Burton Ale Trail

You left me extolling the virtues of Digbeth and with the bar set high then the only place to carry on is the home of brewing…

Burton on Trent doesn’t have quite the selection of pubs it used to but there are still plenty to ensure you can have a good day (or weekend) out.

Local beer historian Ian Webster – AKA The Beertonian – came up with the genius idea of running a Burton Ale Trail last month, which basically promoted pubs in Burton to a wider audience and gave the industry a much needed shot in the arm.

Top beer writers such as Colston Crawford were on board and the event proved to be a winner with punters galore using the 14 pubs who joined in.  All the details of how it worked can be found here but it is planning to be an annual event such was its success.

The Beertonian has done as much as anyone to promote beer in Burton over the past few years and I have to say he made me aware of a pub I’d never even considered for a pint.

686 – Marston’s Sports & Social Club DE14 2BG is on the Shobnall Road and hadn’t been on my radar before, as I wasn’t sure it was open to the general public, but it definitely is.

However, in a shameless plug for this site, I can reveal I have visited ten of the 14 pubs on offer – you can read about them here…

The National Brewery Tap, Brews of the World, Burton Bridge Inn, The Coopers Tavern, The Devonshire Arms, The Dog, The Last Heretic, Olde Royal Oak, The Roebuck Inn and The Weighbridge Inn…and I hadn’t been disappointed with any.

The Royal Oak is now the Fownes Brewery Tap and The Weighbridge Inn is run by Muirhouse Brewery but that won’t have made either of those two pubs any worse, so no wonder this Ale Trail was such a success.

I still haven’t ventured to Beeropolis, Burton Town Brewery Tap or The Grange Inn but I need to have something to look forward to over the winter months!

Anyway, back to the script…I didn’t go on the Burton Ale Trail as work commitments prevented me but I did manage to visit the Marston’s S&S Club just after midday on a Friday a  couple of weeks before the actual event.

Not before visiting the shop next door of course, purely for research purposes…

It’s a proper 60s/70s style social club set in the huge shadow of the brewery and apparently plays host to a variety of clubs such as crib, dominoes, table tennis, Burton Railway club and Burton Jazz club; and even has a works football pitch on the back.

I was definitely the first punter of the day and there was no cask on in the club so the very helpful barmaid went and pulled a pint of Pedigree (Marston’s) from the function room.

I strolled through and they were setting up for a function later on in the day with Boney M blaring out adding to the seventies feel  as it reminded me of old social clubs such as Land Rover and Longbridge back in the day when my dad worked at various guises of British Leyland.

The barmaid even turned the lights on for me when I asked for a picture of the Marston’s livery to add to the feelgood vibe!

The pint was decent enough for first out of the traps although not in the “I’ll only ever drink Pedigree again” category. But, anywhere selling decent cask that is perfectly quaffable post covid lockdown, is worth supporting in my book.

Burton Ale Trail 2022 will be coming to a pub near you soon(ish) and it is well worth supporting.

14 thoughts on “Burton Ale Trail

  1. Crikey Beermat I only wish the Birmingham City forward line were as prolific as your recent pub blogging !! Burton is fabulous for a pub crawl with responsible drinking encouraged naturally. NB I have sorted out appropriate venues for a double figure Tamworth town centre pub crawl when you finally make it over to the ancient capital of Mercia. I’ll look after you BB !!

    Your recent posts on Nottingham pubs have inspired me for the location of my forthcoming birthday day out, my better half is decidedly underwhelmed, and the link you put on your Twitter feed today to the Jane’s football/drinking blog has really whetted my appetite.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. The phrase Martin is trotted out with annoying frequency these days normally accompanying a drinks promotion like 5 Jäegermeisters for £10 and buy 2 glasses of wine get the rest of the bottle free. I like these kind of deals, the more you drink the more you save !! Maybe it’s more responsible economics rather than responsible drinking.

        I do agree though any drops spilt is irresponsible drinking and falls into the beer crimes category!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Beermat, I had the pleasure of meal, plus several beers at the Marston’s Sports Social Club, back in 1975. The occasion was my first ever brewery visit, during my student days.

    The meal was thrown in, along with several pints – top-pressure or keg, back then, but a godsend to a hard-up student! I don’t remember much about the brewery itself, but your photos of the club brought back a few memories, and apart from the high tables, nothing much seems to have changed in 46 years!

    Happy days!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I was a student at Salford uni, Beermat. I wasn’t even supposed to have gone on that brewery visit, as it was organised by another department. A friend dragged me along (I didn’t need much persuading), and we traveled to Burton and back, by coach.

        Called in at a pub on the way back too – more for a comfort stop, than anything else, but it seemed rude not to have a pint whilst we were there!

        Liked by 1 person

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