John Smith’s Brewery was founded in 1758 by Backhouse & Hartley at Tadcaster in North Yorkshire, England. John Smith bought the brewery in 1847. John Smith’s is the sixth highest selling beer brand in the United Kingdom, and the highest selling ale brand. It is the highest selling bitter in the world.
The company grew to be one of the largest regional brewers in the country. It was taken over by Courage in 1970 and is currently owned by Heineken.
John Smith’s is the largest commercial sponsor of horse racing in the UK, including the Grand National since 2005. It is also well known for a series of highly successful television advertising campaigns, featuring the actor Gordon Rollings during the 1980s, and the comedians Jack Dee during the 1990s and Peter Kay since 2002.
Info gleaned from Wikipedia