News & views | Beer and food pairing at Meantime

News & views

Beer and food pairing at Meantime

It sometimes seems like there’s a Groundhog Day element to beer and food matching. Everyone gets excited about it then we all go back to square one and rediscover it again.

The London brewer Meantime has been doing it for years, long before craft brewing became so relentlessly trendy yet there’s still an element of surprise about entering a pub where each dish comes with a matching beer.

Greenwich is not my usual stomping ground but I just found myself a few hundred yards down the road and decided to make a long overdue visit to Meantime HQ. It’s a modern looking joint, all bright colours and pale wood, not quite what the description ‘Old Brewery' implies.

It’s hard to see how the division between bar, café and restaurant works - I reckon I was in the bar because I was next to the bar, otherwise I wouldn’t have known from the café-like surroundings. But then the room at the back looked like a café too. And somewhere in the building they have a menu that serves foie gras and steak tartare. Confusing.

Anyway as you’d expect from somewhere with a microbrewery on the premises the beers are super-fresh - a great opportunity to enjoy the Meantime range at its best. The food I felt tries a little too hard to avoid pub food clichés but I enjoyed a dish of spicy calamari with harissa and garlic mayo though rather more with the Yakima Red (one of my favourite Meantime beers) in my tasting flight than the suggested Pilsner.

A warm salad of chestnuts with roasted butternut squash and artichoke hearts with an apple and cranberry dressing also didn’t taste quite as exciting as it sounded but at least there’s something for vegetarians.

The best bet is probably the bar snacks which include a Meantime stout chicken liver paté, pork and London pale ale pigs in blankets and a mini cottage pie braised in Yakima red at £4.50 each or 5 for £20 which should hit the spot if you’ve just finished a trip round the nearby Cutty Sark. Let’s face it few tourist attractions have beer this good on the doorstep.

I ate at the bar as a guest of Meantime.

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