HERON and Brearley has appointed Jonathan Thomas as national account director for Okell’s.
Mr Thomas is a well-known figure in the UK brewing industry, experienced in a broad range of financial, retail and business development roles.
He has worked at senior management level for 19 years for the UK arm of MolsonCoors, one of the world’s largest brewers with a portfolio of more than 65 brands, latterly as national account director.
He was regional operations director for Punch Taverns, where he was accountable for 550 outlets and a key decision maker in the company’s multi-million pound investment programme.
He also spent three years in the late 1980s as licensee of a free house in Wales.
Mr Thomas said: ‘I am delighted to be joining a company that has a culture built on passion and focus.
‘These are values I share.
‘Importantly they’re values that have contributed to the Okell’s brand flourishing, not only in ‘‘the land of its birth”, the Isle of Man, but also increasingly in the UK.
‘As consumers’ tastes shift, craft beers are becoming very much the order of the day.
‘Okell’s is responding to that shift with innovative niche products and seasonal beers and I am looking forward to help reinforce and expand the brand’s appeal across the UK.’
Heron and Brearley’s managing director wholesaling and logistics Steve Pickett said: ‘Jon is a much respected figure in the UK brewing industry.
‘His extensive business development experience will prove invaluable to the group as we look to raise Okell’s profile in the UK, majoring on the brand’s enduring consumer appeal of tradition matched to innovation.’
Group managing director Ian Lennox said: ‘We are taking the UK market extremely seriously; increasing our foothold there is central to our long-term strategy for the business.
‘I am therefore pleased to welcome Jon to the group.
‘The breadth and depth of industry knowledge and contacts he has acquired while working with some of the best-known national and international brewers will help underpin our drive to develop brand awareness of Okell’s in the UK and position it firmly as an innovator in the production of high quality artisanal beers.
‘From a wider perspective Jon’s appointment is the most recent demonstration of the group’s strategy to build a talented, motivated and high-calibre team equipped with the skills to meet the demands of rapidly changing consumer tastes.’