TATTGOC Salutes! No 1: Thomas Leishman

Hello! Or as the French say, informally: "Salut!" Or as the Tramps say: "Salute!"

That's right. After a giddy few months of being garlanded by various media outlets, TATTGOC thought it was time to give something back, by mounting an occasional series dedicated to acknowledging the spicy achievements of others (particularly those no longer around to participate in a curry-related Q&A). And who will be the first recipient of the soon-to-be-legendary Curry Club salute, instigated by oor ain Jalfrezi all those months ago in the aftermath of the "other" Shish Mahal? A certain Scottish gent named Thomas Leishman ...

Who was Thomas Leishman? Click to read more ...

Just to be clear, we're not talking about Tommy Leishman, the St Mirren and Liverpool wing-half from back in the day. This is Thomas Leishman, the Scot who was the first managing director of United Breweries Ltd. He might not have introduced beer to India, but he certainly helped the whole process along – it was Thomas Leishman who purchased and consolidated five different India-based breweries to create the brand-new company United Breweries Ltd. It was first registered at 17 Armenian Street, Madras (now known as Chennai) on March 15, 1915.

Those five existing breweries had been there to provide booze for various servants of Empire – be they European planters in the Nilgiris mountains, travelling merchants in the port of Madras or British troops stationed in Bangalore or Pune.

After Leishman consolidated these various breweries into one entity, bullock carts carrying huge barrels of beer became a familiar sight on the roads surrounding Madras and beyond. If IPA was the libation of choice in the 19th century, Leishman helped popularise locally-brewed beer and lager in the early 20th, and turned Kingfisher into a globally-recognised brand. The company he founded grew exponentially in those first few decades, and is now a worldwide conglomerate that includes an airline and a Formula 1 racing team. (There is also a pretty awesome 2011 calendar.)

So, separated by over 100 years, how did TATTGOC become aware of Mr Thomas Leishman in the first place? It all started back at the Scottish Curry Awards 2010, when the Tramps – understandably giddy from their extremely recent accolade – were approached by a very dapper gentleman called Frank, a representative from United Breweries who spoke passionately and persuasively about how a fellow Scot had crossed continents to set up a peerless brewing operation, an action that had led, however indirectly, to Kingfisher lager recently supporting the TATTGOC blog in a most agreeable way. So ...

Thomas Leishman – TATTGOC salutes you!

Talkin' Bout A Resolutions!
Curry Capital: Birmingham Backlash!
Rogan Gosh! It's National Curry Week 2010!
Could Glasgow Be Curry Capital Of Britain ... Again?


The Tramp said...

Surely we should make Leishman an honorary member of the TATTGOC team? Think I'll have to try and get my hands on one of those calendars too...