.As a pioneer of the Northern brewing industry, Joseph Holt is a standout name in the history of beer making. Not least because the 173-year-old business has been in the same family for six generations. And now the brewery has reached another landmark – producing the first beer glass ever to feature a woman and her achievements as part of its design.
The limited-edition glasses feature Lady Margaret Holt, who was married to Edward, grandson of the brewery`s eponymous owner, Joseph Holt.A charitable force, Lady Margaret put the welfare of the city at the heart of her work – sitting on the founding committee that set up the introduction of the National Health Service in Manchester,
She also worked indefatigably to help create a centre of excellence for cancer treatment in the North West. Previous members of the family had fund raised to establish he Manchester Radium Institute which pioneered the use of radium for the treatment of cancer. This later merged with The Christie Hospital in 1933 to form The Christie Hospital and Holt Radium Institute, forerunner of the present day leading international cancer centre. As founder and chair of the Women’s Trust Fund, originally known as the Christie Women’s Auxiliary Committee, Margaret became a key figure in deciding the progress of the hospital, primarily the Patterson Institute, the new research centre which opened in 1962.
When Margaret passed away in 1996, she left £7.5 million worth of Joseph Holt to be used for cancer research – at the time the largest ever legacy to be made to a hospital in the North-West.
Her glass is being launched tomorrow (March 8th) on International Women`s Day.
Along with that of Lady Margaret Holt, the brewery is releasing other commemorative glasses to honour `trailblazers` among the six generations of the Joseph Holt family who have contributed so much to the industry and the community at large. Others include founder Joseph Holt who started his brewing career in 1849. In 1860 built the current brewery close to the centre of Manchester . These will be used to serve customers who order Holt`s recently launched Trailblazer stout. The drink is the first time Joseph Holt has brewed its own stout. Already, Trailblazer has trounced Guinness – a brand which has been going for 250 years old – in a blind taste test.
As with the other glasses, Lady Margaret`s portrait has been artfully stencilled with white and red graphics along with key aspects of her life. All of which become pronounced when Trailblazer, with its dark velveted body and firm creamy head, is poured into the glass to create a perfect contrasting background to such historical details.
Said Paul Longmire, head of marketing at Joseph Holt, which runs 127 pubs across the North West: “The Joseph Holt brewery puts community at the heart of our business. Lady Elizabeth Holt was a true trailblazer who did so much for charity. It seemed a perfect fit to commemorate her legacy and that of others in the family story with a glass that celebrates her trailblazing role. “
Jane Kershaw, the sixth generation of the Holt family to work in the business and who as well as being a master brewer, is the first woman to sit on the board of Joseph Holt, added: “Lady Margaret was an amazing woman who did so much for the brewing industry and for the welfare of the people of Manchester. The fact that she is the first woman to be celebrated on a beer glass this way makes us particularly proud.”
Stout itself was first brewed in this country at the beginning of the 18th century. It was originally known as porter since it was popular with London Street market workers: the strongest variety was known as stout porter, which was eventually shortened to just stout.
“Trailblazer may be a relative newcomer to the stout market and Guinness is over 250 years old “said Phil Parkinson, head brewer at Joseph Holt “Even more satisfying is that, having blind tested drinkers of all ages, so many younger people enjoyed Trailblazer too.”
“At Joseph Holt we are so proud of our past at the same time as always looking to the future. In fact, since launching Trailblazer stout we have had 63 per cent increase in the number of younger drinkers ordering a glass. Now they and everyone who orders our award-winning stout can also enjoy a slice of history too, through trailblazers such as Lady Margaret Holt. The decision for Joseph Holt to brew its own stout – in the face of long-time established brands – has been a trailblazing moment for us. So now all that history is wrapped up with our own brewery and served in these special commemorative glasses.”