ONE of south Cumbria's most successful craft brewers is due to open its £3m expansion tomorrow (Friday).

Hawkshead Brewery's new brewhouse in a 10,000 square-foot warehouse on Moor Lane, Flookburgh, will triple its annual production.

The beers will be sold across Europe, Asia and the Americas.

It means it now has initial capacity to produce 69,000 pints each week, with plans in place to further increase production in line with demand.

Nigel Campbell, commercial director of craft beer, said: “Hawkshead’s core range has always had a really strong regional following and to be able to further expand its reach throughout the remainder of the UK and overseas is exciting.

“Hawkshead is bringing strong competition to the craft beer category globally, backed by ethical marketing activity and a reputable global infrastructure.

"We have already appointed a US distributor with other territories quickly following suit and the beauty of our new brewery design is that tank capacity can grow as demand increases.”

Concentrating on its recently re-branded core range of craft beers, which also include Hawkshead Lager, Hawkshead Brodie’s Prime Porter, Hawkshead Lakeland Gold, Hawkshead Red and Session IPA, the Brewery is expanding its distribution in the UK too, with increased cask and keg on-trade listings with New World Trading Company, Mitchells & Butlers and JD Wetherspoon.

Innovation is still at the heart of Hawkshead as it grows, with the original Staveley brewery continuing to produce small batch artisan beers, including unique sours, wild fermented beers, double dry-hopped hazy IPAs and imperial stouts, which have increasing appeal with consumers and will be made more readily available via the Hawkshead website and specialist craft beer wholesalers.

Hawkshead’s head brewer Matt Clarke is overseeing both site operations to ensure its unique processes and ingredients - including whole cone hops, which give a fresher aroma than pellet hops - are prevalent.

Hawkshead cultivates its own yeast which makes its beers impossible to imitate.

In early 2017, Halewood Wines & Spirits, the UK’s largest independent alcohol distributor and manufacturer, took ownership of Hawkshead Brewery and has funded the building of the new Krones AG turnkey brewery.