Kendal-based Bowness Bay Brewing is raising a glass to expansion after securing European funding to support investment into new equipment.

The brewery, which was launched in 2012 by former traffic policeman Richard Husbands (pictured), produces 12 beers at its Castle Mills brewery, in Kendal.

Among its core beer range are the popular Swan Blonde, Lakeland Blonde and Steamer IPA, which won two gold awards from the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA).

Funding from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development of £60,000 will enable the brewery to buy six state-of-the-art 5,000-litre fermenters, which will increase capacity four-fold.

In addition, the funding will see Bowness Bay Brewing acquire a new, fully automatic keg machine, which will help increase output to more than 1,000 kegs per month, as well as new sterile filter equipment.

‘Enviable reputation for brewing great quality beer’

Husbands said: “When we set out, we wanted to ensure that anything we produced was of high quality and had a consistent taste — it’s not ground breaking,, but it’s common sense. It’s a mantra that has paid dividends because we’ve developed an enviable reputation for brewing great quality beer.

“What this has resulted in is a significant increase in demand for our core range, and to ensure this level of quality is maintained we needed new equipment.

“Our new fermenters will enhance production, but the high specification keg machine will create so many new opportunities for us as a business. It’ll increase productivity and enhance quality control as it will filter and carbonate beer.

“It also means we can now keg anything from steel to plastic and, therefore, our beers will be available in more formats to meet consumer demands. Historically we’ve outsourced kegging, which added time and costs, so these will now be reduced to a minimum.

“It also means we don’t need undertake frequent and lengthy journeys to deliver and then collect kegged beer from the contract kegging company, which again will help reduce costs, but has important environmental benefitsm too.”

He added: “We’re extremely grateful for the funding as it will also enable us to look at the brewery’s estate and how we can best use that. We’re now putting finishing touches to our new Tap House, but safe to say we have some very exciting plans for the brewery, not just as a place which produces great beer, but as a tourist destination and festival venue.”

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