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Brewers and Breweries

Wrexham was known for its beer from medieval times. The town had good underground water supplies and good water meant good beer. In the 19th century brewers and breweries dominated Wrexham. By the 1860s there were 19 breweries in the town. The brewers held positions of power; two of them, Thomas Rowland and Peter Walker, even fell out over who should be Mayor.

The breweries were in the centre of the town, along the River Gwenfro. The most famous was the Wrexham Lager Brewery. Founded in 1882, it was Britain's first successful lager brewery. A group of German immigrants started the brewery and Robert Graesser made its lager beer famous throughout the world.

A visitor who passes through Wrexham without sampling the home brew of the Nag's head must be regarded as having failed in his principal and most obvious duty, and as a very eccentric person indeed

Further downstream was Soames's Brewery. In Alfred Barnard's 1892 tour of British breweries, Soames's is singled out as making the best beer in Wrexham.

The 20th century was hard on Wrexham's breweries. During the Great Depression, Soames's Brewery had to merge with two local rivals forming Border Breweries to survive. Changing tastes and rationalisation led to the closure of Border Breweries in 1984 and Wrexham Lager Brewery in 2000.