First female renter warden of the Worshipful Company of Brewers appointed

Robyn Black

Robyn Black

26 August 2020

The honour goes to Katherine Smart, global technical director at Guinness brewer Diageo

Renter warden is one of the Brewers Company’s most senior leadership positions and Smart will be responsible for the oversight of the Company’s operations including supporting its charitable works.

Smart first joined in the Company as a liveryman brewer in 2014, becoming the first female member of court (the equivalent to the Company’s board) in 2018.

At Diageo she is responsible for innovation, research and liquid development, packaging and governance. She is also a lecturer in brewing and distilling at the University of Cambridge; professor of the University of Nottingham; rectifier of the Gin Guild, and is a liveryman distiller of the Worshipful Company of Distillers. Katherine also served as president of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling from 2016 - 2018, only the second woman to hold the role.

‘I’m thrilled to have been elected renter warden for the Worshipful Company of Brewers – an organisation playing a crucial role connecting brewers across the industry, and supporting valuable research and educational work,’ Smart said.

‘Brewing has historically been very male dominated, and when I started my career, I’d often be the only woman in the room at industry events. Today it is wonderful to see so many women entering the industry, building thriving careers and shaping the future of brewing.'

The Brewers Company has origins dating back to the end of the 12th century and was granted a royal charter in 1438 by Henry VI, making it one of the oldest of the City guilds or livery companies. It is a trustee of the Brewers' Research and Education Fund (BREF), a major grants fund for the brewing industry, funding relevant scientific research and education as well as supporting an MSc student annually at the International Centre for Brewing and Distilling and presenting prizes for the top achievers in the Institute of Brewing and Distilling’s exams. 

The Company supports two schools as well as several educational programmes to encourage aspiration, music, science, and wider cultural capital for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

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