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26th May 2023

Arkell’s Brewery gets revved up about new beer Petrol Head, marking the centenary of M.G.

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.”

This exciting one-off brew will be available on draught or in bottles at participating Arkell’s pubs and will also be on sale at Arkell’s Grape & Grain Wine & Brewery Warehouse, as individual bottles, in a six-bottle carry case or a pack of 8 X 500ml.


Photos taken at The Classic Motor Hub, Bibury

Notes to Editor: For further info. contact: Helen Ryan at Arkell’s Brewery on 01793 823026, 07972 155 303 or email

Arkell’s Brewery was established in 1843 by John Arkell. Arkell’s is Swindon’s oldest business, and one of just 29 family breweries left in the UK.  Arkell’s has 180 years in the brewery business and has four members of the Arkell’s family still remaining at the helm: Chairman James Arkell; his cousin Nick Arkell, Head of Sales, and James’ sons George, and Alex Arkell are Managing Director and Head Brewer respectively.

The Arkell family work at the brewery alongside generations of other local families, brewing real ale and looking after nearly 100 pubs across Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Hampshire. Arkell’s ales include Award-winning beers such as Wiltshire Gold, 3B, and Hoperation IPA. Special ales are brewed regularly, with Head Brewer, Alex Arkell, keeping the art of craft ale alive, offering drinkers new tastes and flavours all hand crafted in their brewery.

Here is a link to some photos taken at The Classic Motor Hub, Bibury They will need to be downloaded as the link will expire.

Contact: Helen Ryan at Arkell’s Brewery on 01793 823026, 07972 155 303 or email