Empty pub to open as a real ale mecca

Ben Croston (left) and Dave Shaw of Fuzzy Duck Brewery at the Strawberry Gardens, Poulton Rd, Fleetwood.
Ben Croston (left) and Dave Shaw of Fuzzy Duck Brewery at the Strawberry Gardens, Poulton Rd, Fleetwood.

FLEETWOOD’S Strawberry Gardens pub is to be saved – by a local brewery.

The Fuzzy Duck Brewery of Poulton is to move into the empty pub on Poulton Road and will be serving real ale by the second week of next month.

Its beer brewing operation will be on site in August.

Apart from being local, Fuzzy Duck will already be well known to Fleetwood’s real ale fans thanks to the 175 brew it created specially for Fleetwood’s 175th birthday this year.

The aim is to make the Strawberry a real ale mecca.

Without heavy costs associated with big pub companies, Fuzzy Duck believes it can succeed where others have failed.

The brewery is run part-time by Ben Croston who started brewing in his garage at home in Preesall in January 2006.

One new members of staff will be taken on with part time bar staff to follow.

The pub will be run by associate company Fuzzy Duck Inns.

Marketing manager Dave Shaw said: “We will be able to compete with Wetherspoons on price and we will be bringing in beers from all over the country.

“The lager will be from independent breweries, not from the large multi-nationals. “As members of the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), we want to support the independent breweries providing high quality craft beers and lagers rather than the large international brewers of mass produced products.”

He added: “The Strawberry Gardens will attract tourists to Fleetwood with their brewery trips. We hope to build a reputation for beer similar to that of The Taps at Lytham.”

The aim is to have one of the pub’s bars open for the international professional darts tournament at the Marine Hall on April 9 and 10. Improvements to the main bar should be completed for opening by Easter.