You. Drink. This. #8 - Briar Meikle & Eugene Black
For this edition of You. Drink. This. we’re shining the spotlight on two breweries who make a welcome return to Beervana 2023, Mount Brewing Co and Martinborough breweries.
Briar Meikle, Mount Brewing Co
Hey, I'm Briar director and second generation of Mount Brewing Co Brewery. My parents started the brewery when I was six-weeks old, and I have been brought-up in and round the business my entire life. Now in full control, my partner Niall and I are so proud of our young and diverse team hailing from all over the world, Polish Head Brewer Pawel Lewandowski, English/Kiwi Operations Manager Tom Ball, German Brewer Leonie Honig, and Canadian Brewer Trevor Iacovone sit alongside English Sales and Dispatch Duo of Ben Simpson and Jaei Meldrum. The token Kiwi in the brewery team is Scott Featherstone, our new Head of Sales. The team is a melting pot of ideas and that's reflected in our beers.
With this miserable weather, definitely leaning to those dark heavy beers. We've got an Irish Stout on the way so I'm super excited about that one!
Niall and I are getting married in March next year so the wedding admin is taking over a lot of my life right now. Poor brewers are getting sick of me talking about the wedding...
Eugene Black, Martinborough Brewery
I’m the Head Brewer at Martinborough Brewery in the mighty Wairarapa. I grew up in Wellington and studied biochemistry with the plan of working in laboratories long term. One fateful day my brother-in-law asked me to help him put down a home brew, and so was born a lifelong passion for making beer. After five years at the Occasional Brewer in Wellington, I took on a gig as Head Brewer at Streetcar Brewing in Vancouver. Three years and one global pandemic later, I decided to give country living a go back home, and was lucky enough to find a job at the only craft brewery in the Wairarapa. Martinborough Brewery has been a local favourite for years, and now we’re enjoying introducing our brews to a wider audience.
Usually it will be whatever home brew is on tap in my garage. Right now it’s a fresh hop pilsner and a cider, made with homegrown hops and apples. Recently, I’ve enjoyed trying a few beers that made the Top 30 in the New World Beer & Cider Awards – including our own Hop Elixir IPA. A particular stand out for me was Three Sisters’ Rumours in the Dark. Otherwise it’s a new release from Garage Project, any interesting barrel aged sour beer I can get my hands on, or a cheeky glass of natural wine.
Downhill mountain biking is my original obsession but snowboarding in Canada and brewing all duke it out for the top spot. I spend most of my free time biking or building trails in the Wairarapa. I also enjoy listening to beer podcasts or reading about brewing, working on my personal barrel aged beer project, and hanging out with my partner Olivia and our cat Nanaimo.