THERE’S a question I keep asking myself of late. Is our perception of preferable watering holes changing?

Are we getting a tad tiresome of loud music, Sky TV and gaming machines, interrupting the ambiance and conversation, down the local boozer?

Well, there may be an alternative as a new micro pub has opened in Colne.

A one-room establishment where the emphasis, most certainly, is on fine beer and conversation - and devoid of any electronic entertainment, Boyce’s Barrel is yet another addition to the growing popularity of the micro pub concept - the second to open in Pendle this month.

It is ideally situated close to the town centre, across from Pendle Hippodrome.

A quirky, old-fashioned theme greets you, as you walk in. In fact, you get the feeling you are in a dated, railway station waiting room, with its scrubbed wooden floors, ornate lighting and the decor in the colours of the old Midland Railway, burgundy and cream.

The high tables, along with the small bar in the pub, are quite unusual, made from old, restored railway sleepers.

One of the co-owners who greeted me, Andrew Turner, said: “The slim tables give our customers more space.”

That got a swift response from another of the owners in this venture, Carl Pawson, who added: “The clutch of tables close to each other encourages conversation.

“The height of the sleepers means both seated and standing customers are basically face to face with each other.”

Boyce’s Barrel offers five rotating ale’s to its discerning patrons. There was a fine range to tempt the taste buds on my visit.

Andy said: “We will always try to have a pale at one end, finishing with a dark beer at the other.”

I tried the ‘dark side’ for the first slurp - Loch Ness Brewery’s ‘Loch Ness’. A malty and dark chocolate flavoured delight, with a subtle, bitter hopped finish.

I migrated to the lighter end of the hand pulls for the second quaff. The Dark Star, ‘Hophead’, which was citrusy, floral and refreshing.

With a long, dry and moderate, bitter hopped finish. A belter, and all ales are £2.50 to £3 a pint, depending on strength.

Customer care is certainly paramount in this welcoming drinking den.

Waiter service is available, with various types of bells placed on the tables.

It is reminiscent of being in a German or Belgian bar, with both Andy and Carl looking resplendent, wearing their serving aprons.

The micro pub concept appears to be gaining in popularity.

As beer connoisseurs shun electronic entertainment, in preference for a more relaxed and tranquil environment.

An environment that offers pleasant, simple surroundings. Where beer quality and choice is paramount, as well as encouraging friendly conversation and banter.

My trip to Boyce’s Barrel embraces all those positives highlighted in the previous paragraph.

A most enlightening and enjoyable experience - I loved the place - and I think all you judicious, beery aficionados, will do to.