Arkell’s Brewery have created a limited-edition beer to mark the centenary of M.G. New beer ‘Petrol Head’ is a 4.5% ABV pale beer brewed using traditional Norwegian Kveik yeast which adds a unique orangy flavour to the beer.
In 1923 brewery ancestor, Oliver Arkell was the first person documented to purchase an M.G – a Raworth-bodied M.G. Super Sports model, hence Arkell’s have brewed this commemorative beer to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of M.G. in 2023.
Only six Raworth-bodied M.G.s were made and sadly, none of these 1923 models are known to have survived, but within the archives of The Early M.G. Society, there are many period photos of some of the cars and they even have registration dates and numbers along with the ‘Client Copy’ and a copy of the ‘Works Copy’ of Oliver Arkell’s order. These surviving copies are significant because they represent the very first documented sale of an M.G sports car.
Oliver’s M.G was registered FC5855. It is reported that a young John Oliver Arkell went to the Morris Garages Queen Street showrooms in Oxford on 11th August 1923 to buy a ‘Chummy’. Author Wilson McComb, in his book The Story of the M.G Sports Car, records that Oliver spied a ‘yellow sports car in the window – an unusual yellow, the colour of good butter, and it had black wings.’ Cecil Kimber, Manager of the garages, quoted a price of £300 for the M.G sports car, so Oliver agreed to buy it on the basis that it wasn’t much more than the Chummy. Payment of a deposit was made, and his Raworth was registered on 16 August 1923, then on 5th September it was delivered to the family home, Redlands Court, Highworth, Wiltshire.
Following the death of Oliver’s father, James Arkell, who died aged 76 in 1925, Arkell’s Brewery was carried on by brothers, James Graham, Thomas Noel (later Sir Noel), and Oliver Arkell; the grandsons of John Arkell, founder of the Swindon based brewery.
M.G. Owners and enthusiasts will be celebrating this weekend, 27 May, with many joining road runs to the M.G. centenary event at the British Motor Museum in Gaydon, Warwickshire. There are four organised road runs starting from different locations, one of which is Arkell’s Brewery. 16 cars are confirmed to begin their road run at the Victorian brewery in Swindon on Saturday.
Alex Arkell, Head Brewer expressed “It seems only fitting that we produce a beer for the centenary, given that our brewery ancestor is recognised as the first person to have bought an M.G sports car, and we are thrilled that M.G enthusiasts have chosen our beautiful and historic steam brewery as a road run starting point.”