The Away Fan’s Guide to Real Ale in Burton upon Trent (Part One)

Burton upon Trent was once the Brewing Capital of the World, producing more beer than London. Since 1708 there have been over 100 breweries in the town, although now this number stands at eight; Marston’s, Coors, Burton Bridge, Tower, Old Cottage, Heritage Brewing Company, Burton Town and Gates.

The town has a surprisingly high number of excellent pubs, many serving locally brewed ales and is the perfect place to explore prior to a game; so whether this is your first ever visit to Burton Albion or you’ve been before, there’s a lot to see and drink. The following guide in spilt into two parts (see the rest here) and lists the pubs from the closest to the furthest away from the Pirelli Stadium.

Enjoy your time in Burton, cheers!

 

THE GREAT NORTHERN

Where? Wetmore Road

Distance to ground? 0.3 miles / 6 minute walk

Geographically this is the closest pub to the Pirelli Stadium; but only just. This is used predominantly by home fans, although away supporters are made welcome. The Great Northern was a Marston’s pub for years and years before being added to the Burton Bridge Brewery estate, it is now a free house. They have two pool tables and a large room at the back with the finest darts facilities in the town.

Real Ale? There is always Marston’s Pedigree available and they have a guest beer on match days which is often Burton Bridge Bitter.

Food? Hot dogs, pies and cobs before the game.

 

THE BEECH HOTEL

Where? Derby Road

Distance to ground? 0.3 miles / 7 minute walk

If you are travelling by coach, chances are you will be directed here. The pub has an outside bar with Sky Sports facilities and the Landlord encourages a friendly atmosphere, so singing is fine.

Real Ale? Marston’s Pedigree.

Food? Standard hot and cold pub fare.

 

THE HANBURY ARMS

Where? Sydney Street

Distance to ground? 0.4 mile / 8 minute walk

A back street pub just off Derby Road, used to be one of the few Truman, Hanbury & Buxton pubs in town.

Real ale? Pedigree is a permanent feature, may have a guest.

Food? Cobs on Saturdays.

 

BURTON TOWN BREWERY

Where? Falcon Close, just off Hawkins Lane

Distance to ground? 0.5 miles / 10 minute walk

The brewery is visible from Hawkins Lane but is partially obscured by trees, look for the Red Hand logo on an industrial unit. They serve beer that is brewed on the premises; the mash tun is just behind the bar. Limited opening hours: Friday 1200 – 2000 and Saturday 1200 – 1500.

Real Ale? Albion, Black as your Hat, Thom Cat and Burton IPA are usually on, they are looking at expanding this to six.

Food? None, but you are welcome to bring your own.

 

THE DERBY INN

Where? Derby Road

Distance to ground? 0.5 miles / 11 minute walk

This is situated on the other part of Derby Road on a direct route from the railway station. Recently refurbished pub and one for the real ale drinker.

Real Ale? Three core beers: Draught Bass (now brewed by Marston’s, but still an excellent pint), Timothy Taylor Boltmaker and the excellent Titanic Plum Porter which is the best thing to come out of Stoke since oatcakes.

Food? Cobs on match days and ask about the pizzas!

 

ALFRED ALE HOUSE

Where? Derby Street

Distance to ground? 1 mile / 21 minute walk

A Burton Bridge Brewery house that was once the brewery tap for the long since demolished Truman, Hanbury & Buxton brewery which stood directly opposite. Again on the direct route from the Railway Station, a very spacious pub and one for the real ale enthusiast.

Real Ale? Lots! There are always six or seven Burton Bridge ales on and a guest. There is also real cider / perry during the warmer weather.

 

THE WEIGHBRIDGE INN

Where? Derby Street

Distance to ground? 1.2 miles / 24 minute walk

A delightful small pub that is well worth seeking out. If you are walking directly from the railway station this should be your first stop. As you come down the bridge into Derby Street, the pub is on the right tucked away in the Travelodge car park.

Real Ale? There is always something on from local brewery Burton Old Cottage and they often have feature another local brewery Heritage Brewing Co.

Food? If you are fortunate there may be homemade cottage pie available.

 

THE ROEBUCK INN

Where? Station Street

Distance to ground? 1.4 miles / 28 minute walk

Come out the Railway Station and turn right into town, The Roebuck Inn is the first pub you will come to. For years this was an Ind Coope house (look out for the sign and window as evidence) and is now run by Admiral Taverns.

Real Ale? There is always Draught Bass, Martson’s Pedigree, Abbot and Old Peculiar on handpump, along with a beer from Gates Burton Brewery which is brewed a few miles away, try the GBA or Reservoir if its on.

