It gives me much cheerfulness this week, to relay details of what I would describe as a very special event on the outskirts of Blackburn, over the weekend.

Cherry Tree Cricket Club are holding a beer and cider festival at their clubhouse, commencing at 4pm tomorrow. "Hang on", I hear you say. "What is very special about this particular social beery gathering?"

Well, permit me to rewind twelve months. To a time when the club didn't even dispense cask ale. A club that was in need of some updating, investment and a smattering of tender loving care.

Step forward Ian Robertson, who saw that this sporting venue had the capacity to develope and expand. Ian, who owns the award-winning, Hare and Hounds in Lammack, Blackburn, said: " The people here at the cricket club are superb - and the location was ideal. It required some investment and updating for the cricketer's families and the local community."

When Ian took over the business side of the club last November, the club had a small number of members - just 88 in total. However, by the start of the cricket season in April, the number has swelled to 1500 - and membership had to be closed!

The club is now the hub of the community, with regular entertainment, a weekly quiz night - and the home base for Blackburn Road Runners club. Oh, and there are now three permanent cask ales to quench their thirsts.

Which tees me up nicely to highlight the beer festival over the next three days. The club's organisers have sourced an amazing 65 ales and ciders for their debut festival. There will also be a special marquee erected, where discerning ale quaffers will have a choice of twenty hand pulled beers.

The localities breweries are well represented: Ales from Three B's; Moorhouse's; Bowland; Worsthorne; Hopstar(Darwen); Hart(Preston); and Northern Whisper(Rawtenstall).

There is a wide and varied range of beers on offer, from all over the north of England and beyond. And I have identified a tasty triumvirate of tipples, that I will be hunting down.

Firstly, an IPA from Portsmouth brewer, Irving. Their Iron Duke(5.3%) is a modern style IPA . It has a sherbet lemon aroma, leading to flavours of tropical fruit, balanced with a subtle toffee sweetness, and a tangy citrus finish.

Another one to look forward to is Worsthorne's Colliers Clog(5.5%). A delicious and robust pale ale. The citrus and subtle peppery spice flavours, are a perfect marriage. It's a delightful, light, bitter hopped beverage.

My final selection is from Lancaster Brewery. Their Bavarian Pilsner(4.5% cask lager) is one I'm really looking forward to sampling. The Noble German hops and pilsner malt, will no doubt have produced a clean, spritzy and cereal malt sweetness, with a refreshing, dry finish.

I'm sure Cherry Tree Cricket Club will have a very successful event. Free entry, with proceeds going to help the club develope their junior and senior cricket facilities - a truly commendable effort by all concerned.