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Norwich City great goalkeeper Bryan Gunn: Wherry claimed to be the first ale served in plastic bottles at an English football ground

Woodforde’s makes most of Norwich City football sponsorship

Some 20,000 Norwich City FC fans scored a free beer at a recent home game thanks to sponsor Woodforde’s Brewery

Norfolk’s biggest brewer handed out 330ml PET bottles of its flagship Wherry ale to season ticket holders. The match, staged on 23rd February, saw the home side victorious with a 3-2 win versus Bristol City. 

The generosity was in celebration of the Canaries’ rise to the top of the EFL Championship with a 3-0 victory over arch-rivals Ipswich Town earlier in February.

Woodforde’s has sponsored a stand at the club’s Carrow Road ground since the start of this season, and the free beer will no doubt help cement its relationship with the team’s supporters.

The initiative, a ‘one-off’ according to the brewer, was only possible thanks to the plastic bottle which was specially developed for sale at the Carrow Road ground when the sponsorship kicked off and is, claims the club, a first for English football. It has been stocked in the concourse food kiosks that surround the stadium since September.

“As far as we’re aware, no other football clubs have an ale available to fans in recyclable plastic bottles,” said Norwich City’s director of catering Stuart Cox.

“The plastic bottles are significantly quicker to serve to fans at the kiosks, who ordinarily need to have their drinks decanted from a glass bottle or can,” added Woodforde’s commercial and marketing director James Armitage.

“Norwich’s current record-breaking run has been a real boost for Wherry sales and we’ve already had interest from other event catering teams and stadiums interested in stocking Wherry and other Woodforde’s brews in plastic bottles.”

The brewer has partnered cider maker and contract bottler Aston Manor to produce the lightweight PET bottles. They offer several advantages: the bottles don’t shatter if broken, minimise waste, reduce use of raw materials and require less energy to transport.

They were filled and labelled at Aston Manor’s facility in Birmingham, which has recently undergone significant investment, including the commissioning of a new modular labeller.

Phil Mellows
6th March 2019

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