Fuller’s head brewer Georgina Young is moving to the West Country to take over Bath Ales’ brewing operations at St Austell.

Young will be based at the Hare Brewery in Warmley, which is located on the outskirts of Bristol, eight miles northwest of Bath.

She will be in charge of the Bath Ales portfolio and report to Roger Ryman, brewing director for St Austell.

“I’m delighted to be heading back to my home town of Bristol,” she said. “It’s where my parents and sister still live and it’s something I’ve been mulling over for some time, so when a great brewer like St Austell offered me such a fantastic opportunity, I just couldn’t say no.”

Young began her career at Fuller’s back in 1999, under the tutelage of legendary brewer John Keeling. In 2017, he stepped down as head brewer and handed the reins to her.

During her time at Fuller’s, Young created a diverse range of brands, including Frontier, Honey Dew and Jack Frost. She also supervised a high-profile collaboration project called Fuller’s and Friends that saw it team up with exciting craft counterparts Fourpure, Cloudwater, Moor, Marble, Thornbridge and Hardknott to make limited-edition brews.

Before joining Fuller’s, she worked at Smiles Brewery in her hometown of Bristol, alongside Richard Dempster, one of the founders of Bath Ales, along with a stint at

the Brewing Research Institute before joining Fuller’s as a Production Brewer in 1999.

Cornish brewery St Austell purchased Bath Ales for an undisclosed sum in 2016, taking on its portfolio of brands and an 11-strong pub estate.

Young will be tasked with taking the Bath Ales name in an exciting new direction.

“The role at Bath Ales will allow me to take total control of the operation, including brewing and packaging, which gives me a new challenge,” she said. It’s sad to be leaving Fuller’s after all these years, but I’ve left a first class brewing team at Chiswick and I know they will flourish in the future.”

Fuller’s just sold its beer division to Asahi in a £250 million deal. Beer writer Roger Protz said he was “dumfounded”, while fellow writer Pete Brown declared the industry had lost romance, heritage and magic as a result of the news.

Since St Austell purchased Bath Ales it has doubled in capacity and it now has the ability to produce 14.5 million pints per year. Newer brews include Lansdown West Coast IPA and Sulis, its first lager. It moved into Hare Brewery in 2018 and this new brewhouse also has a taproom.

James Staughton, chief executive at St Austell Brewery, said: “We couldn’t be more delighted that George is taking the helm as Head Brewer at our Hare Brewery in Warmley. We look forward to welcoming her and to exciting times ahead, as George helps us to realise the full potential of the Bath Ales beer brands.”

Ryman added: “George and I have known each other for many years, both as brewers and friends. I’m therefore hugely excited that she’ll be joining our brewing and production team at Hare Brewery. I look forward to working and brewing alongside her in the years to come.”