The John Bull Chop House is hoping to put Wigan on the map of places to enjoy a great night out after opening a new beer bar.
The Wigan pub, famed for its rock music and real ale, has just been named Wigan CAMRA pub of the season, which has been quickly followed by a cask marque award – its 6th consecutive 100% score.
The team puts the success down to its love of real ale – its new first floor bar has been specifically created to extend its range of cask and keg beer.
Victoria, who runs the John Bull Chop House with husband Peter, said: “We hear a lot in the news about the decline of beer but actually we’re seeing a rise in real ale, so much so that we’ve just introduced another 10 pumps.
“People are keen to try new flavours, new styles and new beer strengths and we’ve really struggled to find a way to do that while at the same time keep the popular beers that are already on tap.
“So we decided we’ll have both! We have redeveloped our first floor area, introducing a brand new bar which has six casks and four kegs on. It looks really quirky, as it has an industrial feel to it – which is great because we’re an old rockers pub with so much character and we didn’t want to lose that.
“What is being sold upstairs is not even vaguely similar to our downstairs bar, so it really is offering a new experience for our customers. The reaction to what we have done has been brilliant.
“People think of big cities like Manchester when they think about hip bars to go to try craft ale and new brews but now they can get that in Wigan and we hope we can help drive more into our local night-time economy.”
Victoria has run the pub for the past 14 years, taking over the helm from her dad, Harold Burgess, who ran the pub ever since Thwaites opened it in 1973.
She puts everything she knows about running the pub down to his influence.
“My dad was conscientious about how he looked after the beer and he developed a great reputation for the pub that was around quality. We have seen pubs develop food or live sports but we have stayed true to our roots. We have no TVs, no food – just great beer and great rock music.
“We spend all our spare time visiting breweries and real ale bars all over the region and that means we know what’s trending, what’s new and what just tastes great and we are introducing them at the John Bull. We really want to put Wigan on the map.”
Last year the John Bull was named Thwaites Pub of the Year and with the recent CAMRA award, it seems the pub is continuing to impress.