TWO pals behind a popular Bolton microbrewery hope to be serving pints at their new bar before Christmas.

Northern Monkey, run by Ryan Bailey and Liam Convey, is set to be among the first outlets to open at The Link - a specialist retail and leisure centre being created at the old Bow Street car park site.

The new microbar, christened Bolton Beer Hall, will be based in the development’s food court, where it will share a floor with a host of independent, artisan food and drink vendors.

The growing microbrewery, which currently operates from an extension at Mr Bailey’s Astley Bridge home, was founded last year.

At present it brews five cask ales which it supplies to more than 40 pubs and bars in Bolton and the surrounding area

But increasing demand for their craft beers has led to the business moving to The Link, where it will have a purpose-built brewery more than twice the size it is now.

Mr Bailey said the pair were looking forward to taking Northern Monkey to the next level.

He said: “We’re hoping that the brewery will be functioning by next month and as a bar we’re hoping for the run up to Christmas.”

The beer hall will offer a bespoke bar and service area selling cask and craft ale, as well as a mixture of craft spirits.

And Mr Convey, from Halliwell, added that the brewery bar would add something new to Bolton town centre.

He said: “There’s no other microbrewery in Bolton town centre with its own taps, so I think that should make a good, unique selling point.”

As well as Northern Monkey’s ales, the bar will also be serving a selection of craft beers from microbreweries based in and around Bolton. “The emphasis will be on local,” said Mr Convey.

“We’re getting craft ales from Manchester, Liverpool, Ramsbottom, and maybe dipping into Yorkshire occasionally. It’s better for our market to be selling our own stuff, but we need a bit of variety. Customers always want to know what you’ve got in that’s new.”