Today is the birthday of William H. Worthington II (September 10, 1764-March 4, 1825). He was the son of William H. Worthington, who founded the Worthington Brewery in Burton-on-Trent in 1761, with the help of his wife Ann Tarratt, when “he purchased a brewery in the High Street for 320 pounds from Richard Cummings of Repton.” Worthington II assumed control of the company following his father’s death, and his son, also named William, succeeded him.
And here’s more from the brewery’s Wikipedia page:
It is the second oldest continuously brewed British beer brand after Whitbread. The best known Worthington beers are its Creamflow nitrokeg bitter and White Shield India Pale Ale.
When William Worthington died in 1800, his brewery was one of the largest outside London. Horace Tabberer Brown, a chemist employed by Worthington, pioneered brewing science in the separation and cultivation of pure yeast strains from 1866, and the brewery was the first in the world to systematically use a laboratory in the brewing process from 1872. Worthington & Co merged with its major Burton rival Bass in 1927. Until the 1960s the Worthington brand, in bottled form, ranked alongside Bass and Guinness as one of only three beers with nationwide distribution. However, bottled beer sales declined as keg beer grew in popularity throughout the 1960s, and the Worthington brewery closed in 1965. The beers continued to be brewed elsewhere, and the Worthington brand has remained prominent up to the present day.
The Worthington brand was purchased from Bass by the American brewing company Coors in 2002, which following a merger became Molson Coors in 2005. Creamflow is the third highest selling ale in the United Kingdom, as well as the highest selling ale in Wales, and is brewed in Burton. Worthington’s White Shield IPA has continued to be brewed since 1829, and has been the recipient of a number of awards. In 2010, Molson Coors opened the William Worthington microbrewery, which brews historical and seasonal beers.
And this history is from “Messers. Worthington’s Brewery at Burton,” originally published January 2, 1875 and reprinted in the Brewery History journal edition in 2017.
A few years after his first start this gentleman determined to follow the example of Printon, and add the wine trade to his business as a brewer; and his son, the second William Worthington, while yet almost a boy, finding himself the sole possessor of the business, joined a partner in shipping a large proportion of the season’s brewings as a joint speculation to St. Petersburg. But those were the days when communications with foreign lands were difficult, when posts were rare, irregular, and untrustworthy, and eighteen months went by and no news arrived of the venture on which so much had been risked. The sharer in the cargo became nervous and dispirited, and at length, when the underwriters refused to take insurances on the goods, he came to William Worthington and offered for a small sum to give up the entire of the venture. Small as the sum was in proportion to the yield of a successful trading, it was yet as much as under the circumstances the share was worth. But William Worthington had the courage and confidence which seems to have ever been a characteristic of his house, and was anxious to close with the offer. His business, however, was not then the extensive concern it subsequently became, and so much of his available capital had been locked up in the seemingly unlucky adventure, that there were difficulties in the way. Once more, as has so frequently been the case in the history of mankind, a woman proved the dea ex machinâ. William Worthington was at the time engaged to be married to Mrs. Tarratt, and this lady, after considerable thought, agreed to advance the money. Her sacrifice was rewarded as it deserved to be, for six months later – months, doubtless, of weary anxiety to the young brewer – news arrived, not merely of the safety of the cargoes, but of a trading successful beyond hope and expectation, and this success established the fortunes of the house beyond fear of trifling shocks, and when William Worthington died he left behind him a fortune which in those days was considered large. He was succeeded by his son, the third William Worthington.