Fuller’s head brewer leaves to join Bath Ales

The head brewer of London’s Fuller’s, Georgina Young, has left her post to become head brewer at Bath Ales, which was bought by Cornwall’s St Austell in 2016.

Young has been at Fuller’s since 1999, having joined the company as a production brewer. In 2017, she was promoted to the role of head brewer, the first woman to be given the position.

Having grown up in Bristol, Young began her career in beer at Smiles Brewery where she worked alongside Richard Dempster, one of the co-founders of Bath Ales. Having studied biotechnology at King’s College, London she also holds a Masters degree in brewing and distilling from Heriot-Watt University in Scotland.

In her new role, she will oversee all of the brewing and packaging of Bath Ales’ beer brands, reporting directly to St Austell Brewery and Bath Ales brewing director, Roger Ryman. She will be based at the the brewer’s new Hare Brewery, which opened in May 2018. The opening of Hare increased the brewer’s production capacity to 50,000 barrels, the equivalent of 14.5 million pints a year. The brewery is capable of filling between 7,000 and 10,000 bottles an hour.

James Staughton, chief executive, St Austell Brewery commented: “We couldn’t be more delighted that George is taking the helm as head brewer at our Hare Brewery in Warmley. We look forward to welcoming her and to exciting times ahead, as George helps us to realise the full potential of the Bath Ales beer brands.”

Roger Ryman, brewing director, St Austell Brewery and Bath Ales added: “George and I have known each other for many years, both as brewers and friends. I’m therefore hugely excited that she’ll be joining our brewing and production team at Hare Brewery. I look forward to working and brewing alongside her in the years to come.”

Fuller’s recently rocked the brewing world with the announcement that it had sold its entire beer business, which includes flagship brand London Pride and the historic Griffin Brewery, to Japanese drinks group Asahi in a deal worth £250 million.

The deal included Fuller’s entire brewing operation in addition to its brands Cornish Orchards cider, Dark Star Brewing and Nectar Imports, wine wholesaling enterprise and drinks distribution network. Due to be completed in the first half of the year, the sale mains that Fuller’s will be solely a pub and hotel operator. This, the company stated, is the “core of the business” and generates 87% of its operated profits.

Young, however, stated that her decision to leave Fuller’s was something that she’d been considering for a while, given her family connections in the Bristol area.

Commenting on her new role, she said: “I’m delighted to be heading back to my home town of Bristol – it’s where my parents and sister still live and it’s something I’ve been mulling over for some time. So when a great brewer like St Austell offered me such a fantastic opportunity, I just couldn’t say no.

“The role at Bath Ales will allow me to take total control of the operation – including brewing and packaging – which gives me a new challenge. It’s sad to be leaving Fuller’s after all these years – but I’ve left a first class brewing team at Chiswick and I know they will flourish in the future.”

While working at Fuller’s, Young was instrumental in the recreation of Gales’s beers, after Fuller’s bought the brewery in 2005 for £92 million. She was also involved in the creation of Fuller’s beers including Honey Dew, Jack Frost, Oliver’s Island and Frontier Lager. In recent months, she supervised a collaborative project, working with brewers such as Fourpure, Cloudwater, Moor, Marble, Thornbridge and Hardknott, and helped install a ten-barrel pilot brewery at Fuller’s.

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