Will Laithwaite: Founder & Brewer

Will struggled at school and later University due to his inability to count, his saving was his unlikely skill for brewing from the start. Subsequently he made a reasonable go of starting a brewery and cooked up some half decent recipes for our award winning ales. OK he had some highly gifted staff to help him with this, but his benevolent nature forces him to carry the burden of glory all by himself. His private life is a mystery, he is awkward with women and painfully shy on the phone. He is the ‘Boss’ though and we will continue to treat him with reverence he deserves on a daily basis. Future plans will see a 4 x times life size Bronze statue of his good self, erected on the roundabout outside of the brewery entrance which all workers will have to salute as they arrive and leave. Not to do so would result in more beatings. Please help.


In life having a good strategy for the future is essential. The Greatest exponent of this philosophy was that Chinese clever-clogs Sun-Tzu born in 544 BC who ultimately knocked out some fine philosophical views and a surprising best seller – The Art of War – which detailed how to sort out tricky boundary issues with your neighbours in the most effectively violent way possible. Sun Tzu was hired by The King of Wu for his skills in this regard and the rest as they say is history.

Back to the present day and our own King of Woo – Will Laithwaite – saw the need for someone to join the company and strategize the online presence. He needed someone with finely honed skills in this and thinking laterally whizzed off the former eastern block where they used to knock out chess champions like a Millwall fan knocks out teeth. He travelled back with the lovely Veronika who it seems, in her home country is a renowned underground ‘Chess Wrestling’ champion going by the name of ‘Czech-Mate’. Veronika is on hand to keep the weekly email contact with the trade up to speed and Will under control when he’s had a few too many. Which is surprisingly more often than you would think and probably explains why he actually believes Chess Wrestling is a sport.

Alex scott: Head Brewer

Following the successful prisoner exchange programme which saw Chris Ward our former head brewer returned to New Zealand we collected young Mr Scott in return. Alex had been exported out to New Zealand to help stabilise their faltering brewing industry, provide some deportment advice to their male population and most importantly some annunciation classes with his handy instructions to all that he met that there is indeed more than that one vowel that can be used. He does know a thing or two about brewing which is a useful skill to have as our Head Brewer. He has an enquiring mind and is always looking to learn about new gadgets and equipment. Soon he will be going on the trouser belt wearing course – much to Jamies relief – who after a day working with Alex seems to resemble Brando in ‘Apocalypse Now’ as he mutters constantly….’the horror….the horror’ with his head in his hands.

Jamie Elbrow: Brewer

Jamie stands tall amongst men, is the most useful employee at Loose Cannon and has a torso covered in Tattoos which would make Popeye weep tears of joy. He believes in swift un-remorseful justice and vanquishes all his enemies with his own private martial arts skills which no one has ever managed to copy. At weekends when the voices in his head get too loud he hides up trees and throws pine cones and dung at passing couples. He never eats, he never sleeps, he never stops working. He is a machine.
He also has a lovely family and is very good with animals. If you meet him. Don’t stare.

Rob Orman: Brewer

Tectonic plates are on the move constantly – some even manage to travel up to 100mm annually. The movement is imperceptible, but it’s there. Rob moves, I’ve seen it, some of our customers have seen it – it’s just done so damned quietly that it leads you to believe he’s either Special Forces or a Ninja – or a Special Ninja. We’ll leave it there. Rob is in the brewery most days, well we think he’s in the brewery, not sure unless he moves. Put it this way if a T-Rex turned up in the brewery – Rob would be the survivor. Apparently a T-Rex would hunt prey by movement. Rob would not be prey. Rob is a lean mean brewing machine – but its also very interesting to use his shadow on sunny days to tell the time with alarming accuracy.

Chris Harrison: Sales Manager

Chris joined Loose Cannon as the Drayman, where with his keenly honed knowledge of the local roads and pubs would be put to good use, who can forget his numerous appearances on ‘Police, Camera, Action? Chris’s organisational ability and keen eye for detail soon saw him assisting with the brewing as demand blossomed. In a further role change Chris took up the reins of Brewery Sales where his tenure has seen new sales records being set, with nominations outstanding for; ‘Sales Person of the Year’, ‘Person Most Women Want To Take Home (to unblock drains)’, ‘UK’s Greatest Tea Drinker’ and ‘Most Creative Use of the word ‘Futtock’ in Every Day Conversation’. His star shines brightly in the sales firmament and all who know him count themselves blessed and lucky that they should be able to benefit from his presence in their lives. He also writes personal statements, which, naturally, he excels at.

Dave Hughes: Drayman

When describing a work of art, mere words alone cannot express the emotional connection you feel when looking at the piece. The Mona Lisa for instance is only a fairly plain brunette sitting in a draughty window. Likewise Dave Hughes when viewed dispassionately is only a withered old man with a bladder problem. But get a little closer and the diamond in the rough will shine. This why we love him.

Dave has an immense set of stories about his past which he will tell you whenever he has the urge. Dave has lots of urges, on a daily basis.

Did you know?

