TODAY heralds one of the main events in the Pendle area social calendar. Yes, the 15th Pendle Beer Festival is being held at The Muni Theatre in Colne over the next three days. Discerning beer drinkers will be salivating at the prospect of having over 120 beers and ciders to choose from.

The event is organised by a dedicated group of East Lancashire CAMRA branch volunteers, led by stalwart member, Martyn Pashley. The festival has gone from strength to strength since its instigation in 2005. Over 2,300 beery brethren thronged to the Albert Road venue 12 months ago.

There will be wide and varied choice of beers to tempt the palate from stouts to sours; pale ales to porters; bitters to blondes and Belgian style beers to black IPAs. Oh, how the diverse selection of beers has increased in recent years. A multitude of flavours to titillate the taste buds.

So, without further ado, allow me to recommend some of the beverages that I will be hunting down at this much anticipated three-day celebration. A range that, in my opinion, reflects how the beer landscape has changed very much for the better.

1648 Brewery, Laughing Frog (5.2%): A French-style premium bitter. Amber in appearance. Caramel malt and fruity aroma and flavour. Some floral notes lurking too. Lightly hopped. Pleasant tangy, semi-dry and subtle sweet finish.

Great Heck, Black Jesus (6.5%): As black as my grandma’s fireback in appearance. Dark roasted malt aroma lead to heavenly flavours of dark chocolate, coffee and bitter citrusy hops. Tangy, dry finish. Biblical strength. Oh Lord, this Black IPA will blow your socks off!

Heritage Brewery, Masterpiece IPA (5.6%): Appropriately named beer brewed to replicate the classic Worthington Shield IPA. Amber in colour with a subtle caramel and tropical fruit aroma. Floral, dark fruits and tangy orange notes blend beautifully. Delicious tangy, dry finish. Brewing masterpiece indeed.

Wishbone, Green Flute (5%): I love all the unfined beers from this Keighley brewer. Looking forward to sampling this. It will be laden with citrus and tropical fruit flavours, from the Citra, Simcoe and Mosaic hops used in the brewing process. Refreshing and flavoursome fruity pale ale guaranteed.

Brewsmith, Oatmeal Stout (5.2%): Dark brown colour and a creamy tan head. Roasted malt and subtle, dark berry fruit aroma. Expresso coffee, dark chocolate, blackcurrant and a hint of liquorice in the deliciously complex and well balanced flavours. Roasted grains and coffee in the long, dry finish.

The organisers have also set up a KeyKeg bar, basically, real ale in a plastic bag within a hard plastic container which was introduced for the first time last year and proved very popular.

Two beers to recommend: firstly, Rivington Brut IPA (6.8%) will deliver a ballsy beer, bursting with citrus flavours. This modern and innovative new ‘style’ of IPA has a very dry, champagne-like finish. Hides its strength with aplomb!

Secondly, Daydream from Wander Beyond (6.8%): Boozy, hazy pale ale. Mountains of Simcoe, Chinook and Mosaic hops used to produce big, juicy orange and grapefruit flavours. More tangy, bitter fruits in the lipsmacking, dry hoppy finish.

Also, on the opening night from 7-8pm, there will be a tutored tasting and talk by myself and E.Lancs CAMRA ‘Witch Ale’ editor, John Ingham. We will be discussing our favourite and sometimes differing beer styles, accompanied by samples of ales available at the festival.

I look forward to seeing you at the festival.

Doors open today, Friday and Saturday from 11.30am to 11.00pm. Free admission on all days to card carrying CAMRA members.