Beer and football. They seem to go together like peas and carrorts. Or sometimes like fists and faces. Regardless, the two have a long and often intertwined history. Indeed, countless football clubs originated after a few too many beers in the local pub, as was the case with Borussia Dortmund.
Burton Albion may or may not have originated in a pub, but the town of Burton upon Trent has a long tradition of brewing beer, predating the club by centuries. At one point in the 19th century, this area was responsible for roughly a quarter of total beer production in the UK, no doubt a substantial volume of beer. In fact, Burton is even famous for a brewery process known, unsurprisingly, as "Burtonisation." If you love a good pale ale, you've likely experience the after effects of Burtonisation, which involves adding sulphate to enhance the flavor of hops.
What's that? Oh, you want to hear about Burton Albion Football Club? I suppose that makes sense. The Brewers might not be terribly familiar to most football fans, and for good reason. First, they formed much later than many English teams, tracing their origin back to 1950. Then, from 1950 to 2009 (!) they plied their trade outside of the Football League, finally earning promotion out of Conference football in the last week of the 2008-09 season.
From 2009-10 they remained in League Two for six season, losing the promotion playoffs in 2012-13, and 2013-14, before finally winning League Two and earning promotion in 2014-15. The Brewers were not content to just lounge around and experience third tier football for the first time in their history, and immediately won another promotion by finishing second in League One in 2015-16. So far the Championship has been a bit difficult for Burton, but they're currently clear of the relegation spots, thanks to a zero goal differential.
Liverpool will be visiting Pirelli Stadium, named after Pirelli Tires (or more properly "Tyres") after the land was donated to the club by the company in exchange for naming rights. Pirelli replaced their old home of Eton park in 2005 and has a capacity of just shy of 7,000 seats. One of their first big matches at Pirelli came in the third round of the 2005-06 FA Cup when they hosted Manchester United. The Brewers held United to a scoreless draw that day, an impressive accomplishment for a Conference team, even if they lost the replay 5-0 at Old Trafford. The attendance record of 6,191 was set that day against United, and would not be broken until a 2009 clash with Oxford United when the club were fighting for promotion to the Football League, when they cleared the previous mark by one fan, bringing the new record to 6,192. Liverpool fans have bought up their allotment for tonight, so perhaps we can help write some new history for this up and coming club.
Liverpool travel to Pirelli Stadium tonight (August 23rd). Kickoff is at 7:45 PM BST.