IT has reached the stage in the current year, where I reflect on some of my most enjoyable pub visits; destinations that provide the discerning beer drinker, in my opinion, a first class social and drinking experience.

Firstly, I must point out, that the beery destinations highlighted below, do not include my regular haunts as I am sure you’d agree, that would have had an element of bias in the selection procedure.

Okay, let’s rewind to January. A visit to the Drummers Arms, situated in Blackburn town centre. A cosy, quirky, and immaculately presented, one roomed micro-bar. Offering relaxation - and a warm, friendly welcome from the host and joint-owner, Katy Quayle.

Five rotating casks on offer; local microbreweries supported; and beer in exceptional condition. All the ingredients for an enjoyable drinking experience. You also feel totally at ease with the friendly clientele and the hospitable host. It’s a gem of a pub.

Another memorable highlight was in March. A trip to The Hop, Rawtenstall. A superb fledgling drinking den, in the town centre, situated on Bank Street.

Wow, six cask ales, six keg conditioned lines - and a good selection of canned craft beers. Co-owner, Michelle Morris, had the beers in excellent condition. Another immaculately presented, contemporary destination, catering for a wide range of customer choice.

The Hop had a tranquil and very friendly environment making it an unmissable visit for all judicious beer drinking brethren.

A visit to a traditional village pub in June, was another memorable highlight. The Crooked Billet, Worsthorne, bears all the hallmarks of a quintessential English hostelry. A most attractive mosaic tiled entrance leads to a stunning wood, glass and art deco tiled horseshoe bar; snug room; spacious lounge; and open fires.

Seven cask ales were on offer at this welcoming pub. Five ales are permanent, including three from the Worsthorne Brewery. Beers are always in outstanding condition. Hosts, Paul and Alison, have a lovely pub - and it was a most enjoyable social drinking experience.

A trip o’er t’border was an unforgettable beery experience. The Albert, Hebden Bridge, is another cracking traditional boozer. This cosy pub retains much of its Victorian style. An impressive open fireplace; dark oak paneled bar; and scrubbed wooden floors, are among its attractive features.

Six cask ales available - and the two I had, were in tip top condition. I made a return visit later in the year - and once again it ticked all the boxes.

My final selection is the Dog Inn, Whalley. One of the finest watering holes in the locality, in my opinion. This traditional village inn never fails to deliver a first class pint and a warm welcome from behind the bar.

It has such a relaxing ambience - and a sprinkling of jovial, amiable characters are guaranteed - and add to the homely feel of this Ribble Valley establishment. Six rotating cask ales on offer. I sampled a sumptuous slurp from Wishbone (Keighley) and in superb condition.

So, there you have it. A quality quintet of premier pubs to behold. Five of many I could have highlighted.

The locality is without doubt blessed with a plethora of delightful drinking dens - and I will continue to feature many more top-notch destinations in thjs column.