In the hot seat

Bernard Sloan, Co-Founder of Whitewater Brewing Company

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF

I’m Bernard Sloan and, along with Kerry, we set up Whitewater Brewing Company in 1996. It was established on my family’s fifth generation farm in the heart of the Mourne Mountains until 2017, when we moved to our new premises just outside Castlewellan.

WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY INVOLVE?

Everything… we are a small team at Whitewater which means juggling everything from brewing, purchases, sales to accounts, and everything in between.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER TO DATE?

People enjoying our beers; pretty simple but that’s what it’s all about for me.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?

The challenge of running a busy brewery. It’s both exhausting and exhilarating at the same time.

WHAT IS YOUR MOST DIFFICULT TASK?

Managing my time. There is always so much to cover in a working day and never enough days in the week.

WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

‘The cream always rises to the top.’ Always use the best ingredients and believe in your product.

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST GRIPE?

The state of the political situation in Northern Ireland. It is a disgrace; trying to run a business is hard enough without trying to compete with restricted and outdated legislation. We are the only part of United Kingdom that cannot sell our product direct to the consumer in a controlled way.

WHAT TALENT WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE?

I’d love to be able to sing or play an instrument.

WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS/AMBITIONS?

In the near future, it is to continue to see Whitewater grow and develop and, long term, in my twilight years I plan to travel. Something I love but don’t get to enjoy enough.

WHOM DO YOU MOST ADMIRE?

On a local level I admire and respect Sir Howard Hastings. He has, and continues to, champion Northern Ireland within business and promoting all the good that we have here; food, drink, culture and scenery.

WHERE IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE?

That’s hard, I have a few, but probably Barcelona.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FOOD PRODUCT?

Chocolate, what else; that is if you don’t count beer as food.

HOW DO YOU RELAX?

I relax and clear my head on my Triumph 900cc motorbike. You can’t think about work. Your only focus has to be on the road ahead.

 

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