Mitchells & Butlers Brewery

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Mitchells & Butlers
Industry Brewing
Fate Merged with Bass
Founded 1898 (1898)
Defunct 1961 (1961)
Headquarters Cape Hill, Smethwick, England
52°29′14″N 1°57′03″W / 52.4872°N 1.9508°W / 52.4872; -1.9508Coordinates: 52°29′14″N 1°57′03″W / 52.4872°N 1.9508°W / 52.4872; -1.9508
The Cape Hill brewery, on a circa 1925 postcard

Mitchells & Butlers Brewery was formed when Henry Mitchell's old Crown Brewery[1] (founded in Smethwick in 1866) merged with William Butler's Brewery (also founded in Smethwick in 1866) in 1898.[2] Henry Mitchell had moved to the Cape Hill site in 1879[1] and this became the company's main brewing site. It had its own railway network,[3] connected to the national railway system from 1907–1962, via the Harborne line.[3]

An original Mitchells & Butlers Brewery pub, The Queens Arms, in central Birmingham

Various acquisitions included Holder's Brewers, who owned Birmingham's Midland Brewery, in 1919.[4] The company merged with Bass in 1961.[2] With the brand under ownership of Coors Brewers, the brewery closed in 2002 with production switched to Burton upon Trent.[5] The brewery was undergoing demolition in 2005.[3] The site is now a housing estate, although the Mitchell & Butler war memorial, built in 1920, has been retained and restored.[6]

Their most famous beer was Brew XI (using Roman numerals, and so pronounced Brew Eleven), advertised with the slogan "for the men of the Midlands".[7] It is now brewed under licence for Coors by Brains of Cardiff.[7]

A descendent company, which manages pubs, bars and restaurants throughout the United Kingdom, is still known as Mitchells & Butlers plc, and is based in Birmingham.[8]

See also[edit]


  • Davies, K. (2002). Mitchells & Butlers: A History of Cape Hill Brewery 1878-2002. Smethwick: Smethwick Heritage Centre Trust. ISBN 978-0-9546296-1-8. 
  • Chinn, Carl; Maxam, Andrew (2002). Time Please! - A Look Back at Birmingham's Pubs: Based on the Mitchells and Butlers Archive. David R. Hassall (ed.). Crown Cards. ISBN 978-0-9543913-0-0. 
  1. ^ a b Fifty Years of Brewing, 1879-1929. Mitchells & Butlers. 1929. 
  2. ^ a b "Our history". Mitchells & Butlers. Retrieved 2008-03-26. 
  3. ^ a b c "M&B Brewery, Cape Hill". Rails Around Birmingham. Retrieved 12 August 2012. 
  4. ^ Richmond, Lesley; Turton, Alison (1990). The Brewing Industry: A Guide to Historical Records. Manchester University Press. p. 236. ISBN 978-0-7190-3032-1. 
  5. ^ "Brewery at Quaffle". Directory of Real Ale Breweries. Retrieved 2008-10-03. 
  6. ^ War Memorial at Mitchell & Butler Brewery[dead link]
  7. ^ a b "Brum's best beers". Birmingham Mail. 24 October 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2015. 
  8. ^ Press Association (2015-09-22). "Mitchells & Butlers calls time on chief executive Alistair Darby | Business". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-09-29.