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New Shrewsbury brewery finds link to Victorian era

Shrewsbury | Entertainment | Published:

A new brewery found a link to the Victorian era during excavation work.

Staff at Battlefield Brewery in Shrewsbury found a green embossed beer bottle from the late 1800s while work was being carried out.

The brewer has been traced – and it has been revealed it would have been made at what is now the Shrewsbury Hotel.

Graham Boulger, director of Battlefield Brewery in Harlescott Lane, said: "We have been here just over 12 months and we have been building and converting an old coal store here into a bar and restaurant.

"We were excavating a pond on the site of a building we demolished about three years ago which we think was built in around the 1930s.

"One of the digger drivers was digging stuff out – they always have their eyes on what they are digging out so they don't hit pipes. I was not here but he showed it to my son who rang me and said the workman had discovered it."

The beer was brewed at what is now the Shrewsbury Hotel. In its heyday it was known as The Britannia and between 1890 and 1910 the landlord was James Bray.

The Britannia was owned by the Earl of Tankerville in 1900 but was looked after by his agents Messrs How & Son. Mr Bray used to brew and bottle his own beer and ale which was served on the premises.

The inn had 26 rooms. Five were for public use and 13 were used to accommodate 30 guests overnight. There was accommodation for 20 horses in the stable yard and visitors could enter the inn from the yard, from Mardol Quay or from Carnarvon Lane.

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The Britannia changed its name to the Shrewsbury Hotel in the late 1990s.

Battlefield Brewery now supplies beer to the Shrewsbury Hotel, thus carrying on a tradition more than a 100 years old.

Mr Boulger added: "Given we supply beer to the Shrewsbury Hotel I will probably give it to them. I will see who wants it and where most people will see it. I would quite like to see it behind the bar in a case."

Information from the Brewery History Society suggested the malt used in the old brewery at The Britannia could well have come from the Flaxmill at Ditherington.

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