Our beer expert Andrew Nowell takes a look at a new Wigan venue to quench our thirst...
Wigan’s latest beer bar hopes to bring a slice of big city craft ale style to the town.
Sherringtons opened its doors last week in a former hardware store on Kenyon Road and the team behind it hopes to keep drinkers in Wigan who would otherwise head to contemporary venues in Manchester or Liverpool.
The place’s striking look, with large windows, plenty of wood and exposed brickwork and metal keg taps lined up behind the bar, also owes much to the booming American craft beer scene.
Sherrington’s is the creation of a team with three major stakeholders: building owner Will Bentley who is in charge of the design business next door,
Mark Maloney and Phil Cox from Wily Fox Brewery and Matt and Andy Johnson of Aspect Commercial Properties.
Their vision to create something a bit different for the town’s drinking scene has certainly paid dividends so far, with visitors flocking to the new place over its first weekend to see what was on offer.
The team said the long and winding journey towards creating Sherringtons started in a rather unusual place.
Director Mark said: “The idea started with the front window. The guys went to America and were very influenced by those big oblong windows and the old framework. It gives it that craft beer bar look.
“The idea for the bar was to create somewhere we would like to go ourselves. Most of the time you have to go on the train to Manchester for a bar of this nature.
“This is like something you would see in the Northern Quarter. We like drinking round there but you have to get the train there and to come back.
“Lots of Wiganers are doing that and it’s great when you’re there but we thought if we could set something up so you didn’t have to do that people would like it. Some of our social media has been based on staying in Wigan.”
Although Wily Fox have been heavily involved with the creation of Sherringtons this is emphatically not a brewery tap.
Instead, although there will always be Wily Fox creations available, the six cask ales combine some of the Martland Mill outfit’s finest brews with beers from around the country, with the team behind Sherringtons promising a continuously-rotating
The opening line-up was a statement of intent, with the selection from out of town including a pale ale by Siren, which has just won Champion of Champions at the Great British Beer Festival (GBBF) for its breakfast stout Broken Dream.
In addition, there are 10 keg taps showcasing the full variety of what the beer scene in 2018 has to offer.
Whether you’re interested in sours or stouts, hoppy American-style beers or craft lagers from around the world, Sherringtons should have something on tap.
In addition the fridges and shelves have a number of bottles and cans which include some limited-edition brews by the likes of Fyne Ales and Wild Beer for someone looking for an extra-special drink.
Mark said: “We’re getting different types of beer on and we’re also using our bottle and can selection to fill in any gaps.
“Sixteen taps seems a lot but there’s a lot of boxes to tick and a lot of good beers out there.”
The visual aspect of Sherrington's, which is certainly eye-catching, is thanks to co-director Will’s considerable graphics skills.
As the building owner he says creating a business in the place, which was last the home of short-lived ice cream cafe Will and Joe’s, has been something of a long-term ambition.
He said: “I bought the building six years ago and always fancied doing something with it.
“When the tenancy came to an end we got Wily Fox involved and other shareholders.
“From a design point of view it is like being my own client. I’ve hand-painted all the signs and I’ve been able to get the outside and the interior just how I want them.
“It’s a massive journey which we are now coming to the end of but it’s the first time running a bar for us. When I was a student I worked behind a bar and that’s the sum total of our experience.”
Luckily experienced hands are at the helm pulling pints and welcoming customers to the bar.
The bar manager is Mark Moorcroft, who has previously worked at eating and drinking establishments including Ashfield House in Standish and the Rigbye Arms in Wrightington.
Alongside him is craft beer fan Zoe Pearson, who is achieving her dream of working behind a bar crammed with quality real ales after leaving a 20-year career at McDonald’s.
Mark said: “It was difficult to leave the Rigbye but it all happened very quickly and when they offered me a job after interview I thought it was too good an opportunity to pass up.”
Zoe explained that the guiding philosophy behind the bar is to stick to British beers while offering as big a range of tastes, flavours and styles as possible.
The name, meanwhile, comes from the long-running family DIY shop that used to be there.
To find out more follow @SherringtonsB on Twitter.