Professor Jacob Briars has spread the 42Below brand right across the globe. His trainings, his sharp tongue and fantastic barside manner have won him the enduring love of a generation of bartenders around the world.
Yesterday marked the end of an era for both Briars and the brand, with his announcement of his final day inside the fold. The New Zealand offices for the brand have passed back to founder, Geoff Ross and his new Ecoya venture, the brands direction resting now with the Princes of Darkness in Bacardi Global Brands in London. The Professor’s departure seems like the final piece of kiwi madness has gone from the now global product.
Jacob is rumored to be offering some advice and support to Stolen Rum, adding some effervescence to the Tonic offerings with Quina-Fina and given his love for Wellington and kiwi products, there’s sure to be more from this erudite young man soon. He’ll also be basing himself in San Fransisco for the medium term. My fingers are crossed that he’ll solve Australia’s, or at least my, mezcal shortage.
He’ll also be back with 42Below for a swansong performance at Carnival of the Cocktail next year.
Those of you lucky enough to be in Auckland this Friday will get the chance to experience the first of the now ex-Professor’s ventures. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he is opening a bar. Called the Golden Dawn, Jacob has paired up with Sam Chapman, of Matterhorn fame to bring a craft beer and tasty cocktail venue to life. You’ll find me there, chugging down Lageritas. 134 Ponsonby Rd, the old Open Late Cafe premises.
For any of you who don’t know Jacob, he has spent the last decade travelling the world, spreading vodka love and collecting an extremely grand spirits collection. I’m told the back bar at the Golden Dawn has been supplemented by this trove.