THERE has never been so much choice for drinkers in today’s beer market. More and more of us are plumping for a wider range of beer styles, dispense and packaging. The discerning beer drinker is demanding alternative selections to the more common styles.

With this change in our drinking habits, brewers are now having to experiment more - and offer us more tasty tipples to satisfy and our taste buds.

One such brewer is Moorhouse’s. A brewery with a fine reputation for brewing traditional beers for over 150 years. They commenced experimenting with a small batch brewery in late November 2017 - and I was intrigued to find out what they were concocting in their mini ‘cauldron’.

Well, there was only one way to find out. A visit to the Burnley brewery on Accrington Road to meet managing director, Lee Williams and head brewer, Dan Casaru.

It seemed a little surreal stood in front of a tiny 100 litre brewing kit, within the walls of a ‘regional brewer’.

Lee said: “ he kit has two fermenters. We brew once or twice a week, enabling us to brew up to 400 litres during that period.”

The beer that was currently being brewed, was a ‘high octane’ Russian Imperial Stout at 7.9%. Assistant brewer, Jordan Hamer, trusted me with adding the Willamette hops into the boil.

Lee said: “We will be doing this Imperial Stout for the World Cup in Russia - it seemed appropriate. The Vanilla Stout we brewed recently, had good feedback from both the Pendle and Manchester beer festivals.”

A small batch brewing kit is ideal for experimenting as head brewer, Dan Casaru explained.

He said: “It gives us the option to play around with our different styles. At times it feels like more work than operating the main one, but it gives us the opportunity to brew more bold and creative beers.”

Dan acknowledged there has been a rapid increase in more hop forward beers and. He said: “We will be doing a lot of late hopping, in order to seek out the bigger flavours.”

Lee added: “You want to take some risks in pursuit of giving us more choice for our customers. It’s a lot easier when you are brewing 100 litres, as opposed to 40 brewery barrels (approx 12,000 pints). As good as our existing range is, we need to brew more styles - and not just in cask, but also in keg.

“Watch this space regarding the keg beer - and also the 330ml cans. Unfiltered and unpasteurised to retain all the hop flavours.”

Wow, that last comment was quite a scoop!

It was so heartening to hear that Moorhouse’s are adjusting to what I describe as the craft beer revolution. I felt in recent times that they had been left in the starting blocks as the modern craft beer era gathered pace. Both Lee and Dan spoke passionately about their aims and future plans for this popular local brewer. I wish them continued success.