Friday 27 May saw the retirement of our legendary Brewing Director John Bryan after 27 years at Oakham Ales.
A hugely influential figure in UK brewing, John was the first UK brewer to travel to the USA to select hops direct from the growers, most famously in 2009 discovering a remarkable new hop variety – Citra!
John’s brewing intuition and knowledge have been inestimably important to Oakham’s development but he leaves the brewery in the very safe hands of newly appointed Head Brewer Mark Tetlow, Lead Brewer Ed Sharman, Quality Brewer Stewart Poulter and the rest of the brewing team.
And John won’t be stepping away completely – he remains a partner in the business and intends to continue with those annual hop sourcing visits to the USA for at least the next couple of harvests.
How did John sign off?
Well suitably enough for a man who has spent so much time flying in the face of brewing tradition, John took to the skies in a Spitfire recently and could be seen looping the loop above Cambridgeshire.
And of course completing a perfect barrel roll!