John Smith’s Brewery (John Smith Ltd) is a brewing company that traces its origins to the founding of the Backhouse & Hartley brewery in 1778 at Tadcaster in North Yorkshire, England. John Smith purchased the brewery in 1847. The company grew to be one of the largest regional brewers in the country, owning over 1800 outlets for their beer. The company was taken over by Courage in 1970 who extended distribution of the beer nationwide. Courage were taken over by Scottish & Newcastle in 1995, by which time John Smith’s was the highest selling ale brand in the country. S&N were taken over by Heineken in 2008.
Info gleaned from Wikipedia