After spending twenty years working in the Marine, Tourism and Construction sectors, Ewen Thorpe wanted to combine his skill in relationship building with his passion for craft beer and homebrewing.
With the support and encouragement of his brother, the founder of Wellington brewery Fortune Favors, and his good friend, owner of the Auckland bar Fantail & Turtle, Thorpe took the plunge and became a brewer at Emirates Team New Zealand for the 34th America's Cup. Fast forward to June this year, he became the owner of 16 Tun.
Located in Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter, 16 Tun serves beers from a range of New Zealand independent breweries. The premium craft beer bar boasts 19 rotating taps that pour 10 different styles of craft beer, ensuring that there is always something new for customers to try. The bar also serves a range of Kiwi menu items, including Ruakaka paua fritters, kumara fries and Alpine Origin Merino Lamb.
Thorpe’s go-to is an XPA or Wheat craft beer. His favourite drink to recommend to customers is a Pilsner or a Farmhouse Sour. The defining feature he looks out for in a great drink is balance.
He adds that non-alcoholic drinks like 0% beers are gaining popularity amongst Kiwis.
“Some awesome zero alcohol beers are now on the market from our independent craft breweries – balancing the flavour punch with no alcohol.”
During his leadership at 16 Tun, Thorpe hopes to maintain and grow its success by being a present owner and operator, and building a great team and culture.
“What you can expect from me is small incremental changes to the 16 Tun, but a significantly increased community.”