Wimbledon brewery teams up with AFC Wimbledon for new lager
Wimbledon Brewery has created a special lager for local football side AFC Wimbledon to mark the joint heritage of the two institutions.
The lager is called Wimbledon 1889 and marks a significant year in both their histories: it was the year Wimbledon Old Centrals was formed and also the year the original Tower Brewery in Wimbledon burned down.
Wimbledon Old Central went on to become Wimbledon FC and enjoyed a remarkable rise to glory, culminating when the famed Crazy Gang beat Liverpool in the 1988 FA Cup Final.
The team controversially upped sticks, moved to Milton Keynes and became the MK Dons, but AFC Wimbledon was born out of the ashes.
Diehard fans got behind the new club and they have since risen from the very depths of association football all the way up to League One, with the hope that they will soon surpass the MK Dons.
Wimbledon Brewery performed a similar rise from the ashes as it was rebuilt after the fire of 1889, and today its logo features a phoenix rising from the flames of the old brewery.
Like AFC Wimbledon, the present-day Wimbledon Brewery is a young institution, having just celebrated its second birthday, but it aims to recreate the magic of the old brewery and its logo is: “Great things were lost in the Wimbledon Brewery fire of 1889. We’re bringing them back.”
Founder Mark Gordon said: “We like to think that the chaps who formed Wimbledon Old Central FC in 1889 would have been very familiar with the beer produced by the original Wimbledon Brewery. They played on the Common and the brewery tap in the village would have been a very convenient stop off on the way home. Jump forward 128 years of twists and turns for the club and that association between Wimbledon football and Wimbledon beer is stronger than ever.
“Wimbledon Brewery is very proud of its association with AFC Wimbledon. It’s a sponsorship we aim to maintain and grow for perpetuity. Both club and brewery have a shared history and a bright future. It’s a beautiful thing.”
All proceeds from the sale of the first 2,000 bottles of Wimbledon 1889 lager will go towards the club’s running costs. The beer will enjoy its official launch at the pre-season friendly on July 21, which sees Neal Ardley’s men take on Burton Albion as they bid to get in shape for the long season ahead. Burton are appropriately enough known as The Brewers as they hail from the UK hub of brewing.
Off-trade lager sales grew by £109.2 million in the year to April 2017 (Nielsen), making it the category that contributed the most value growth to the alcoholic drinks market.