Mark Briggs has been a real ale connoisseur for over 35 years.  A self-professed ‘beer geek’, Mark visits East Lancashire’s pubs for his weekly column. Read of Mark’s adventures in ale at his blog or follow him on Twitter @realaleupnorth

WE head to a town centre pub this week, and hopefully along the way, dispel some of the popular belief that the centre of Blackburn, is a 'real ale desert'.

Molloy's, in King William Street, is certainly one establishment in the town centre that serves up cask conditioned ale — so I was curious to find out what they had to offer.

It's a pub that has many traditional features — stained wooden floors, an attractive, old-fashioned wood-panelled bar, low ceilings and impressive mosaic-tiled areas.

I walked into this square shaped, quirky hostelry and immediately felt a warm, relaxed atmosphere with regulars chatting at the bar and easy-listening music being played in the background.

I was met by a friendly team, Michael and Jade, as I cast an eye along the bar in pursuit of the beer pumps.

Two cask ales were in evidence. But although choice was restricted, they had two crackers on — Three B's Bobbins Bitter and Thwaites Wainwright, both at a bargain price of £1.99. I went for the Bobbins Bitter and it was 'bob on' — no ale desert here.

I was then met by the manager of this Stonegate Inns pub, Ryan Aldred. He has been here for 15 months and was keen to explain what the pub had to offer. He said: “When I first arrived,there wasn't really any call for real ale but now it's proving very popular and we constantly rotate the two pumps that we have on. We usually use local brewers, such as Thwaites, Moorhouse’s, Three B's and Bank Top. We also have a good range of lagers, including Becks and Stella.

Molloy's also boasts an extensive menu, and has lots of comfy seated areas to enjoy a value meal. You can purchase two meals for just £6.95.

Ryan said: “We have a ' Man v Food ' on the menu. A 20 ounce burger challenge - or a chicken wing combo. The combo comprises 50 chicken wings, onion rings and potato wedges. Both meals are £12 — and if you clear either, you can have the meal for free.”

The bar gets very busy for the live entertainment nights. There's an open-mic evening on Thursdays. Groups and singers perform at the weekend.

Molloy's is a pub that serves a wide clientele.

It's ideal to relax and have a meal after some shopping. And it's certainly a place where you can enjoy an excellent ale at a bargain price. .

It's sad to say that this type of traditional pub is becoming a rare species in lots of towns and cities up and down the country.