Pub boss celebrates as micro brewery is approved

Photo: David Hurst'Owner of The Withy Arms, Leyland, Lee Forshaw, sits where the new micro-brewery will be built behind the pub
Photo: David Hurst'Owner of The Withy Arms, Leyland, Lee Forshaw, sits where the new micro-brewery will be built behind the pub

The barrels are set to roll out at a new £150,000 micro brewery in Leyland.

Planning permission has been granted for the business next to the popular Withy Arms in Worden Lane.

Bosses behind the exciting new venture hope the first brew will be flowing by next spring.

Pub owner Lee Forshaw, director of the Withy Arms Group, had good reason to celebrate.

For South Ribble’s planning committee gave the green light to the application for the Ribble Brewery on Lee’s 40th birthday on Wednesday evening.

He said: “It might be up and running for Easter – that’s what we’re aiming for.”

The new brewery will produce between 20-30 barrels.

“Initially it’s enough to supply all three of our pubs,” said Lee. “We’ve produced some of our own recipes and already put two into production.

“We’ve borrowed another micro brewery in Yorkshire and with their co-operation they can brew them on our behalf until our brewery is ready.”

Those two brews are a 3.6% WA Best Bitter and a 4.3% IPA called Odd Job – named after Lee’s dad – which are already on the pub’s bars.

Lee said the scheme would be looking to use local trades people for the project and about five staff when it is completed.

The brewery will be built on the site of the old coach house and stables in Leyland’s conservation area. There will be replica stable doors and barn doors, and re-used cobbles.

Lee said: “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.

“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.”

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.

“We’re excited about it. I think it will be a good thing for Leyland.

“It will put Leyland more on the map.”