AS many beery brethren are aware, we are now at a time in the year, where pubs, clubs and bars are faced with a quiet few weeks. Licensees and brewers alike, encounter a tough trading period after the Christmas festivities and merriment.

So, I always feel duty-bound to make a special effort and rallying call in order to make this demanding time for the trade a little less onerous.

And a bright, sunny, Saturday afternoon presented an ideal opportunity to visit a few watering holes with my main intention being to call in at the Barlick Tap, in, yes you have guessed it, Barnoldswick.

I had a midday rendezvous at the New Brew-m, Burnley, with a valued beery comrade, Chris Hopkins, prior to our onward journey to the ‘foothills’ of the Lancashire/Yorkshire border.

It was a most enjoyable liquid launch to proceedings. A delicious, dark, devilish brew, courtesy of Derby brewer, Mr Grundy’s.

Chris also had replicated my selection, but couldn’t resist a further half from London craft brewer, Weird Beard - it was too good to miss. They are seldom witnessed in these parts.

The Duke of Dank was awesome. Chris kindly offered me a snifter. Cereal malt, dark fruits and peppery spice leading to a subtle tart and sherbert finish. Wow!

The X43 service then whisked us off to Barnoldswick with the Barlick Tap our planned next port of call.

However, to spread the cheer we went via the nearby, Fountain Inn. We knew the excellent Dark Horse, Hetton Pale Ale, was a permanent fixture. It was delicious - and one to slake your thirst. So good, it was rude not to have another.

So, onward to our foremost destination, the Barlick Tap. We were given a lovely canine greeting from spaniel, Tia, and her master and mine host Steve White.

Steve has owned this cosy, friendly and homely one-roomed bar, since May 2015. It epitomised all the hallmarks of a typical micropub.

No TV, music or gaming machines - and where conversation and interaction with customers is paramount.

Barlick Tap offers an excellent choice for the discerning beer drinker with five rotating cask ales and over 50 bottled world beers.

I initially plumped for a light, refreshing, ale from Flipside Brewery, namely, Sterling Pale (3.9%). Chris chose one from the dark side. A robust 6% stout, Manifesto, from the Revolution Brewing Co. There is always a dark beer available. Both beverages were thoroughly enjoyed - and in first-class condition.

Our second offering came from Steve’s selection of foreign bottled beers. He has a superb range. Chris remained on the dark side, with the ‘high-octane’ Barista, Belgian Chocolate Quad Stout, at 11%.

My selection was a delicious, boozy, Belgian Gueuze (a type of lambic). Tart apple aroma and flavour with lemon and earthy notes lurking too. It was a soft to moderate gueuze; spritzy, tart and with a long dry finish. It had top be my beer of the day - sublime.

Barlick Tap was a most enjoyable social and drinking experience. Steve was a most amiable and knowledgeable host. He certainly knew his stouts, saisons and sours; a man very passionate about beer. It’s an ideal destination for the discerning beer drinker.

A visit to the Tapster’s Promise, Colne, on our way home, was a fitting finale to a most delightful afternoon, in support of our valued and hard working licensees.