Trade pays respects to St Austell brewing director Roger Ryman

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Beer stalwart: Roger Ryman started working for St Austell Brewery in 1999
Beer stalwart: Roger Ryman started working for St Austell Brewery in 1999

Related tags: St austell brewery

Tributes have been made to St Austell Brewery brewing director Roger Ryman after he passed away peacefully this week, aged 52, after a battle with cancer.

Ryman, who led St Austell’s brewing team for more than two decades, was responsible for transforming the Cornwall business’s portfolio, which includes Tribute Pale Ale, Proper Job IPA and Korev Cornish Lager.

His first brew when starting at the brewery in 1999 was Daylight Robbery – a short-term seasonal beer to celebrate the then upcoming total eclipse of the sun. The beer went on to be relaunched as Tribute, due to its popularity.

St Austell chief executive Kevin Georgel said: “We are devastated to have lost Roger – a much-loved friend and highly respected colleague.

“All our thoughts are with Roger’s wife Toni, his father, two sisters and wider family at this terribly sad time.

“Roger was a world-class brewer and leader in his field, who we were incredibly lucky to work alongside. Passionate about people, he played a huge role in nurturing and developing young talent, in our business and throughout the brewing industry.”

Desperately needed

Georgel added: “The growing reputation and quality of our beers, since Roger joined St Austell Brewery in 1999, is testimony to his hard work, leadership and passion. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him and worked with him.”

St Austell Brewery president James Staughton worked with Ryman for more than a decade, after recruiting him in 1999.

He said: “He [Ryman] immediately wowed all of us with his passion for beer and brewing within minutes of his interview starting.

“The job of head brewer was already effectively his, right there and then – we need not have seen anyone else. He was the breath of fresh air our brewery so desperately needed at the time.

“He has left us all with a legacy that we will nurture and build on, as a mark of our respect for Roger and in remembrance of him. A brilliant, talented brewer and a great friend.”

High regard

British Beer & Pub Association policy manager Steve Livens said Ryman was a committed, inspiration and artful brewer.

He added: “His passion, enthusiasm and knowledge was clear and he was dedicated to St Austell and an industry who held him in such high regard.

“Roger was keen to pass on his incredible knowledge and experience wherever possible and to foster, support and encourage young people to take up a career in brewing.

“There will be many who will make their way through the industry with his insight and skill at the heart of their journey and there can be no greater legacy than this.”

Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) boss Tom Stainer said the organisation’s volunteers and staff were extremely sad to hear of Ryman’s death.

He added: “As well as being a hugely positive and creative influence in British brewing, Roger has always been a CAMRA supporter, in the south-west and nationally. The beers he created won many CAMRA awards and Roger himself, was a regular at our festivals. He will be missed by all.”

Related topics: Beer

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