THIS week I wish to highlight a type of drinking establishment that is becoming more and more popular in our town centres.

Yes, you’ve guessed it – another micro-pub has made an appearance in the locality. This one is situated in Clitheroe town centre.

The Ale House opened its doors a couple of weeks ago, in a building formerly occupied by Atherton’s Estate Agents. It’s directly across from the White Lion Hotel and only a short stroll from the town’s bus and railway station.


First impressions as we walked in were of an unconventional, quirky and rather cool watering hole, with its reclaimed timber-clad walls and bar, dark oak furnishings and warm pastel shaded decor. It was certainly the first time I had seen a bar constructed out of reclaimed timber – cool.

The pub/bar is a little larger than the other micros I have frequented. It’s split into two rooms on the ground-floor level and has an upstairs room for patrons who wish to have a quieter environment to relax in.

Here, board games are available with Scrabble and Monopoly fans being well catered for. Crikey, there was even an old Beano annual.

Back down in the bar room, I was met by the man behind this new venture, Simon Forster. He gave me and my beery companion, Arthur Brydges, a warm welcome, offering us a choice of six cask ales – most of which were locally sourced, including a couple from Big Clock (Accrington) and Moorhouse’s beverage.

Simon said: “I intend to have two permanent brewers’ beers rotating. Three Bs will be one. I haven’t yet decided on the second. The other four will be ever changing. We also have two permanent real ciders from local cider maker Dove Syke of West Bradford – and a good range of chilled bottled beers.”

Ales are priced at £2.80-£3, depending on strength. Ciders are £3.20 a pint. We plumped for the robust, malty and full-flavoured ‘100’ from Big Clock brewery. I think Arthur was persuaded by the 5.3 ABV. Mind you, I concurred with his choice; It was in exceptional condition. Their other tipple, PALS, was in good nick too.

Simon has lots of entertainment planned for his new drinking den. An acoustic night will commence soon. Also, a weekly Ukulele club starts next Tuesday night, 8.30-9.30. Well, I’ll go to the foot of our stairs, mother!

Jazz will also be a regular feature at weekends.

Food-wise, Simon will have pie and mash available in about three weeks. I’m sure this heavenly match will prove very popular.

It’s easy to see why these independent establishments, are growing in popularity. They are relaxed, friendly and welcoming, offering a great range of ales, bottled beers and real ciders, both local and national. There’s no Sky TV, no gaming machines, no jukebox – and no fizzy, bland, mass-produced lager. It’s where both beer and conversation flow.

Long live the micro-pub.