Wednesday, 28 March 2012

White Shield Lives !

In my youth when I could buy a dozen bottles of Guinness for £1 there was a legendary Indian Pale Ale which aficionados could be seen supping in a corner of the snug. Worthington White Shield is a live beer - it ferments in the bottle and - so throws a sediment as a good wine does. 
Early corked bottle
The serving of this bottle-conditioned ale always prompted a discussion in the bar -do you pour the dregs or not?
Latest incarnation
Until recently I was under the impression that  White Shield had been discontinued in 1997.  This is partly right: public pressure forced Molson Coors who now own the brand to rethink their plans.  So this beer which was introduced by William Worthington in 1829 is still available albeit behind a more modern label.  It is still brewed in Burton-on-Trent now in a dedicated micro-brewery. Currently Tesco  is offering 4 bottles of beer for £6 and this deal includes Worthington White Shield which is now priced at £2.15/bottle.  If you enjoy ale and have never tried it, buy a few bottles and put them away for a year or two. In 1901 King Edward VII awarded the Roayal Warrant to Worthington so perhaps this is a good year to lay down some royal ale.

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