The Brewers’ Company has installed Paul Wells, executive chairman of Charles Wells, as its new Master.
Paul comes from five generations of the Wells brewing family which founded Charles Wells in Bedford in 1875. It is a fiercely independent company which has just announced plans for a new brewery, its third, for the 21st century.
Paul’s great love is pubs and the satisfaction of seeing customers enjoying a great pub experience. These days, Charles Wells has 200 pubs in the UK and another 12 in France. He has taken pleasure in introducing the great British pint to the French.
The company also installed its Wardens for the coming year: Stephen Spencer-Jones, of Heineken UK; Simon Theakston, of T&R Theakston; and Richard Fuller, of Fuller, Smith and Turner. The Wardens will support the Master during his year in office and serve on the Company’s permanent committees, in preparation for their progression to the role of Master in future years.
At a very well attended lunch following the Court meeting, members said a fond farewell to Peter and Jane Furness-Smith, who had served the Company as Master and Mistress since July 2016.
In his speech, the Immediate Past Master emphasised an issue which had become important to him during his year as the Master of a City Livery Company: that there are 110 Livery Companies in the City, all very different in constitution and wealth, but it is estimated that between them they give some £50m to charity every year. He noted that charitable work is the most important role of the Brewers’ Company and that it should be very proud of the fact that it has managed to distribute more than £1.8m to charitable causes this year — a sum nearly double that of ten years ago.
At the lunch, the Company welcomed seven new Liverymen, who were admitted at the preceding Court meeting: James Cuthbertson, of Dark Star Brewing Company; John Foots, of Camerons Brewery; Ciaran Giblin, of Meantime Brewing Company; Steve Grossman, of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company; Andy Maddock and Andrew Turner, of Heineken UK; and Andrea Pozzi of C&C Group.
This article first appeared in Beer Today and is reproduced with kind permission.