Arguably not only one of best drinking venues in Wigan, but probably across the Northwest too. Indeed Wigan Central Beers & Ciders Bar is the only dedicated hostelry in the borough for real ales and craft ciders. Enjoy deciding on which beer, cider or craft ale to select. From stouts, amber beers, hoppy pale ales, the list goes on… You can also supplement it with a tasty bar snack. Did you know at Wigan Central you will even find a few delights for your dog! So whether it’s for a quiet lunchtime pint and reading a book, an evening with friends or possibly booking your own event, check Wigan Central Out.
Find out about the live entertainment on selected evenings as well as regular beer festivals throughout the year. Hey there’s even a Beer Festival coming up in early November. Wigan central also runs regular quiz nights, music bingo, RPG evenings and a monthly beer club.
Although as a regular happy customer in the evenings over many years, I am gathering my thoughts for this article on a pleasant Sunday lunchtime. Sipping a pint of IPA, accompanied by a quality pork pie listening to a great range of prog rock playing at a pleasant audible level which doesn’t kill conversation. Can’t think of a better place to chill or even wait for a train. Read on to find out more about Wigan Central, it’s welcoming atmosphere, bar nibbles and more…
Real Ales, Ciders and Craft Beers
Wigan Central has to have one of the best selections of quality beers, wines and spirits on offer. On arrival at the bar you can choose from seven real ales and four craft ciders. Then in addition, there is a selection of 100 plus bottled beers from brewers nationwide and even beyond. On top of that peruse the selection of Continental and American bottled beers, quality lagers and wines. Provision of quality beer also extends to zero and low alcohol options.
A delightful aspect of the real ales is the display of samples of each, allowing you to see the colour of each. The expert bar staff are always on hand to advise on the taste and strength of each too. If you are still unsure you can ask for a taster with no pressure attached before finally deciding. It all adds to the leisurely and welcoming experience.
A nice little feature is the availability of loyalty cards that offer discounts every time you use them. Why not enquire about yours now for 2024. Wigan Central continually update their website and Facebook pages to advise on what is available now and what is coming up.
Wigan Central Interior & Atmosphere
Of course the beers and snacks are paramount. However the unique atmosphere and decor just add to it on many levels. Whether your visit is at a quiet time or more lively one the bar is as welcoming to groups, couples, singles oh and canine friends. The two connected but partitioned arches ensure that Central retains a nice size feeling. In Summer it is airy with the large entrances and good sized pavement tables and chairs immediately outside. In Winter, the arches provide a cosy retreat no matter how windswept the weather.
The bar provides a good number of seats and tables in both arches. Rarely do you have to wait too long, if at all, to grab a table or seat. One of the more quirky features are the tables in the main arch created to mimic the old compartments of bygone rail travel, for those who are old enough to remember the nostalgia. Sadly for me, that feels just like yesterday! Comfortably seating six, each has its own light, plug and USB sockets.
It is possible to reserve a table too, if planning ahead.
Excellent Service with an Attention to Detail
One particularly nice little touch was a member of staff offering a tissue to clean my steamed up glasses on a particularly cold and rainy evening.
Tables in the main arch also have their own old fashioned semaphore signal attached. Looking for table service, then merely lift the signal.
Oodles of Rail and Local History Memorabilia
The whole bar combines a nostalgic days of steam rail feel. Yes I can just about remember those too! In fact the name of the bar is based on Wigan’s Central Station that closed way back in 1964 despite being busier than many that remained open. All thanks to Doctor Beeching. It served Glazebrook and connected to Manchester as well as Liverpool. A replacement bus operated until the 1970s. It was a terminus station and replaced the previous temporary terminal on Darlington Street. The station buildings were located on Railway Street that has now been built over by the Grand Arcade.
An original station sign is on permanent loan in the Arch No1. There are numerous other rail artefacts adorning the walls of both arches. One includes a specially commissioned picture of the diesel from the famous Great Train Robbery of the Ronnie Biggs and Buster era. The latter being a subject of an 80s movie starring Phil Collins and Julie Walters resulting in a couple of chart topping hits. Much of the memorabilia includes original pieces including the genuine and amusing sign above.
