The Bass Corkers 
The Bass Corkers are a series of corked bottled beers brewed by the Bass Brewery in Burton upon Trent, UK, from 1869 to 1982, mostly for royal special occasions, and in fairly limited quantities. They are very attractive items, and are considered a credit to the Brewery. I get a lot of enquiries about these items, so I am including information about them in these pages. A lot of incorrect information has been put about about these items, and I hope these pages will help put the record straight.
Ratcliff Ale.
In the early days the brewery went under the name Bass, Ratcliff and Gretton. The first Bass Corkers were produced in 1869 for the birth of a member of the Ratcliff family, who were partners in the brewery. They were bottled in corked bottles which were the normal style of the day, and were laid down for later drinking, the first occasion being likely to be the child Ratcliff's 21st birthday. This was one of the earliest commemorative beers ever produced. These items were released by Bass brewery in small quantities ever since, the most recent occasion as far as I know being the 1977 Bass Bicentenary.
King's Ale.
This was brewed in 1902. The mash was started by King Edward VII on a visit to the brewery, which is why it is called King's Ale. It was also issued by other bottlers under the name 'Royal Ale'. There are many other variations to this item. See the King's Ale page for more details.
Prince's Ale.
This was brewed in 1929. The mash was started by the then Edward, Prince of Wales, (later to become king, briefly!), on a visit to the brewery, which is why it is called Prince's Ale. This beer was sold in many outlets, and was known to be still available at least up to 1945 at 5 a bottle.

More recent Bass Corkers.
Since 1977 a few other releases have occurred, all in large, embossed, quart sized bottles with black wax seals.
In 1977 they issued Jubilee Ale for the Queen's Silver Jubilee.
In 1978 they issued Princess Ale when Princess Anne came to the brewery and started a mash. It is difficult to find Princess Ales where the cork hasn't lifted.
In 1982 they produced Celebration Ale, which commemorated the birth of Prince William. The mash was started by Earl Spencer, the Prince's grandfather. The beer comes in two varieties, one for brewery staff only, and one for the public. The public issue was called Celebration Ale, and came with a numbered certificate. 5,000 were done.
The staff beer, to confuse things, was called Prince's Ale.
All except the staff issue were sold at the time in the Bass Museum shop for 25 each. As well as the staff issue Princes Ale, brewery staff, licensees and other favoured recipients, also received complimentary bottles of Jubilee Ale and Princess Ale at the time of issue.
Present values.
Princess Ale now sells for between 10 and 15 if you can find one where the cork hasn't lifted.
Prince's Ales are 15 to 30 each.
Jubilee Ale and Celebration Ale sell for between 5 and 10.
Valuations.
I have provided valuations for all items. The more recent ones are valued in the descriptions above. The older ones are valued on the pages devoted to the individual items. Be aware that values and variations on Bass Corkers are not well known, and sometimes rarer ones can change hands for low prices, and common ones, such as King's Ales can sell for astronomical prices to people who don't know their values. If you keep an eye on E-bay you'll see what I mean. My valuations apply to bottled beers which are full with their original contents, and in good condition.

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