A CO-OWNER of a Horwich brewery says he feels like they have been punished twice after new government restrictions prevented them from opening a newly-refurbished bar.

Wayoh Brewery Company’s pint glass was half full back in September 2019 when they opened in premises on Lodge Bank Industrial Estate.

But after the coronavirus pandemic forced lockdown back in March this year, its owners were forced to sell their ale via takeaway only.

Now plans to open a taproom next week have been scuppered by the new restrictions meaning they are once again reliant on takeaway sales and bottling their beer.

“It is so frustrating as we have had a long refurb process,” said Alex Handley. “We had a whisky-tasting room where we house our collection of single malt Scotch but we demolished that to open up one big space.

“We also decided to refurbish the toilets and just as we were planning to reopen and had built all our stock up to open the bar and filled our casks, we go into local lockdown.

“What’s also killing us is we’re unable to sell to pubs - we can produce 1,400 pints every week but without the support of the pubs we are never going to sell that beer.

“The loss in revenue has hit us hard and we are now selling only about 100 bottles a week. It is a huge difference.

“I feel like we have been hit twice, which is sickening.”

Alex is determined to look for positives and is confident the brewery can pull through.

“We’ve had a lot of fun working on the bottles,” he said. “Rather than just the standard pale ales and session beers we’ve been playing about with ingredients and experimenting. The light at the end of the tunnel is we have a new, bigger taproom and we are lucky that three of us are involved, and I am a strong believer that if we can survive this we will come out stronger.”

Wayoh is open for takeaway Monday to Friday 11am - 4pm.