If you are a fan of Old Monk rum, an alcoholic beverage, then this trivia is definitely for you. Mohan Meakin, the popular liquor company is famous for manufacturing Old Monk which even most of teetotallers are aware of.
However, do you know that it has a connection to General Dyer, a British military officer who was behind the 1919 Jallianwallah Massacre? So, I was today years old when I found out that Mohan Meakin was incorporated by General Dyer’s father Edward Dyer.
Edward moved from England to India to set up Asia’s first distillery in Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh in 1855.
As I researched further, Mohan Meakin’s official website suggests that Edward Dyer later established several breweries and distilleries in Simla (now Shimla), Solan, Lucknow, and Mandalay (a city in Myanmar). The website also states that H.G. Meakin, an entrepreneur, founded Meakin & Co. Ltd. during the same century. He bought old Simla and Kasauli breweries from Dyer and also established other breweries in Dalhousie, Ranikhet, Chakrarta, Darjeeling, and Kirkee.
After the end of First World War, E. Dyer & Co, and Meakin & Co. Ltd got merged with each other and both Dyer and Meakin started a joint venture called Dyer Meakin & Co.Ltd, the website states further.
According to DailyO, the distillery was acquired by late Padamshree Narendra Nath Mohan in 1949, two years after India gained independence and he renamed it as Mohan Meakin Breweries. It was later taken over by retired army officer, Kapil Mohan, the Old Monk Man, who died in 2018.
The company underwent several changes such as Dyer Meakin Breweries Ltd, Mohan Meakin Breweries Ltd, followed by its final name, Mohan Meakin Ltd.
For the ones who don’t know, the headquarter of Mohan Meakin Limited is located in Mohan Nagar area of Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. So, next time you are enjoying Old Monk with your friends, enlighten them with this piece of information.