Drinkers will be raising their glasses after it was announced Wrexham Lager is making a comeback.
Anticipation is brewing for the revival of the famous lager which is hoped could be in the pubs of Wrexham by the end of August.
The Roberts family of Wrexham – made up of brothers Vaughan, John and Mark, and sister Janet Gaffey – have spent the past two years working to bring back Wrexham Lager and are thrilled their plans are now coming to fruition.
Vaughan said the idea was born out of a chance meeting in the Buck House Hotel in Bangor-on-Dee.
“My brother Mark bumped into Ian Dale in the pub who was the head brewer at Wrexham Lager,” he said.
“They got talking about the old Wrexham Lager as it was and how a few people had attempted to bring it back, but it never came to fruition for various reasons.
“Mark then spoke about it to us so we decided to look into exactly what we would need to bring it back.”
Previous attempts to revive the brew have failed due to the sheer cost involved and the complicated process of brewing lager.
Brother John added: “With ale you can brew it anywhere, but with lager it’s very complicated because of the carbonation.”
After deciding the dream was within their reach the family, who own wholesale distributors F Jones on Wrexham Industrial Estate, travelled the world in search of
the best brewery manufacturers.
Vaughan said: “We went to Europe, America, China, but in the end when it comes to brewing you have to go to Germany – they are the best.”
The family purchased state-of-the art brewing equipment from German company
Kaspar Schulz, which is currently being installed in the new brewery at a former warehouse on St George’s Crescent in Wrexham.
The family is now working alongside Ian Dale, brewery designer John Bowler as well as former Clwyd South MP Martyn Jones, who bought the original trade name and building for £1 after the old brewery closed in 2001”.
Vaughan said: “Martyn said he would support anyone who brought Wrexham Lager back and he will sell us the name back for £1 once it is up and running.”
A new logo for the beer has been designed and will be used until the original logo can be brought back.
If the venture proves successful the family is hopeful the business could create jobs in the town, but Vaughan says it is too early to say how many.
The Roberts family are now appealing for the people of Wrexham to get behind the project.
Vaughan added: “It’s nice to see it coming together at last. It’s been a lot of hard work and has taken a lot of time, but it’s 100 per cent going to happen and it’s
coming to a pub in Wrexham soon.
“I think it will be really good for the town and will put Wrexham back on the map. I just hope there’s interest in it and people get behind it and support it.”
The first brew, which is four per cent, is expected to be ready for testing by the middle of August and will be on sale by the end of August.
The family say the brew has gone back to its original taste before the brewery was taken over by Carlsberg-Tetley.
Sister Janet added: “It’s back to the original taste. We have got exactly the same ingredients from exactly the same sources that were used to produce the original lager. We even managed to track down the original yeast and there are thousands of strains out there.”
The Buck House Hotel will be the first pub to trial the lager.
Brewery's 120-year history
TIME was called on Wrexham Lager in 2000 after being brewed in the town for more than 120 years,
The buildings occupied by the brewery were mostly demolished between 2002 and 2003.
Only the historic building in which brewing began still remains.
The brewery was opened in 1882 by German immigrants trying to recreate their local lager.
Sales were slow to pick up as the people of Wrexham were then used to ale as their staple drink.
However the fortunes of Wrexham Lager were reversed when its owners purchased the Cross Foxes public house in Abbott Street in 1922.
When a rival local brewery shut down Wrexham Lager was able to expand.
The company was bought out by Ind Coope of Burton upon Trent. Wrexham Lager and Ind Cooper later joined with Ansells and Tetley Walker to become Allied Breweries.
In 1992, Allied merged with the Danish Carlsberg group and the resulting company became Carlsberg-Tetley. They ran the Wrexham Lager brewery until it closed.
Attempts were made to buy the brewery as a going concern before it was demolished but failed.
Former Clwyd South MP Martyn Jones bought the original name and building for £1 in 2001. Ever since, local activists have hoped brewing may continue from this listed building, at least on a small scale. The Central Retail Park has been built on the site of the former unlisted buildings.
Wrexham lager once sponsored Wrexham FC and to this day Reds fans still chant “Wrexham Lager, Wrexham Lager, feed me until I want no more.”
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