Cheshire-based Woodlands Brewing Company is to open its second pub, on a free-of-tie agreement with Punch for its own beers, and has bought a third as it eyes an estate of six or seven sites. The Olde Barbridge in Barbridge, a Punch Taverns leasehold, is to open in March after a £260,000 joint investment with the pubco that has transformed the interior and exterior of the pub. It follows the opening of the microbrewer’s first pub, the Globe in Nantwich, four years ago. John Skeaping, founder of Woodlands, said: “We’d been looking for another pub and were approached by Punch Taverns. We think the Olde Barbridge is going to fly. It has a 140 seat restaurant inside and a large outdoor beer garden with children’s play area, along with ten mooring spaces on the canal.” Woodlands has also bought the freehold of its third pub, the Romping Donkey in Hassell Green, from Punch. The pub is set to open in May. Skeaping added: “I’m 68 and and I hope my legacy for Woodlands when I retire is to leave the company with an estate of six or seven successful pubs.”

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