Imagine finishing a fabulous ride on a sunny day with a delicious, crisp, cold beer. Provided you’re into beer – that’s a pretty perfect mix. It seems Brompton Bikes and the Meantime Brewery thought so too, since the two companies paired up recently to create two brand new products.
Meantime set themselves the challenge of creating a beer that could encapsulate the spirit of Brompton, and Brompton endeavoured to produce a bike that did the same for their brewing friends.
Both bike and beer are now ready – so Brompton and Meantime Brewery invited us to a very special launch...
Welcoming guests, Brompton's Stephen Loftus, referred to the marriage between the companies as perfect and joked about thanking the bridesmaids. About visiting Meantime Brewery, he said he: “I felt a de-ja-vous in how similar the companies were, from the people I spoke to and the passion of the staff, to the innovation and creativity that they were working on."
"I think he wanted a magic carpet that he could fold up and put in his pocket. He created the next best thing, the Brompton bike."
Both companies were born and bred in London. Brompton started in 1975 as the founders’ solution to getting around town. Loftus tells us: “I think he wanted a magic carpet that he could fold up and put in his pocket. He created the next best thing, the Brompton bike."
A few years younger, the meantime Brewery was founded in 1999, and their first beer brewed in 2000. Both companies tell us they share one key passion: a desire to be different, creative and innovative. They pride themselves on ensuring skill and dedication to quality run through everything they do.
The Meantime Brewery set brompton a pretty special challenge - given that it took six weeks to brew the perfect beer, could Brompton design and produce a bike to encapsulate the spirit of the Meantime Brewery within the same time frame?
Using the S type model, Brompton selected the sportier variety of the collection. Light, nimble and with just two gears, the Meantime Brewery Brompton is designed to be fast and responsive. With only 6 in production you too will need to be quick if you are going to get your hands on one!
The chosen black and white colourway is inspired by the Meantime Brewery kegs and the 'Black Edition' parts ensure the bike is closely related to the city models that Brompton create to tick the boxes for those after a young, spirited, urban ride. The finer details such as the stainless steel ID plate, a nod to MTB’s stainless steel maturation tanks, and the super cute bottle cap bar ends add an abundance of character.
“It is those nuances that matter" – Richard Myers, of Meantime Brewery confirms. Their current campaign #maketimeforit is all about stopping, taking stock and enjoying. He said: “It is a case of stopping, thinking, taking the time to develop something. Not to rush it, not to cut corners, and to produce something excellent." Meantime produced 40 different styles of beer last year – they describe themselves as ‘brave, different and innovative’, their ethos is ‘to change the way people think about beer’.
Myers didn’t know much about bikes before this first visit to Brompton – but he knows all about beer. He explains that there are four main ingredients in any beer: water yeast hops and grains, although the meantime Brewery argue that there are five, with time being the fifth and possibly the most important.
People have come to expect a certain taste from the beer they drink. With this in mind, the meantime Brewery have used German hops in their Brompton beer to give it a deeper colouring and a somewhat tropical fruity note in the hope that the smell and the taste of the beer will make people say – ‘That’s different. It’s a larger, but it’s different’. Brompton are a bike, but they are more than a bike; they are different and this is their way of encapsulating the essence of the Brompton bike.
Characterising Brompton as cheeky and mischievous, Loftus reflects: “There is something magical about it – that’s why I joined the company … One of the founding principles of Brompton is that sense of freedom and independence. We do not put people in boxes. At waterloo you will see such an eclectic bunch of people at the traffic lights; we want to see that everywhere in the world."
From an outsider’s perspective, it’s clear that the project has been a lot of fun and a great example of Brompton and the Meantime Brewery creating a friendship and sharing ideas. Both sides have been on a great journey and feel the result represents the notion that they like to have fun, and they love what they do. The nature of the Meantime Brewery and their customers is people focussed, and the way they present their brand demonstrates the virtue and value of craftsmanship in a very modern and expressive way. This provides an honest reflection of some of the elements Brompton are developing and creates a further synergy between the two. Long may the friendship continue.