One of British brewing's best-known figures, John Young, died last week following a long battle with cancer.

Young had been in charge of the family-run Young's Brewery for the past 44 years, and at 85 was the industry's oldest and longest-serving chairman.

The former fighter pilot joined the company in 1954, succeeding his father William Allen Young as chairman in 1962. He was best known for his ardent promotion of traditional draught beers, and refusal to stock keg beer in all Young's pubs - a move which saw sales rocket well before the Campaign for Real Ale started in 1971.

His death came the day before the very last batch

of cask ale was due to be brewed at Young's Ram brewery in Wandsworth, south west London, ahead of its closure this week.

Young's death has sparked further speculation that the brewery and pub operation could now be a takeover target, with shares in the company rising by 218p to £30.56 this week.