And on my return I had the opportunity to visit Lancashire's leading independent brewer, Moorhouses's of Burnley. During their busiest time of the year, namely, the Halloween season.
Moorhouse's is recognised as the preferred Halloween brewer for pubs and clubs across the nation. Their range of Halloween themed potions are immensely popular. And there was lots of it bubbling away in their 'cauldrons' when I met head brewer, Dan Casaru.
Dan has been at Moorhouse's for almost twelve years. And the respected and affable brewer has witnessed the surge in demand, over this fang-tastic and most spook-tacular period.
He said: "It gets busier year on year. Last week we brewed 800 brewery barrels of beer. That's over 230,000 pints in five days. Our normal run in the week is 500 barrels(144,000 pints).
Dan added: "As well as the demand for our cask ales. We have seen increasing popularity for our bottled beers. It's huge. We have just won national contracts with supermarkets, Aldi and Morrisons. The latter will stock Blond Witch. Aldi will stock White Witch.
"The White Witch brand won the gold medal at last month's national bottled beer awards. Its popularity goes from strength to strength, both in cask and bottle."
So, what ghoulishly delightful potions were bubbling away on my visit? Well, brewers, Graham and Jordan were only too happy to give me a personal tour.
The ever popular Pendle Witches Brew was in the mash tun. One hundred brewery barrels, almost 30,000 pints are produced on a brew run. It's a delicious, full flavoured and robust ale. Malty sweet and fruity. Perfectly balanced and decidedly moreish.
During the brewing process I was given the opportunity to make a contribution to one of my favourite Moorhouse's beers. Graham and Jordan allowing me to add some of the crystal malt into the grist hopper. Moorhouse's grind all their grain at the brewery.
One of the most popular Halloween brews, Ruby Witch, was bubbling in one of the fermentation tanks. It was at the second of three days fermentation. It's a devilish and spellbinding potion. Tangy orange and spicy notes are dominant. It's frightfully tasty.
It was a most enlightening and enjoyable day at Moorhouse's. The staff were most friendly, helpful and welcoming - and very passionate about the brewing of their popular ales.
So, just to say, it will be undoubtably less cackling and more quaffing for me over the Halloween period. As I intend to carry out a witch hunt for these boo-tiful beers.
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