IT IS always good to hear of a new local drinking establishment opening its doors, especially when its main focus is to dispense a range of cask conditioned ales.
To be honest, I was a little surprised by the location of this new Burnley town centre bar - housed within the confines of Mojito’s, a popular bar and nightclub. A tad bizarre, in my opinion., which made it more intriguing for me to investigate.
The tenant, Peter Clawson, has lots of experience running local pubs and bars. He ran the Jolly Sailor in Bacup from 2009-12 and then moved on to the White Bull, Crawshawbooth, until 2014. Prior to opening his new venture, he was mine host at The Mix, close by, but now sadly closed.
The place is relatively small in size. Contemporary in design it boasts a shiny wooden floored area; limited high-backed seating and a decent sized bar counter, with six hand pulls. Outside is a spacious smoking area, with tables and comfy seating, an area that looks out on to Hargreaves Street.
The line-up of six cask ales was good to see and a All surprisingly priced at £2 a pint. Although I was a little disappointed that there were no local breweries being supported. Worry not, as Peter was keen to show me his beery menu.
He said: “ I’ve always been a real ale nut. And I want to encourage a real ale culture in the town centre. This bar area here only used to open Friday and Saturday night. Now, I have the license to open it seven days a week.
“It took a couple of months to get things up and running. There was no cellar originally so we had to build one behind the bar. The barrels are in a glass cabinet adjacent to the bar.” It was certainly a most unusual and attractive feature.
And so to the main event, the beer tasting. To be candid, the ales on offer were a tad uninspiring, in my opinion. Worry not, there was a brew from the excellent Cornish brewer, Skinners, namely, Hops ‘n’ Honey. A decent drop, malty, honey sweet and a tad floral.
However, I felt the conditioning was too cool resulting in the beer dissipating too quickly. It was the same experience with my second choice too, Organic Golden Ale. Again, it was OK but just seemed to lack that thirst quenching freshness.
I am sure my concern in relation to the conditioning of the beer will soon be addressed as Peter convinced me that he was most passionate about his beer. He will also be aware of a couple of excellent watering holes nearby he has to compete with.
I hope his new venture is a successful one. Peter is an affable and welcoming host. And his real ale bar is another welcome addition to the vibrant cask ale scene in Burnley town centre.