This week I embarked on a very special mission - a beery trek to the innovative and rapidly expanding Big Clock brewery just a short stroll from Accrington town centre.

I had been invited by head brewer and owner Justin Grant to help create a core beer - a beer that would be available all year round.

We decided to brew an English premium strength Pale Ale. It’s a style that is undoubtedly a supreme British bitter and one that will hopefully be a perfect malt and hop marriage unlike many of the American style pale ales, where the hops do virtually all the talking.

It was an early morning start at the brewery where I was met by Justin and his brewing assistant, Tom Sagar. The brewery is housed within the confines of Grant’s Bar. Situated directly behind the main bar area.

The malted grains smelled delightful in the brewhouse. Seven, yes seven malts are being used in the brewing this collaboration pale ale. Justin said: “ The beer has been specifically brewed to celebrate the malts that are out there. A beer that is full flavoured, refreshing and has light bitter notes. Where the malt is the main guest at the party.”

The classic British malt, Maris Otter, was the predominant malt of the seven we used. It gives the beer its body and alcohol content. British Caramalt was also an important addition providing a touch of sweetness.

The initial process of the brew, mashing (combining the mix of malts and water) took about an hour and a half. Then we were ready to transfer the liquid known as wort, into the giant copper kettle. Here, young Tom added the four hops we had decided upon.

The predominant hop was the classic British hop, Bramling Cross. Hopefully, it will have balanced well with the malts and has produced a tasty, full flavoured, premium pale ale.

We decided on the name BritHop as this reflects all things British in the make-up of this beer. We wanted to redress the balance a little, in relation to the many American influenced, pale ale style beers.

Justin is a most talented brewer. And is forging a fast growing reputation for the quality of his beers. It was a pleasure to be involved in brewing one of his core beers.

The first batch of this collaboration 4.5% brew, will be available by the end of next week at many pubs in the locality.

Now, it’s now over to you, discerning ale quaffers, to give us your verdict. Hopefully, it will be a favourable one.