The Jefford Column - Whitbread and Bass sell their souls but Belgians are best for British drinkers

By Andrew Jefford | 30 June 2000

So, the worst has happened. Two of Britain's big four brewers have just pulled out of brewing altogether. My "Whitbread - Tour of Destruction" T-shirt, which listed all the small British breweries Whitbread bought up and then closed down, is now a historical document. Draught Bass, one of the world's most famous ales and one of only two authentic Burton Pale Ales surviving from the glory days of Britain's greatest brewing town, is soon to be Belgian-owned. Providing the sale of Bass's brewing interests to Interbrew goes ahead, only two of Britain's top-selling twelve beer brands will actually be British. It's a rout.

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So, the worst has happened. Two of Britain's big four brewers have just pulled out of brewing altogether. My "Whitbread - Tour of Destruction" T-shirt, which listed all the small British breweries Whitbread bought up and then closed down, is now a historical document. Draught Bass, one of the world's most famous ales and one of only two authentic Burton Pale Ales surviving from the glory days of Britain's greatest brewing town, is soon to be Belgian-owned. Providing the sale of Bass's brewing interests to Interbrew goes ahead, only two of Britain's top-selling twelve beer brands will actually be British. It's a rout.

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