Bank Top Brewery

Bank Top Brewery

Bank Top Brewery is a brewer of real ales based in Bolton, Greater Manchester, England.


Bank Top was formed in 1995 by John Feeney,Cite web | url= | title=From the Bank Top to Route 66 | first=Tariq | last=Panja | work=Manchester Evening News | publisher=M.E.N. Media | date=2005-02-21 | accessdate=2008-08-31 ] and was located in Back Lane, close to Bolton Town Centre and The Howcroft Inn (home of the Bolton Beer Festival). The brewery did not actually get its name through being situated in Bank Top (a small village in the Astley Bridge area of Bolton), but because this was where John Feeney lived, and he also had a dream of locating the brewery in the old Tennis Pavilion at Bank Top.

Their first ever beer, Samuel Cromptons Ale, was launched at the Bolton Beer Festival in 1995, with the first pint being pulled by Coronation Street actor Bill Tarmey.

Recent developments

In 1999, David Sweeney joined the brewery, and was made a partner in 2004 when the brewery became a limited company. In 2004, John's dream was realised when they moved in to the old tennis pavilion at Bank Top, using the pavilion as the brewing facility, and converting the old tennis courts into a community garden.cite web | url= | title=Residents flock to new village green | work=Bolton Evening News | publisher=Newsquest Media Group | date=2004-06-22 | accessdate=2008-08-31 ]

In 2005, the brewery was sold in a management buy out lead by David Sweeney.cite web | url= | title=Bolton's only brewery is sold | work=Bolton Evening News | publisher=Newsquest Media Group | date=2005-02-07 | accessdate=2008-08-31 ]

The plant can brew 60 barrels per week (17820 pints), and supplies over 100 pubs with either permanent or guest ales. Products have been exported abroad, reaching as far away as Boston, USA. The company has also started to bottle its beers, which are available for home drinking at many independent shops. Although there were discussions with a major supermarket held in 2006, this project never bore fruit.


A significant number of ales have been produced, most of which are still in production. Notable ones include Flat Cap (their signature beer, formerly Fred's Cap, named after the Bolton legend Fred Dibnah), Samuel Cromptons Ale (the first ever produced, named after the Bolton born inventor Samuel Crompton), Pavilion Pale Ale (launched after the move to Bank Top tennis pavilion), Port O' Call (a 5% ale brewed with port), and Santa's Claws (released in November each year and sold over the festive period).

Other activities

Bank Top sponsor the yearly 'Bolton Beer Festival', which raises funds for the Bolton Lads & Girls Club, which has so far raised over £150,000. Brewery trips are available, which take place in the Bar (on the ground floor) at the Pavilion (the brewing takes place in the old basement). Two beer pumps are available, with a selection of rotating ales all night. Later in the evening, guests take a short taxi ride to a local pub for a 'Pie 'n' Peas' supper.

The Future

John Feeney has announced plans to retire in 2008, at which point he will leave the brewery in the hands of Dave Sweeney.


External links

* [ Bank Top Brewery website]

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