East Lancs Branch

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

Witch Ale News

The printed edition of WITCH ALE, the popular branch newsletter, folded at the end of 2017 with Issue 89 being the final magazine.
Through this page we aim to bring you a roundup of all things happening within the pubs, clubs and breweries of East Lancashire,
as we understand that everyone is not on the various Social Media platforms where news is shared more easily nowadays.

Please email ku.gro.armac.scnaltsae@bew any news or information to be added here, or share on social media. Cheers!


Blackburn with Darwen

A lot going on at The Black Bull home of the Three B’s Brewery in Blackburn. They’ve introduced a loyalty card scheme in the pub – buy 10 pints get 1 free (which has taken some explaining to a few of the regulars how it works!) opened The Three B’s Beer Shop for takeaway Real Ale, Craft Ale, Lager & Ciders, and they’ve re-branded the labels on their bottled conditioned beers with more colour and a modern feel to them.

The White Bull on Livesey Branch Road closed in February, and are seeking a new manager.

Caskbar in Darwen has closed whilst undergoing refurbishment and should open late March/early April, albeit with a new name, after being taken on by Mayflower Brewery based in Wigan in November. Hopstar’s Dark Knight Mild was runner up in the Strong, Mild & Stout Category at the Lancaster Round Table Beer Festival.


The Ministry of Ale, Burnley’s 1st and only brewpub encompassing Moonstone brewery, closed her doors for the last time after almost 20 years on January 3rd, to coincide with Michael Jacques 71st birthday and retirement party, after being unsuccessful in finding a buyer.

The Park View near Turf Moor reopened in March after being closed for 2 years, after a £110k investment by Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars and North West pub operators Blind Tiger Inns. The new manager Tony Shirley has been running pubs for 22 years around the North West, most recently at The Cross Keys in Barnoldswick.

The Tim Bobbin in Padiham, owned by Samuel Smith's Brewery, closed in early February whilst the brewery seeks a new tenant after the previous manager moved on.

The Flying Dutchman has reopened after the pub had suffered extensive damage and flooding during Storm Ciara.

Moorhouse's M/63 Mississippi Mud Pie Pastry Stout was the Specialist Category Runner up at the Lancaster Round Table Beer Festival.


Grants in Accrington came out on top to the win the East Lancs Cider Pub of the Year 2020 award.


Rolls Royce Leisure in Barnoldswick won the East Lancs Club of the Year 2020 award.

The Station Hotel in Nelson have removed the hand-pumps.

Ribble Valley

The Swan with Two Necks in Pendleton held a “Grumpy” evening in non-celebration to mark not winning the CAMRA National Pub of the Year. (Getting to the top 4 is still a fantastic achievement). They can consolidate in the fact they can try again next year perhaps, after they were awarded the East Lancs Pub of the Year 2020.


How many charities have a registered office which is a pub? The Casked in Rawtenstall is one for the Civic Pride Rossendale.

In February, Rossendale Borough Council rejected the appeal by the Cabin Nano Bar against the decision by the Clog Market to not renew their lease. This despite over 1300 people signing a petition. The council did say they would however, consider a new licence application under strict conditions for a possible stall at either Bacup or Haslingden. The Cabin are taking legal advice and are considering options available.

The Griffin in Haslingden is under new management, with Michelle Rawstron who has been working at the pub taking it over. The future of Rossendale Brewery based in the cellar of the pub is unknown at this time.

The Red Lion in Whitworth is under new management and had a refurbishment. Now serving Pictish (Rochdale) beer permanently with a Vocation every other cask on a separate pump.

Click for Witch Ale News 2019

Click for Witch Ale News 2018