IT is always nice to receive an invitation to visit an iconic brewery. And it was a no-brainer when Thwaites head brewer Brian Yorston contacted me to arrange a visit to this historic landmark in the centre of Blackburn.

Mind you, this was a special mission I had to embark on, earlier in the week. To witness the third brewing of my collaboration beer, Magoo's Brew. It's a beer that had been a resounding success on the previous two roll outs. In fact, a fourth brewing is planned in another fortnight!

It was the usual warm, friendly welcome from the jovial Harry Spedding in the Thwaites gatehouse. He provided me with my pass. Then it was off to the brewhouse to meet the team.

The old building does create a problem for my very poor eyesight. However, one of the brewing team, Harry Brunt, was there to guide me to the brewhouse.

I was met by two more of the team, namely, Mark O'Sullivan and Glyn Bennett. Glyn was brewing the Magoo's Brew - and it was well underway. The after-boil hops had just been added to give it even more flavour and aroma.

This blonde beer is a refreshing, fruity and lightly bitter hopped ale, at 4.3%. The galaxy and chinook hops gives it a tropical fruit aroma that leads to a peachy and passion fruit flavour on the palate. The classic Maris Otter malt used gives it a pleasant biscuity malt presence.

I then had the pleasure of meeting head brewer Brian Yorston. Brian is one of the most respected brewers in the brewing industry. He spent 11 years at Wadworth Brewery in Devizes. And I'm of the opinion that Thwaites hit the jackpot last November by persuading him to lead their brewing team.

It was so enlightening and educating listening to Brian's passion, enthusiasm and vision for Thwaites' future in brewing, here in the locality.

He said: "We have already brewed 23 beers this year here in Blackburn. I have a really dedicated team at Thwaites, who are very passionate about cask beer."

"I am keen to resurrect some of the heritage beers. That will be exciting. Mind you, I firstly have to find some of the recipes."

Brian came across as a very innovative brewer. He is intending to install a one brewery barrel (288 pints) kit at the brewery soon.

He enthused: "The one barrel kit will give us a license to experiment and brew some wacky beers. Hopefully, we can then send it out to three or four of our pubs in the tied estate."

Magoo's Brew however, will be available in less than two weeks at many of Thwaites' establishments both locally and nationally. The next brew will be in their pubs in early June.

It's a belting beverage. Even though I say so myself. And I will be tasting the latest brew on Tuesday, down in the Thwaites Brewery sampling room. Then, a few days later, it will be down to you to taste - and relay your verdict on this collaboration beer.