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Thursday, 24 January, 2002, 15:15 GMT
Brewers consider Wrexham Lager deal
Wrexham Lager Brewery
Wrexham Lager could return to its home town
The brewers of Britain's oldest lager have said production could resume in north Wales after a two-year break.

Following crunch talks between Carslberg-Tetley, a local consortium and MPs the company has said they would consider selling the Wrexham Lager brand for the right price.
Martyn Jones, Clwyd South MP
Martyn Jones wants the lager brewed in Wrexham

Carlsberg-Tetley chief executive Colin Povey said he hoped it would be possible to do a deal with the Phoenix consortium, who want to return the lager to Wrexham, north east Wales.

It is currently brewed in Leeds, but drinkers have complainted that it does not taste as good.

Mr Povey said there was a strong local demand for the lager.

But he added that it was up to the consortium to come up with a business plan to take over the brand and develop a micro-brewery in the town.

We've always been open to negotiation

Spokeswoman, Carlsberg-Tetley
Carlsberg-Tetley shut the local brewery in 2000 with the loss of 35 jobs, ending a 120-year tradition in the town.

It is currently being decommissioned and is likely to be re-developed.

The Phoenix consortium, headed by former brewery director David Priestley want re-establish a heritage brewery on the site.

They were planning to start production from the historic Cambrian Brewery at St Giles Way in Wrexham town centre
Wrexham Lager
Wrexham Lager was last brewed in the town in 2000

Mr Povey said that Wrexham Lager accounted for five thousand barrels a year out of his company's output of four million.

Carlsberg's Head of Communications Donna Cresswell said: "We've always been open to negotiation but for some reason the Phoenix group portrayed us as not being co-operative when we were."

The meeting was called by Clwyd South MP Martyn Jones after he accused the Danish firm of "stringing along" the local consortium.

Support from MPs

Mr Jones told his colleagues in Parliament to boycott the drink and also called for the beer company's products to be barred from the Commons in an official Early Day Motion.

The motion has so far received the backing of 71 MPs.

Speaking after the meeting he said: "I am satisfied on the outcome of today's talks, as it means that the door is not yet closed on the future of Wrexham Lager."

He added, the talks were "productive, but there was no breakthrough."

He said he would wait to see the company's next move before deciding whether or not to enact his call for Parliament to stop selling Carlsberg lager.

The Wrexham consortium and Carlsberg-Tetley will consider their proposals and meet again next week to decide the lager's future.

The BBC's Wyre Davies
"A David and Goliath battle"
Martin Jones, MP for Wrexham
"Why shouldn't we protect our heritage?"
BBC Wales's David Cornock reports
"Attempts to set up a heritage brewing project on the site have come to nothing"

More news from north east Wales
See also:

12 Feb 01 | Wales
Deal brewing for historic lager
02 Aug 00 | Wales
Hope for former brewery
07 Apr 00 | Wales
Welsh brewery's last orders
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