John Smith's Brewery

John Smith's is a brewery founded in 1847 by John Smith at Tadcaster in North Yorkshire, England. The brewery is currently owned by Heineken.


The company brews Websters Yorkshire Bitter and John Smith's Bitter / Extra Smooth, among other brands.

It is best known for John Smith's Yorkshire Bitter, the leading brand of bitter in the United Kingdom [cite web |url=|title= OLN Beer Report 2007|accessdate=2008-02-14 |format= |work= ] . It owes its success partly due to its marketing campaign starring popular comedian Peter Kay and developed by the Scottish & Newcastle marketing team who are also responsible for Foster's Lager advertising. Earlier, in the early 1980s, Gordon Rollings played the dour yorkshireman "Arkwright" with his Jack Russell Terrier called Tonto in a series of commercials for the beer. [Cite web|url=|title=Gordon Rollings, The Herbs, John Smiths advert|accessdate=2007-12-30|work=The Herbs and The Adventures of Parsley]

The overwhelming majority of sales of John Smith's is of the Extra Smooth pasteurised and filtered version, served from pressurised kegs, rather than the more traditional version served by pubs from casks. Most John Smith's Bitter produced thus does not classify as real ale, although a cask version is available in pubs across Yorkshire and occasionally in other areas of the UK.


John Smith's was originally brewed at the Old Brewery Tadcaster. However in 1884 William Smith, the brother of John, built a new, bigger brewery next door. Due to John's will the Old Brewery passed to Samuel, his nephew, who founded Samuel Smith Brewery there.

Despite a takeover by Courage in the 1970s and its subsequent takeover by Scottish & Newcastle, the Tadcaster brewery is still where John Smith's beers are brewed, mainly due to the advantages of its site. Although the hard well water of Tadcaster – ideal for brewing – is no longer important due to technological advances, Tadcaster is a small town which provides plenty of land for expansion (the brewery has expanded significantly since 1884), and it is well situated near to the cities of Leeds and York and the M1 motorway. The brewery brews roughly 3 million barrels of beer per year.


John Smith's sponsors the Grand National, and introduced the John Smith's People's Race in 2007. John Smith's is the biggest commercial sponsor of horse racing in the UK. One of the first races they sponsored was the John Smith's Cup (originally the Magnet Cup) at York in 1960. Now in its 49th season, it's the country's oldest continually commercially sponsored flat race.

From Brighton on the south coast to Perth up in eastern Scotland, there are a total of 90 John Smith's No Nonsense races spread across 27 courses throughout the UK.


In mid 2007, S&N closed down production of John Smith's 'Cask' in Tadcaster and moved production to Burtonwood near Warrington. The beer was reported as having a differing taste and to be going flat too easily. [Cite web|url=|title=York Press - John Smiths cask brewed in Tad again] .

See also

*Beer style
*Bitter (beer)


External links

* [ John Smith's]
* [ John Smiths Peoples Race]

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