New head of UK & European operations at Kegstar

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Global smart stainless steel keg rental company Kegstar has appointed James Bleakley as itsnew General Manager for UK and Europe.

James joined Kegstar in 2017 in order to expand the one-way keg rental business in northern UK and Scotland, as well as launch Kegstar in Ireland and develop the flow of kegs internationally.

In three years, he and colleague Richard Atkinson have been key to major growth in Kegstar’s operation, scaling the business to 700 customers and partners in the UK and Ireland, and renting almost 100,000 kegs per month across more than 30,000 hospitality venues.

Manchester-based James, who is affectionately known as “North” to his colleagues, takes over as UKE General Manager from Christian Barden, who remains as Chief Kegsecutive, leading
Kegstar’s global operation.

“Joining Kegstar was a fantastic opportunity for me, and I’m delighted to now be leading such a close-knit, fun and fully engaged team,” said James.

“Working in such an exciting industry, in a company with such a clear direction and strong focus on customer experience, is a superb base to help continue drive the business forward.”

James has more than 20 years’ experience in the brewing and hospitality industries, with several senior roles working for both national and international companies.

A self-proclaimed lover of beer and great beverages, he remains extremely passionate about this constantly changing sector, despite increased challenges caused by the current Covid-19

“It’s business as (un)usual for Kegstar and the team,” he said. “Times are certainly tough for everyone right now, but it’s important that we keep punching through, keep Kegstar as simple
as possible and reach out so that our customers are supported and know they can reach out to us any time. We’re all looking forward to that day when we can safely enjoy a beer together at
the next event.”


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