Mount Brewing Co Brewery + Funk Estate are Better Together
It’s unusually cold at Rising Tide today. Probably because a wall and part of the roof are missing. But it’s for a good cause. They’re making room for more beer.
I wrote last year about the launch of Rising Tide, the eatery owned by (and adjacent to) Mount Brewing Co Brewery (Mt Brew), on Newton Street in The Mount. Now UNO. have sent me back, because exciting things are happening. Recently, the glorious decking out the front was extended. This prime spot heaves with Friday post-work revellers and keen Sunday sessioners, not to mention the throngs of beer enthusiasts every other day of the week. The new deck didn’t need justification, but there’s a really good one. Glenn and Virginia Meikle of Mt Brew are now sharing their digs with Funk Estate: a brewery started by three guys, Dylan Shearer, Jordan Evison and Shigeo Takagi (Shiggy).
While studying in Wellington, Dylan, Jordan and Shiggy formed a bond over beer. They’ve been brewing in Auckland as Funk Estate since 2015, and now they’re headed our way. At my bar leaner today are Rising Tide owners, Glenn and Virginia, along with two thirds of Funk Estate, Dylan and Jordan. I try to understand why two competitors are joining forces to brew their beers under one roof.
G. Craft brewing isn’t a competition. We are in it for the greater good. It’s about making better beer.
Locally born and bred, Jordan has long-running connections with Glenn and his family.
G. Jordan and I were catching up over a cold beer. I was moaning about our out-of-date equipment.
J. I was moaning about our premises in Auckland. We were looking for a new place to brew.
Mt Brew had the perfect venue in a killer spot, and Funk Estate had the best ‘stainless’ (brewery lingo for equipment), including a canning machine. Competition or not, it was a no brainer. Cans of beer are big. Their popularity is growing over glass bottles.
J. I suggested we move production down here and share the space at Mt Brew – and its pub, The Rising Tide.
Funk Estate began in beer-Mecca Wellington in 2012. Shiggy worked at underground icon Hashigo Zake. Jordan and Dylan drank there, and beer bromance ensued. Their fans call them the ‘rebels of the craft beer industry.’
D. Haha. I’m not sure about that, but it’s flattering! Basically, we make beer we like to drink. Primarily hop-forward beers. Our personal favs are our sour beers, like Jungle Boogie Blood Orange Sour.
For Jordan, the move to the Bay is a bit of a homecoming. For Shiggy and Dylan, it’s a chance to settle down somewhere new and, surprise surprise, they’re already falling for the lifestyle.
D. Walking into an already established bar and outlet is beneficial and it’s what we’ve always wanted. Being able to slot right into this set-up is fantastic.
Last year, I asked what Mt Brew had planned for the future. Glenn was hoping for one more kettle. Now he has a whole new brewery. He smiles, shaking his head in disbelief. For him, it’s all about the beer and constantly striving to make it better.
G. You can’t beat fresh beer, and the biggest problem with flagons is that it loses its freshness quickly. These guys have brought down state-of-the-art canning equipment, so now we can produce stubbies and cans with a much longer shelf life. We are making better beer than ever.
That sunny deck just got even better, with an outdoor bar offering 10 additional taps to the existing 29 inside. I broach the subject of a special release beer mash-up between the two labels. Dylan is quick to reply. “I’m 100% sure it’ll happen one day.”
107 Newton Street, Mount Manuganui
Monday — Sunday, 11 am — 11 pm