Paul’s birthday in January ended up falling on a Sunday. Despite doing well with all of his gifts, the week prior I suddenly realised that I had nothing planned for the actual day of his birthday. I knew we were going to be in London so did some googling for something to do. Initially I thought of trying to do some kind of whisky tasting but I had bought that for him last year, so after scowering through the tours on trip advisor, I came across the Meantime Brewery Tour.
Now, I don’t like beer. So when I first saw it, I was like, hmmm is this the best idea to go to? But after reading the hundreds of awesome reviews online, I figured why not – as long as Paul enjoys it then I’m happy! We ended up going to Hunan the night before his birthday, which was amazing Chinese. They don’t even give you a menu, just ask whether you have any food preferences then proceed to bring out dish after dish of epic Chinese food. So safe to say, the next day we were still pretty full!
But after opening some of his presents, one of them revealed the tour which we would soon be going on in the afternoon. The brewery itself is in Greenwich – it took about 15 minutes for us to walk from North Greenwich tube station. We arrived a little early and took a seat in the bar. He was so excited, like a giddy child! He’d always mentioned going to a brewery like the Stanley Park brewery so now was his chance. The grin on his face was priceless. The bar is open during the week and you can pop in for a pint or for some food – we saw some baked sweet potato which looked pretty good.
We were on the 2pm tour and it started pretty promptly. Our tour was held by Big Al which you could tell in the first few minutes was going to be quite the character. The tour itself was a little different, so it started out with the drinking! We headed up into the bar inside the brewery where we were to try 5 different types of beers. As Al said, beer is something that brings people together in their local pub and that is what meantime want to embrace!
I did try some of the beers but as I thought, I’ve not yet developed a taste for it. We had 5 thirds but they did pop some jugs on the tables too if you wanted a bit more to drink. This part of the tour ended up being pretty hilarious, Al did talk us through the beers but spent most of the time doing pretty much a stand up comic gig. He quite enjoyed picking out people to chat to and have some ‘banter’ with, luckily Paul and I got off pretty lightly! It was so funny to watch though – others on the tour either embraced it or didn’t look too happy but it was all in good fun. By the end of the beer tasting I pretty much had sore ribs from laughing too much!
After the hearty drinking, we then carried on with the actual tour of wandering around the brewery. This bit was also full of laughs but a bit of learning as well! It was great to see all the vats and machinery and learn about the beer itself – almost all of the ingredients are sourced within and in the surrounds of London which was interesting to hear.
Over 2 hours later we finished our tour by the bottling plant. We headed back to the bar and the team were lovely enough to give Paul a big bottle of beer for his birthday! The tour itself was not what I expected but ended up being such an awesome time. Even if you don’t love beer, I highly recommend going on the tour just for a bit of a laugh.
The tour itself is pretty cheap too – considering the amount of beer you get, around £20 and there are sessions all the way through the week and weekend. After the tour finished we took a bit of a wander into Greenwich park which was only about a 15 minute walk away. As the sun set we walked up to the observatory, somewhere we hadn’t been since one of our first dates! It was really cool to see the Meridian line projected out from the observatory. We wandered down the other side to the Cutty Sark station before jumping on the DLR home.
I highly recommend this tour if you need something a bit different in London – but if you are looking for a traditional, educational beer tour then this isn’t the one. If you want a load of beer and even more laughs, then this is the best option!
Have you ever done a brewery tour? What did you think?