ON Thursday, I headed to Newton-le-Willows to try out a brewery takeover.

The Firkin bar on the Newton high street was hosting the takeover of Verdant Brewery from Thursday July 28. 

As a non-beer drinker, a hardcore beer fest did not sound appealing, however, from what I heard about previous takeovers hosted by the bar, and the recent discovery that beer shares the same versatility in flavour as wine, I felt the need to see what all the fuss was about.

Although I had already spotted the bar on the high street, this was my first time visiting The Firkin.

Having previously spoken to the owner, I felt comfortable and welcomed upon arrival, and was quite a fan of the cosy interior of the bar. 

The most charming attribute of the bar was its regulars; it was lovely to hear locals come in ready for their usual, and having the staff know many of the faces that came in made it even more wholesome.

Despite attending alone, it was refreshing how effortless it was to conversate with those around me, and it was a testament to the friendly atmosphere of the bar.

I sat with a gentleman called Mike, a regular at the bar, who had a wholesome input about The Firkin and its brewery takeovers.

He said: "This is the best thing that’s ever happened to the high street. There’s no television, no music, just people coming here to talk to each other; that's how friendships start."

What Mike said was spot on and was evident in our time at the takeover.

The bar is known for its wide selection of independent and local beers, as well as its regular brewery takeovers, with their latest one being of Verdant Brewery based in Penryn. 

There was a drinks board as you walked in, with each beer available on cask or keg to choose from.

St Helens Star: The drinks board was displayed at the front of the bar The drinks board was displayed at the front of the bar

I can safely say the names of each beer did not give anything away, as I had no clue what I was having.

I decided to let the owner decide my fate, who later presented three tasters for me to try.

The first one was A Different Dose, which had a fruity flavour to it, followed by Hophurst Milkshake IPA, an Indian pale ale. 

The final one was Beewitched, a tropical-flavoured modern pale ale.

St Helens Star: A Different Dose, Hophurst Milkshake IPA, BeewitchedA Different Dose, Hophurst Milkshake IPA, Beewitched

All three shared a similar immediate taste, however, the consistency and texture of each varied as their distinctive aftertaste appeared.

Beewitched was the strongest contender, however, despite trying my absolute best to love them, the prominent taste of beer reminded me that I wasn't a fan of the beverage. 

I can appreciate that these were a great selection of ales for me to try, and although I'm still not the biggest fan of beer, I'm now more open to experimenting to find the suitable one for me.

Following the event, I understood how beers really do taste differently, and the flavour of each one can vary.

I left feeling satisfied with my experience at The Firkin, and although I remain a non-beer lover, I'll certainly keep an open mind with trying beers.