Founded in 2000, London’s Meantime Brewing Company is one of the oldest and most recognizable names in modern British craft brewing. And despite going through some ownership drama over the past couple years (first selling to SABMiller and then subsequently being sold off to Asahi), Meantime still serves as a consistent fallback if you are looking for a solid British-made draft beer. But if Meantime’s brews aren’t completely to your liking, the brewery now offers up an option to make sure you have a beer that 100 percent matches your taste buds – almost literally – thanks to the help of DNA testing. And it’ll only cost you £25,000, or about $30,000.
Earlier this month, Meantime Brewing announced “Meantime Bespoke,” billed as “the world’s most personalized beer.” In order to brew this one-of-a-kind beer to specifically match the buyer’s tastes, “Pioneering personal genetics company 23andMe will assess hereditary variations in your oral taste receptors (the TAS2R38 gene) to reveal the genetic variants that could explain personal preferences towards specific flavour profiles within beer such as sweetness and bitterness.” Then, just in case your DNA doesn’t paint the entire picture, clients will also get “a one-to-one consultation with our Brewmaster Ciaran [Giblin] allowing you to input on the creative process and ensure you’re happy with the proposed style of beer.” In the end, you’ll walk away with “a minimum of 12 hectolitres of your unique brew – equivalent to over 2,000 pints – plenty to keep you and your pals going for some time.” Let’s just hope your pals’ DNA is close enough to yours that your beer doesn’t make them retch in disgust.
Though the whole thing sounds like the grand prize in some big promotional contest, Meantime has actually opened up the offer to anyone – assuming their willing to foot the minimum £25,000 bill. The silver lining for Americans is that the pound is at a 30-year low against the dollar, so you can get this whole deal for about $5,000 less than you would have pre-Brexit. It’s almost a bargain!
Importantly, the big spenders who buy into Meantime Bespoke do get more than just a giant vat of beer for their investment. The package also allows you to work alongside the brewing team when creating the recipe and on the actual brew day. You also get a study course which claims to allow “clients to gain a deeper understanding of the brewing process.” Oh, and if you have more money to burn, for an additional cost, you can customize the packaging, grab some personalized pint glasses and even have your beer poured at the Meantime Tasting Rooms or in your local pub.
That said, for £25,000 you could also buy yourself some pretty decent brewing equipment and learn to make beer at home. Granted, you won’t get all that fancy DNA testing, but it will prove that you have a strong genetic proclivity towards being frugal.