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Mates start business from hobby

CAPTION: Murray Taylor, left, and Mark Harris have started their own brewery called SUP near Masterton. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

By Beckie Wilson

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What started out as a hobby in their university dorms for two university mates has turned into reality with their setting up of a brewery near Masterton.

Mark Harris and friend Murray Taylor, who have named their brewery SUP, started creating home brews while in university.

Mr Harris, a track and field coach, was looking for a new career path after missing out on a seat at Masterton District Council last year, and Mr Taylor suggested opening a brewery.

“I’ve made beer for the last 20 to 25 years socially, and thought ‘Hey, why not give it a go?’,” Mr Harris said.

“At the time, it seemed like a simple process, but if we had known how difficult it was we may not have gone down that path way – it’s not as easy as it sounds.”

Having to meet certain food standards and certifications cost more than they had budgeted for.

“But as far as setting up, getting to the point to making it, trialling and tasting it and then realising it tasted pretty good, and giving it to friends who like it — it’s pretty cool,” Mr Harris said.

The pair are taking five of their beers to Wellington’s biggest beer event, Beervana starting on August 11.

“We got down to a point we were six weeks away from Beervana and hadn’t brewed anything for it. But we have brewed them now and they are just resting now.”

“Beervana is a great opportunity and we are really looking forward to it now.”

The tradeshow before the main Beervana event will be a chance for them to showcase their beers to restaurants and bars who may want to buy them.

One of the beers, called Sir Muz, is a fruit beer infused with a Wairarapa Pinot Noir.

They are hoping some Wairarapa restaurants and bars will get on board soon too.

“But we are just taking one step forward, and once we know what the reaction is from Beervana, fingers crossed, we will be moving forward.”

“When we first started out I always had the scenario that if it tastes good and someone has an experience because of the taste, then we are onto a winner.”


  1. Sounds really interesting (I used to own a pub in the UK and love to sample interesting new beers – where are you?

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