Bridport brewery boss Cleeves Palmer has announced that he will be retiring from Palmers after more than 40 years.

The company said he will be handing over responsibility for the Free Trade business to Josh Palmer Ramus.

Coinciding with his retirement, Palmers has agreed to buy back all outstanding shares held by Cleeves Palmer.

The company said in a statement: "We wish Cleeves well after more than 43 years’ service to the company."

Cleeves Palmer, the sales and marketing director, had been at the helm of the local family-run brewer along with his brother John.

Palmers have been brewing in Dorset since 1794 and the original Old Brewery in West Bay Road, Bridport is where the firm still works to traditional methods. The brewery also owns a number of pubs in the south west.

John Palmer, Chairman and Managing Director said: “We are proud to announce this deal to take Palmers into the next chapter of the business’ 229 year history.

"A huge thank you to our staff, licensees and customers for their longstanding support; this is at the heart of what it means to us to be a family business.

"My daughter, Emily, and I look forward to continuing to work together to ensure Palmers is successful for generations to come.”