Saints fan's Magic way to combine ale and rugby league

Jonny with son Obi at the Wayfarer
Jonny with son Obi at the Wayfarer
Share this article

A pub boss is combining his passions for beer and rugby league to celebrate this year’s Magic Weekend.


Keen St Helens supporter Jonny Birkett, co-owner of The Wayfarer in Parbold, is organising a beer festival where all the rugby matches during the sporting spectacle will be shown.

His brewery Problem Child Brewing, which crafts ales at the pub, has already hosted four successful beer festivals as part of Parbold’s September street festivals.

This event will feature beers and gins from each town competing in the Magic Weekend.

Jonny is a massive fan of St Helens, so his team will be represented by his Problem Child Brewing.

He hopes the festival will prove to be particularly popular with rugby fans.

Jonny said: “The best thing about rugby league is the fans, the banter is always friendly. I would love to see a shirt from every team there at the weekend.”

The event will start at The Wayfarer on Friday, May 24 with live music from Marbles Eyes, whose lead signer Ian Penketh and guitarist Martin Liptrot used to play alongside Jonny at Eccleston Lyons.

All the rugby matches will be shown at the pub on Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26.

There will be live music from Sam Simpson on the Saturday evening, followed by music by Alex Karalius on Bank Holiday Monday, May 27.

For more information about the festival, call 07811 136282 or visit Facebook pages for Problem Child Brewing or the Wayfarer Brew Pub and Dining Rooms.