Head Brewer Steve Toasts 37 Years with Thwaites
Posted Monday the 30th April 2012
Lancashire-based brewer Thwaites has celebrated the achievements of its head brewer who is hanging up his hydrometer and shovel after nearly four decades by presenting him with his own beer.
Born and bred in Darwen, Steve Fielding joined Thwaites 37 years ago in April 1975 and has been part of the brewing team at the family-owned Blackburn brewery ever since. He became head brewer in 1999 and has worked closely with Thwaites’ expert brewing team throughout his service building up a strong bond.
In honour of Steve, Thwaites brewed a surprise retirement beer called Stevie’s Wonder Brew, a 5.2 per cent bottled beer which features the man himself and is a homage to some of his finest creations down the years. This was presented to him at a special retirement lunch held at the brewery.
Thwaites’ Chairman Ann Yerburgh and Chief Executive Officer Richard Bailey led a gathering of friends and colleagues past and present to mark Steve’s achievements in his time at Thwaites.
During his tenure at Thwaites, Steve has been responsible for brewing some of Britain’s best loved beers including the award winning Lancaster Bomber; Double Century – a beer brewed to mark the brewery’s bi-centenary anniversary in 2007 and Wainwright, the massively popular golden ale, which is now one of the UK’s fastest growing cask ales. And just to show his talents extended into the drink at home market, Steve was also instrumental in creating Very Nutty Black, a bottle conditioned mild which has gained critical acclaim including CAMRA, who endorsed the beer with their seal of approval on the label.
Steve was also the proud recipient of the prestigious Parliamentary Brewer of the Year Award in 2006 which he cites as a personal career highlight.
His most recent achievement was to help install ‘Crafty Dan’ a new £200k craft brewery which allows Thwaites to create up to three craft beers a week and to innovate and trial new, experimental brews or create one offs to mark special events.
In 2011, Steve was ‘immortalised’ on Thwaites’ new dray livery which saw his image incorporated onto the sides of Thwaites new delivery vehicles. As well as featuring Steve, the black and white illustration, by celebrated artist Bill Sanderson, celebrates the story of Thwaites and the journey of its beers from brewery to glass.
Ian Bearpark, production and distribution director of Thwaites said: “Steve’s contribution to the business over the past 37 years has helped shaped Thwaites into the thriving, modern brewery that it is today. He has done this with great humour and professionalism by enhancing Thwaites’ long and proud tradition of producing great beers including several new cask beers.”
Looking ahead, Steve will remain involved with Thwaites on a consultancy basis and will lend his expertise to various special projects.
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