THERE is a rather special celebration of beer commencing at 6.30pm today in Clitheroe – a three-day social gathering at the St Michael and St John’s Assembly Room.

Over 70 cask ales on offer, for all discerning beery brethren in the locality and beyond. A superb event is anticipated. Organised and run by volunteers from the East Lancs branch of CAMRA.

The event has a personal interest; the festival committee having asked me to create a beer for them. It was both an honour and a challenge to comply with their request.

Well, I’m always up for a challenge. And decided to create a more modern style of beer. Many beer styles have been revived of late. There has never been such a confluence of old and new styles stood side by side in our pubs and bars - and at beer festivals too.

The style I have chosen for the festival is a double dry-hopped IPA. Dry hopping is adding the hops to the brewing process after the boiling stage, when it is in primary or secondary fermentation. This allows the hops to release their aromas and flavours without leaving behind the bitterness you get from boiling them. Double hopping in this instance, means a shedload of hops!

I wanted to create a juicy, fruity and aromatic beer, with bags of soft tropical fruit character, smooth body and subtle bitterness. A lip smacking, thirst quenching ale.

Next, it was to identify a local brewer to collaborate with me. I initially contacted Carmelo Pillitteri, head brewer at Northern Whisper in Rawtenstall. A modern and innovative brewer I had previously done two very successful collaboration beers with. Thankfully, he gave the thumbs up to my ingredients of three malts and four hops; strength at 6.5%; beer style; and name, Hoptimal Dosage. There was also the added bonus of Moorhouse’s being involved too. Carmelo suggested a collaboration with brewer, Jordan Hamer, at the Burnley brewery. So, all three of us got involved, brewing my beer on their 100 litre pilot brew kit. It was a done deal!

Brew day had gone very well. So, I was very confident when I went for the official tasting, that the brewing skills of Messrs. Hamer and Pillitteri, had produced the ballsy, juicy, tropical fruit bomb.

It was just what I had wanted: golden, hazy presentation with pineapple, mango and lemon notes in the aroma. More juicy pineapple, mango, grapefruit and subtle lemon sharpness. Tropical fruit and lemon lingers in the long, dry and impressive finish. Inherent booziness at 6.5%. Hopefully, it will prove popular.

There will be many excellent craft beers to sample at this eagerly awaited festival. A few to watch out for are ales from Anarchy, Wishbone, Nightjar, Cheshire Brewhouse and Big Clock. Also, for fans of the dark side, three to hunt down, namely, Reedley Hallows, Rubis Chocolate Tempranillo Stout; Siren Craft, Broken Dream Breakfast Stout; and a collaboration Imperial Stout, brewed by Neptune Brewery and local beer writer Katie Taylor.

Doors are open today from 6.30pm-9.30pm, for CAMRA members, brewers and sponsors. Friday 11am-11pm(£3 entry, £4 after 6pm). Saturday 11am-10.30pm(£3 entry, £4 after 6pm). CAMRA members free entry all sessions.