I think it’s fair to say that the pub industry is presently experiencing turbulent waters. Latest figures suggest that 18 pubs a week in the UK are calling last orders. So, how refreshing to report that Rawtenstall brewer, Northern Whisper, has recently opened a new drinking and social destination in Colne.

The Rossendale Valley brewing company has seen rapid progress since it was founded in 2017. The new bar, in the former Nat West bank on Church Street, is their third watering hole adding to the one in Rawtenstall town centre and the bar at their brewery in Cloughfold.

It’s quite an imposing structure, boasting a prominent position in this busy East Lancashire market town.

On entering, you are met with a vibrant and welcoming open plan and contemporary area. It combines many desirable features, such as a most attractive L-shaped bar in rustic brick with marble-effect serving counter; soft, modern lighting; smooth concrete flooring; and both tiled and reclaimed timber wall cladding.

The seating caters for all comforts with soft benched fitted furnishing and wooden oak topped benches and chairs. Tables were plentiful with both low and raised dark metal structured tables with light oak tops.

There was also a most attractive and quirky feature, where the former bank’s strong room has been converted to an area of quiet repose. The tiled walls and flooring; along with the two leather chesterfield settees and light oak tables; presented an impressive environment.

The bar has an extensive choice of alcoholic beverages to cater for the discerning drinker. Six cask ales, seven keg beers and a range of real ciders and gins.

All the 13 beers are brewed by Northern Whisper’s head brewer, Carmelo Pillitteri.

He said: “We have been really busy since the opening, a month ago. We were packed out over the whole of last week’s Colne Blues Festival - it was manic. Our discounted Wednesday beers are proving immensely popular too. All cask ales priced at £1.50 throughout opening hours. They have been queuing outside the door before opening.”

On my visit I sampled three of the beers. The Oppenchops golden ale, Yammerhouse American style pale ale and Helles Lager (keg) were delicious and thirst quenching. The condition was exceptional.

Carmelo said: “The Yammerhouse is our best selling cask. Helles Lager is the most popular keg beer, but we are really pleased with the popularity of all the beers on offer since we opened.”

The bar also offers a range of burgers and hot dogs. All served with fries. I couldn’t resist sampling one. The ‘Fiery Cow’ was arguably one of the best burgers I have tasted. It took me quite a while to eat it. Delicious!

The Northern Whisper Tap Room is a first-class social drinking and eating experience; an immaculately presented establishment. Colne has added a most impressive beery destination to its vibrant social scene.