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

MY beery destination this week, is one of Hyndburn's premier real ale drinking dens. Built by Thwaites in the late 19th century, it sits ideally on a main bus route — almost directly across from Great Harwood's Tesco store.

You enter the pub through a most attractive frosted glazed door and find yourself in a spacious, L-shaped lounge and bar area. Decorated in warm pastel shades, it had lots of comfy seating, including a nice “chilling out” area, with its leather armchairs and impressive open fireplace.

The pub is owned by John Duignan and Lorraine Connaire, who moved here from the west of Ireland 12 months ago — appropriately commencing their new venture on St Patrick's Day weekend.

John and Lorraine gave me a typical warm Irish welcome and were eager to tell me all about their popular and friendly hostelry.

First, though, I had to ask John and Lorraine how the pub had got the name Pub Royale?

John explained: “Oh, some of the customers who played poker, had nicknamed it after the film, Casino Royale. We liked the name — and so did our regulars.”

I do have to say, there was a bloke at the bar, with a look of Peter Sellers. However, I was struggling to find an Ursula Andress lookalike.

There is an excellent range of cask ales on offer at the pub — six in total — all rotating, with the exception of the fine ales from Rochdale brewer Pictish.

John said: “Their ales are so popular with our customers. We always have a replacement barrel to satisfy the demand. Moorhouse's and Hopstar are popular too.”

The selection on the bar was excellent and plumping on a beverage, was proving a tad problematic. I finally chose the SIP (South Island Pale) from Salford brewer, First Chop Brewing Arm. At £2.50 a pint, it was a robust, full-bodied strong ale, at 5.4 per cent. Bursting with tropical fruit flavours and a tangy hopped finish. it certainly had the “wow” factor and was in great nick.

The pub also boasts a spacious ‘Sports Bar’. It’s on two levels, with a pool table, dartboard on the ground floor and a most impressive relaxation area on the upper level.

John said: “The bar has been updated and is almost finished. It will have an Irish theme, and it will be re-named ‘Katie Kelly's Sports Bar’.

The customers appear well catered for at this welcoming establishment. The enclosed smoking area, at the rear of the bar, is very roomy and light. It leads out on to a walled and private, lawned beer-garden — very impressive it was too.

There's certainly lots going on at Pub Royale.

Food is available from Wednesday to Sunday. And there is regular live entertainment and poker nights.

John said: “We will be having a special event to celebrate St Patrick’s Weekend. It's our anniversary at the pub and we will be hosting The Moonshiners, an Irish band, on the Sunday — it will be a cracking weekend.”

Well, I am sure most of us are always up for the craic!

The Pub Royale is my type of boozer. Its owners have a genuine passion to provide a smashing community facility. It’s obviously very well run by Phil and Carol, who manage the pub, and the constant, friendly banter between affable staff member Joanne and the regulars gave the place such a relaxing, homely environment. A proper down-to-earth pub — I loved it.