Worthington's White Shield

Molson Coors UK has paused production of Worthington’s White Shield, with the beer set to be “out of stock for the foreseeable future”.

The Burton-upon-Trent headquartered brewer said the “difficult” decision came after changes to its production schedule. It said the Worthington’s brand remained part of its portfolio but did not give a timeframe for the return of White Shield.

“We have taken the difficult decision to pause production of Worthington’s White Shield following a change to our normal production route,” said a spokesperson for the brand.

“We recognise that as a heritage brand, with particular connection to the great brewing town of Burton-upon-Trent, this will be disappointing to those who have enjoyed White Shield for many years.

“We will continue to explore possible new production routes, but unfortunately the brand will be out of stock for the foreseeable future,” they added.

Former Camra Good Beer Guide editor Roger Protz told The Grocer it would be a “tragic loss” if the beer did not return. 

“This is another historic beer style heading to the graveyard,” he said. “Molson Coors have not promoted the beer and let sales decline.

“If it doesn’t return, we will lose a potent link to the original Burton India Pale Ales, which would be a tragic loss.” 

A 5.6% abv bottle-conditioned India Pale Ale, Worthington’s White Shield dates back to the 19th century, when Burton brewers were renowned for exporting beer to British colonies.

Worthington’s Brewery merged with Bass in the 1920s and was eventually sold to Molson Coors in 2000. Alongside White Shield, the Worthington brand is best known for Worthington Creamflow, a 3.6% English bitter.

White Shield has been named Camra Champion Bottled Beer of Britain on four occasions: in 1991, 2000, 2006 and 2013. 

The beer has previously been listed in Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s, but is not currently available online at any of the traditional big four.