Museum saves bottles, not beer

King & Barnes beer will be dumped before labels go on display

Mar 8, 2001 - A Horsham, West Sussex, museum plans to honor the history of the brewery it lost in 2000, but will pour its beer down the drain.


"I'm not a beer drinker but even I think an ale brewed in 1977 might taste a bit foul now," said Horsham Museum curator Jeremy Knight. He plans to drain bottles produced by King & Barnes to mark a series of Royal events during the 1970s and '80s.

The beer was brewed in 1977, 1981 and 1986, to mark the Queen's Silver Jubilee and the marriages of Prince Charles and the Duke of York. "Bottles with their decorative labels are in perfect condition and will be kept as a permanent reminder of the days when the people of Britain celebrated Royal events with Horsham-brewed ale and lager," Knight said.

He said the beer will be dumped because if the bottles were broken other exhibits could be damaged.

King & Barnes, which brewed beer in Horsham for 150 years, was purchased last year by Dorset-based Hall & Woodhouse. Hall & Woodhouse took control of 57 pubs and the brewing and bottling equipment, but closed the brewery. The Bishopric site is being re-developed.

Knight said the bottles could be used in the future when the museum pays tribute to the role King & Barnes played in the life of the town. Its history includes colourful stories of locals people crowding at the gates when it became one of the first buildings in the town with electric lights. In 1944, the brewery was involved in a plan to deliver beer to the troops by putting it in the reserve fuel tanks of wartime aircraft.

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