Rupert Thompson has had a range of roles within the UK drinks industry over many years. He started with Bass, then the UK’s largest brewer, running pubs and then moving into marketing and eventually working on many of its leading brands including Carling and Tennents. He then joined the Board of Morland to run their tenanted pub operation and the brewery and developed Old Speckled Hen to become the leading premium bottled ale in the UK. He set up his own company, Refresh, taking on a range of brands including Ushers, Lowenbrau in the UK, Wychwood Brewery and finally Brakspear Brewery.
Refresh became one of the leading premium ale suppliers to the UK supermarkets. He sold the business to Marstons in 2008 and after a period of investing in new technology companies outside of beer he couldn’t resist the lure of brewing once more and purchased Hogs Back brewery in Surrey and is trying to develop a different approach to beer brand building by focussing on place, community and very local values. This project includes reversing 150 years of agricultural decline by bringing hop growing back to Farnham in Surrey to accentuate the area’s pride in its own brewing heritage.