Founded in 1851 by Cornish businessman Walter Hicks, St Austell Brewery has grown from a local wine and spirit merchant to a national multi-service business. Paying the ultimate tribute to its roots, St Austell Brewery remains an independent, family owned organisation and, despite the name being recognised throughout the UK as well as the 20 countries it exports to, the company continues to maintain a strong presence in the south west – celebrating where it all began.
The company is now the largest wholesale distributer of beer, wines, spirits, cider and soft drinks in the region – a fitting testament to the entrepreneurialism and innovation of its founding father. Over the last 165 years that same spirit has become ingrained at all levels of the business, now headed up by James Staughton, great-great grandson of Walter Hicks.
Nurturing change as well as young, local talent, St Austell Brewery now employs over 1500 people as part of a diverse, multi-functional business which appeals to contemporary needs. While continuing to create award-winning beers such as Tribute, Proper Job and Korev, the company has evolved to include an estate of 177 pubs, inns and hotels (of which 34 are managed houses) across South West England, bolstered by the acquisition of Bath Ales in 2016. St Austell Brewery also has its own training facility based in St Austell – Academy 1851 – which has been accredited as a centre of excellence within the hospitality sector. The Brewery itself is also accredited to Gold Investors in People standard.
But in the face of all this change – the brewery still retains that story, that character, that heritage and ultimately, that thirst for excellence!
The Talem Group is now working exclusively with St Austell Brewery to help source General Manager Designates for several pubs across Cornwall. Each establishment is different and each one boasts a unique identity in terms of feel, surroundings and demands. This means that as their recruitment partner, we aim to get the right person – for the right opportunity.
St Austell Brewery have numerous Managed Houses spanning the South West; each establishment poses its very own story of opportunity. Some, if not most, are built on the blueprints of decades upon decades worth of community loyalty and service success. Some have expanded their services into restaurants and accommodation, whereas others remain solely dedicated to serving the ultimate pub experience.
As for the surroundings and services? Well, this where it gets exciting.
“I have been working as a General Manager at The Port William Inn for five months now, having previously worked as a tenant with St Austell Brewery at four or five different pubs. In my years’ working as a brewery tenant I was able to gain great insight and understanding about what it takes to run a business. This experience helped me, and was something I carried over and transferred into my current role as a General Manager of a managed house.”
“The Port William Inn is blessed to be located in such a stunning area; it’s a real hot spot for surfing and looks particularly beautiful when the sun sets. Working for St Austell Brewery is brilliant. They’re a company that treats you fairly, they work with you to generate new ideas and they support you through your development. They have given me targets which are achievable, and because there’s a real family feel to the business – even at board level, they remain approachable should I need them.”
“St Austell Brewery encourages their General Managers’ to take ‘ownership’ of operations. They want you to put a stamp on things, and with this comes a certain element of freedom. This is not a corporate experience, you are not just a number, you truly are part of the family. They invest in your development, the establishment’s development and if you’re accommodated, then they ensure a comfortable home-life too.”
“The summer months are very busy in Cornwall and it can be hard work sometimes, but in all honesty, the industry as a whole is hard work. Having great people management skills and remaining well organised is very important. It’s a big business but it doesn’t have that out-of-touch corporate feel. I like the nurturing approach and the way they work with me. They also reward you for good performance which is nice! I am lucky to work in a beautiful part of Cornwall and be able make a difference for a supportive company like St Austell Brewery.”