The Craft Beer Channel reinvent the British IPA in documentary with Meantime Brewing Company and introduction of new beer

Author: Communications Team

Date: 01 10 2022 09:00

The feature length film: ‘The Time is Now’ - showcases the amazing variety and potential of locally produced and fully UK-sourced IPA with Greenwich based brewery

  • New collaboration beer Meantime Now IPA offers beer lovers a 100% British IPA
  • Pioneers of Craft Beer aim to raise awareness of decline in British Hop Farms
  • Campaign highlights challenges for local supply chains and the solutions


The Craft Beer Channel and Meantime Brewing Company have thrown their weight behind Britain’s struggling hop industry, with a documentary about the nation’s most famous beer style – India Pale Ale. The Film will be premiered at Meantime Brewery in Greenwich, on 21 September 2022, documenting a road-trip in pursuit of IPA’s true history, and the channel’s efforts to support British hop farming by bringing the beer style up to date.

Previously the largest hop growing nation in the world, UK hop acreage has fallen from 72,000 at its peak to 2,000 today – and it’s still falling, with only a small number British hop farms remaining. The main cause has been a decline in the amount of traditional British beer styles drunk in the UK, as well as competition from other hop growing regions around the world. Turning the dramatic decline around relies not just on reviving the fortunes of classic British hops like Goldings and Fuggles, but on new varieties being crossbred to compete with super aromatic hops in the US, Australia, and New Zealand.

In the documentary, Craft Beer Channel founders Jonny Garrett and Brad Evans travel hundreds of miles to research the IPA’s history, original recipes, and authentic ingredients, using what they learn as inspiration for a new style of IPA. The resulting beer, called Meantime Now IPA, takes elements of 19th century versions but is brought up to date using new hop varieties bred by hop grower and merchant Charles Faram. The result is a beer that combines the citrus and pine aromas that have made modern IPAs the flagship style of the craft revolution, with the turbo bready character of Chevallier malt and stone fruit of a classic British real ale yeast.

Every can of Meantime Now IPA will carry a QR code linking to the documentary, sold via the Meantime Brewery shop and online store. Following the exclusive screening at Meantime Brewery in Greenwich on the 21 September 2022, there will be a tasting and Q&A with Brad, Jonny and others involved in the campaign.

Some highlights of Jonny and Brad’s journey in The Time is Now documentary includes:
•    A visit to Charles Faram to int hop varieties for Meantime Now IPA beer were grown
•    Exploring the National Collection of Yeast cultures to choose a yeast used in the 1800s
•    Visiting Crisp Maltings to learn about the malt varieties that made up these beers
•    A trip to Burton on Trent to ensure they use the correct kind of water for the perfect IPA

In the finale, the beer is launched at the Gladstone, a desi pub in South London with an Anglo-Indian focus. This location gives Brad and Jonny the chance to talk candidly about IPA in context of Britain’s colonial past in India, before launching a new beer as a brilliant symbol of the British pub and brewing scene’s increased diversity that we see today

Jonny Garrett says: “Most beer drinkers think that British ingredients can’t create modern flavors and changing that cliche is at the heart of this film. We have some of the most exciting new hop varieties in the world, but if we want them to flourish and farmers to plant more of them, we need to support them now. Meantime are one of the original British craft brewers, and they started with a stellar example of English IPA – so they were the perfect partners to work with.”

Joe Gardner, Head Brewer at Meantime Brewing Company says: “We know from experience that it’s more than possible to brew great craft beers using all local British ingredients, that still delivery brilliantly on the modern flavors expected by drinkers today. British hop growers are struggling and through this collaboration with the Craft Beer Channel, we want to encourage beer lovers and drinkers to choose British-hopped beers to support the industry and maintain the heritage of British Hop Farms. The message of ‘The Time Is Now’ has never been more relevant and we’re proud to be playing our part by championing all that is British, in our ingredients and supply chain, just as we did in the beginning with some of our first IPAs back in 1999, which helped kick-start the nation’s love of Craft Beer.”

The film is only the start of a campaign to support British hop growers. The Craft Beer Channel pair will announce a homebrewing competition at annual homebrew convention, BrewCon ’22, on Saturday 8th October. The competition is in association with Meantime; The Craft Beer Channel; hop producer, Charles Faram; and homebrew retailer, The Malt Miller. Homebrewers will be asked to brew a modern British IPA using Charles Faram’s Olicana hops, with any form or approach welcome. 

There are prizes for first, second and third place, with the winner getting the chance to go to Meantime and brew a beer with the brew team helping to design the logo and then return to drink it tank fresh in the Meantime tap room, along with £200 of vouchers to spend at The Malt Miller, and t-shirt, books, beers from The Craft Beer Channel and Meantime beers.

The homebrew competition will be announced on Saturday 8th October at BrewCon ’22, with entries open on The Malt Miller website on Friday 14th October. 

Watch the Craft Beer Channel's feature-length documentary, The Time Is Now:

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