 

THE LAST HERETIC

Where? Station Street

Distance to ground? 1.4 miles / 29 minute walk

A short walk into town from the Roebuck you’ll find micropub The Last Heretic. They open at 11am on match days, an hour earlier than the other pubs. There is a beer garden out back if the place gets crowded.

Real Ale? Always at least three on, rising to five at weekends. They feature ales from all over the country as well as more local breweries like Tower and Gates from Burton and Leatherbritches, Falstaff, Dancing Duck and Black Hole from slightly out of town. There is always real cider available as well as Craft Beer cans.

Food? Cobs and pork pies.

Part Two

 

Happy second birthday to The Last Heretic

 

This weekend marks the second anniversary since the opening of The Last Heretic on Station Street. They are celebrating in style with a beer festival which runs from Thursday to Monday.

“We have a range of beers, strong to pale, to fruit beers,” explains landlord Pete Spittles. “If the weather stays good, we will shift more beer which means more will be on. I’ve got about eighteen on at the moment and at least another ten ready to go.” The current beer list can be seen at the end of this article.

Prior to becoming a publican Pete worked as cabin crew for Thomas Cook: “I’d got knowledge of beer from drinking it, I’ve never drunk lager, even when I was sixteen / seventeen; too cold too fizzy.”

Before settling on The Last Heretic, Pete did his homework: “I went to around six micropubs, some I liked and some I didn’t. I think you need a bar,” he muses. “It’s a focal point especially when people come in on their own, also if I hadn’t got a bar and I was busy I’d be spilling more beer on the floor as I wouldn’t be able to get through people to serve the drinks!.” There is also a practical reason, “I wanted to keep down the staffing costs, if you’ve got a bar near the cool room you haven’t got to leave the area; three paces I am pulling a pint, three paces I am back in the bar. The glass panels work well as people want to see the barrels, 99% of pubs you won’t see a barrel as it’s down in the cellar. The flipside is you have to keep it really clean as there are people looking in and taking pictures so it’s always spotlessly clean in there! Most pubs wouldn’t want you to see inside their cellar, there are bags of potatoes and all sorts!”

Pete serving Ricky

The Last Heretic is situated right next to the railway station and attracts a lot of the visiting football fans.

“It is always busy with the football crowd. When Bristol City came we sold more cider than real ale, six lots of twenty litres in a day! That’s a lot of pints,” he laughs. “I’ve just learnt how to use Twitter in the last six months, the football fans tend to be into Twitter more than Facebook, so they just re-Tweet where they are meeting. I am the first pub open on a Saturday at eleven o’clock, so they all pile in here; before you know it there are five … ten … twenty and then thirty in. Will it be that busy next season if Burton go down, I don’t know.”

Pip in the cool room

Pete has his eye on a second micropub: “I am looking at trying to open another, not too far away from here, probably five or ten miles. I’d looked at one in Stretton but I backed out. I’ve heard that someone else is interested and they’ve asked if they can use the plans I had drawn up, it’d be good for Stretton to have a micropub.”

Lisa and Pip

As well as a wide range of beers, there is a barbecue on Saturday and Sunday, so what better way to enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend?

 

 

 

 

 

CURRENT BEER LIST

Black Hole Brewery Milky Way 6.0% Pale ale, honey & banana notes, dry spicy finish

Dancing Duck Duck A L’orange 6.4% IPA infused with orange peel

Dancing Duck Dark Drake 4.5% Oatmeal stout

Blue Monkey Evolution 4.3% Golden Ale, fruity & dry hopped

Blue Monkey Funky Gibbon 4.1% Copper session ale, hoppy finish

Blue Monkey Infinity + 1 5.6% Pale ale, citra hopped

Fernandes Brewery Dragon’s Breath 4.3% Golden, spicy ale from Yorkshire

Kinver Brewery Over The Edge 7.5% Golden strong winter ale

Leatherbritches Brewery Bohemian Dark 5.9% Dark ale, coffee, malty, dried fruit flavoured

Leatherbritches Brewery Lemongrass & Ginger 3.8% Pale ale with real lemongrass and ginger

Lincoln Green Tuck 4.7% Full bodied porter

Muirhouse Brewery Shopping For Hops 3.9% Pale, fruity, hoppy session ale

Tiny Rebel Stay Puft 5.2% Marshmallow porter

Titanic Brewery Iceberg 4.1% Pale, citrus & hoppy

Totally Brewed Punch In The Face 4.8% Amber ale, fruity, packed with American hops

XT Brewery XT8 4.5% Porter, rich, smooth roasted coffee flavour

XT Brewery XT13 4.5% Red Ale using US/NZ/Oz hops

@Micropubheretic      https://www.facebook.com/The-last-heretic-480571588810654/