BEHIND THE BITE 03: BROTHERS BEER
Hidden away in an old leather-working factory in leafy Mt Eden lies the Brothers Beer brewery. You'll immediately notice the laid back vibe that father of Brothers, Anthony Browne, has created at their main production site. On top of that, I was able to learn a thing about beers from Godfather of brewing, Ben Milne. We talked of history behind the brewery, what they're bringing to the food/beverage scene and where to next.
There are more than 150 breweries in New Zealand. That's quite a big market, why did you decide to open Brothers Beer?
AB: We opened in 2012. I felt like Auckland needed better beer to drink. Ben and I were bored of the same corporate bars serving the same mass produced beer and we thought the city would be a better place if we had better beer to drink.
From that idea, how did you get to opening Brothers Beer?
AB: We started brewing beer in the City Works depot. We chose beers that we thought were approachable, sessional and that people would want to drink more than one of. After opening the brewery, we created some spaces that we based on cheap fit-outs and furniture. The lay out settings of each spot were based on being approachable and laid back in comparison to other bars. The places you can bring your kids, dogs or even grandparents - we aimed to have everyone feeling comfortable.
Since you've expanded and relocated your brewery in 2012, how has Brothers grown?
AB: Since moving into the new brewery we’ve been making more beer and are able to provide our beer to some new and different places, I think we’re in 130 spots around Auckland and have made some really good friends with some great bars and restaurants. We even brew some special beers for them from time to time, we’ve just done a strawberry wheat beer for Jasper and Ludo at love exposure and we did some cans a while ago for Kyle and Jordie from culprit that they’re going to have at their new spot lowbrow. These guys are making great food and we bring the two together and it’s something special, something local, we love keeping it local and we love working alongside independent restaurants, bars and specialist retailers. We love supporting people doing cool creative things and bringing together communities and bringing good beer to the table.
Now, it's no secret you've been brewing for a long time.
BM: I’ve been brewing for 50 years and loved every minute of it. It's something special to me. I get as much fun out of making each batch as I did the very first time I did it [brewing] and I've probably brewed several million litres over the years.
What is particularly about brewing with Brothers that you love?
BM: I love working with my team to brew the best possible beer we can. We're always trying to improve because beer can always be better. We're constantly tweaking things here and there - it takes a lot of passion and the right mentality to be able to deliver a good consistent product.