When planning a visit to The National Brewery Centre in Burton on Trent, the most important factor is to allow plenty of time because there is so much to see and do. Ollie, our guide gave an extremely informative tour of the brewery when LDTA members visited on 5th March. Numerous topics were covered during the tour, including the social history of the development of brewing, the brewing process past and present, the role of steam in brewing and vintage industry vehicles.
We began the visit by hearing about the different types of beer and the work life of early brewers. Ollie, introduced us to Jed and Ozzy two beautiful shire horses. We were uncertain whether Ozzy had his equity card as he had starred in a Harry Potter film! Due to their stamina shire horses have played a massive role in Burton’s brewing heritage. Delivering to the pubs of Burton, shire horses pulled ‘drays’ loaded with heavy barrels. Ollie certainly was entertaining and had many amusing tales to tell. During the time of the Crusades, religious houses provided sustenance for knights and pilgrims travelling to the Holy Land. Many proprietors believed it wise to show loyalty to the Crown. Names like the King’s Head or the Crown were popular. Pub signs were a way of advertising to the illiterate. An inn called The Cock Inn would once have been a venue for cock fighting. The museum has a cock fighting chair on display.
Highlights of our visit included a Robey steam engine, Daimler bottle car, a replica of a 1960’s pub and a model of Burton town centre, showing the breweries that were operating in the area at the beginning of the 20th Century. Our tour concluded with the opportunity to network while enjoying refreshments. Only having a short time at the museum means many of us intend to make a return visit. The National Brewery Museum is a valuable attraction for Staffordshire and can be enjoyed by tourists and locals alike. For more information about the National Brewery Centre and its guided tours visit the website www.nationalbrewerycentre.co.uk or telephone 01283 532 880. The postal address is Horninglow St, Burton upon Trent, Burton-on-Trent DE14 1NG.
Here's a question - why three legs on the chair?