Stalybridge Celtic fans hit the Hut

IT DOES not take a deep dive or forensic examination to find the biggest hit on matchdays at Stalybridge Celtic.

Just a quick look at the layout of the Bower Fold crowd will tell you. It will also tell you whereabouts the Bier Hut is.

In one corner, near to the Tom Pendry Stand, hundreds of people can be found on the terraces making use of the facility that has added to the experience.

Shaun Bishop chatting to Gary Carter from The Correspondent

And the brainchild of fan Shaun Bishop has certainly been a success. Average takings at the unit, which is rented off the club, are about £700, although a good day can see four-figure receipts.

It also helps Stalybridge Celtic as a portion of the profits goes to the Northern Premier League side.

“We thought we’d try and make a bit more of an experience at matchdays,” said Shaun, who runs Ol’s Bier and More on Market Street in the town centre.

“Rather than it just being about the 90 minutes on the pitch, people can come here, have a chat with their mates, have a good beer and have a good day.

“It’s been received excellently. The corner we’re in, no-one ever really used to stand here – now it’s the hub.

“Everyone stands here.

“I used to see this area and think, ‘I could do something with it.’ It was a bit of an unused space, you’d have to go into the old social club to get a pint and you’d miss part of the game.

“We thought, ‘If we could have something where people can get a drink while in view of the pitch, it’s a win-win.’”

The Celtic Bier Hut had a stop-start early life. After opening in 2020, it had to close because of Covid-19 before re-opening.

And just like Ol’s, which Shaun runs with wife Ella, it is promoting both the popular, with German Dortmunder lager being served, and the local.

When The Correspondent visited, a pump was serving a brew by Stalybridge’s own Bridge Beers.

It may even have added to the gate figures at Bower Fold.

“It’s the same set up as Ol’s with similar beers,” Shaun added. “We always have Dortmunder on but we rotate the cask, trying to keep it as local as possible.

“After Covid-19 lockdowns, we got a few disillusioned fans who had fallen out of love with the Premier League games, started coming here and realised they could get a drink as well.

“There’s a little buzz, we’ve got quite a new fans here now too.

“We’ve had great reviews from people who’ve used it and it adds to the atmosphere at games – people sing a bit more when they’ve had a drink.

“Either that or they drown their sorrows when Celtic are losing!”


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