It all started as a bit of banter over a few pints of not very good ale.

Simon Brown and Clive Mansell met at a christening in Botley at which they were joint godfathers.

A discussion sprang up over how their drinks were not particularly good.

They agreed that their new godson, Dugald Rhodes, should be able to grow up and toast his 18th birthday with something better than they were sipping.

It is the sort of conversation that happens countless times in pubs up and down the country – and usually ends there.

But Simon was an entrepreneur who happened to own an industrial unit that would be ideal to house a brewery and Clive was a publican – and less than a year later the pair had set up Itchen Valley Brewery and were making their award-winning ale Godfathers.

That was in 1997.

Fast forward 16 years and Itchen Valley Brewery is a local success story. It has seen a change of ownership, although Simon still has some involvement as he owns the premises.

And now he is preparing to help Dugald celebrate his 18th birthday in October by enjoying a glass of the ale that his birth was responsible for creating.

“We will definitely have a ceremony,” said Simon.

“It’s quite unnerving that so much time has passed now! It’s exciting too. If I was a 17 year old lad and knew that I was largely responsible for starting a brewery, I’d rather like that. It’s kudos.

“When you start new businesses there’s always fear and bearing in mind how many small businesses fail in the first three years, you think ‘what the hell am I doing?’ so it’s nice when, like Itchen Valley has done, it starts to thrive.”

Dugald first learnt about Godfathers and Itchen Valley Brewery when he was around seven and was given a pump clip with the name and logo on.

Since then he has tried some sips of the ale and is looking forward to enjoying it properly once he is 18.

And in the meantime, he has enjoyed impressing his friends by telling them about ‘his’ award-winning ale.

“It is pretty cool,” says the 17-year-old.

“It’s very unusual – not many people have a beer named in their honour! My friends are quite impressed by it.”

Dugald was delighted that the brewery gave him some Godfathers to auction off to help raise money for trip to Africa this summer where he will be helping deprived children.

And he is looking forward to making Godfathers his regular drink once he turns 18.

“I have tried a bit and it’s nice but I can really enjoy it when I turn 18. I will definitely drink it – it’s part of who I am.”