Local Brewery News (2007)

DECEMBER 2007

All Gates Brewery : Their latest acquisition the Crooke Hall Inn in Crooke village is now selling a combination of Allgates and other cask beers from their 6 newly-installed handpumps. They are planning a special charity event with proceeds going to Wigan & Leigh hospice which begins on Friday 18th January. The whole weekend will be a mini beer festival and a band called Free Fall will be playing on the Friday and various other fund raising activities including raffles charity auctions, darts knock outs are planned for the weekend. There will also be a new Allgates beer available which is being brewed specially for the pub and 10p from every pint sold will be donated to the charity.

Mayflower Brewery : Problems with the drainage system at the Royal Oak premises has meant that the Mayflower brewer, Alan Brannigan, has been unable to brew on site since the middle of December. He advises that all being well production should resume in the New Year either at the Royal Oak or he has been offered the use of the new Higsons Brewery premises until any problems are sorted.

Prospect Brewery : Patsy’s new Christmas beer Clementime proved to be very popular at the recent Black Horse Beer Festival in Moss Bank …. We’re looking forward to her next special beer.

NOVEMBER 2007

All Gates Brewery : are adding to their expanding empire of pubs (The Anvil in Wigan town centre, The Victoria in Aspull, The Hare & Hounds in Hindley, The Globe in Congleton (which is undergoing a refurb)) by adding Crooke Hall Inn in Crooke village later this month.

Mayflower Brewery : Alan Brannigan, brewer and owner of the Mayflower brewery is now also expanding into the pub trade as he and his partner Tracey are taking over the White Lion in Upholland (a Good Beer Guide listed pub for 2007 though recently having had no real ale). However as the pub is tied to the Thwaites brewery we may not see much of the Mayflower range appearing there. Alan will be taking over from 28 November and has stated that he will have Thwaites cask ales on all the time and not just at weekends.

Prospect Brewery : have just brewed a Christmas beer which will be called this Clementime - yes it does contain clementines and uses First Gold hops. The beer is dark in colour and should be between 5% and 5.5%. Patsy is also doing a 'one off'' brew for Lancashire Day (27th November) and details will be on the brewery website very shortly.

OCTOBER 2007

All Gates Brewery : in addition to significant part played in the Wigan food & drink festival Allgates also supplied their popular Bright Blade for the taste off competition at the Manchester Food & Drink festival last week. A panel of ‘experts’ tasted a range of beers all from breweries in Greater Manchester selecting Marble Breweries JPB as the overall winner. Expert opinions apart though the first beer to run out of all those on offer in the beer tent was the Allgates Bright Blade so clearly it was a winner with the paying public !

Mayflower Brewery : Alan tells us that he is brewing at capacity at the current brewery plant and that he is considering expansion of production to meet demand.

SEPTEMBER 2007

Mayflower Brewery : Alan Branagan the brewer his building on Stewart Thompson's legacy and the brewery is going from strength to strength. Alan is now brewing at full capacity. The new seasonal brew Douglas Valley has proved to be very popular and will now join his permanent range of beers. Alan will also be brewing the beer he produced for the 2007 Wigan Beer Festival which instead of being called "Casino Royale" it will now be known as Casino Strong Ale (4.8%).

Prospect Brewery : finally in production of Pioneer @ 4% (coppery/brown colour) and Gold Rush @ 4.5% (golden colour) which are available in various local free houses. We have only had the chance to try the Gold Rush as yet but found it very palatable and are looking forward to more Prospect brews – apparently the next brew is being launched at the Crown festival.

AUGUST 2007

Prospect Brewery : Still awaiting final fittings of utilities with test brews to follow in early September. For those seeking more information the brewery is now online at www.prospectbrewery.com

JULY 2007

Prospect Brewery : latest news supplied to our breweries liaison officer is that the majority of equipment is in place but utilities had still to be connected. The brewer, Patsy, has studied her trade at bank Top brewery and is committed to producing a quality product using wholly metal casks. Patsy aims to produce two brews each week on a craft basis as opposed to commercial production. Beers will be supplied only to local outlets which will include the Dog & Partridge in Standish though there is still much testing to do and it is anticipated that Prospect beers will not be available until around September. For those seeking more information the brewery is now online at www.prospectbrewery.com

APRIL 2007

All Gates Brewery : Two new beers were on offer at the recent Wigan beer festival – ‘Unusual Suspects’ and ‘50 Marks’ both very well received

Mayflower Brewery : Brewer Stuart Thompson is giving up the brewery the management of which is being taken over by Chris Doherty who owns the Royal Oak whilst Stuarts son-in-law Alan is doing the brewing although Stuart still intends to dabble in brewing as and when the mood and his busy schedule of having fun allows. Alan intends to increase production of Mayflower beers though still concentrate on local demand to market his beers.

Rose Bridge Brewery : recently marketing a wider range of beers including one brewed specially for the Wigan Beer Festival ‘Live & Let Pie’ which featured as one of the nominees in our beer of the festival competition and also ‘Ince Ale’ and a particularly hoppy beer called ‘Cascade’ which were featured at the Bulls Head Easter festival. The brewer Philip Little is hopefully putting the brewery’s shaky start to rights now.

JANUARY 2007

Mayflower Brewery : The Branch will be awarding Stewart Thompson owner and brewer of the Mayflower Brewery with our new special award for Commitment to Real Ale Award. For those of you who do not know the background to the Mayflower brewery our branch chairman, Ken Worthington has written the following brief history : After reaching the age of 50 and having worked in various managerial roles in a number of breweries, Stewart decided it was time to take a gamble and realise a dream by starting his own brewery. The first step was to purchase a suitable microbrewery which he did in December 2000, the initial location being at the Worthington Lakes industrial complex. Due to the demolition of the original premises at the Bleachworks site, the brewery was later relocated to the Royal Oak in Wigan. The original vessels and casks are still used, although the premises are much smaller. His current brews include Special Branch (4.2%) Light Oak (4.0%) Myles Best Bitter (3.7%) Dark Oak (3.5%) and for Christmas he brewed Sleighed (7.0%). Stewart tells us he plans to retire from the Brewery in April, however he will be leaving the brewery in the capable hands of Chris Doherty, current landlord of the Royal Oak. The presentation has been arranged for 2pm on Sat 24 February 2007 at the Royal Oak in Standishgate, Wigan. and we have also invited Stewart and his partner Christine along on our branch pub survey trip which follows.