Beer production back in operation at Wigan Brewery
Beer barrels once again emerge from a distinctive tall, narrow building just off Wallgate thanks to the efforts of the recently established Wigan Brewhouse.
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For years AllGates has been creating a range of session ales and great traditional British ales from the only Grade II listed tower brewery in the city centre, but the pipes have stopped flowing with beer for almost two years.
That, however, is now over after experienced food and drink businessman Martin Blythe got his hands on the premises, bought all the equipment inside and restarted the production.
Martin admits he once thought about getting into real ale as his father John was a big keg enthusiast, but sadly his passing prevented his son’s first attempt at branching out into beer.
He is now delighted to be involved and lead the four-person team led by head brewer Jonathan Provost, who also previously worked for AllGates.
As Martin explains, Wigan Brewhouse’s repertoire currently consists of some tried and true favorites that have been crafted in the building for years and some exciting new developments.
He said: “We rebranded with the logo and a few other things, but we still kept the main names and the beers.
“We kept the Old Boston plum porter, the very popular California, Pretoria and Dry Bones. We also retained the bitter session of Wigan Junction.
“So we created new ones ourselves. We have Kicker, an IPA whose name is a tribute to the old dance Northern Soul, a traditional English stout called Station Rd, another called Blue Sky Tea which is infused with a blend of teas from an award-winning company in Lancaster and Oceania, which is a golden beer from the New World.
“We also take a few beers and change them up a bit. There’s the Gin Pit, which is infused with juniper berries, and then there’s a beer that contains ginger and lemon. I looked into this with Jonathan and we worked on using fresh root ginger and lemongrass in the brew kettle for something a little different. We stocked it last week and it’s nice and refreshing, without too much ginger.
“With my background in food, I really want to experiment with putting different flavors and natural ingredients into beers.
“We’re really enjoying it so far and our goal is to brew five or six times a week. The staff are really having fun and there’s a real buzz around the place after a few years without beer.
AllGates boss David Mayhall has expressed satisfaction that Martin has stepped in as a buyer to found Wigan Brewhouse. Crooke Hall Inn.
Wigan Brewhouse is intended to complement Martin’s work in the hospitality industry, which currently involves running a rental property, a confectionery and a butcher shop that sells hides for sausage making.
He was once involved in everything from fish and chips to restaurants, remembering to peel potatoes after elementary school.
He now hopes to carry the Wigan Brewhouse name far and wide, saying he wants the quality of the beer to be recognized by drinkers and beer lovers far beyond the borough’s borders.
He said: “I want us to sell beer not just in the North West, but across the country. I also want Wigan Brewhouse to be a brewery that wins awards for its beer. It’s not just about a beer that tastes good, I also want that to be recognized.
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