Who Are These Jobbers?
Well folks, it’s 2017 and Sunderland AFC go into an away game against Burton Albion with it being a relegation six-pointer in the second tier of English football - doesn’t it make you feel gooooooooood?
Founded in 1950, Burt... actually, can we talk about Burton’s badge because I have some questions. Firstly, why does it look like (to the un-trained eye) that the club is actually called ‘Brewers FC’ - why is the nickname so prominent? I mean, I get it, if my hometown had git loads of breweries in it I’d be bloody proud of it as well but it’s got that classic 1990s-now-defunct-USA-soccer-team vibe to it.
Why is the clever amalgamation of the letter B and A stuffed inside a clearly obese man? Is this what the people of Staffordshire consider to be what a professional footballer looks like? There is no way that faceless, clothes-less gentleman (I can only assume it’s a gentleman) is getting through 90 minutes of footballing action without having a heart attack.
Also, why is this anthropomorphic combination of letters and human flesh seemingly making a defensive clearance while wearing a heeled loafer? That surely isn’t a practical choice of footwear for the rigours of association football.
Oh wait... could the barrel-chested gentleman be representing the thousands of kegs delivered every day by Burton’s booming brewing industry? If so, then that is bloody clever and something which I beli..[Editorial note - CAN YOU JUST GET ON WITH HOW FANS ACTUALLY GET TO THIS GROUND].
Long story short, I like it!
How Do I Get There?
Hop in the motor, fire up that engine and set a course for that weird part of the Midlands where we don’t know whether it’s technically Stoke - to Burton upon Trent! Take that sexy A1 (M) down to junction 35 and exit for the M1 and you’re heading to Midlands Country, baby!
Dart off at junction 28 for the A38 waving a friendly hello to Derby along the way. Leave at the Burton North exit and hit the A5121 into Burton, follow the signs for the Pirelli Stadium and, hey presto, the ground will emerge on your right hand side.
Parking is available at the ground and on the Ryknild Trading Estate both costing £5.
Going by train are yer? Going to have a couple of drinks are yer? Well, Burton Railway Station is around a mile and a half away from the station so you can either walk it in 25 minutes or jump in a taxi for £6.
A Love Supreme coaches leave the Stadium of Light at 8.30am with fares costing £28. Book your spot here.
Where Can I Get The Sesh Started?
I can see that look, I’ve seen it a thousand times before. You’re looking at me like as if I’m someone that isn’t aware that Burton upon Trent is the brewing capital of the UK. You think I’m one of the those absolute no-marks who is unaware that there are no less than eight breweries in the town and that there is even a term involved in the brewing process known as ‘Burtonisation’.
Well you my friend, are bloody wrong. I even know that *cuts and pastes Wikipedia article* in 1878 the big dawg brewers of Henry Wardle, John Yeomans and Sydney Evershed (what a tremendous name) had sway in the Houses of Parliament. Anyway, if you like Coors, Carling, Bass, Pedigree or Worthingtons (didn’t even know that was still a thing), you’re going to bloody love Burton.
[Editorial note - STOP TALKING ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THE TOWN AND TELL US WHERE WE CAN DRINK FFS MAN - YOU’VE BEEN WARNED ABOUT THIS BEFORE] I guess I should probably tell you where to drink. Anyway, sack off going to the ground early and enjoy the fruits of Burton town centre.
Venture to 81 High Street and you’ll find the hilariously named Fuggle & Nugget micropub which serves a load of ale and some of those trendy craft beers I’d imagine. If you’re arriving at Burton train station then have a wander down Station Street and dive in either The Last Heretic, The Devonshire Arms or The Coopers Tavern for a drop of that delightful local tipple they brew in giant vats down the road.
The Great Northern is also worth swinging by if you want to get your lips around a tantalising Burton Bridge Beer - go on, you scamps, you’ve earned it. Oh, and there’s also nine venue bar crawl that leads you nicely to the ground.
I’m Staying Owa, Is There Owt To Do?
You can’t go to Paris and not see the Eiffel Tower, you can’t go to New York without seeing the Statue of Liberty, you can’t go to Keswick and not see the Derwent Pencil Museum and you certainly can’t go to Burton upon Trent and not pay a visit to the National Brewery Centre.
If you haven’t been paying attention, Burton is the UK’s brewing capital and you can learn all about how it has been helping the country get sloshed for generations at the museum. Guided tours are available throughout Saturday with the earliest starting at 10am.
Ticket prices (which include a guided tour and three beer tasting vouchers per adult) start from £8.95 for adults and £5.95 for kids. You can purchase tickets here.
If you happen to be staying in Burton on Friday night then get yourself down to the NBC for The Firkin Comedy Club. The monthly event kicks off at 7.30pm and is headlined by David Tsonos, tickets cost £10 and can be purchased here.
There’s also some geezer from Love Island doing a meet and greet at Society & Manhattans which describes itself as the “BIGGEST PARTY IN TOWN” on Saturday n’all. 2-4-1 cocktails apparently.
What’s The Ground Like?
I’d like to state that before I completely disparage and belittle the achievements of Burton Albion, I do not mean to disparage and belittle the achievements of Burton Albion. Anyway, the Pirelli Stadium is a non-league ground. It should be a ground that hosts non-league football.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice, it’s really nice actually. In fact, it’s so nice that yer da has been talking about it for weeks. YES DAD I KNOW IT’S GOT TERRACES, IT’S NOT THAT AMAZING, WE STAND UP AT EVERY MATCH WE GO TO IT’S JUST THIS TIME WE’RE ALLOWED TO, PLEASE STOP GOING ON ABOUT IT AND JUST TO TALK TO MUM ONCE IN A WHILE, CHRISTMAS IS COMING.
Ahem, Burton’s tiny home holds around 7,000 with both ends being that sweet, sweet terracing that everyone is so horny for. To put it’s diminutive size into perspective the likes of Halifax Town, Aldershot Town, Wrexham, Tranmere, Southport, York City and Stockport County have larger abodes and they are plying their trade into confines of the non-league.
So it only goes to highlight how bloody good the Brewers have been managed in recent years. Kudos, from this patronising Sunderland fan.