Template:GBmap Burton-upon-Trent also known as Burton-on-Trent, or simply Burton, is a large town straddling the River Trent in the east of Staffordshire, England, which originally grew up around the monastery of St. Modwin. The town has a population of 60,500 (2001 estimate). It is the administrative centre for the East Staffordshire district.

For centuries, Burton has been associated with the brewing industry due to the quality of the local water. This comes from the high proportion of dissolved salts in the water, predominantly caused by the gypsum in the surrounding hills. Much of the open land within and around the town is protected from chemical treatment to help preserve this water quality.

The town is still home to five brewers:

A by-product of the brewing industry, figuratively and literally, is the presence of the Marmite factory in the town. This in turn generated the production of Bovril. Together with the breweries this can give the area a distinctive smell.

The development of rail links to Liverpool enabled brewers to export their beer throughout the British Empire. The accidental shipwreck of a cargo boat carrying India Pale Ale (an ale specially brewed to keep during the long sea voyage to India) resulted in barrels being washed ashore. The popularity of these fortuitous samples resulted in the domestic marketing of such ale, and began the gradual transformation of English drinking tastes.

Previously, Englishmen had drunk mainly stout and porter - dark beers flavoured with roasted barley and similar to Guinness - but bitter (a development of pale ale) came to predominate. This extensively hopped, lighter beer was easier to store and transport, and so favoured the growth of larger breweries.

Burton came to dominate this trade, and at its height one quarter of all beer sold in Britain was produced here. Although over 30 breweries are recorded in 1880, a process of mergers and buy-outs resulted in three main breweries remaining by 1980: Bass, Ind Coopes and Marstons. Today (2004) only Burton Bridge brewery remains as an independent brewer.

The fame of Burton ales gave rise to the English euphemism "gone for a burton" meaning to die - a World War II humorous suggestion that a missing comrade had merely nipped out for a beer.

The town has a non-league association football club, Burton Albion. The Burton & District Cricket League has many notable clubs, which include among others Lichfield Cricket Club

The Burton Operatic Society has been in existence since 1951 and is still flourishing.

The Burton suburb of Branston is where the well-known Branston Pickle was invented and also has a golf course.

Claymills pumping station on the north side of Burton is a restored Victorian sewage pumping station, adjacent to the modern sewage works.

The town lies within the National Forest.


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