Brewers of Burton

Burton upon Trent had a unique position in the history of brewing, exporting beer throughout the world and accounting for a quarter of UK beer production at one time; emulation of Burton water is a prevalent brewing technique called Burtonisation. Much of its area was given over to the industry throughout the 19th century and brewers dominated the town politically and socially.

Political influence

When the town was incorporated as a borough in 1878, the brewers Henry Wardle, John Yeomans, and Sydney Evershed, who had served previously as improvement commissioners, were chosen as aldermen at the first council meeting. Other brewers were co-opted and William Henry Worthington, formerly chairman of the improvement commissioners, was chosen as mayor.[1] Brewers were prominent in parliament[2] with Bass, Ratcliff and Gretton and Evershed representing Burton and Gretton and Wardle representing South Derbyshire. Many brewers were ennobled - for example Allsopp, Bass, and Gretton, creating a subgroup of the Peerage, nicknamed the Beerage. Yet an industry that had over 30 participants in 1881 had declined to eight in 1927 and many famous names disappeared from the shelves.

Brewers and brewing companies

Here follows a roughly chronological list of known brewers and brewing companies in Burton:[3] This lists owners rather than breweries because a brewery is a building - some brewers had more than one brewery and brewery buildings sometimes changed hands. In addition to companies started from scratch in the town, there were also pre-existing brewers from outside Burton who moved into the town in the 1870s.

Other brewers existing in 1880 included the following:[6]

A further three brewers are listed in 1898:

Brewers and cricket

As early as 1827, Burton Cricket Club was formed through the influence of Abraham Bass son of brewer Michael Bass. Bass was known as 'the father of Midland cricket' and was a member of the Northern Counties team which played against the M.C.C. at Burton in 1841.[7] In the heyday of brewing in Burton, many brewery companies had their own cricket teams. The Brewery Cup was established in around 1894 by the Burton Breweries Cricket Association.[8] A legacy of the era remains in the two cricket grounds that have been used by Derbyshire County Cricket Club - the Bass Worthington Ground and the Ind Coope Ground. First class cricketers from the brewing families, all of whom except the Allsopps played for Derbyshire, include


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