Adding a more modern twist Arch 1 contains two electronic departure boards for train services from Northwestern and Wallgate. Perhaps if catching a train for the day, you can now honestly say you are at the station watching the departure boards while waiting for the next train.
There’s even a comprehensive collection of railway books that may appeal not ony to rail enthusiasts, but also to those with an interest in local history of our area.
November Beer Festival
Coming up this weekend is one of the regular beer festivals that the hardworking staff put on throughout the year. Typically an additional bar of featured drinks is set up in the second arch. The range of beers is sufficient for all tastes and strengths from low to high. It really isn’t about quaffing volumes and in fact many visitors elect to sample the beers in halves. Central can get busy but there’s always a friendly atmosphere whether visiting as a group or individual. It’s never too noisy to chat or even strike up a conversation with strangers.
For more information head over to the Wigan Central Beers and Ciders website to find out about dates, times and expected beers.
Wigan Central expanded into its second arch to provide a great live entertainment venue. Although not used every weekend, when it is, the stage close to the audience makes for a cheery atmosphere. A wide range of locally based bands, solos and duos, carefully selected to add to the atmosphere and keep you in a good mood. For a full list of up and coming acts, head over to the website.
Don’t forget to ask for details on table reservations.
Other Events at Wigan Central Beers & Ciders
It’s not just music that Central provides. Central caters for RPG (Role pleaying game) fans through a table top event. Singles and groups are both equally welcome. A great way to mix and meet likeminded people. It also includes a Chippy Tea.
Then there is an evening music Bingo and a Quiz with a cash prize too. Mixed in with the beer festivals and music, there is plenty to attract varying types of customer of all ages.
Book Your Own Event
Customers can also book their own events at central. Typically using Arch 2 it gives some privacy for your group, from small to larger. Get in touch to find out about the varied buffets that are also available to taste and to suit.
A lovely part of Wigan Central is that they welcome your hound too. Hey if you fancy a canal walk, it makes a great watering hole for dog and owner. Water bowls are available as well as a number of dog treats with proceeds going to dog charities. Did you know the bar even had a Bonfire Night Refuge for doggies this year.
A mixture of entertainment and education all carefully blended. This once a month event allows you to learn so much more about the beers you are enjoying. All from the expert knowledge accumulated by the staff over the years. Held once a month, it gives you the opportunity to learn about and sample ten different beers.
Throughout the year other similar events are also organised. At the end of November there is a Belgian Beer tasting night accompanied with nibbles to hold off any hunger pangs. Apparently there are more breweries per head of population in Belgium than any country in the world. A number of them are even brewed by monks! A great way to spend a dark autumnal evening in the cozy arches.
Beer Cicerone / Somelier
It’s refreshing to know that not only is Wigan Central a great place to go, but also the owner Jo is a certified Level 2 Cicerone. She has had to put in hard graft and practical experience to earn this distinction. Of course it is customers and staff who ultimately benefit.
“The Cicerone Certification Program empowers beer professionals around the world through the development and recognition of beer skill and knowledge”.
To find out more about the whole Cicerone certification, check out the link at the end of this article.
How to Find Wigan Central
Well if coming into Wigan from Winstanley under the Wallgate Bridge, you are probably familiar with the view of Wigan Central. From any other direction in Wigan or beyond, then just head to Wigan Northwestern station. Pass underneath the bridge of Wigan Northwestern, turn left and there you are – Arch Number 1 and 2. Wander in, take your coat off and feel at home.
There are a number of bus services from outside Wigan Northwestern, including services to Winstanley, Kitt Green, Orrell and St Helens.
A taxi rank with supervision at night and Bluestar taxis are also located a few metres further up Wallgate towards the town centre.
Wigan Central Beers & Ciders – Interesting Links
What is a Beer Cicerone?
Get in Touch with Wigan Central Beers & Ciders
Arch No. 1 & 2,
Wigan. WN3 4DY.