WELL, it’s always nice to be back in dear old Blighty after a jolly jaunt in Brittany. Back to taste all the fine qualities of a thirst-quenching pint of British ale.

On my return I had the opportunity to visit Lancashire’s leading independent brewer, Moorhouse’s of Burnley during their busiest time of the year - the Hallowe’en season.

Moorhouse’s is recognised as the preferred Hallowe’en brewer for pubs and clubs across the nation. Their range of Hallowe’en themed potions are immensely popular. And there was lots of them bubbling away in their ‘cauldrons’ when I met head brewer, Dan Casaru.

Dan has been at Moorhouse’s for almost 12 years. And the respected and affable brewer has witnessed the surge in demand over this fang-tastic and most spook-tacular period.

He said: “It gets busier year on year. Last week we brewed 800 brewery barrels of beer. That’s over 230,000 pints in five days. Our normal run in the week is 500 barrels (144,000 pints).

“As well as the demand for our cask ales. We have seen increasing popularity for our bottled beers. It’s huge. We have just won national contracts with supermarkets, Aldi and Morrisons. The latter will stock Blond Witch. Aldi will stock White Witch.

“The White Witch brand won the gold medal at last month’s national bottled beer awards. Its popularity goes from strength to strength, both in cask and bottle.”

So, what ghoulishly delightful potions were bubbling away on my visit? Well, brewers, Graham and Jordan were only too happy to give me a personal tour.

The ever popular Pendle Witches Brew was in the mash tun. One hundred brewery barrels, almost 30,000 pints are produced on a brew run. It’s a delicious, full flavoured and robust ale.

One of the most popular Hallowe’en brews, Ruby Witch, was bubbling in one of the fermentation tanks. It was at the second of three days fermentation. It’s a devilish and spellbinding potion. Tangy orange and spicy notes are dominant.

Ruby Witch is just one of many brews to watch out for over the Halloween period. Other tasty, tantalising tipples include, Broomstick Bitter; Black Witch; Witches Cauldron; Witchfinder General and Witch Hunt.

It was a most enlightening and enjoyable day at Moorhouse’s. The staff were friendly, helpful and welcoming - and very passionate about the brewing of their popular ales.

So, just to say, it will be undoubtedly less cackling and more quaffing for me over the Hallowe’en period. As I intend to carry out a witch hunt for these boo-tiful beers.