James and Ian Clay

James Clay has been named as the new managing director of the beer wholesaler that bears his name, succeeding his father, Ian.

Ian is stepping down from the role after 40 years. The company name is also changing, to James Clay and Sons.

Having begun with a Yorkshire canalside pub, Ian gradually developed and transformed James Clay (as it was formerly known) into one of the UK’s leading suppliers and distributors of beers.

Over the years, the company gained a reputation for sourcing little known specialist and craft brews from across the world and turning them into respected and recognised UK brands.

Ian Clay said: “While it feels strange to be stepping aside, now is the right time. I’m really proud of how far the business has come and excited to see what the future holds.

“In my four decades as an importer I’ve seen quality European and international beer go from being virtually unknown to being widely
drunk and enjoyed — it’s gratifying to have played a role in that.

“James has been with the company for over 10 years and I’ve absolutely no
doubt that his talent, energy and enthusiasm will ensure the business
thrives for many years to come. He has a deep understanding of our
business, values our long term partnerships and shares my enthusiasm for
quality beer; he is the ideal person to take James Clay & Sons forward.”

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