Chorley breweries: Withnell’s Brewery, Chorley Ale and newly-opened Ben’s Brewery are all signs of the interest in brewing

The rise in real ale popularity has seen Chorley embrace the brewing boom. Adrian Smith, Chairman of Central Lancashire CAMRA tells us more.

Wednesday, 11th August 2021, 4:55 am
In recent years, there has been a huge expansion in the number of breweries across the country Photo: Getty Images
In recent years, there has been a huge expansion in the number of breweries across the country Photo: Getty Images

When you think of the great English brewery towns, names like Burton-upon-Trent, Tadcaster and Faversham spring immediately to mind.

Chorley would be a long way down the list as, until a couple of years ago, there hadn’t been an operating brewery in the town since 1904.

In recent years, there has been a huge expansion in the number of breweries across the country, so it is perhaps no surprise that we now have not one but two operating breweries in the town.

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Ben Haydock of Ben’s Brewery in Chorley

Paul Rowe and Tom Bennett started Withnell’s Brewery in 2016, operating from a unit in Bamber Bridge and brewing on a part time basis.

By early 2019 they had outgrown their premises and moved into Chorley, where they could find a larger premises near the town centre which also had better water for brewing.

With so many beer styles now available in pubs, Withnell’s have remained fairly traditional in the type of beers they brew and have established a well regarded core range.

They were commissioned by Stonyhurst College to brew them a special celebration beer – which was named Eagle Towers.

Ben's Brewery is very much a family affair with Ben’s father and son (both called Keith) involved. Pictured is Keith senior.

The beer is now one of their mainstream offerings and has been renamed Chorley Ale.

Their brewery on Anderton Street, now has it’s own tap-room and a bottle shop selling their own beers as well as a wide range from other smaller breweries.

Having waited over 100 years for a brewery to open in the town, a second one opened earlier this year.

Situated on the Yarrow Business Park, Ben’s Brewery is the brainchild of Ben Haydock, who has been running an office furniture business on the site for some time.

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This is very much a family affair with Ben’s father and son (both called Keith) involved; brewing started in the spring with the first commercial brews available from June.

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The initial batch of beers focus on traditional English styles, ranging from a pale ale to a stout and even a brown ale.

Their beers were launched at the Cardwell Arms in Adlington and should be popping up in other pubs around town in the near future.

There is a tap room within the brewery, which will only be open for special events and Ben is looking at the possibility of opening a bar in town as well.

So things are looking up for the town – great pubs and great locally brewed beers.

Chorley 150 countdown

This story is part of our Chorley 150 series to mark the 150th anniversary of the Chorley Guardian.

If you'd like to suggest a story for this Chorley 150 series featuring 150 stories of inspirational people and places that we love, then email [email protected]