Several London brewers had acquired breweries in Burton in the second half of the 19th century: Truman, Charrington and Mann. Presumably as well as the water, they were keen to have some of Burton's glamour rub off on them. I'm not sure any of these three breweries ever made much financial sense.
So in the difficult times after WW I, it's not surprising Charrington decided to concentrate of London, where presumably the bulk of their business was.
It wasn't just the brewery they sold. They disposed of their licensed premises, too.
"BURTON BREWERY'S REMOVAL TO LONDON.
It is stated by a Burton correspondent that the business connected with the Burton brewery of Messrs. Charrington and Co., Mile End, is to be removed to London, the intention of the firm being to concentrate on the Metropolis. Some 150 employees are involved in the transfer. In February 86 of the company's licenced houses, scattered over the Midlands, are to be put up to auction. The Abbey Brewery, so called from its contiguity to Burton Abbey, whose abbots made the local product famous, was established by Messrs. Charrington and Co. in 1871.
Derby Daily Telegraph - Friday 11 December 1925, page 5.
It sounds like all the employees were made redundant:
"BURTON BREWERY TO CLOSE DOWN.
Messrs. Charrington and Co., brewers, announced yesterday that they have decided to concentrate in the London business, and to have submitted for sale February 86 licensed houses in the Midlands, owned by the firm — at Coventry Leicester, Nottingham, Stoke-on-Trent, Worcester, Derby, and Burton-on-Trent. Our Burton correspondent understands that the step involves the closing down of Abbey brewery, Burton, where 150 men are employed, and that the employees will receive liberal consideration the hands of the directors."
Nottingham Evening Post - Friday 11 December 1925, page 6.
It turns out those licensed houses weren't all pubs, but included some off-licences. Here's the breakdown:
TO SELL ALL THEIR LICENSED HOUSES
Messrs. Charrington and Co., Ltd., the well. brewers, have decided to sell the public houses in various parts of the provinces, and they will concentrate on their London business. Altogether 87 licensed properties will submitted for auction. There are 53 fully-licensed houses, 23 on-beer licences and 11 off-licences, with contiguous properties, as well the Abbey Brewery, Burton-on-Trent, with offices, maltings, cooperage, railway sidings, houses, stores, etc.
In Derby the properties are: Dog and Duck. Haarlem-street, and cottage adjoining: off licence, 61, Church-street; Bedford Arms, Bedford-street; Coach and Horses, Mansfield road; Lamb Inn Park-street, and adjoining premises; Boar Tavern Cockpit Hill; and Station Inn, Midland-road."
Derby Daily Telegraph - Wednesday 06 January 1926, page 4.
Just 76 pubs and 11 off-licences miles away from London would have been an expensive proposition to supply. Which is presumably why Charrington, having decided to close the brewery, got rid of them, too. They probably used the cash they raised to buy more pubs down South. Nine of the pubs were sold for £84,250*.
* Nottingham Evening Post - Thursday 04 February 1926, page 6.