Beer lovers who haven’t yet sampled the delights of Bowland Beer Hall – home of probably the longest bar in Britain – are in for a real treat, especially if they visit in the festive run-up to Christmas.
The beer hall in Clitheroe – the lively market town at the heart of Lancashire’s beautiful Ribble Valley – is part of Holmes Mill, a former cotton mill that’s being redeveloped into a superb urban leisure hub by James Places, the leading leisure and hospitality company with hotels and eateries in the most attractive rural spots in Lancashire and Yorkshire.
The beer hall is the fabulous new showcase and tasting parlour for Bowland Brewery, which has been making superb beers since 2004 and was the first business to move into Homes Mill.
With a minimum of 24 cask ales on tap, you’re sure to be spoilt for choice, whether you go for cask or keg, light or dark, session beer or strong, bottle or can. The hardest decision is where to start –
something new and different or a familiar, trusted brew?
Big choice demands a big bar, and Bowland Beer Hall’s bar is claimed to be the longest continuous bar in Britain at 108 feet 6 inches (just over 33 metres), topping the previous record title holder, the Horseshoe Bar in Glasgow.
Beer and food go together brilliantly, of course, and Bowland Beer Hall offers a super selection of informal food on the go including Christmas specials such as ‘Christmas on a bun’ – turkey, stuffing, chipolata and cranberry sauce on a bun.
There’s also a new Bowland Beer Club, free to join, where members get special offers, brewery tours, meetthe- brewer sessions and food-and-wine pairings. If beer isn’t your thing, there’s also a great choice of wines and spirits, and the run-up to Christmas adds seasonal specials such as mulled wine and mulled cider.
Holmes Mill was established in 1823 and underwent several changes of use and ownership until manufacturing ceased in the 1970s. James Places acquired the building in 2015 and embarked on a stunning £10 million programme to convert it, making the most of the Grade II listed buildings and retaining some of the old machinery as a fascinating reminder of the past.
In addition to the Beer Hall, there’s also a patisserie cafe, a gelateria serving home-made ices, and a function room that provides a wedding venue with a unique difference. Future plans include creative space, a bakery, food hall, gym, pool and spa, bar and grill, 30-bedroom hotel and apartments – a development worthy of Manchester and Leeds but placed in a friendly and historic Lancashire town.