Celebrate 200 Years of Coopers Tavern: A Burton-on-Trent Icon

The brewing capital of the world is about to celebrate a monumental milestone as Coopers Tavern, a cherished institution in Burton-on-Trent, prepares to mark its 200th anniversary in style.

On Saturday, October 28th, 2023, Coopers Tavern invites you to join in the festivities at its 200th Anniversary. The evening promises to blend history, camaraderie, live music and, of course, fantastic beer. As you walk through the doors of this iconic pub, you’ll be greeted by the warm ambience and the delicious scent of homemade Scotch Eggs, lovingly crafted by Landlady, Mandy.

But let’s take a step back and delve into the rich history that makes this celebration so significant. Coopers Tavern, located on Cross Street, Burton on Trent, has a storied past that dates back to its origins as a malt store owned by none other than William Bass, one of the legendary figures in the brewing world. In the 1800s, it became the store for Bass Imperial Stout, where brewers would gather to sample this remarkable brew. Over time, it evolved into the Brewer’s tap for Bass Brewery, and today, it stands as a testament to Burton’s brewing legacy.

Coopers Tavern is a unique gem among Brewery Taps, as it offers a broader range of ales, including Joule’s Pale Ale, Slumbering Monk, Pure Blonde, and the English craft lager Green Monkey, all brewed with pure Shropshire mineral water. And, of course, they continue to serve Bass directly from the cask in the old sampling cellar.

With its cosy snugs, inviting corners, and two charming beer yards, Coopers Tavern has become a hub for those seeking a proper pint in a quintessentially British setting. Whether you arrive by train, car, or on foot, the pub’s friendly atmosphere and historic charm welcome all who visit.

But why is Coopers Tavern so special to Joule’s Brewery? The answer lies in the intertwining history of these two iconic institutions. Joule’s Brewery, founded by the Joules family in the 18th century, has its roots in Staffordshire, not far from Burton-on-Trent. The brewery flourished alongside the Trent and Mersey Canal, and John Joule’s dedication ensured its success for over a century. John Joule skilfully adopted this sign of the Red Cross for his ales and registered this very famous trademark in 1867, making the Red Cross the 6th oldest beer trademark in the world. Despite the fierce rivalry with Bass Brewery, Joule’s beers consistently earned more medals and awards.

However, in the 20th century, Bass managed to gain control of Joule’s, causing great turmoil. They eventually demolished the historic Joule’s Brewery in 1974, a move met with widespread protest and dismay from the local community.

In a remarkable twist of fate, the Coopers Tavern, once the Bass Brewery Tap, became the setting where a brand ‘license’ was signed in 2009 after being offered a ‘pie and a pint’ for Joule’s. This agreement allowed Joule’s Brewery to regain its independence while retaining ownership by Molson Coors. The deal was sealed with four pints of Bass and a toast raised to Joules Brewery. A plaque on the wall of the William Bass Meeting room commemorates this significant moment, bridging the gap between two brewing giants and symbolizing the resilience of Joule’s Brewery.

Today, Joule’s Brewery operates as a small but dedicated craft brewery, producing around 20,000 barrels of beer annually. Their commitment to quality and tradition is evident in every pint they serve. One of their flagship brews, Green Monkey, is a pure brewed and naturally matured lager, enjoyed by beer enthusiasts across the region.

As we celebrate Coopers Tavern’s 200th anniversary, we not only toast to its rich history but also to the enduring spirit of Joule’s Brewery. Join us on October 28th, 2023, for a night to remember, filled with laughter, great food, and, of course, exceptional beer. Let’s raise our glasses to Coopers Tavern and its role in shaping the brewing heritage of Burton-on-Trent.

For more information about the event or Coopers Tavern, please contact:
Georgia Charlton-Briggs
Brand Manager
Joule’s Brewery
01630 654 400