A FESTIVE beer combining two popular tipples in East Lancashire has been brewed in time for Christmas.

Bowland Brewery have launched their ‘Mullered Monk’ a winter ale infused with a splash of Benedictine.

We went down to the Clitheroe brewery to try the first batch.

The deep amber ale has more 15 herbs and spices, dried fruit combined with the French herbal liqueur.

Inspired by spicy mulled wines and ciders, the 4.7 per cent beer has a full-bodied flavour and will be available over the festive period.

The new ale has been brewed alongside the brewery’s other ales at its Holmes Mill site in Clitheroe.

Andrew Warburton, director of the Holmes Mill complex, said he was delighted to be serving the beer to his customers.

He said: “I am very happy with how the beer has come out, it is fantastic.

“It’s a great marriage between a liqueur that has been paired with East Lancashire for so long and our fantastic beer.

“I can’t wait for customers to try it."

Benedictine became popular in the region after the 11th battalion of the East Lancashire Regiment were stationed near the distillery at Fecamp in Normandy during the First World War.

After the war, numerous bottles were smuggled home and became popular in the area ever since.

The right amount of Benedictine and other spices are added to the brew after the water and grains have been mixed so the liqueur can ferment in with the beer.

Warren Bennett, the managing director of Bowland Brewery, said: "The beer is superb and far better than I could have hoped for.

"It most certainly Christmas in a glass.

"It is a blend of Lancashire's best beer and Benedictine.

"It will go down well with a mince pie."

Philip Jouhad, marketing director for Benedictine, said: "We are thrilled to announce our official partnership with Bowland Brewery this winter.

"The people of Lancashire have always supported Benedictine and we in turn are excited to work with the brewer."