Clitheroe is a handsome, rather old-fashioned Lancashire town with a population of around 15,000. The well regarded New Inn has typically been its solitary Good Beer Guide entry but the town’s beer scene has been undergoing quite a transformation.
Two years ago the Ale House micropub opened in a former estate agents. If the trade at 5pm on a Tuesday is anything to go by it is doing very well.
The 4 beers available were all sampled. There was Wishbone Blonde (3.6%), a Keighley brewery that has impressed previously; Dunscar Black IPA (4%); Stamps Cascade (5%); and Stamps Blond Moment (3.6%). I favoured the two Stamps beers, from a 4.5 barrel plant in Merseyside, associated with Stamps Bar micropub. The Dunscar beer didn’t work for me, partly because I don’t consider a 4% beer to be an IPA.
We bumped into friends from Lincoln who are avid (and industrial scale) beermat and pumpclip collectors. They were delighted by the Alehouse owner who generously gave them two boxes of clips. He also told us of the nearby Bowland Brewery tap, following their recent move to Holmes Mill.
Dutifully we checked that out too, via the Brown Cow – a basic bar with a nice drop of Doghouse Bitter (4.2) from Darwen. The Bowland Brewery has an enormous beer hall. The island bar is so big it is near impossible to take in the range of beer sold. There are 42 handpumps and the chalkboard says they have 24 on an at any one time.
Alongside a wide range of their own products was a wide selection of mainly northern english beers. This was the first page of the beer menu.
As the thrills of Waddington v Hopton beckoned in the East Lancashire League there was only time for a punchy and pale half of Twin Falls (5.2%) from Small World in Huddersfield.
It is not possible to give a rounded opinion of this bar based on such a short visit. There are some beer bloggers for whom no handpumps is no problem at all; some for whom one alone is sufficient (especially if its Sam Smiths); and others who will swoon over the prospect of 42.
Two other imbibers we met had the right idea by booking a night in Clitheroe (and there was a time that may not have been seen as a universal pleasure). I would have asked their opinion but they were working their way round the bar and we didn’t expect them to reappear on our side for several hours.