  1. Dave built Didcot Power Station and once had to start the steam turbines with his bare hands because the boiler couldn’t cope.
  2. Dave is permanently wired into the AA traffic watch system and can provide you with updates on traffic problems for a reasonable monthly fee.
  3. Dave was the last man to legally wrestle a bear in the square in Abingdon.
  4. Dave invented mountain biking by removing the mudguards from his Pennyfarthing.
  5. Dave doesn’t believe Wallingford actually exists as a town in its own right, he believes it’s a bit of Henley which was washed downstream during a particularly bad winter.
  6. Dave stops counting after 10 because you can’t need more than 10 of anything.
  7. Dave believes he is Welsh, but has nothing to back up his claims.
  8. Dave was the first man to illegally wrestle a bear in the square in Abingdon.
  9. Dave makes the rules.
  10. Dave never fails.

That’s 10 Dave facts. You don’t need any more.

He is a living work of art.

Merit Hill: Retail manager

Merit Hill aka ‘The Estonian Gem’ or around the brewery ‘Where’s Merit?’

To para-phrase Father Ted – Merit is not small, she is only further away than you think when you first meet her. She is the voice and luckily for customers, the face of the brewery as she runs our busy and growing retail shop. Merit is currently on hire from the Estonian Government

Maggie Yeadon: Accounts

A born sailor and former member of an all women’s trans-Atlantic yacht racing team Maggie has no fear of water. After being washed overboard during Hurricane Higgins Maggie spent most of 2010 bobbing about in a mid ocean swell cataloguing passing airliners on an old tea chest and providing tax return services to the occasional seagull. Well it pays to keep the old skills up. Eventually due the passage of the moon and the Earth’s rotation Maggie drifted up the Thames and found moorings in Abingdon.

Now a regular visitor to Abingdon – the most inland she has ever been – Maggie now claims to have encyclopaedic knowledge of all things MG and spends her weekends steaming up and down the Thames in her accurately detailed 1/72nd scale model of the Bismarck sinking pleasure cruisers and sending tourists down to Davy Jones’s locker.
Maggie dines regularly on tins of pilchards and likes to perch on park benches in a seagull suit every third Sunday for no apparent reason we can fathom.
She loves numbers and hates letters. The Postmen are scared of her

Dita Kolomejevova: Sales

Hot on the heels of Veronika Loose Cannon appointed another femme fatale from the East. Dita – (her surname wins 18 points in any game of scrabble) – has joined us to drive sales into new outlets. Since joining us it’s quite apparent though that her driving skills with road vehicles is far more free thinking and creative than would normally be deemed legal. This is surprising in some ways as Dita originally trained as Tank mechanic and has, you would assume, some appreciation of vehicle maintenance and longevity. Still we live in hope that the confusing array of pedals, knobs, wheels and switches will soon become easier to understand and the likelihood then that Dita’s cars will last longer than a week.

If you are reading this and you would like a visit from our roaming sales agent Dita – we are pleased to offer on the spot insurance policies and a fast claim service should you find her parked in your lounge or saloon bar.

Zoe Wake: Accounts

Zoe counts stuff. Like how many biscuits we are all eating, well me on the whole and that’s like, against my human rights or something.

With Maggie away on her scale model of the Bismarck, Zoe pops in to see that the financial wheels of the brewery keep turning. With a keen eye for the bottom line her ‘bottom-drawer’ collection of Boy Band Calendars keeps us all mildly uncomfortable and on our toes.

In her spare time Zoe spends hours creating fictional fan sites for the music industry greats such as ‘Brother Beyond’, ‘N-Sync’ and ‘Five’ and pesters the now retired singers for samples of their underwear.

JAson Mcgladdery: drayman

Jason is the Landladys favourite with his wiry physique and simple non scary reversible features. Jason has an ability to amaze and confuse normal people. It could be said that in the ‘olden days’ he would have been kept in a hut somewhere – probably a wood – and people would hold pilgrimages to visit him in his hut and listen to his wisdom. That wouldn’t have taken too long so the locals would have needed to have on hand some other form of entertainment for the Pilgrims to enjoy. This would most likely have been provided by Jason as well who has an innate ability to fall over at a moments notice. Its nothing medical. He just forgets to balance when he gets distracted by his beard or the odd direction his feet point in when he walks. On his first day here he crashed Hercules the van. He was kept on regardless. Mostly out of curiosity. He’s not disappointed us yet. Somebody fetch him a chair, he’s looking wobbly.

Carl withinshaw: retail and events

With a head shaped like an upturned builders bucket and an arm tattoo’d like a merchant sailor, our Carl provides a curiously fashionable – if somewhat specialised – dash in the brewery. Brought in to provide a useful pair of hands his feet are equally helpful as he strides about the place in his size 18 Army Boots. His most interesting feature is undoubtedly his incredibly high pitched and slightly nasally voice which he uses to great extent for shouting at Rob when he’s usually nodded off in the mash tun. Carl is a keen and attentive employee who soaks up information like a sponge. For this reason alone we try to keep him away from Jason who frankly struggles with the concept of everyday reality and could easily pollute his mind with bizarre facts. For the record it’s almost a day since Jason last fell over.