Brewery plans for Leyland

Withy Arms Leyland

Staff from The Withy Arms, Leyland, prepare for the German Beer Festival

Leyland is set to get its very own brewery thanks to a £100,000 investment in the town.

Bosses at the Withy Arms in Worden Lane will this week submit plans to build a micro-brewery next to the popular pub.

Owner Lee Forshaw has been working with South Ribble Council on the ambitious scheme, which will see the brewery built on the site of the old coach house and stables in Leyland’s conservation area.

“The council wanted us to make sure it was in-keeping with the area,” he said.

 “So there will be replica stable doors and barn doors, and we’re re-using the cobbles too.

“I think it will be really good for Leyland – it will be like a tourist attraction.

“We’re hoping to be able to open it up to the public at some stage for tours, so I think it will definitely bring people to the area.

“And customers will be able to look into the brewery from our raised seating area at the back of the pub.

“It will be single storey but will have plenty of windows so people can look down into it and see the beers being made.”

Lee, who also runs the Withy Arms and School Lane Club in Bamber Bridge, says that the popularity of the mini beer festivals he’s staged in Leyland has encouraged him to make the huge investment.

“Real ales and small breweries are really popular at the moment,” he said.

“But there isn’t anything like this in Leyland yet.

“Some small breweries do struggle, but the beauty of this is that we’ve already got three guaranteed customers – the two Withy Arms pubs and the School Lane Club.

“We’ll be keeping our beers in-house, so it will be unique for our customers – and they can even watch it being made, which I think people will really like.

“It will be a challenge, but I think it will pay off.”

The move, if given the go-ahead by council planners, will create five new jobs, and Lee is working with a specialist brewer to come up with four to five brews.

The land earmarked for the build is currently used as a storage yard, and can be accessed through the old coach house archway off Worden Lane.

The land also backs on to houses from Church Road, and Lee believes the residents will welcome the project.

“The Withy Arms has really revitalised this end of town,” he said.

“There used to be a lot of trouble here, but it’s got a really good reputation since we opened at the end of 2013.

“It will be a much better use of the land.”

It is hoped the brewery, to be called the Ribble Brewery, will be open by next Easter.

Lee said staff are ‘really excited’ by the proposals, and they’re now gearing up for the Leyland pub’s next festival.

A German-themed Beer and Sausage Festival will be held from this Friday to Monday, to celebrate the bank holiday weekend, with a barbecue and outdoor cask ale bar.

A very Merry Christmas at Leyland pub wonderland


FESTIVE CHEER: The Withy Arms pub in Leyland has transformed its beer garden into a winter wonderland for a Christmas-themed beer festival in December

withy_arms_beer_festival It’s not just Rudolph who has a red nose at this time of year- drinkers in Leyland are queuing up to get into a cool new beer garden.

Inspired by the Manchester Christmas markets, bosses at the Withy Arms in Worden Lane, Leyland, have transformed their back yard into a winter wonderland for their first Christmas Beer Festival.

Special wooden huts have been made, there’s Christmas trees, decorations, cut-outs of Father Christmas and Mrs Christmas, and 14 different cask ales along with eight lagers, ciders, mulled wine and bitters.

Fires and patio heaters have been fitted, but with temperatures plunging below zero this week, customers are being urged to wrap up warm.

General manager John Travill said: “It’s the first beer festival of its kind anywhere, and it’s causing quite a stir.

“Festivals usually take place in the summer and all the cask ales are warm, but ours are directly connected to the cellar, so they’re nice and chilled.

“We’ve made it really comfortable and we can even offer blankets for ladies incase they’re not warm enough.

“We’ve been taking in a lot of parties and people are enjoying having their picture taken with the cut-outs.”

He added: “We got the idea from seeing the popularity of Christmas markets, but people can also come and dine outside here.

“It’s so popular that we’re asking people to make sure they book before they come.”

Source Lancashire Evening Post

The festival and the winter wonderland will remain until December 31, open everyday from 6pm till closing time.