The Pilot Series: Meantime goes experimental with small-batch beers

New and exciting beers to try are everywhere and Greenwich-based brewery Meantime has an interesting new range: The Pilot Series.

The Pilot Series isn’t a brand new thing, in fact many of the beers in the range have been and gone – that’s partly because I haven’t got round to writing this post but also because I wanted to try some first.

You’ve probably heard of Meantime but The Pilot Series is something quite different to its usual range such as London Lager or even Yakima Red. The name comes from the ‘state-of-the-art’ pilot brewery.

The firm says its high-tech Bavarian style brew house (situated within the main one in Greenwich) allows it to brew small batches without compromising on quality. It allows the brewers to have a bit of fun experimenting with different ingredients, processes and recipes without the cost of making huge amounts.

The Pilot Series consists of 26 beers in total, each with a different character and style. Since the end of April a new one has been released every two weeks. Examples include White Bear Berliner, Mason Hop Black Ale and Time to Time Saison. You can see which ones are available and coming up here.

Meantime Pilot Series craft beer

I’m not going to go through all The Pilot Series beers here but here’s a few in a little more detail. I managed to try the Sunset Imperial Red Ale which is amazingly smooth and drinkable for its strength.


  • Imperial Red Ale
  • 9.0%
  • A wonderfully complex beer, packed full of tropical aromas from American hops.
  • Sold out

African Queen

  • IPA
  • 6.0%
  • Hoppy IPA with an exciting and flavourful new South African hop
  • Available now

Time to Time

  • Saison
  • 4.0%
  • Modern take on a classic northern French style of beer
  • Available 11 August

Something I find interesting about The Pilot Series is that Meantime did no focus groups or research before brewing anything. Instead, the brewery will watch how fast each beer sells out as well as customer reaction online. The most popular will return as a seasonal range the following year.

The Pilot Series: Where to find and buy

Being made in small batches, these beers aren’t particularly easy to find and buy – unless you live near the brewery as you can understandably pop into the Brewery Shop and Tasting Rooms, plus the Beer Box and Greenwich Union Pub.

The easiest way to buy the beers is from the online shop if you’re happy to buy a pack of 12.

On draft, The Pilot Series is exclusive to The Understudy at the National Theatre, The Old Blue Last in Shoreditch, The Orange in Pimlico, Vinothec Compass in North Greenwich and The Four Quarters in Peckham.

Have you tried any of the beers from The Pilot Series? Let me know any thoughts in the comments section below or on Twitter. Also check out my post on the Cloudwater DIPA.

Images by Becca Martin Photography


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