Expansion looms large at brewery

A SHINY cylindrical object seen in the sky over York yesterday was not a UFO but equipment which will help York Brewery produce more award-winning pints of beer.

The 20-barrel fermenter was so big it had to be lifted into the Toft Green brewery using a crane.

Five conditioning tanks also went in, as well as a fermenter which had to be lowered down in separate sections and put together inside the building.

Part of an exterior wall was taken down to get the custom-made tanks in place. The new fermenters will enable York Brewery to increase its output by 50 per cent to 150 barrels a week.

This is the biggest expansion of the business since it opened in May 1996, when it became the first brewery within York city walls for 40 years.

Recent competition successes have increased demand for York Brewery beer. Last month Centurion's Ghost Ale was crowned the Best Strong Bitter for the second year running at the Great British Beer Festival in London.

The paler Guzzler is also a double gold medallist, taking the honour twice in a row at the Society of Independent Brewers' northern awards.

York Brewery managing director Tony Thomson said: "Our beers have triumphed in festivals up and down the country and that has fuelled interest in them," .

"This expansion means we can keep up the demand for our most popular beers and still try out new recipes."