Burt's Brewery

Burt's Brewery (Burt & Co and on occasions Burts Brewery) was an independent regional brewery owned by one family for much of its existence. It was founded in 1840 in Ventnor, Isle of Wight, England. Brewing ended at the Ventnor Brewery in 2009, however the Burt's name had not been used since 1998.


Burt's Brewery
FounderCharles Richard Cundell

The brewery was probably founded in 1840 as the Ventnor Brewery although beer was being brewed on the site from the early 19th Century. It was located at what would become 119 High Street, Ventnor. The owner in 1844 was recorded as a Charles Richard Cundell.[1]

In 1844 James Corbould, previously a schoolmaster from Berkshire, purchased the brewery.

The brewery used untreated spring water from the St Boniface Well in the chalk downs above Ventnor. In 1850 an agreement was made between Corbold and the Ventnor water company that this water be supplied to the brewery at a rental of sixpence per year for 1000 years. St Boniface was the logo for the company for most of its existence.

In 1866 a partnership of Fredrick Corbould and John Burt, a prominent member of the Ventnor business community, took over the brewery. The partnership was dissolved in 1868 and John Burt became the sole owner renaming it as Burt & Co.

In 1913 the business, together with a number of tied public houses, passed to William Arthur Phillips. The brewery remained in the Phillips family for several generations but retained the name Burt & Co.

On 17 January 1943, during the Second World War, two Luftwaffe Focke-Wulf Fw 190s conducted a tip and run raid on Ventnor. The brewery and neighbouring houses were bombed and the brewery was destroyed. Seven residents were killed including three members of the Phillips family. William Arthur Phillips, his son, Jack's wife and his daughter Pamela.[2]

The brewery was rebuilt after the war and continued in operation under the Phillips family until 1992 when it closed. The site was purchased by a business consortium in 1995, trading as the Ventnor Brewery Ltd and they resumed brewing until 2009 when they ceased trading and the brewery closed permantly.[3]

Meanwhile in 1991 Hartridges Soft Drinks formed the Island Brewery on the Dodnor Industrial Estate in Newport. In 1993 they acquired the Burt’s name and renamed it Burt’s Brewery (Newport) Ltd.[4] Brewing moved to the Sandown Brewery and Stillroom at 15 St Johns Road, Sandown in 1996. The brewery was brought by Ushers in March 1998 and brewing ceased soon afterwards.[5]


Burt's beers were noted for their low cost.[6] They were usually only available on the Isle of Wight. Beers produced during the history of the brewery included the following:

Cask ales

  • Ventnor Premium Ale (VPA). OG 1039 - 1040. Sometimes referred to as Ventnor Pale Ale. The most commonly available beer, often requested simply as 'a pint of Burts' or 'a pint of Veeps'. A hoppy, malty and inexpensive best bitter.[7][6]
  • 4X. OG 1040. Normally only produced in winter. A VPA with an addition of dark caramel.[6]

Bottled ales

  • Golden IPA. OG 1038.
  • Nut Brown Ale. ABV 3.0%. A sweet low strength brown ale. Brewed from at least the 1930s to the closure of the original company in the 1990s.
  • 4X Strong Brown Ale. OG 1038. ABV 3.8%.
  • Old Berns Special Ale (later Berns Old Special Ale). OG 1048 - 1052. ABV 5.0%. A strong ale brewed for a short period in the late 1980s. Named after Bernie Jones an employee who joined them from Shanklin Brewery when that had ceased brewing in the early 1950s.[8]
  • Light Ale. OG 1030.
  • Pale Ale. OG 1030.
  • Ventnor Pale Ale.


  1. ^ Chambers, Vincent (1986). Inns and Ale Bonchurch to Chale. Newport, Isle of Wight: Ventnor and District Local History Society. pp. 25–28. ISBN 978-0951182000.
  2. ^ Leal, H. J. T (1988). Battle in the Skies Over the Isle of Wight : The History of Air Attacks 1939-1945. Newport, Isle of Wight: Isle of Wight County Press. p. 63.
  3. ^ "Burt & Co". The Labologist's Society. 4 April 2018. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  4. ^ www.quaffale.org.uk. "Burts Newport Brewery". www.quaffale.org.uk. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  5. ^ www.quaffale.org.uk. "Burts (Sandown Brewery) Ltd". www.quaffale.org.uk. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  6. ^ a b c "Hop Press (Winchester Beer Festival: May 1986) - South Hants CAMRA". www.shantscamra.org.uk. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  7. ^ "1991 | My Drupal". mengodrinking.co.uk. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  8. ^ "Wightwash magazine Summer 2016" (PDF). Wightwash - IW Camra. 21 June 2018.
Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight (; also referred to informally as The Island or abbreviated to IoW) is a county and the largest and second-most populous island in England. It is in the English Channel, between 2 and 5 miles off the coast of Hampshire, separated by the Solent. The island has resorts that have been holiday destinations since Victorian times, and is known for its mild climate, coastal scenery, and verdant landscape of fields, downland and chines. The island is designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

The island has been home to the poets Swinburne and Tennyson and to Queen Victoria, who built her much-loved summer residence and final home Osborne House at East Cowes. It has a maritime and industrial tradition including boat-building, sail-making, the manufacture of flying boats, the hovercraft, and Britain's space rockets. The island hosts annual music festivals including the Isle of Wight Festival, which in 1970 was the largest rock music event ever held. It has well-conserved wildlife and some of the richest cliffs and quarries for dinosaur fossils in Europe.

The isle was owned by a Norman family until 1293 and was earlier a kingdom in its own right. In common with the Crown dependencies, the British Crown was then represented on the island by the Governor of the Isle of Wight until 1995. The island has played an important part in the defence of the ports of Southampton and Portsmouth, and been near the front-line of conflicts through the ages, including the Spanish Armada and the Battle of Britain. Rural for most of its history, its Victorian fashionability and the growing affordability of holidays led to significant urban development during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Historically part of Hampshire, the island became a separate administrative county in 1890. It continued to share the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire until 1974, when it was made its own ceremonial county. Apart from a shared police force, there is now no administrative link with Hampshire, although a combined local authority with Portsmouth and Southampton was considered, this is now unlikely to proceed.The quickest public transport link to the mainland is the hovercraft from Ryde to Southsea; three vehicle ferry and two catamaran services cross the Solent to Southampton, Lymington and Portsmouth.

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