Skip to main content
23rd January 2024

CAMRA reacts to CMBC plans to retire its Burton Unions

Commenting on the announcement that Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC) plans to retire its historic Burton Unions* CAMRA Chairman Nik Antona said:

“It’s obviously hugely disappointing that CMBC has taken the decision to retire its iconic Burton Unions. It is arguably the last brewery in the world, and certainly in the UK, using this method** to brew beer and this decision will see a unique and historic part of Britain’s brewing heritage declared completely extinct.

“We’d urge CMBC to find some way to preserve these historic pieces of brewing equipment rather than simply scrap them, or make the Union Sets available to another brewery which might be interested in preserving this tradition.

“We do understand the need for breweries to remain efficient and ensure quality at a time when we are sadly seeing many closures. CAMRA is reassured that this news is tempered by the fact CMBC has invested a significant sum, worth several millions, in the site, which hopefully will secure continued brewing and support the cask ales which have long been brewed in Burton-on-Trent.”


Notes to editors

*Burton Unions, or Burton Union Sets, is an unusual method of brewing using a system of wooden barrels and pipes which recirculates beer and yeast during the fermentation period.

**The Firestone Walker Brewing Company in the USA uses a modified, but not identical, version of barrel brewing, inspired by Burton Unions

About CAMRA:

CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, is a not-for-profit consumer group with over 150,000 members that has been operating since 1971. Our vision is to have quality real ale and thriving pubs in every community.

Media Contact:  

CAMRA Press Office:

01727 337863

Third-party news items that are posted on the Guild website’s news section come from press releases received by the Guild. These press releases are posted as they have been received and their publication on the Guild website is intended as an informational service provided to our members and website visitors. As such, the publication of a story from a third-party source is neither an endorsement of the content, nor its sender, by the Guild. For enquiries on any news item, please use the contact details that can be found at the bottom of each post.