Vale: Neil 'Pops' Whittorn

Brewer and industry mentor Neil Whittorn has passed away after a battle with cancer.

He was 75 years of age.

Neil, who started his brewing career with CUB in 1971, worked in many of that company’s breweries with his career taking him to Fiji, Cairns and Brisbane.

Neil’s passion for craft beer and the latest evolution of the industry was fired when he went to work at CUB’s Stockade Brewery in Dandenong in 2001, with that brewery going on to become Matilda’s Bay’s first Victorian base.

He continued to work with Matilda Bay as it moved to Port Melbourne in Bertie Street. Through his time at these breweries, Neil became a much-loved mentor to young brewers who have since gone on themselves to play significant roles in the craft brewing industry. He also developed close relationships with early craft breweries, always generous with his time and advice.

When CUB closed the Bertie Street facility, retrenching staff, Neil moved to Northern New South Wales to take in a role mentoring young brewers at Stone & Wood, a role he took on at 68.

After ‘retiring’ Neil maintained a role helping and assisting brewers and breweries, including Two Mates in Northern New South Wales and Madocke Brewery in Queensland.

In 2022 Neil was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Trophy at the Indies.

He will long be remembered for his infectious enthusiasm and passion for beer, his smile and his generosity and care for the brewers he worked with.

Neil is survived by his sons Tim and Chris and his partner Ped.

31 August 1947 – 20 March 2023

In 2022 Neil’s contribution to the Australian brewing industry was honoured when he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Indies. This is the testimonial from just some of the brewers who were touched by Pops.

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