AFTER a long search the best pub in East Lancashire has been crowned by beer experts.

Ribble Valley’s the New Inn, run by landlord Les Bentham, has been given the honour by the East Lancashire CAMRA real ale group for 2017.

Ale experts voted from a shortlist of six pubs which had been crowned the best in their respective boroughs before naming the Clitheroe venue as number one.

John Webster, chairman of the area’s CAMRA group, said there were several reasons the New Inn, also crowned the best in the Ribble Valley, was named the winner.

He said: “It’s just a very well run, old-fashioned pub. They have a very good selection of ales on offer to guests.

“They offer music and they have some great folk sessions in particular.

“It’s just one of those great pubs. Something is going on there every week.”

The venue beat off competition from the likes of Hyndburn’s 1B Tap in Great Harwood, Burnley’s New Brew-M, Pendle’s Admiral Lord Rodney and Rossendale’s The Crown Inn.

The grade II listed New Inn offers a changing selection of real ales from 11 traditional hand pumps, supplied by breweries and micro breweries from throughout the North West.

Regular cask ale on offer include Moorhouse’s and Reedley Hallows, both brewed in Burnley, and popular guest ales often featured include Bowland Brewery from Clitheroe.

Last year’s winner of the East Lancashire CAMRA prize was also in the Ribble Valley and the Swan with Two Necks in Pendleton won the award.

However this year The New Inn, which is located in the shadow of Clitheroe Castle, picked up the prize.

The Lancashire Telegraph beer correspondent Mark Briggs also praised the overall winner.

Mr Briggs, who is also a member of region’s CAMRA group, said: “It’s a haven for cask ales.

“It’s just a great pub. They have such a fantastic choice of bitter for guests.”

The pub also features a large beer garden and has various rooms which can be hired for club meetings and, functions.

Cllr Allan Knox, who represents the area on Ribble Valley Council, said: “It’s a very good community pub. The staff are very friendly and do a great job.”