Greene King makes Ross O'Hara its new head brewer

Ross O’Hara’s meteoric rise to prominence in the beer industry continues apace as he has been named head brewer at Greene King.

He joined the firm as a shift brewer in 2016 after securing a first class honours degree in brewing from Heriot Watt University.

In August 2018, he became the world’s youngest master brewer after completing a four-year course at the Institute of Brewing and Distilling.

Now the 28-year-old has taken the top job at Greene King, becoming just the 17th head brewer in its 220-year history.

Managing director Matt Starbuck called him “a highly knowledgeable and capable brewer, passionate about brewing with an exceptional technical ability and flair for innovation”.

There are just 578 master brewers in the world and O’Hara is by far the youngest. He is already sharing his knowledge and training apprentices at Greene King.

 “It’s been a lot of work to reach this level but well worth it,” said O’Hara. “I’ve enjoyed the challenge and love to continue to develop my knowledge. I had no idea I was the youngest doing the course.”

Since joining Greene King, he has developed a new Heritage range, created Yardbird pale ale and brewed a gluten-free variant of Old Speckled Hen.

He takes over from Craig Bennett as head brewer.

It is all change at Greene King after long-time chief executive Rooney Anand announced he would leave the role at the end of April.

Nick Mackenzie has landed the high-profile role and he will take over on May 1 in a bid to continue the work Rooney has done.

He joins from Merlin Entertainments, where he is responsible for the Midway portfolio of attractions, including 100 businesses around the world, such as Madame Tussauds, the London Eye and SeaLife centres. He has also worked with Bass and Allied Domecq as acquisitions director, so he has plenty of industry experience.

He is also a non-executive director at Daniel Thwaites, but he will relinquish that role before taking over at Greene King. He pledged to deliver on the firm’s vision of being the best pub company and brewer in Britain.

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