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About Beer Bigwig

Martin's beer journey

Martin grew up in the UK and got into decent beer while at university in the Manchester area. Moving to London in the early 90s, he became an active member of the West Middlesex branch of CAMRA, including helping to organise the Ealing Beer Festival on several occasions. He undertook cellarman's training at Fuller's brewery in Chiswick and helped to run a theatre bar in Ealing, resulting in it getting into the Good Beer Guide where it remains to this day!

On moving to New Zealand in 2007 Martin joined the newly-formed SOBA (Society of Beer Advocates), later being elected to the national committee and acting as the Auckland representative for several years. He took up homebrewing shortly after his arrival in the country and is still a keen all-grain brewer, having won several medals at the National Homebrew Competition. In 2012 he led the organisation of the first City Of Ales beer festival in Auckland, which was a great success and has continued to be held in the city. He has also worked at and/or attended every Beervana since 2009.


Martin has judged homebrew competitions for several years and, in 2018, successfully passed the BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) entrance exam to become a Certified judge. He has also judged a number of commercial beer competitions and has twice been fortunate to participate in the Dish magazine tasting panel.


In February 2013 the Brewers Guild of New Zealand launched the first formal qualification in craft beer in New Zealand, the Certificate in the Craft of Beer. This one-day workshop covered three NZQA Unit Standards and was one of the first formally-recognised qualifications in craft beer in New Zealand. Martin was the educator for the Auckland region and delivered several training courses which were attended by people who have gone on to launch successful careers as brewers or bar owners.

Martin is well-known and respected throughout the craft beer industry in New Zealand, having been involved since the very early days of the current boom. He is passionate about craft beer and wants to help people (whether brewery owners, bar staff or everyday drinkers) make better decisions about beer.