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Wrexham Lager

Wrexham Lager Brewery 1944

Wrexham Lager Brewery 1944

Brewing in Wrexham boasts a rich history, significantly influenced by the geological features of the region. The sands and gravels in the Wrexham area play a crucial role in filtering water that accumulates on the impermeable rock beneath. Contrary to the common belief that river Gwenfro water was used, it is, in fact, this naturally filtered water that has been and continues to be utilized for brewing.

The now-defunct Wrexham Lager Brewery, which halted production in 2000, holds the distinction of being the first successful lager brewery in the United Kingdom. This pioneering venture was conceived by German immigrants Ivan Levinstein and Otto Isler. In 1882, they selected the brewery’s location due to the resemblance of the local waters to those of Plzen (Pilsen) in the Czech Republic, coupled with the ideal topography for the subterranean cellars essential for lager maturation.

The brewing commenced in 1883, but the cellars initially lacked the necessary coolness to produce the desired clear golden lager. The Wrexham Lager Brewery faced potential failure until a fortuitous encounter between Ivan Levinstein and Robert Graesser on a train to Liverpool. Graesser, an industrialist with a chemical works in Acrefair, possessed his own mechanical refrigerator. Recognizing its potential, he joined the brewery, and the Graesser family managed the operation until 1949.

Despite being an award-winning brand, Wrexham Lager became economically unsustainable, leading to the brewery’s closure in 2000. Nevertheless, Wrexham Lager has experienced a successful revival on a smaller scale, now operating in premises on St. Georges Crescent in the town.


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