A storied Wigan building associated with brewing is once more the home of real ale production thanks to a hometown businessman.
Martin Blythe has achieved his long-held ambition of getting into the sector by setting up Wigan Brewhouse in the venue off Wallgate formerly used by AllGates.
Beers have now been emerging from the grade-II listed 19th-century tower building for a few weeks, with the firm making old AllGates favourites and some new tipples.
Mr Blythe, who was brought up in Ashton-in -Makerfield and now lives in Haigh, has extensive experience in food and drink and first thought about getting into making beer a few years ago as his late father John was a cask ale enthusiast.
Martin said: “I’m a beer enthusiast and I would go out for a drink with my father a couple of times a week. We would travel around tasting different ales.
“I’m from the hospitality industry. My parents had fish and chip shops so I remember coming home from primary school aged about seven and then peeling potatoes.
“I’ve been thinking about doing things like brewing beer, having a micropub or perhaps a restaurant but then I heard about AllGates and we did a deal.
“It has all happened very quickly within the last six months or so. I’m really enjoying it and so are the staff. There’s a real buzz about the place.”
Mr Blythe purchased all the equipment inside the brewery from AllGates boss David Mayhall and also quickly came to an agreement to sell Wigan Brewhouse pints in Mr Mayhall’s network of pubs.
Brewer Jonathan Provost, who leads the four-strong team, worked there in its AllGates guise and is currently creating well-established brews and new creations.
The firm has re-branded some of the beers and created a new logo, while Martin is keen to use his food background to explore adding new ingredients and flavours to traditional British ales.
Wigan Brewhouse fits into Mr Blythe’s portfolio which also features a property letting business, a confectionery firm and an outfit which makes skins for sausage manufacturers. His family also ran Pepper Lane Chippy in Standish.
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