Bake-Off winner pours first pint of new beer – to mark airport’s anniversary

Former Great British Bake Off winner Candice Brown has celebrated an airport’s 85th anniversary – by pulling the first pint of beer brewed specially to mark the moment. Toasting the occasion, the baker and pub owner poured a glass of “Lift Off 85”, crafted by The Big Smoke Brew Co, which is exclusively available in London Luton Airport’s (LLA) departure lounge to mark 85 years of operation.

The baking extraordinaire also made an impressive birthday cake, which has been designed to replicate the iconic features of the airport.

Measuring almost 30cm high, the three-tier Victoria Sponge birthday cake – filled with apricot jam, fresh strawberries, and vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream – featured LLA’s logo in fondant, a runway running across the cake, and a plane on standby.

Candice Brown said: “Raising a glass of “Lift Off 85” with passengers is a celebratory moment, and a heartfelt gesture from the owner of one local establishment to another.

“It wouldn’t be a birthday without cake, and I hope I’ve captured the essence of the airport in every delicious bite.

“It’s been an honour to join the team for the celebrations and commemorate the airport’s illustrious past, while looking forward to an even brighter future – cheers to 85 years of excellence and many more to come.”

From its humble beginnings as a municipal aerodrome in 1938, LLA served as a base for the Royal Air Force during the Second World War.

After the war, the airport returned to commercial use and, by the 1960s, was playing a key role in the thriving package holiday business.

Now established as one of the UK’s leading and busiest airports, LLA currently supports around 27,000 jobs, and flies to over 140 destinations across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

It is currently undergoing a £20 million refurbishment of the airport’s security hall, that will provide an enhanced passenger experience to ensure a simpler journey.

Paying homage to the airport’s roots, Candice recreated the iconic shot of Lorraine Chase from 1979 – who the baker bears an uncanny resemblance to.

She struck a pose on the runway, completing her look with a replica boater hat, and raising a glass of the specially brewed beer in place of the champagne from the original shot.

Clare Armstrong, head of guest experience at London Luton Airport, said: “It was wonderful to welcome Candice to London Luton Airport as part of our 85th birthday celebrations.

“Her infectious enthusiasm mirrors our own pride in the airport’s continued achievements, and our excitement for what lies ahead.

“Over the last 12 months alone, we have seen the airport receive a historic visit from the King, as well as the transformational launch of the DART shuttle service and Luton Airport Express.

“Our 85th birthday represents the latest memorable milestone in the airport’s remarkable history, and our unwavering commitment to delivering a simple, friendly passenger experience over the exciting years ahead.”

Passengers flying from the airport can “cheers to 85 years” at the Big Smoke Taphouse & Kitchen in the airport’s departure lounge with “Lift Off 85”, from Wednesday 19th July.

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