By Chris Slavin
The beers certainly flowed at AFC Wimbledon Business Club's most recent monthly meeting with members sampling the tasty tipples on offer at Wimbledon Brewery.
Perhaps it was the club's most jovial meeting so far, but then again one of the previous events was a wine tasting evening!
As part of last Thursday's event, members enjoyed a tour of the Wimbledon Brewery site with Founder Mark Gordon providing an insight into how the fantastic lagers and ales are produced. There was also a generous helping of tokens handed out for free drinks and the author of this article particularly enjoyed the Wimbledon Gold Lager!
Sampling the delicious craft ales available certainly acted as an ice-breaker for business people getting acquainted for the first time during a meeting attended by 40 members.
Mark joked: "The good thing about hosting an event at a brewery is that often people start off a bit cagey, but by the end of the night they are best friends! I genuinely can't understand why that is! I hope this won't be taken in the wrong way, but if I opened up a Wimbledon shoe shop I'm not sure I would get the same interest. People are very interested in how beer is made and we've had lots of interest from members of the business club during this tour.
"It is a glorious relationship for us to be associated with AFC Wimbledon. Our connection with the club goes back to serving our very first beer at the AFC Wimbledon Ale Festival. It's a close relationship we've got with the club and it is part of a long tradition of breweries working with football clubs.
"There is a huge interest in craft beers at the current time with 100 craft breweries in London alone. If you ask our Master Brewer Derek Prentice, he will tell you that this is the most interesting time to be a brewer because that variety is there in terms of production and he can express himself. It's a great time to be a brewer and a great time to be a drinker! Both AFC Wimbledon and Wimbledon Brewery are both going back into their local communities, it's the best relationship we've got and I hope it continues for another 100 years!"
After sampling all the beers and a wonderful selection of Pork Pies and Cheeses, members ended a great night with games of table tennis and one or two more drinks at Smash in Wimbledon town centre.
Since its launch in October, Wimbledon Business Club has organised a wide variety of events, including a quiz night, a curry night, match day hospitality, and wine tasting, but it promises to get even more interesting next month!
Matt James, from website design company Geeks Ltd, is hosting a games night at his company base in Morden.
"We are planning to put on loads of games, including darts, speedball, and pool," said Matt. "Being in the technology industry we felt we needed to be a bit trendy and set-up a games room as a bit of fun for our employees. It should be a great event. I was really interested to find out how the beer is made at Wimbledon Brewery. It's a great brand and a fantastic relationship with AFC Wimbledon. These types of events are about providing something different for businesses in the area, rather than people just exchanging business cards in a pub. The next event at our place promises to be competitive, but in a fun way!
If you are interested in signing up to the AFC Wimbledon Business Club or for more information, contact Pietro Palladino at firstname.lastname@example.org .