Two North Yorkshire brewery employees have celebrated 60 years combined service with a socially distanced pint of cask ale at their Masham workplace.
Brewer Kevan Procter joined T&R Theakston Ltd in 1985 aged 24, and Jonathan Manby joined the family-run firm – famed for its legendary beers including Old Peculier, Best Bitter and Theakston Lightfoot - as an apprentice cooper a decade later.
Over the last 35 years Kevan, who is Masham born and bred, has brewed many a barrel of Theakston Beers, at the famous brew house in the Masham.
Kevan, said: “I was 24 when I started at Theakston’s and it really is a great place to work. I’ve certainly no intention of retiring just yet.
There have been four head brewers during my time at Theakston’s, but there has been very little change to the brewing process in the last 35 years. If asked what my favourite beer is, I’d have no doubt in saying our legendary Old Peculier”.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Manby, who began his apprenticeship with Theakston’s in 1995, is now one of the country’s only Craft Brewery, Coopers, and has now become a Master of his trade with his apprentice officially completing his four-year internship.
Jonathan, who has handmade thousands of wooden casks – ranging in size from four-and-half-gallon Pins to 54-gallon Hogsheads – said: “When I joined Theakston’s, the brewery was owned by Scottish and Newcastle. It was fantastic when it came back under the ownership of the Theakston family in 2003.
“I’m very proud of the part I play at Theakston’s, which has employed Coopers since it first began brewing beer in 1827. It has helped keep this ancient tradition alive and long may it continue.”
Simon Theakston, T&R Theakston Ltd executive director and a direct descendent of brewery founder Robert Theakston, said: “Both Kevan and Jonathan are valued members of the extended Theakston’s family.
“Their combined 60 years’ service is a significant milestone. It is a terrific achievement and I’d like to personally like to thank them for their contribution in helping make Theakston’s one of the world’s best-known brewers of traditional cask ales.”