Hartley's new Fellrunners beer had people scampering back to the bar for more in 1988.

The Ulverston brewery rolled out the barrels to the local pubs as regulars had their first taste of the new brew.

The new brew, the first Hartley's had produced for around 40 years, was launched at a special breakfast for civic dignitaries and local businessmen.

Head brewer Mike McKinna said that Fellrunners bitter was a mid-gravity beer and would be filling a much-needed gap between their XB and ordinary range.

At the Rose and Crown in Ulverston Preston businessman Norman Benson was impressed with his first pint.

"It's a bit lighter than the best bitter. Whenever I am in Ulverston I will continue to drink this it's good stuff.

Alex Parker, who said he normally drank mixed bitters, said that he enjoyed Fellrunners.

"This is very palatable and I think it will be really popular. It's not as strong as XB and I like it very much. "

Peter Callow, assistant manager of a local bank, gave the beer a try while having a bar snack.

"I normally drink ordinary bitter. However, I'm thoroughly enjoying this and I think it will catch on."

In 1989 ale drinkers in Furness raised their glasses to mark 40 years of Hartley's XB bitter.

The first barrels of the 'new' best bitter from the Ulverston brewery were despatched to Hartley pubs throughout the area in June 1949.

It was an instant hit and had been Hartley's biggest seller ever since.

To mark the occasion, traditional Shire horses resplendent in brewery livery pulled a dray round Ulverston's cobbled streets.

Hartley managing director Richard Dublebeis said: "We felt that bringing the Shires to parade around in our traditional livery was the right way to celebrate."

The man responsible for making XB bitter was former head brewer and managing director Eric Simpson.

Now living in retirement at Laurel Cottage, Hart Street, he said: "When I returned to the brewery after the war, I was appointed head brewer.

"During the late 1940 the then managing director, John Slater, asked me to produce a really splendid bitter."