IUF logo.

Beerworkers Archive


Post date: 12/21/2010 - 18:20

Molson Coors Opens Burton Micro Brewery

BURTON’S newest micro-brewery has been officially opened and described by the man who will run it as ‘the best Christmas present ever’.

Master brewer Steve Wellington (left) and Molson Coors UK chief executive Mark HunterWilliam Worthington’s Brewery, based at the National Brewery Centre, in Horninglow Street, is Molson Coors’ response to the burgeoning demand for cask ales.

BURTON’S newest micro-brewery has been officially opened and described by the man who will run it as ‘the best Christmas present ever’.

Master brewer Steve Wellington (left) and Molson Coors UK chief executive Mark HunterWilliam Worthington’s Brewery, based at the National Brewery Centre, in Horninglow Street, is Molson Coors’ response to the burgeoning demand for cask ales.

The £1 million facility, named in tribute to the beer pioneer who achieved global fame after opening his first brewery in the town more than 250 years ago, has four times the capacity of its neighbour, the White Shield brewery, whose role it is taking over.

The brewery is expected to produce 3,000 barrels next year, including the multi award-winning White Shield and seasonal and limited edition ales, including one to mark next year’s Royal Wedding.

It will also provide an additional attraction to the museum, open to the public and offering visitors the chance to see the brewing process in action.

Master brewer Steve Wellington, who first joined Molson Coors’ predecessor, Bass, as a trainee brewer in 1965, will run the micro-brewery with his assistant, Jo White.

He told the Mail: “I think it will make a big difference to the museum because people are fascinated by how beer is made and here they can walk past and see it all happening.

“I wanted it to be a manual brewery, not a computerised one, although it has a few automated features which take the drudgery out of brewing.

“It looks very modern, but essentially, it uses the same principles used in the 1920s, and produces beer which is just as good.

“We’ve done three beers already and it’s worked like a dream. I’m terribly excited.

It’s a dream come true for me and the best Christmas present I’ve ever been given.”

The brewery’s designers, Boylestone-based Grange Engineering, and builder Brian Eccelshall completed the project in six months, overcoming the constraints of working in a listed building, which meant they were not allowed to drill into any of the walls.

Molson Coors hopes the micro-brewery will also be used as a training ground for employees, and even possibly some of its directors, to learn the art of brewing.

Master brewer and innovation manager Jim Appelbee said he hoped the brewery would help capitalise on a growing trend in favour of cask beers.

He said: “The beer market generally is still in decline but cask ales are bucking that trend. If you go back 10 years, most people’s image of cask beer was old men in horrible, smoky pubs, but now it’s perceived as a premium product and people are willing to pay more for it.

“People are looking for more interesting products with more character and we hope we can play a part in that.”