The award was one of several with The Sun newspaper winning drinker of the year and the lifetime achievement award going to the preservers of Maris Otter barley.
Hook is considered a godfather of the craft brewing scene, beginning in a small flat in Greenwich, before setting up Meantime with friends at the turn of the Millennium in response to the perceived homogenisation of beer.
He gained a degree in Brewing at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, and went on to complete postgraduate studies at Weihenstephan in Germany .
After graduating, he travelled the world, absorbing brewing knowledge across Europe and, notably for craft beer styles, the US. In 2004, Hook and the Meantime team won its first medals at the World Beer Cup.
Hook said: “I first fell in love with beer and brewing in the eighties and for the past fifteen years I’ve been able to share that passion through Meantime Brewing Company. It’s always been my goal to change the way people think about beer and make the amazing and complex world of beer as accessible to British drinkers as possible; I’m honoured to receive this award because it’s testament to how far we’ve come in achieving just that.
“To be recognised by my peers and the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group in the same year as Meantime’s chief sommelier Rod Jones was announced as Beer Sommelier Of The Year goes to show what a special brewery Meantime is.”
This year has already been a momentous one for Meantime, as it was absorbed into the global brewer, SABMiller – although the giant has said it would not influence decision making at the brewery, and would continue to let it be run independently.
Some 60 shareholders, including chief executive Nick Miller, who joined Meantime two years ago from SABMiller, and Mr Hook have sold 100% of the company to SABMiller. As part of the deal, a new ‘pilot brewery’ will become the centre of the big brewer’s product innovation in Europe. Hook has said that the deal will enable him to reach his vision that ‘British beer would one day become world-leading’.
Andrew Griffiths, Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group, said: “Alastair Hook is one of the most passionate and inspiring brewers not just in the UK, but in the world. You only need to drink a pint of any of his beers to understand why his brewery has grown from a one-man operation in Penhall Lane to the state-of-the-art facility in Greenwich that stands today.”