Greene King's head wine buyer has been named a Master of Wine.
James Davis joins a select group of just 312 worldwide who have been honoured by the Institute of Masters of Wine.
He joined the Greene King in 2007 and has studied for five years for the qualification, which requires candidates to pass a series of practical and theoretical exams, as well as submit a successful research dissertation.
CEO of the pub group, Rooney Anand, said that wine had become an integral part of pub culture in recent years, and showed how far the industry had come.
He added: "Greene King is proud to have a Master of Wine in the team. This is one of the toughest professional qualifications to gain, which makes this achievement even more impressive. It is pleasing to see James join this elite club.
"It is rare for a pub company to have a Master of Wine and we are excited by the commercial opportunities and competitive edge that this appointment will offer us in the future."
Davis, who can now add the letters "MW" after his name, said: "The journey to achieve the status of Master of Wine was the most challenging, but ultimately satisfying, of my life.
"What particularly interested me about wine is how and why it is different to other consumer drinks categories. Branded wines do not have the same resonance with consumers as branded spirits, beer or soft drinks and part of my role is to help quality wine become more mainstream and recognisable."
He also thanked Greene King for its support and said he was eager to put his sourcing and blending knowledge to work with the group.
One of the UK's largest pub groups, Greene King operates 2,300 pubs, restaurants and hotels across Britain, employing 22,000 people. It is also the UK's leading cask ale brewer, with breweries in Bury St. Edmunds and Dunbar, with brands such as Greene King IPA and Old Speckled Hen.