ONE of the men who helped mastermind Thwaites' move from Blackburn to the Ribble Valley has left the company to pass on his years of experience to future brewers.

Brian Yorston has left Thwaites as head of brewing and has decided to return to his roots in the North East to join academy Brewlab after four years at the now Mellor Brook-based brewery.

He was instrumental in managing the fallout when a group of travellers took over the Blackburn site for a few days last May.

The 62-year-old said: “I came in early to run the brewery and the move from Blackburn which happened last year.

“It was as a consequence of the travellers getting onto our site and we had to bring the date of the move forward.

“It was quite an interesting time but thankfully everyone pulled together.

“To start the new brewery from scratch was one of the things I enjoyed and now it is something for the future.

“Since the move we have managed to launch some new beers with original, IPA, amber and golds.”

Mr Yorston has handed over the reins to Mark O’Sullivan at Thwaites and he believes it is a good move.

He said: “I wish Mark well and it is great Thwaites have given the job to one of their existing employees and not someone outside the organisation."

Brian been in the trade for more than 40 years and he has seen some changes in that time and he is excited about the challenge ahead He added: “Brewlab are a training brewery and they will give me the chance to pass on knowledge to others and some of the pitfalls before I retire.

“It is nice to come back home and the trade has changed.

“You used to be creating half a million barrels of beer each year but now you have to formulate new recipes.

“There has been a resurgence in small craft brewers too.”

The Lancashire Telegraph’s beer expert Mark Briggs praised Mr Yorston for his service in the trade and especially his role at Thwaites.

He said: “He is one of the most respected brewers in the industry.

“He is a bit of a perfectionist and is a true gentleman. He has done a great job at Thwaites since he went there four or five years ago.

“He has overseen and brewed some excellent beers and has raised the profile of Thwaites and he has received praise across the country for his work.

“I have met him many times and took me to the new brewery and they have really smashed it at that facility.

“It is great news he is going to be helping teach people to brew and they could not ask for a better tutor.”