St Austell Brewery has announced that its brewing director, Roger Ryman, passed away peacefully this week – aged 52 – following a brave battle with cancer.
Ryman, who led St Austell’s brewing team for over two decades, played a leading role in the company’s growth and success. Since joining the brewery, he has been responsible for transforming the family brewery’s portfolio of brands – including its three flagship beers, Tribute Pale Ale, Proper Job IPA and Korev Cornish Lager.
His first original brew when starting at the brewery in 1999 was Daylight Robbery – a short-term seasonal beer to celebrate the upcoming total eclipse of the sun. Due to its phenomenal popularity, it went on to be relaunched as Tribute – the brewer’s first truly national beer and longstanding flagship brand.
Brewery chief executive, Kevin Georgel, said: “We’re devastated to have lost Roger – a much-loved friend, and highly respected colleague. All of our thoughts are with Roger’s wife Toni, his father, two sisters and wider family, at this terribly sad time.
“Roger was a world-class brewer and a leader in his field, who we were incredibly lucky to work alongside. Passionate about people, he played a huge role in nurturing and developing young talent, both in our business and throughout the brewing industry. The growing reputation and quality of our beers, since Roger joined St Austell Brewery in 1999, is testimony to his hard work, leadership and passion. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him and worked with him.”
James Staughton, president of St Austell Brewery, who worked with Roger Ryman for 20 years said: “I recruited Roger in April 1999, and he immediately wowed all of us with his passion for beer and brewing within minutes of his interview starting. The job of head brewer was already effectively his, right there and then – we need not have seen anyone else. He was the breath of fresh air our brewery so desperately needed at the time.
“He has left us all with a legacy that we will nurture and build on, as a mark of our respect for Roger and in remembrance of him. A brilliant, talented brewer and a great friend.”
Before his days at St Austell Brewery, Ryman had formerly worked at Maclay & Co in Scotland and Newcastle Breweries. He was twice awarded Brewer of the Year by the British Guild of Beer Writers in 2006 and the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group in 2009. He held the IBD Master Brewer qualification, and was elected a Fellow of the Institute in 2014.