National Brewery Heritage Trust


The Trust was incorporated at Companies House in August 2011 and was registered as a Charity in July 2012. Initial funding support was provided by the Burton Civic Society and the Campaign for Real Ale. The Trust is a non-profit making Company, limited by guarantee, and is committed to protecting the archives and artefacts which form the National Brewery Collection, formerly held at the National Brewery Centre (closed in October 2022).  This objective will continue as the Trust aims to keep the archives and artefacts together as a collection and in Burton upon Trent.


  • To protect, preserve and make available to the public the archives and artefacts which together make up the National Brewery Collection, formerly held at the National Brewery Centre;
  • To maintain and expand the collection and ensure that it remains intact for perpetuity;
  • To support educational displays and events which demonstrate the impact of brewing on social and economic development, not just in the United Kingdom but worldwide;
  • To promote a greater understanding of the history of brewing;
  • To seek sources of funding as appropriate for repair and restoration of the archive and artefacts.


The National Brewery Centre closed to the public on 30 October 2022.  Together with Molson Coors UK, who owns the NBC and its collections, and East Staffordshire Borough Council, we are working hard to ensure that a suitable long-term home is found for the archives and artefacts in Burton upon Trent.  We are committed to keeping the National Brewery Collection intact and accessible to the public.


The National Brewery Collection began life in the Bass Museum, which opened in 1977 to celebrate the bicentenary of the founding of that company.  Following a change of ownership in 2003, the museum was renamed the Coors Visitor Centre.

In June 2008 Coors (now Molson Coors (UK) Ltd) took the commercial decision to close down the centre. Within days of the announcement, the then Member of Parliament for Burton, Janet Dean, called a meeting which led to the formation of a task group determined to save the museum and maintain it as a focal point for the town and region.

The group worked closely with Molson Coors to identify a suitable solution that would result in the centre reopening. In November 2009 Molson Coors, with the support of the group, reached an agreement with the leisure company Planning Solutions to run the museum and visitor centre. It reopened in 2010 following some refurbishment work.

The task group then began working with Planning Solutions to ensure the future success and vitality of the museum and its collections. In due course, that group became the National Brewery Heritage Trust.


The Trust is run by a small group of unpaid volunteers (the Trust’s Directors), which currently includes representatives from: Burton Civic Society, CAMRA, British Guild of Beer Writers (BGBW) and former brewing industry executives.


Dr Harry White


Harry has been a member of the Museum Action Group/Trustees since its inception in 2008, and has been chairman of the Trustees since Sept. 2015. He retired from Molson Coors at the end of 2007, where he had been Global Director of Technical Compliance. Prior to the take-over by Coors in 2002, he had worked for Bass for 25 years, for the last 12 years as Director of Quality Assurance.

Bob Heaver


Bob is Treasurer who joined the Trust in 2014. Bob worked for thirty years in financial / strategic planning, investment appraisal and acquisitions / divestment for Bass PLC, Bass Leisure and finally for Bass Brewers / Coors.

Tim Hampson


Tim Hampson is an award winning author of many books on pubs and beer. A regular broadcaster he is currently chairman of the British Guild of Beer Writers.

Terry Critchley


Terry worked for Bass for many years finally ending up as Transformation Director in hotel division which became InterContinental Hotels Group. An accountant by profession, Terry joined the Trustee Board in 2016.

Nik Antona


Nik is employed as a Business Improvement Consultant at BT PLC. Since 2009 he has served as a Director of the Campaign for Real Ale with responsibility for Brewery Liaison and in recent years Beer Festivals & Events. He is also the Vice-Chair of the Thomas Russell Infants School, in Barton-under-Needwood, Governing Body.

Robert Humphreys MBE


Robert is a non-executive director of the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) and Chairs its Policy Committee. Pro bono, he is Vice-Chair of Best Bar None, a Government-backed scheme to raise standards in the UK’s on-trade, a director of the British Guild of Beer Writers and a trustee of the homelessness charity Only a Pavement Away. He was Secretary to the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group at Westminster and to the British Beer Club in the European Parliament from 1993 to 2014, following a twenty-year career with Bass, culminating as Director of Public Relations for its brewing division.

Janet Dean


Janet became councillor to the Staffordshire County Council in 1981 and to the East Staffordshire District Council in 1991, becoming its mayor in 1996. She was also elected to the Uttoxeter Town Council in 1995 but stepped down from all three councils on her election to Westminster in 1997. In 2008, when Coors announced the closure of the Coors Visitor Centre (formerly Bass Museum) Janet called a meeting which led to the formation of a task group determined to save the Museum and maintain it as a focal point for the town and the region. She was therefore instrumental in the formation of the NBHT and she is now Membership Secretary of the Trust.

Sir Alan Meale


Sir Alan Meale is a former British Labour Party politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Mansfield from 1987 to 2017. He served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions under John Prescott from January 1998 to January 1999. He became a government whip Council of Europe Delegation in 2007 and acting Leader of the UK Delegation in 2010. He was knighted by Prince Charles officiating at the ceremony in January, 2012, after the 2011 Birthday Honours list was announced, chosen for his “public and political service”. He has been a keen advocate for the brewing industry over the years, and was the first chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group.

Chris Else

Chris Else


Chris is the founding Partner of Else Solicitors and has over 25 years’ experience as a commercial solicitor dealing mainly with commercial disputes. He is also an accredited Mediator.

Chris Else

Brett Rathbone

IT Director

Brett joins the Trust as IT Director having held several national and international IT roles over the last 35 years with Bass, Coors, and Molson Coors. During that time, he has witnessed the fast-changing development of the use of computer technology in the beer industry and he brings a wealth of IT management and technical experience to the Trust as their online presence looks to grow and becomes increasingly important for the future.

Chris Else

Chris Holden

Membership Secretary

Chris has taken on the Membership Secretary role for the Trust and aims to bring a new impetus to this very important role.  Chris runs his own consultancy firm as well as working two days a week at Nottingham Trent University.  He previously worked for Molson Coors in Burton upon Trent.