This week I feel duly obliged to reflect on one of the highlights in the Pendle social calendar. Yes, you have guessed it, the Pendle Beer Festival - a beery bash, when Colne Muni becomes a mecca of beer celebration over a three-day period.

I visited the festival last Friday night, eager to sample a selection of approximately 150 beers, ales from Stromness (Orkney) to Salisbury and from Blackburn to Brentwood. Festival organiser Craig Stewart and East Lancashire CAMRA, had once again sourced a fine and eclectic range of alcoholic beverages.

I alighted the bus just a matter of a few short strides from the venue. Here, I met up with three members of the Padiham Posse, namely, Adrian Clark, Stephen Slater and Chris Speak. A fine triumvirate of beery comrades.

The place was packed - a diverse mix of discerning and friendly ale quaffers. Beards, beer bellies, fedora hats and rucksacks were once again quite prominent as I weaved my way through the throng.

Blimey, a beery conundrum confronted me. However, I finally decided to commence proceedings with a beer from the fabulous Hebden Bridge brewer, Vocation. Their ‘bread and butter’ golden ale was a refreshing, fruity and punchy potion. The peachy and lemony flavours lingered long on the palate.

It was so good to see and chat to many friendly folk. Beery brethren with a passion for our national drink. One who certainly is, was Justin Grant. Head brewer and owner of Big Clock brewery, one of the festivals main sponsors.

He collared me as I was looking for the Padiham Posse. Always good to chat with Justin. A most affable and talented Accrington brewer. He had six of his beers on at the festival. This included Brit Hop. A beer that I had helped him to create. A premium Pale Ale at 4.5%. It was in great condition and proving popular.

My companions were interested in any recommendations I had. I suggested a beer from Ramsbottom brewer, Rammy Craft.

It was a robust, malted rye style beer, namely, Garage Beer FU2 at 6.2%. Malty, spicy and with a fruity bitterness with a subtle sour-like rye characteristic in the finish. It was a brewing masterpiece in my opinion. My favourite beer of the festival.

The many superb beers on the night were served up by the excellent, friendly and courteous band of volunteers.

Year on year they make it the fantastic festival it has become. Now in it’s thirteenth year, the festival has forged a tip top reputation in the beer festival calendar. It is now undeniably one of the finest in the north of England.

I and many others will return in 2018, to sample this truly unique and enjoyable environment.

Hopefully the 2,300 plus attendance in 2016 will have increased. And the £7,000 raised for Pendleside Hospice last year, will have swelled too.

Well done once again to all the volunteers involved at Pendle Beer Festival. You were, once again a credit to the local community and beyond.