I THINK it's fair to say that the majority of discerning beer drinkers enjoy a beery jaunt to a local beer festival. It's a joyous social celebration of ale. giving you an opportunity to sample a plethora of tasty tipples.

One such gathering is being held in Clitheroe next Friday and Saturday at the Catholic Club on Lowergate. An ideally situated venue in the town centre - and just a five minute stroll from the bus and railway station.

I love this East Lancs CAMRA organised event. I call it the 'friendly festival'. And a warm welcome is guaranteed from 'the boss', Martin Snelling, and his dependable, jovial team of volunteers.

The theme for the festival will be "Pals battalions" and it will have beers from towns and cities that formed local units, that went and fought on the Somme in the First World War.

There will be over 60 beers and ciders on offer at the festival and the organisers have compiled an impressive and eclectic list to choose from over the two day period.

I have identified a quality quadruplet to quaff. A tetrad to tingle the taste buds. A foursome that I will certainly be hunting down.

Firstly, I think it's appropriate to recommend a traditional bitter-styled beer to sample. Hopstar's JC (Julius Caesar) at 4.1 per cent is a belting bitter - and fits the bill perfectly. Dark amber in presentation, it's a smooth, biscuity malt-laden beverage that leads to a lightly bitter hopped finish. It has all the components of a fine traditional bitter beer.

The second slurp to suggest is an IPA from Off Beat brewery in Crewe. Their Disfunctional Functional is not to be missed by hop monsters. A robust, full flavoured, well hopped ale at 4.8per cent, it has a golden, hazy presentation with a citrusy aroma and flavour. There is soft carbonation and a long dry finish making it very refreshing.

Third off the reel is simply superb. A strong, dark ruby beer from Blackburn brewer, Three B's. Old Bee at 5.5 per cent is another brewing masterpiece from Bob Bell. Rich and smooth, it's packed with dark fruit flavours. Full flavoured excellence.

My final selection comes with a polite warning. It's to be sipped not supped!

Burton Bridge, Thomas Sykes weighs in at a whopping 10 per cent! I haven't sampled this Old Ale style brew. However, I will not be able to resist a half.

I expect it to have a vinous, possibly winey aroma. Typically amber in presentation, with dark fruits present, a thick, sweet and peppery warmth is likely in the finish. It's certainly an ale to be respected but I'm looking forward to it.

So, wagons roll to the heart of the Ribble Valley in just eight days time. A beery and friendly social gathering is guaranteed, no argument. Doors open at noon on both days. Entry is £3 - and is free to CAMRA members.