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7th May 2024

Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company and Thornbridge Brewery find a new home for Burton Union sets

Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC) and Thornbridge have partnered on a special project to establish a Burton Union system at Thornbridge’s brewery in Bakewell, using Union sets from Marston’s Brewery in Burton-on-Trent. 

This momentous collaboration between CMBC and Thornbridge Brewery has seen the two brewers work together to find a new home for some of the remaining Burton Union sets from Marston’s Brewery, which will be installed in a new Union system at Thornbridge’s Riverside Brewery, near the River Wye in Derbyshire. 

Discussions between CMBC and Thornbridge began in February this year, to look for a way to provide a new future for the Union sets at Marston’s Brewery, following their retirement earlier this year. CMBC gifted the set of Union barrels to Thornbridge and has also provided expert guidance and advice on maintenance and set-up for the Union system being developed at Thornbridge’s Bakewell-based brewery, which is set to be completed in May. The Union sets will be used for brewing special edition cask beers utilising this historic method first created in Burton-on-Trent in the 19th century. 

Emma Gilleland, Director of Brewing at CMBC, said, “This collaboration is a perfect showcase for the ways brewers can come together to deliver something special, for the love of beer and Britain’s incredible brewing heritage. We’ve been proud to support Thornbridge through the process by sharing our time and expertise to help set up their own Union system, and we are confident they will be fantastic custodians for our Union sets. 

Rob Lovatt, Head Brewer at Thornbridge Brewery, said, “This project is a dream come true for Thornbridge, and we’re grateful to CMBC for their generosity in giving these Union sets to us to brew with going forwardsWhile there are challenges yet to get the system up and running, we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to preserve these beautiful icons of British brewing. Every process, detail and recipe change in a Union system has an effect on the beer’s flavour, and I’m excited to see what we can create with the new system here in Bakewell.” 

Mark Newton, Cooper at Marston’s Brewery, Burton, said: “It’s been a huge privilege to have spent so many years caring for and maintaining these historic sets at Marston’s Brewery, and I’m so pleased to have been part of the CMBC team working with Thornbridge to help them prepare for setting up their own Union System. It’s heartening to know that, alongside the set we are preserving at our brewery, our Union sets will have a new home with the brilliant brewers at Thornbridge. 

CMBC have invested in the preservation of one of the remaining Union sets at Marston’s Brewery, which will be on display to celebrate the brewery’s heritage and remarkable history of the Burton Union system. It is expected the preservation work will be completed by the end of May and is being overseen by CMBC’s expert cooper before he begins his retirement. 



Notes to Editors 

·       CMBC announced the retirement of the four active Union sets at Marston’s Brewery in January 2024. Read more here. 

About CMBC 

Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC) is one of the UK’s largest brewers and the leading UK brewer of cask ale. With a brewery and logistics network covering the whole of the UK, we are a home of brewing expertise, defined by our heritage and strong values.   

Our portfolio spans World Beer brands, premium lager and beloved Ales, including iconic names Carlsberg Danish Pilsner, 1664 and San Miguel, alongside cask favourites like Hobgoblin and Wainwright and rising stars 1664 Blanc, Poretti and Brooklyn Craft beers.

With an enviable selection of low and no alcohol options such as Carlsberg 0.0, Brooklyn Special Effects and Erdinger Alkoholfrei, we champion exceptional brews that are exciting drinkers everywhere, whatever their taste.   

But our mission goes beyond beer. Every one of us has a passion for making a difference – delivering outstanding service to our customers, investing in our people, and innovating to reduce our sector’s impact on the planet and create positive benefits for the communities we operate in.   

We are Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company. Brewing For a Better Today and Tomorrow.   

Discover more at:  

About Thornbridge Brewery 

Thornbridge Brewery is based at Riverside Industrial Estate, Buxton Road, Bakewell, DE45 1GS and has been operating since 2005. The brewery has picked up over 350 domestic and international awards, including over 100 for their flagship IPA, Jaipur.  

For further information and all other enquiries, please contact Simon Webster, CEO and Co-founder of Thornbridge Brewery

A selection of images to accompany showing the transport and set up of the Union:

For further information and all other enquiries, please contact Simon Webster, CEO and Co-founder of Thornbridge Brewery

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