A CAMPAIGN has been launched to save a historic Burton ale after a brewing giant confirmed that it was going to stop making it, claiming that it was ‘unsustainable’.
Now, politicians and well-placed members of the brewing fraternity are clamouring for the beer to live on in some ‘way, shape or form’.
Renowned beer writer Roger Protz, editor of the Good Beer Guide, said: “The death of Draught Burton Ale (DBA) is an appalling blunder by Carlsberg UK and a misreading of the state of the beer market. Cask-conditioned real ale is on a roll, the only growth sector of the market.
“DBA is a much-loved beer and would have benefited from a relaunch. Yet Carlsberg has allowed this fine beer – that put Burton back on the map as a great brewing town in the 1970s and 80s – to wither on the vine. It was shunted off from Burton to Tetley’s in Leeds, then to J W Lees in Manchester. Carlsberg says sales were too low to be sustainable, but drinkers never knew where to find it.
“The quality of the beer is measured by the fact that it’s the only one produced by a national brewer to win the Campaign for Real Ale’s Champion Beer of Britain award in 1990. I urge Carlsberg to make the name, recipe and trademarks available to another brewer so DBA can be brewed again – and, best of all, back in Burton.”
Andrew Roache, external communications manager for Carlsberg UK, said: “We appreciate some drinkers have fond memories of Draught Burton Ale and may be disappointed to hear that we have stopped brewing the beer.
“Although it carries a rich history and heritage, demand for the beer had dropped to a level that was unsustainable. This was a decision we took last year, with brewing ending around four months ago.
“This was despite the beer having a prominent and year-round listing in our Tapster’s Choice range of cask ales, meaning it was available to order by 8,000 pubs in the UK. Cask ale remains important to Carlsberg UK both through our own Tetley’s beer brand and through our porterage operation.”
The firm revealed that it had not yet held talks about the future of the brand and its recipe, with bosses saying they would ‘take their time’ on a decision.
Allied Breweries launched the Ind Coope Draught Burton Ale in 1976 and it played a pivotal role in the ‘real ale revolution’ of the 1970s and 80s.
Burton MP Andrew Griffiths said: “Just because Carlsberg doesn’t understand the value of the Draught Burton Ale brand, I know that Britain’s drinkers do. I am sure that other brewers will be interested in revitalising the brand and breathing fresh life into the froth on top of Draught Burton Ale. I will be writing to Carlsberg, asking that if they no longer want the brand name, that they invite other brewers to take it on and promote it afresh.”
Read more about the history of Draught Burton Ale and the campaign to save it at the Burton Mail