Burton Brewing Museum saved

By Roger Protz

- Last updated on GMT

Molson Coors: saving Beer Museum
Molson Coors: saving Beer Museum
The Molson Coors brewing museum and visitor centre in Burton-on-Trent has been saved and will reopen in 2010, possibly as early as Easter. The...

The Molson Coors brewing museum and visitor centre in Burton-on-Trent has been saved and will reopen in 2010, possibly as early as Easter.

The centre has been in existence since 1977 but Molson Coors took the decision to shut it in June 2008 as part of a cost cutting exercise to save £1m a year.

The victory is the result of a sustained campaign by beer lovers, brewery workers, local MP Janet Dean and the Burton Mail​. It will be known as the National Brewery Centre.

Molson Coors has awarded a 25-year lease to Planning Solutions, a company with a wide portfolio of leisure activities, including Conkers in the New Forest, the Robin Hood Experience in Nottingham and Trentham Gardens near Stoke-on-Trent.

Planning Solutions has also had an involvement with the Vinopolis wine experience in London and therefore has experience of promoting the beverage industry.

Molson Coors will make a £200,000 investment in the venture and will also provide annual funding of £100,000 while charging only a peppercorn rent.

"Burton has a proud position in not only the UK's brewing industry, but throughout the world," said John Lowther, chief executive of Planning Solutions.

"I know from our many discussions with local people that this will be widely welcomed and it will provide a much-needed boost for tourism and local employment."

John Polglass, director of business and property services at Molson Coors, said: "Molson Coors has always been committed to finding an organisation that can provide a long term future for a Brewing Museum in Burton.

"Planning Solutions has a great track record in running visitor attractions and we are delighted to support their exciting plans to put Burton on the UK tourist map."

Rich heritage

Roger Protz, editor of the Good Beer Guide, who has campaigned for the museum to be re-opened, said: "This is exciting news and an historic day for Burton-on-Trent. Burton changed the face of brewing in the 19th century with India Pale Ale and then Pale Ale for the domestic market — the first pale beers brewed anywhere in the world. Brewers came to Burton from Austria, Bavaria and Bohemia to see how pale beer was made and used the knowledge to fashion the first golden lagers.

"The museum will celebrate this rich heritage but it will also be a truly national centre that will celebrate beer styles from all over country.

"Britain remains a major brewing country and the importance of beer — its past, present and future -- will be promoted by the museum. All beer lovers should raise a glass in celebration."

The new operator has plans to introduce animatronics and live actors to help entertain and inform visitors in full historical character.

Bars and restaurants will be incorporated in the plans for the new centre and these will be open to the general public and available for private bookings and live performances.

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