‘Innovative’ Oakham Ales founder John Wood dies

John Wood, the founder of Peterborough brewery Oakham Ales and a “pioneer” in the UK’s real ale scene, has died.

Oakham Ales founder John Wood masterminded Jeffrey Hudson Bitter, one of the brewery’s most popular ales. (Photo: Oakham)

Wood, who was an active branch member of the Campaign for Real Ale and a popular figure in the real ale community, passed away on Friday 19 January after being admitted to Glenfield Hospital in Leicestershire.

Members of the brewing community have taken to Twitter to share their condolences.

Wood founded Oakham in 1993, and masterminded one of the brewery’s best-known beers, award-winning ale Jeffrey Hudson Bitter (JHB).

Wood left the microbrewery two years later, which was relocated to Peterborough when it was purchased by senior partner Paul Hook, but his signature JHB ale was kept on.

JHB has won several accolades since the UK’s craft beer scene has evolved and expanded in the past 20 years, including a gold in CAMRA’s Supreme Champion Beer Award in 2001, and another gold in the Society of Independent Brewers Association’s (SIBA) Great Beer of East Anglia awards.

Known as “The Woodster” by CAMRA members, Wood was also championed independent cider producers, acting as cider officer for the organisation’s Rutland branch.

CAMRA released a statement on 20 January hailing Wood as a trailblazer within the UK’s craft beer market.

“It has been said that John, with the success of JHB, helped change the face of brewing by introducing new ranges of hops leading to a lighter, more ‘floral’ taste and lighter colour to beers.”

“He was always happy to share his knowledge and expertise of the brewing industry with those who sought it.”

“John will be sorely missed by all the Rutland CAMRA branch, as he also will by the Rutland Morris Men for whom he was a musician for many years.”

One Response to “‘Innovative’ Oakham Ales founder John Wood dies”

  1. Dick Smart says:

    John was a very dear friend to me . A wonderfully talented man in many ways. As a friend and fellow musacian with Rutland Morris I cannot say how much I will miss him.
    RIP John, your best mate

    Dick Smart

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

We encourage debate in the comments section and always welcome feedback, but if you spot something you don't think is right, we ask that you leave an accurate email address so we can get back to you if we need to.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Supply Chain Assistant

Speciality Drinks
London NW10 7SF, UK

Supply Chain Co-ordinator

Speciality Drinks
London NW10 7SF, UK

On-Trade Regional Sales Manager

Anthony Byrne Fine Wines
West Midlands & Northants

Logistics Team Leader

Speciality Drinks
London, UK

Key Account Executive

Berkmann Wine Cellars
London, UK

Assistant Operations Manager

Speciality Drinks
London, UK

Technical Manager

North South Wines
West Drayton, UK

Key Account Manager

MMI Maldives
Maldives

TERRITORY SALES MANAGER

Eurowines Limited
Harrogate, UK

Business Manager - Impulse

Australian Vintage
Croydon, UK

Exclusive Masterclass: Chablis on Tour

London,United Kingdom
29th Apr 2019

Vinexpo Bordeaux

Bordeaux,France
13th May 2019

London Wine Fair 2019

London,United Kingdom
20th May 2019
Click to view more

The Global Organic Masters 2019

Deadline : 19th April 2019

The Global Grenache Masters 2019

Deadline : 26th April 2019

Click to view more

The Global Riesling Masters 2018

View Results

Rioja Masters 2018

View Results

Click to view more