'I'll never meet another man like John': Tributes paid to beloved Northampton real ale brewer

Beer brewer John enjoying a pint of bitter.
Beer brewer John enjoying a pint of bitter.

Friends and family have paid tribute to a former "generous spirit" who was top of the hops.

The former bus operator and one time electronics engineer in the aerospace industry, John Margetts of East Hunsbury, passed away back in March after battling heart problems.

Friends of John raised a toast to the former brewer at the Market Tavern on Monday night. Picture: Leila Coker.

Friends of John raised a toast to the former brewer at the Market Tavern on Monday night. Picture: Leila Coker.

The 86-year-old, who refused to retire, started up Hunsbury Craft Brewery at the age of 79 and his two ales Hunsbury Best Bitter (3.8%) and Copper (4%) proved to be popular with the Northampton pubs and ale house scene.

John had been brewing beer at home on and off since the mid-1960s and he decided to go into business with this venture in 2010.

His step-daughter, Jessica, was among a group of friends who lifted a pint at the Market Tavern on Monday (July 9) to say cheers to an old friend.

She said: "He was lovely man, he had a really dry sense of humour. He was really kind, gentlemanly and really supportive.

"He absolutely loved my mum and my sister well. He was a really generous spirit who was very kind and very clever."

The Northants CAMRA member was born in Bournville in 1931 and was later called up to do his national service where he served in the Royal Army Medical Corps.

He moved around the country a lot before he finally settled down and married his wife Kathleen of 14 years.

Owner of St Giles Ale House - and friend to John - Terry Steers first met the like-minded ale enthusiast seven years ago when he worked in the Wig and Pen.

He said: "John was a true old-fashioned gentleman. Nobody ever had a bad word to say about him. He was loved by each and every person he met.

"John was a dear friend and someone I think all people aspire to be like. Everyone would like to be remembered as a kind, funny, generous person and I don't know anyone who can say John wasn't all of these things, and more.

"He will be dearly missed by us all. I can honestly say I'll never meet another man like John."