Staffordshire’s Titanic Brewery tour takes you on a voyage of history and beer

Over the last few years, I’ve frequently enjoyed a pint of Titanic Brewery’s Plum Porter down at the local pub, or a Steerage the Regent Theatre. I’ve gifted Pub in a Box to departing colleagues and limited edition launches to friends and family for birthdays and Christmas, but I’d never actually been down to visit their Burslem-based brewery. In July, my dad and Jake both shared their birthdays, and to help them celebrate, I took them – and my brother – down to the Lingard Street site for the full Titanic Brewery experience.

Nestled in the heart of Staffordshire, Titanic Brewery is named after the ill-fated RMS Titanic – why? Because Captain Edward John Smith was born right here in the city of Stoke-on-Trent. And much like the iconic ship, the Titanic Brewery tour offers an immersive voyage into the world of craft beer.

The tour costs a modest £15, which gets you three beer tokens, a hot meal, and the all important tour, which we considered to be phenomenal value. Upon arrival at the brewery, we were welcomed by the familiar smell of freshly brewed ale and something delightfully familiar simmering in the kitchen – the knowledgeable and passionate guides quick to set the tone for what would lie ahead – a good laugh, an insightful experience, and some top-quality beers.

The tour kicks off with a pint of your choosing in the sample room, whether you want to go straight in with a Plum Porter, or opt for an Anytime IPA or something darker, like a Stout. Then begins an introduction to the brewery’s origins and its connection to the Titanic, with our host, Lynne, injecting comedy into her stories as she talked through how the brewery’s founders, brothers Keith and Dave Bott, launched the business in 1985, right the way through to present day brewing.

Beer enthusiasts were able to learn of the acclaimed Staffordshire brewery’s many awards, as well as facts and figures, such as how they brew over four million pints of beer a year, with 10 million pints of Plum Porter having been pulled since its inception. Today, the brewery has over 20 regular and seasonal beers, with a wide range of pale and dark ales made with premium hops for their distinctive flavour.

After a detailed history, the tour continues through to to where the magic happens as guests are walked through the brewing process from start to finish. Titanic Brewery is a very traditional brewery – it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles – it has weights and buckets. But it feels inherently Stokie that way, which just gives you another reason to love it, know the graft that’s gone into every pint. 

From the sourcing of the finest ingredients to the fermentation and maturation, Lynne explained the complex brewing process in a way that made it engaging and accessible to both connoisseurs and novices alike, including the fact that there are just five dedicated brewers based at Titanic. Meanwhile, we were able to get a behind the scenes look at the impressive equipment that churns out this liquid gold day in, day out, and hear stories of the people that worked there, too.

Of course, no brewery tour would be complete without a tasting session, and after a look around the factory, we headed back into The Sample Room to use up our remaining beer tokens, including the brewery’s latest Two:20 lager, named after the exact time the Titanic sank.

Alongside our fresh pints, the team rolled out a huge pot of lobby (beef stew, to anyone not from Staffordshire) and slices of bread, which was incredibly hearty and homely. Stoke-on-Trent is well-known for being a friendly city where everyone will welcome you into their home, stick the kettle on and share their oatcakes, and that was emulated in the hospitality displayed at Titanic Brewery during our visit. 

From the array of beers on offer, I sampled Steerage and Two:20 for the first time – the latter of which is a really easy-to-drink session lager that’s sure to be universally enjoyed. But the jewel in Titanic Brewery’s crown really is the Plum Porter (and its festive Grand Reserve), so it would have been a sin to not have one of those, too. 

As someone who is not typically a beer drinker (though the lads in my party certainly have racked up some experience), I enjoyed every sip – while the rest of my family sung its praises as the best beer they’d ever drunk – and between them, they’ve drank enough to sink a ship, if you’ll pardon the pun.

I found the Titanic Brewery tour to be insanely good value for money, with the entry fee essentially covering the cost of your beer. You couldn’t have a better time in the likes of Wetherspoons for the same price, nor find yourself enriched with local history, expert craftsmanship or the cosy atmosphere that Titanic offers. 

The on-site Titanic Brewery shop offers even more value to the experience, where you can pick up a bottle or two of your favourites from the tour at a great price. There’s a deal where you can get six bottles for £11.95, working out at under £2 a bottle, all of which can be mixed and matched like an adult pick and mix. Similarly, there’s also merch that’s prime for gifting, like t-shirts, branded glasses and barware.

The Titanic Brewery Tour is a must-visit for beer enthusiasts and local history buffs alike. With its unusual links to the unsinkable liner and expertly guided tour, to the superb beer selections and homemade meal, it strikes the perfect balance between education and enjoyment without breaking the bank. Whether you’re a seasoned beer aficionado or someone just dipping their toe into the world of craft ale, the tour offers an immersive experience that leaves you with a newfound appreciation for the art of brewing and the legacy of the Titanic Brewery.

Fancy joining the tour yourself? Check out this page for the next available dates and tickets.

 

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