Worthington’s White Shield – Beer Review

WORTHINGTON’S WHITE SHIELD – BEER REVIEW

White Shield IPA (5.6% abv.) made by Molson Coors brewery located in Burton upon Trent, United Kingdom.

This is the real thing, as near as you can get to drinking an authentic pint of English cask ale short of actually getting on the plane and flying across the pond to England. Worthington White Shield is a bottle conditioned strong beer and can claim to be one of the original India Pale Ales that were first brewed in C19 for export to India. Every IPA consumed today can trace its DNA back to this style of beer which was first brewed in England in the 1820’s.  These strong, heavily hopped beers were sent to to India for consumption by thirsty British soldiers.  The extra alcohol and preservative hops helped keep the beer in good shape during the long hot journey.

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White Shield IPA pours an amber colour and has a caramel aroma. The taste is far removed from American IPAs with no hint of citrus apparent. This is a complex balanced beer with fruits, spice, bread, caramel and raisin tastes coming through.  It is stronger than most British beers which tend to be around 4% abv. to accommodate session drinking in pubs. It is made with Pale and Crystal malt and hopped with Fuggles, Challenger and Northdown hops.  This is a beer to sip slowly and appreciate with a meal.  Traditionally in England we often eat a roast meat dinner on a Sunday.  Lamb, pork and beef are very popular and many English pubs will serve a special roast meal on Sunday lunchtimes.  

If you are something of an Anglophile then why not try this quintessentially English beer with a traditional English roast dinner.  I certainly enjoyed it when I sampled this beer with roast lamb. I understand that lamb is not very popular in the USA which I think is strange as it is widely available in the UK where it is not as expensive as beef. 

Worthington’s were formed in 1761 in the central English town of Burton upon Trent. In 1926 they merged with another Burton brewer, Bass.  In 2002 Coors purchased the Worthington brand and in 2005 they became Molson Coors.  For many years White Shield was brewed at various locations across the UK until in returned to its spiritual home in Burton in 2000.  Somewhat ironically this beer is quite hard to find in the UK as our supermarket and bottle shop shelves are now inundated with heavily hopped, American style IPAs.  I do like these citrusy beers but I think the traditional style British IPA is a better match with English style foods.

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David Harris

 WORTHINGTON’S WHITE SHIELD – 5.6% abv. (England)

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