SA Brain & Co chairman Christopher Brain is to retire later this year, the brewer has confirmed.

Under Brain’s stewardship the brewer has gone through an aggressive growth strategy, growing the company from its Cardiff heartland to become a nationally recognised brand.

He raised SA Brain & Co’s profile through its More Positive Thinking advertising campaign in 2003 and a string of sponsorship deals with Welsh sporting teams.

This year Brain agreed a tie-up with drinks giant Scottish & Newcastle that will see S&N take responsibility for sales, distribution and technical support of Brains beers.

Chairman for 20 years, Brain oversaw the company’s move from its Cardiff Old Brewery site in 1999 to the former Hancock’s brewery, bought from Bass.

According to the latest Sunday Times Rich List, Mr Brain’s fortune stands at an estimated £52m. A successor is unclear. His son, Ed Brain, is an officer in the Army who joined the forces after completing a brewing degree in Edinburgh.