Rugby and Beer: what else is there?

Monday, 20 December 2021

To support the game that is loved by so many across the east of Kent, from New Ash Green to Folkestone, and from Cranbrook to Thanet Wanderers, an amazing 2,000 bottles of Spirit of Rugby IPA is being gifted to the 27 Rugby Union and Rugby League clubs across the area

The very tasty ale has been specially brewed by the Nelson Brewery in Chatham’s historic dockyard and was sponsored and paid for by the Spirit of Rugby masonic lodge for a unique initiative to support the game throughout the area. 

Founded in 2016, the lodge grew from a social group of over 100 rugby enthusiasts, including many past and present players and their families and friends, which was created by a group of freemasons who recognised that many values are shared by the game of rugby and masonry, such as integrity, respect, charity, and benevolence.

And a great love for good beer!

The ale project, initially conceived by Spirit of Rugby lodge member Craig Collins, has been driven by fellow members Mark Lawson and Matt Mitchell, supported by a host of others who have assisted in distributing and presenting the ale to the clubs.

'It is wonderful to be able to offer this tangible support to our local rugby community' said Mark Lawson. He told reporters that part of the raison d’etre of the lodge when it was founded was to work hard to apply those shared values in supporting the amazing work that the game of rugby does within local communities.

Matt Mitchel added, 'Rugby is such a special game which often creates strong and life-long friendships and camaraderie with those you meet along the way; not to mention the sheer enjoyment and satisfaction of playing the game and then sharing the company of your team-mates and your opponents in the bar afterwards!'

In the wake of the 2020/21 lockdown, which created so many challenges for rugby clubs everywhere at all levels, this initiative to offer tangible support to the grass roots rugby community has been well received. Rugby is alive and well in East Kent – long may that continue!

For more information about the Spirit of Rugby Ale initiative, visit:

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