Beer drinkers set to raise a glass to new Preston city centre brew pub

Preston will soon be saying "cheers" to the city centre's first modern day brew pub after plans were given the nod by the council.

By Brian Ellis
Tuesday, 12th April 2022, 12:30 pm

The Chain House Brewing Company, which has been causing something of a froth in the craft ale world since it was officially launched five years ago, has won permission to open its first micro-brewery and tap bar in a quaint cobbled alleyway near the city's University Quarter.

Drinkers will be able to sample beer produced on the premises - a dream come true for local ale buff Ryan Hayes who started brewing as a hobby in 2014 in his parents' garage on Chain House Lane in Whitestake near Preston.

He expanded to the garage of his house in New Longton in 2017 when he registered the company. And now he is planning to create a micro-brewery and bar in a former detached house in Clayton's Gate, off Friargate.

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Ryan Hayes wants to expand his micro-brewery after five years in business from his garage.

Ryan still works full-time at Springfield Fuels and tends his beers at night and at weekends. But even though the new brew pub is bound to take up even more of his time, he is still resisting the temptation to go full-time - just yet.

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Plans to convert an empty house into a two-storey venue have been passed at the Town Hall.

A report from council officers says no objections to the scheme had been received and one letter of support said the proposal would "assist in the regeneration of the city centre and Friargate."

The former detached house in Clayton's Gate where Ryan wants to open a brewery tap (Image: Frank Whittle Partnership).

The report goes on: "Whilst a micro-brewery would not typically be considered to be a main town centre use, as the application also puts forward a public house use it is considered the proposal would see the creation of a business whose primary function would fall into the definition of a main town centre use."

The new brew pub has been granted opening times of noon to 1am on Saturdays and noon to 11pm on the other six days.

It will have a micro brewery on the ground floor together with a bar and seats for 16 people. Upstairs with will seat a further 25 customers.

A planning statement submitted to the council by agents for the company said: "It is intended that the proposal will enable the Chain House Brewing Company and the client to improve their business facilities and commercial offering in line with demand and to help promote their local business and brand within the Preston area.

Ryan spends his evenings and weekends brewing his prize-winning beer in his garage in New Longton.

"The scheme aims to complement the existing commercial and hospitality venues nearby along Friargate and Market Street with a new small-scale contemporary taproom/bar.

"It is believed that this proposal will be a benefit to the area by upgrading a tired-looking building and adding to the variety of high-quality hospitality venues around the area."

Ryan launched a crowdfunding appeal for help setting up the new brew pub last year and raised almost £14,000 in 41 days.

“It seems that there are a lot of people out there who want to see this happen, and the appeal has snowballed,” he said back in May.

As well as financial help, Ryan is also looking for pledges of physical help with items such as plumbing and joinery to create the tap room.