From today’s Publican, a number of old beer bottles were found in the vaults of Worthington’s White Shield brewery in Burton-upon-Trent in Staffordshire, now owned by Molson Coors. Some of the bottles are over 130 years old. The oldest bottle is 137-years old, bottled in 1869. That beer is Harry Ratcliff’s Ale and was brewed to commemorate a son being born into the Ratcliff family, which was later part of the Bass, Ratcliff & Gretton breweries in the late 1800s.
Above, Worthington White Shield’s head brewer, Steve Wellington. “It was always rumoured that there were some vintage beers on site but uncovering such an interesting collection is fantastic. I believe this is one of the most exciting and unique discoveries ever made in British brewing.”
From the Publican:
Dr George Philliskirk, beer expert and Chief Executive of the Beer Academy comments: “This discovery is remarkable, especially as the oldest beer of all dates back to 1869 and tastes so fresh, and with such attractive ripe plum and honeyed flavours. This demonstrates the potential for vintage beers to be taken seriously – maybe even being worthy of a special section in wine lists at Britain’s top restaurants.”
As a result of this find, Worthington’s in conjuction with CAMRA, is sponsoring a contest to find the oldest unopened bottle of beer in the U.K. The winner “will be invited to the White Shield Brewery in Burton upon Trent to brew their very own vintage.”
Below are some more photos of the bottles found in Worthington’s cellars: