controller of Norwegian television channel TV2, and now with Canal Plus in Oslo.

Other friends invested small amounts, including fellow school friend Ray Richardson, now a leading British artist, and a friend from Alastair's days at The Grist, a brewing trade magazine, Peter Haydon, then General Secretary of the Society of Independent Brewers and drinks author, and now, since making a significant investment, a Meantime director.

The company was founded in Alastair's flat and the search for premises began. This was complicated by the founders' determination to be a Greenwich based company, as that was where Alastair, Ben and Ray had grown up. Premises were found and in December 1999 the concrete floor of Units G & H 2 Penhall Road were dug up to lay drains. By February offices had been built in the Units, and the largest and most expensive start up brewery seen in the UK for almost 100 years was installed and commissioned, complete with bottling line. The first brew was packaged in April.

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