Tuesday, 5 July 2016

A Mean Time With Meantime

Up here in the Grim North there aren't many invitations to this or that beer-wise.  Very few in fact. It's all about London don't you know?  Thus, closely following on from my Budvar invite, through email came another, this time from London Brewer Meantime.  I quite like Meantime and E and I have been known to hop on the DLR down to Greenwich and sup some lager in the Old Brewery. In fact I've written about it here from time to time - quite often in fact - and I still think fondly of North Frisian Lager which I wrote about here. I don't know why they didn't make a bigger thing of that, but maybe it was just too bitter for most. This invitation (for "a beer or three") was to the launch of a new beer and, oddly a piece of furniture.  It also involved a tap takeover with a promise of several rarely seen Meantime beers.  Sounded like a good do, so on another lovely Manchester evening E and I went along. It was all kind of downhill from there sadly.

It is never that promising when you arrive at an event and are ignored by the PR people.  Thus it was, but after asking one or two of the T shirted lasses, we were checked off a list and given a couple of beer tickets. Worryingly and confusingly, the pub was still open to the public and an air of utter disorganisation filled the place. It soon became obvious that I was the only beer writer there. Everyone else seemed to be either Meantime Brewery,  random invitees, or friends of the furniture man who had designed a bar seat for two which no doubt cost a fortune. See attached photo but it looks a tad uncomfortable.  All types were mixed in with cash paying customers and only recognisable by presenting vouchers. We are arrived shortly after seven, but by nearly half past eight, there was no sign of any beer launch and my beer tickets had been supped.  I sought out our hostess with the mostess and enquired about the beer launch. She said not to worry that it would be "soon". My request for further beer tickets was declined. Hmm. So we bought a couple of pints - no big deal - but it isn't usual to be invited by PR and then pay yourself.

Behind us a whispered conversation took place. A guy in a Meantime T shirt was hissing loudly that he couldn't do the presentation as he knew nothing about the beer, but nonetheless, without warning to the audience, he was thrust to the front and talked us through from slides, the new beer, which as far as I could make out, none of the audience had. It was well after nine by then. So out of curiosity, I bought us a couple of halves of the new beer - after all, it, with the chair, was the main reason to be there. It was nothing special, so as the News of the World would have said, we made our excuses and left. Well no excuses really.  We just left before the promised grub was even laid out and went for a couple of pints elsewhere.

Now this may give morbid satisfaction for some, but actually if I want to spend my own money, I am unlikely to need or heed an invite from Meantime to do so on their beers.  There seemed to be no shortage of beer tickets for the Meantime types - well those wearing Meantime T Shirts - who were shall we say, enjoying the beers rather liberally.  If they were the target audience, then why invite me and a plus one and then not engage with us?

Now I thought long and hard about posting this, but hey ho - Good and bad. ("Freeloader gets Comeuppance" was my alternative title.)  There wasn't the usual PR follow up either. Hope Meantime thought the PR Co value for money.

I liked the Meantime Pilsner, Winter Sun and the Stout. I can't remember the name of the new beer though, but it was rather ordinary.


The Beer Nut said...

Should've got up and given the talk yourself.

Baron Orm said...

Would have been more accurate and entertaining!

Curmudgeon said...

Sorry, which pub was this?

Paul Bailey said...

Sounds very much as though they couldn’t organise the proverbial piss-up in a brewery, and very different from the Meantime event I attended in London, just over two years ago.

On that occasion, the pub was still open to paying customers, but they had a section reserved for us bloggers, writers and general “freeloaders”. Some nice grub as well, in the form of gourmet burgers, and the beer - a Vienna-style, red lager, was pretty good too.

Fortunately there was no rickety-looking furniture involved either. How long do they expect that uncomfortable looking item to last in the average pub environment? Definitely a case of style over substance, or possibly the Emperor’s new clothes!

I think you are right, and they chose the wrong PR Company.

Anonymous said...

Making a couple of beer tokens last an hour and a half just makes you out to be a Northern tight arse rather than a whiney freeloader.
" And we even 'ad to buy us own fish supper as well "
Comeuppance indeed.

Tandleman said...

I like to give anonymous wankers a chance to comment without the need to analyse or think. Call it a public service.

Tandleman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tandleman said...

I didn't say. A bar in Thomas Street.

Eland said...

