Burton upon Trent, also known as Burton-on-Trent or simply Burton, is a town straddling the River Trent in the east of Staffordshire, England. Its associated adjective is"Burtonian".
Burton is best known for its brewing heritage, home to over a dozen breweries in its heyday. It originally grew up around Burton-on-Trent Abbey, the monastery of St. Modwen, and had grown into a busy market town by the early modern period. While Burton's great bridge over the Trent was in poor repair by the early 16th century it served as"a comen passage to and fro many countries to the grett releff and comfort of travellyng people", according to the abbot.Letter from the abbot of Burton describing Burton Bridge in C.H. Underhill, ''A History of Burton on Trent'' (Burton, 1941), p. 168. The town, which had an estimated population of 64,449 (United Kingdom Census 2001) lies within the National Forest, England.
There is some confusion as to whether Burton is based in the West Midlands (region) or the East Midlands, even though all of the urban centre is southwest of the River Dove, Derbyshire, which forms the Derbyshire/Staffordshire boundary. This is probably because it was formerly within the East Midlands Utility (electricity/gas) areas, and has Derby postcodes (DE13-DE15).
The town is served by Burton-on-Trent railway station.
For centuries, Burton has been associated with the brewing industry. This is due to the quality of the local water, which contains a high proportion of dissolved salts, predominantly caused by the gypsum in the surrounding hills. This allowed a greater proportion of hops, a natural preservative, to be included in the beer, thereby allowing the beer to be shipped further afield. Much of the open land within and around the town is protected from chemical treatment to help preserve this water quality.
The town is currently home to five brewers.
A by-product of the brewing industry, figuratively and literally, is the presence of the famous British icon Marmite factory in the town. This in turn generated the production of Bovril. Both owned by multinational Unilever.