Thwaites Brewery Bring Back Famed Shires for Deliveries

The world famous Shire horses of Thwaites Brewery
are back in harness.


Thwaites, the oldest surviving brewery in Lancashire, England started brewing in 1807 and are celebrating over 200 glorious years.

The British brewery has decided to go back to using horses for deliveries within a few kilometres of its brewery.

The giant shire horses used for promotional work for the Daniel Thwaites brewery are back in harness in Blackburn and delivering ale to local pubs.

“We are always looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint,” said the brewery’s transport operations manager Emma Green.

“It is great to see the Shires out again on the roads around town.”

Horses have not been used in the delivery of beer by the brewery for five years. The Thwaites horses have spent the last few years winning awards on the show circuit and doing promotional work.

Their public appearances will continue, but the company hope the shires will also be able to do their day jobs in between.

“We are aiming to get them out delivering within a mile or two’s radius of the stables when we can fit it in to their busy schedule,” says Emma.

“Deliveries by horse-drawn dray finished about five years ago when we moved distribution off-site.”

Thwaites ended horse deliveries in the 1920s when the company switched to motor transport. They were reintroduced in 1960’s.

It was a decision that has become a major landmark for the Brewery as the fame of the Thwaites Shires has spread throughout the country, embodying the traditional values that are such an important part of the company’s heritage.

The brewery has even more reasons to be proud of its horses. They swept the board at the recent National Shire Horse Spring Show, taking four titles and six trophies.

THE world-famous Thwaites Shire Horses emerged triumphant at another prestigious national competition….to win plaudits from none other than HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.

Prince Philip made the official presentation when the Thwaites’ team took the top honours at the Royal Windsor Horse Show.

The Thwaites horses, Classic, Royal, Daniel and Star, were voted outright winners in the heavy horse class at the event staged to honour the 100th anniversary of the British Food and Beverage Industry.

The success followed hot on the heels of Thwaites being named Champions of England at the National Shire Horse Spring Show in Peterborough – for the fourth time in six years.

After winning the four-horse Team Class, Thwaites’ stable stars went on to claim the overall Heavy Horse Turnout Championship.

The shire horses are kept very busy and are in great demand at shows, carnivals and promotional events all over the country. They can be seen regularly in the town centre delivering to pubs and exercising in addition to their busy schedule.


Link: About the Thwaites Shire Horses

News Link:

Video: Thwaites Shire Horses


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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Oh Aren’t they just beautiful!

  2. Gorgeous horses. I started to line drive my little mare this summer and found out how difficult it can be with just one small horse. Driving a team is a skill. Probably harnessing them up alone is a skill!

  3. This is good.

    Good for the brewery. Good for the environment. Good for the horses. Good for people.

    A proud day for Thwaites!

  4. I have just visited your website and it was lovely to see the ‘gentle giants’, your heavy horses. (I will not call them carthorses !)I was recently in ‘The Highwayman’ hotel and sampled your excellent cask beers, including ‘Wainwright’ Being a fell walker and an afficianado of the Great Man could you possibly send me a pump clip of this beer for my collection ?

    Thanking you in anticipation

    Miles Rhodes
    Hello Miles,
    Perhaps if you contact Thwaites Brewery at
    they can tell you where you can get the clips you are looking for.

  5. Having Shires of my own, I loved looking at your site; I have put your link at my blogroll.

    Warm greetings from the Netherlands,

    Karin Sanchez

    • Hello Karin,
      How lucky you are to have Shires! They are so majestic and beautiful.

      Thanks for stopping by … appreciate your comment.


      • Hello Marvel, I am missing your writing at your blog, has been a longtime?

        Warmest regards,

  6. This sight of these beautiful horses brought back fond chilhood memories when horses delivering beer and groceries to the shops in my city was a commen sight.I well remember my older brother went to work in the CWS and learned how to handle a pair in hand.I also remember trips in the countryside and seeing several horse teams ploughing the fields.I spent many a happy hour just sitting watching them.Thwaites Brewery is to be commended for bringing back a site of pure nostagia of a bygone age.This post has made my day

  7. i am glad to see the horses well treated they are beautiful and appreciated

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