“Constructed in listed buildings at the National Brewery Centre, the William Worthington’s Brewery will be open to the public, allowing [visitors] the opportunity to see the simple and beautiful process of brewing beer in action as you walk through the working brewery.”
–press release from Worthington’s.
This is a historic brewery that started life when William Worthington opened his brewery in Burton-upon-Trent in 1761. In 1927 it was merged with Bass which was subsequently bought up by Interbrew (which became Anheuser-Busch InBev). They were then forced to sell some of their brands by the UK monopolies commission, and it ended up in the hands of North American giant Molson Coors.
Many lovers of this venerable old brand may have feared the worse, as in 1967 the original brewery was demolished, and now the name of a former giant of British brewing was being passed around the big international brewing conglomerates. The reintroduction of Worthington’s White Shield IPA in 2000, bottled live with yeast, must have allayed those fears. This is one of the most highly awarded beers by CAMRA UK and deservedly so. The brewery also brews Worthington Red Shield Pale Ale as well as promising seasonals and limited release beers.
This proves that if there is the desire in the head offices of multi-national brewing giants, a genuine craft brewer, on a small scale can be nutured and allowed to grow. The ‘White Shield Brewery” is located within the recently re-opened National Brewing Centre visitor attraction and makes for a great day out for the craft beer enthusiast, with tastings and a tour of the brewery.