Our wayward ramble through the UK continues, and this month we hit the north west.
Because Lancashire Brewer Moorhouses has spent over £4m on a staggering expansion with a brand new brewery that increases their capacity by a ridiculous amount. A confident investment for the future? That's an understatement. Moorhouses MD takes a clearly jealous Peter Amor around the brewery, showing him where the money went. As the most ambitious micros grow to the level of small regional breweries, some shrewd business people clearly believe the revival of interest in good beer is here to stay.
Then we go to Burnley town centre. I have a strange relationship with Burnley because it's in the north, has a crap football team and sounds a bit like Barnsley, so people often think I come from there, because I come from Barnsley, which is in the north, has a crap football team and sounds a bit like Burnley.
Anyway, I wish Barnsley had a pub as good as the Bridge Bierhuis (which is in Burnley). If it did, I might not have left town as soon as I was able.
In various publications as well as this blog, I've written quite a bit over the last 12 months about 'craft beer pubs' - often moribund or failed pub sites that have reopened or repurposed themselves with a single-minded emphasis on interesting beer - real ale and otherwise. One criticism that's been fired back is that these fancy establishments might work well in That London, or maybe Leeds, but you can't expect people in northern provincial towns to enjoy microbrewed cask ales, imported Belgian beers and German lagers. The Bierhuis proves them wrong, by doing something quite rare - it combines being a beer shrine with being an excellent and important community Local.
I say all this in the video, actually - but I say more besides, so please give it a view and let us know what you think.
Next month: Scotland.