Page last updated at 12:05 GMT, Sunday, 20 December 2009

Students at Wrexham university rise to beer challenge

By Neil Prior
BBC Wales

1412 beer design by Glyndwr University students in Wrexham
The students had to come up with a name and design for the beer

There is nothing unusual about university students who think they're experts on beer, but not many can claim to have invented the tipples they drink at the students' union.

However, a group of design and media students from Wrexham's Glyndwr University have won an 'Apprentice' style contest to do just that.

Mark Scott, Michelle Roberts, Qingyun Hu, Yz Wez and Phillip Chan had to design the bottle and packaging, pitch the brand and suggest the flavour of a new beer, which will be manufactured by Scottish firm BrewDog, for sale around the university.

"We wanted our brand to feel Welsh, have strong associations with the university, and have a catchy name which people could remember to ask for when they'd had a few," explained Phillip Chan, part of the winning '1412' team.

"We came up with 1412, because it is the date of the last known sighting of Owain Glyndwr , and also because Kronenbourg have had such success with branding themselves as '1664'."

All the entrants had to record their pitches on DVD and send them to be judged by BrewDog's founder and chief executive, James Watt.

Winning 1412 beer team at Glyndwr University, Wrexham
The winning 1412 team hope the beer will be ready for their spring ball

"All the students worked hard and produced some great results but 1412 was the most commercial, innovative and well presented idea," he said.

Their pale ale follows in the footsteps of a considerable brewing heritage in the Wrexham area.

Wrexham Lager enjoyed international success for nearly 120 years from 1882, before being closed by parent company Carlsberg-Tetley around the time of the millennium.

The 1412 team will meet with BrewDog in the New Year, with a view to launching their beer at the University's Spring Ball in March.

If it is successful, it could even have a limited run as a guest ale in pubs around the Wrexham area.

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