The world’s second-biggest brewer SABMiller now has an entry point into the fastest-growing segment of the UK beer market after buying Meantime Brewing Company for an undisclosed sum.

SABMiller plans to grow sales of Meantime’s beers nationally and explore export opportunities in its European markets under the continued leadership of Nick Miller, Meantime CEO.

SABMiller Europe managing director Sue Clark said: “Nick Miller, Alastair Hook and their team have built a strong sense of pride and identity within Meantime, which has an excellent reputation for brewing consistently high quality beers and for industry-leading innovation.

"This expertise will boost our strategy to develop beers that appeal to more people, including women, and which can be attractive alternatives to wine and spirits.”

Mr Miller said: “I can say from personal experience, that SABMiller is a great company to be joining forces with. They see the opportunity, and believe in the longevity, of modern craft beer in the UK.

“We are all excited about the opportunity to continue growing Meantime. We are also thrilled and flattered that SABMiller has given us a remit to innovate.

"This is a massive compliment and acknowledges our position as pioneers in modern craft beer.”

The acquisition includes Meantime’s retail sites, including the Tasting Rooms and the brewery shop in Greenwich, the Greenwich Union pub, pop-up Beerbox pub, and the Brewery Fresh tank beer concept, which is now in 26 pubs across London.

The acquisition is expected to complete in early June 2015 and Meantime will be incorporated into SABMiller Europe’s accounts.