AN East Lancashire independent brewery is celebrating International Beer Day today by re-opening one of its bars.

Josh Vines, director at Northern Whisper Brewery in Rossendale, hopes that the trade is seeing some light at the end of the tunnel and bosses are excited about their Colne tap room starting to trade again.

The 27-year-old said: “We opened our Farm Tap in Helmshore on July 4 because it had outside space for people to go.

“But this is the first one in the town centre location to open. It is a big jump in the right direction and we can get more experience of the new situation for our other sites in Rawtenstall and Rossendale.

“It has been all systems go with production and we've ramped up by adding more lines.

“We have had to have a COVID risk assessment and people will be on reduced capacity and social distancing to follow all the guidance for the Government.”

Warren Bennett, MD of Bowland Brewery in Clitheroe, believes Lancashire has lots of reasons to celebrate International Beer Day.

He said: “There are some really great breweries in the area and we are a community (all of the brewers) and have great relationships with each other.

“Holmes Mill is great too for showing off our own beers while there are great food outlets in the area.

“The hospitality businesses have been affected during lockdown but hopefully the Eat Out To Help Out scheme seems to be getting people out and enjoying food and a pint.”

Mr Bennett added that the firm doubled turnover with bottle and can sales during lockdown.

He said: “It was a great opportunity to get our brand out there. By supplying across the region at Spar and Booths helped us get a lot of interest.”

Mark Briggs, the LT’s beer expert, said: “International Beer Day is a celebration of beer and we are talking about licensees, breweries and customers coming together appreciating it.

“I will be popping down my local trying a Belgian cask ale as well as a local one too.”