Wrexham AFC are aiming for football’s “upper crust” thanks to their new Hollywood owners – and now they’ve got a pie to match.
Two of the town’s food and drink industry titans have teamed up to create a steak and Wrexham Lager Pie that will be served up at the Racecourse to tantalise the taste buds of the faithful fans and away supporters on match days.
The historic brewery is supplying its “amber nectar” for the new pie that’s being made by the award-winning Jones Village Bakery just up the road in Minera.
The packaging is emblazoned with the logos of both companies and a red and white scarf as a nod to the football-mad town where they are both based.
The bakery, which dates back to 1934, is also proud of its local roots and pie room manager Kerry Wilson said that making the pie was his “dream job”.
He said: “Our original steak pie is a brilliant seller. It’s one of the best pies we’ve ever made – and now we have made it even better.
“We always use the best ingredients and we’ve adapted the recipe and added some Wrexham Lager to create a rich gravy to enhance the slow-cooked premium Welsh beef. It is incredibly moreish.”
The brewery is also an important part of Wrexham’s industrial heritage.
It founded in 1882 by German immigrants Ivan Levinstein and Otto Isler who wanted to recreate the pilsner lager taste that they missed from home.
It was a major success story and was famously served on the Titanic during its ill-fated maiden voyage when it sank after hitting an iceberg.
The main brewery was demolished after production was halted at the site in 2000 which many thought it would sink without trace.
But the Wrexham Lager brand was resurrected in 11 years later after former MP for Clwyd South Martyn Jones, who had previously worked as a microbiologist there, bought the rights for the famous beverage from Carlsberg for £1.
The connection with the Village Bakery stretches to back to the childhood of Wrexham Lager director Mark Roberts.
He was raised in Bangor-on-Dee near Wrexham, the same village as the bakery’s managing director Robin Jones and his brother, Christien, the projects director.
Just like the Jones Village Bakery, the Wrexham Lager is now going from strength to strength, winning a raft of international awards – including the “ultimate accolade” of a gold medal at a top beer festival in Germany.
Mark Roberts said: “The Wrexham Lager pie is about bringing two famous local names together to create something extra special.
“I must take my hat off to the Village Bakery because I’ve tasted the new pie and it’s absolutely brilliant and I am sure it will be hugely popular.
“Wrexham is really in the news for lots of reasons these days, not least because of the Hollywood stardust thanks to the new owners of Wrexham AFC, Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds.
“Hopefully, we will see a big resurgence in the town, and possibly city status.
“I am proud that we are also flying the flag for Wrexham in conjunction with our friends from the Village Bakery.”
It was a sentiment endorsed by Robin Jones who said: “Wrexham Lager is iconic and we like to think that the Village Bakery is also synonymous with the town so what we have here is a piece of pie heaven.
“The idea came together while I was having a pint with Mark and chatting about the takeover of Wrexham by Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds and how we might celebrate this incredibly exciting new chapter in the club’s illustrious history.
“This is a Wrexham pie in every sense because it’s made by Wrexham people. Kerry in the pie room has been with us for 32 years and he’s a massive Wrexham AFC fan so this is a dream come true for him – and all the rest of us at the Village Bakery.
“It’s a great project and we’ve had some great fun doing it and the response we’ve had has been incredibly positive. People can’t get enough of it – they love the taste, they love the packaging and they love the story.
“It’s also very timely because Wrexham is going places at the moment, on the pitch and off the pitch, so we’ve got loads to celebrate.
“This is another reason to make Wrexham great – in fact, and hopefully attaining city status is not pie in the sky.”