Keith began employment as a trainee brewer for a new business, and gained experience at several other local breweries before the project was scrapped. Then, after a year as a field engineer for a plastics business, he joined Titanic in 1986 as assistant brewer, with responsibility for all aspects of production. The same year saw a brief move to the Old Bull and Bush brewpub, where he oversaw the installation of the Brewhouse and took charge of brewing operations.
A rapid return as Titanic’s assistant brewer lasted two further years until, in partnership with his brother Dave, Keith bought the beleaguered company out of receivership. Since 1988, Titanic Brewery has grown to produce 10,000 barrels per annum, employing 23 full-time employees. In addition, nine closed community pubs have been reopened, run as managed houses and thus creating 100 jobs. The overall company turnover is now in excess of £6 million.
Having always worked in all areas of the business including, from 1992-99, running the brewery during the day and the first pub in the evening, the introduction of a senior management team has enabled Keith to focus on overseeing the growth of the business, with particular responsibility for production and product innovation.
In 1996, Keith was invited to brew for demonstration purposes in the museum at Shugborough, home of Lord Lichfield – a role he has continued to the present. He also remains a director of White Horse Brewery in Oxfordshire, which he helped start in 2005, and which now operates one pub in central Oxford.
At an industry level, Keith was a member of SIBA’s Board of Trustees, 1996-2014, holding several posts, including 12 years as chairman and three as head of the political sub-committee responsible for the introduction of Progressive Beer Duty. From 2004 he has been a member (and is currently chairman) of the steering committee for the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group. He has also chaired the Midlands section of the BBPA, and is a director of Cask Marque.