Chairman of Wiltshire family brewery Arkell’s, James Arkell, has been inaugurated in London as the Master of the Worshipful Company of Brewers, one of the oldest City Guilds which dates back to the 12th Century. In celebration, Arkell’s has brewed The Master, a dark stout with wheat, oats and roasted barley blended together with American hops. The beer will be available in casks all this month and in bottles throughout the year.
Livery companies, or Guilds as they are often known, have been part of the social and commercial fabric of Europe since medieval times. Originally founded to protect the interests of various trades, Livery companies now flourish as charitable patrons, promoters of industry and guardians of heritage and tradition. The Brewers’ Company remains close to its trade, actively supporting the brewing industry and education in brewing. It has a major philanthropic role as trustee to substantial charitable trust funds supporting two schools, multiple other educational initiatives and a number of almshouses. The Company was granted a charter by Henry VI in 1438.
James is the first of the Arkell family to become Master of the Brewers’ Company, and joins an illustrious roll call of previous Masters representing the very best of the industry. He said: ‘I am honoured to become the next Master of the Brewers’ Company. It is a role with a lot of responsibility and I am looking forward to representing this glorious industry at the highest levels.”
James takes on the role from the previous incumbent, Stephen Goodyear, CEO of Youngs Brewery, based in Wandsworth, London.