National Brewery Centre Trust Launch

Posted: 10 October 2013

Blog category: News

There is little doubt that a pint of beer is Great British icon, but the image alone fails to even tell half the story. What keeps beer vital and relevant, and inspires such great interest, are the stories behind our national drink. Beer was the lubricant that has kept Britain working and playing for centuries and this story is told through the National Brewery Heritage Centre (NBHC) in Burton-on-Trent.

The museum’s future has been secured thanks to a group of volunteers in the form of the National Brewery Heritage Centre Trust, which was officially launched yesterday. Shepherd Neame chief executive Jonathan Neame was the guest speaker. In his address, he stressed that beer shouldn’t be seen in isolation, but in the social and economic context of its times. In medieval times it was a cottage industry, where small beer safeguarded people against poor sanitation. In the industrial age thirsty workers quenched their thirst with milds and their social lives revolved around the pub. Porters, pale ales and myriad of other beers came and went (and came back again!) but one thing stayed constant: beer was at the heart of everyday life.

The NBHC tells the story not just of making beer, but in a wider context, from a time when your working life was your life. Alongside brewing, coopers made casks, blacksmiths shoed horses, cobblers made shoes – even undertakers made coffins. Burton-on-Trent wasn’t just a ‘brewing town’, each brewery was a town.

The future of the Centre’s vast archive has been secured following a period of uncertainty and for that we are hugely grateful to the Trust because it’s not only the story of beer; it’s the story of Britain.