Now, after four decades’ service, the master brewer behind one of Scotland’s best known tipples has reflected on a career that has taken him from a lowly laboratory assistant’s post to one of the most influential jobs in the drinks trade.
Keith Lugton will tomorrow celebrate his 40th anniversary of working with Tennent’s, during which time he has developed more than 20 award-winning beers.
He was taken on by the firm as a trainee in 1977, joining Tennent’s Heriot brewery in Roseburn, Edinburgh. At the time, he was considering applying to university, but had no formal qualifications.
Over the years, however, he demonstrated a keen sense of what makes a good beverage, going on to devise the recipes for the likes of Tennent’s Velvet.
Mr Lugton’s current role centres around ideation, beer experiments, flavour development and, crucially, product tasting. Every morning, he samples around ten drinks to ensure they meet his standards.
Speaking ahead of the anniversary, Mr Lugton said: “I joined Tennent Caledonian 40 years ago with no qualifications, but with a keen interest in science and brewing. Tennent’s have really looked after me, putting me through my master’s degree at University so I could become a fully qualified brewer. Four decades on, I’ve travelled the world to pass on my expertise and learn new techniques.
“Every day at work is a school day and brings an exciting new challenge. I’ve been able to create numerous award winning beers throughout my career, testing various different concepts along the way. I’m proud to play a part in Tennent’s long history and be the man behind Scotland’s favourite pint. To know that the beers I’ve produced have sold over four billion pints worldwide over the past 40 years makes me immensely proud.”
Andrea Pozzi, managing director at Tennent Caledonian said: “Keith is a fantastic guy and an incredible asset to Tennent Caledonian. He’s made a huge impact to the industry, producing beers that have been enjoyed around the globe and recently notched up seven awards at the International Beer Challenge and a further three at the World Beer Awards.”