Bringing a wide range of brewing knowledge to his new role, Brandon Walker has been appointed bar manager at the popular Auckland free house, 16 TUN in Wynyard Quarter. A craft beer enthusiast, Walker has gained valuable knowledge from his time in Japan at Baird Beer and Auckland’s MASU Robata Restaurant.

Walker started to take craft beer seriously when he curated a revolving Japanese craft beer selection at MASU. This led him to a four-month stint in Japan where he started working at the new Baird Beer brewery in Shuzenji and then at the Baird taprooms in Tokyo.

“In 16 TUN I have found a venue that I can employ these experiences and the knowledge I gained in a very tangible way,” said Walker.

“Much like Japan, the craft beer scene here has been bubbling along and is now exploding and there is a huge market of people really excited by and open to craft beer’s new world of flavours, styles and beer expressions.”

“From the beer selection and how it is curated and balanced, through the spirit and wine lists, the way staff are educated on the product and in turn how they relate this to customers is where I’m focusing.

“It is easy to memorise malt styles and hop strains, to rattle off the abv or the gravity a beer is at, but it is harder and ultimately more rewarding, to engage customers and get them talking about flavours.”