You're being dishonest here, to be frank - Meantime didn't just thrust someone who didn't know anything about the beer forward, they brought one of their senior brewers up from London. In my opinion, he spoke knowledgably and interestingly.

Curmudgeon said...

Google is my friend. Never heard of it anyway ;-)

Cooking Lager said...

the time to leave any do is when the free grog is gone.

Tandleman said...

Eland: He didn't as far as I heard, say who he was, he meandered through a description of the beer that nobody had. There wasn't a proper announcement and a call to those present to listen up.

I've seen plenty of these and this wasn't well done. Glad you enjoyed it though.

StringersBeer said...


Eland said...

"There wasn't a proper announcement and a call to those present to listen up."

Actually I dispute that, and most people were in fact listening.
My point is, though, that it was not the case that a clueless PR guy was there to speak about the beer.
The guy who did the powerpoint thing didn't really talk about the beer - they had a brewer there who did that.
You airbrushed him out of your account of the event, which is rather dishonest, in my personal view.

It's obviously fair enough to say you didn't enjoy the evening, but if you're going to post at all, you should be honest and report it factually. After all, your image is that of a straight-talking, blunt Northerner who tells it like it is.

Tandleman said...

Well, you call it how you see it and I'll call it how I see it. You can call that dishonest if you like but what I wrote was a fair summary of my evening. By the time I'd waited for so long for something to happen, I'd got a bit fed up. I didn't hear any announcement and was too far away to know who was whom. I certainly had no idea that a Senior Brewer was involved. Either way, to me, it wasn't a great presentation and no bugger had the beer that was being talked about, so it was all a bit moot anyway.

You may have enjoyed it but my account is how I saw it. Dishonest? By your standards I could call you out on that. The vast majority of people were paying customers and just carried on talking as usual.

It was a disorganised shambles. In my opinion and I'm beginning to suspect you are one of the PR people or somehow otherwise involved..

Syd Differential said...

If you don't mind me saying so you do come across in your post as being a bit up yourself.
But in the comments section you surpass even that and,sorry to say,emerge as a boorish windbag.
You went expecting a free piss-up and some grub but things were a bit chaotic so you hoisted up your underskirt and scurried off into the night already rehearsing your bilious review.
Then someone at the same event challenged your version of what happened and you dismiss him as a PR interloper.
I quite like reading some of your stuff even though it does sometimes veer into the pretentious.
On this occasion you've wandered into the minefield cledarly marked " Danger - dick at work. "

Meantime Fan said...

So you're the guy who everyone said was complaining about not getting enough free beer?

Tandleman said...

I don't mind you saying at all Syd. Glad someone swallowed the hook. Of course I knew this might be interpreted as you so eloquently did. I fact the whole piece invites such comment if you read it.

Do you really think I didn't realise that many would interpret as you did? I took the chance as actually, it was my time that was wasted and, if you read my blog, it disappointed me after so many positive Meantime experiences (paid for by me) which I have written about. I am actually quite a fan.

I neither need nor seek free piss ups and turn down, politely, the majority of invitations I receive.

Dick at Work? Maybe a tad harsh but I did try and lay out a bit of context. Clearly wasted on you at least. I'll continue as before though, as actually, I say what I think and am beholding to no-one. And as for bilious review, well, I waited some weeks to see if I still felt the same way. I did.

Carry on Syd. I put my head above the parapet. You can shoot at it. Them's the rules. No complaints from me.

Tandleman said...

Meantime Fan: No. I asked once of the PR person and spoke to no-one else there at all except my wife. You are making that up as you well know.

call_me_ishmael said...

HaHa. Looks like the PR company's social media outreach is proceeding apace.

Cooking Lager said...

To any PR people annoyed at the TAND saying it how it is. I'm a more compliant beer evangelist/communicator/blog curator who will for free cash, free beer, free t shirts and various tat write up positive beery cheery stuff even more toe curlingly sycophantic than the lad Curtis and I'd do it cheaper. I have no principles and would do owt for coin.

Tandleman said...

And you can't say fairer than that. Roll up roll up.

RedNev said...

Interesting how those who don't know Tandleman personally are really wide of the mark in their guesses about his character. My advice: just stick to what you do know, i.e. what he actually wrote in the post.

As for him being a blunt Northerner - wrong, he's a proud Scot.

And please, I know Scotland is in the north, but the term 'Northerner' is used for people from the north of England.