An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty? True, that’s what it normally means and there are many places like that in our vicinity but it wasn’t rivers, streams, fields and hills that Clitheroe and Ribblesdale Rotarians were interested in recently.
They met for a tour around James Warburton’s latest brainchild, the re-creation of Holmes Mill where AONB stands instead for Ales of Outstanding Natural Beauty!
James’ big idea was to bring this former textile mill (which coincidentally made the satin train for HM Queen Elizabeth II’s bridal gown) back to life as a food, drink and leisure hub. The brewery and beer hall is at the heart of the scheme and is not just a showcase for Bowland beers, it’s a showcase for beers of all kinds from all parts of the country, continent and the rest of the world too.
The tour was in three parts. The first was around the new retail outlets including a café, deli, ice cream parlour and soon to be opened bakery, together with the huge function room upstairs. The second was around the cellar which was a maze of plastic tubes and constant movement, plus the largest bar in Britain, while the third was around the Bowland Brewery itself including an explanation of the hops and other ingredients which when combined in different quantities help to make all the different beers in the Bowland repertoire.
The marketing manager of James’ Places Heidi Kettle who was in charge of one of the groups is pictured.
At the end of the tour the three groups met up in the engine room and enjoyed a rather bibulous, but hearty lunch.