A SOUTH Tyneside brewery is pulling a pint or two ahead of its rivals after a £500,000 plant launch.
Jarrow Brewery aims to expand its real ale empire throughout the UK after starting production this week at a new brewing base at Bede Industrial Estate, Jarrow.
Thanks to a deal with Carlsberg UK, beers brewed at the new borough plant will soon be available in pubs up and down the country.
The launch will also create 14 new jobs as part of a Government-backed regional enterprise scheme.
Launching the new brew house, Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn hailed the business expansion as “an historic event.”
Mr Hepburn said: “It’s fantastic that Jarrow Brewery ales will soon be available throughout the country and I will be pushing for its beers to be on tap in Parliament.
“Plus, this is an employment boost for the town, when we really need jobs.
“This new development by Jarrow Brewery is helping put the town on the map.”
Brewery owners Jess and Alison McConnell secured £140,000 through the Regional Growth Fund to expand their operations and create local jobs.
After being thwarted in their original plans to establish a new brew house at the former St Andrew’s Church at Hebburn riverside, because of planning issues and local opposition, the brewery discovered an empty unit at Bede Industrial Estate, which proved ideal for brewing beer.
Mr McConnell said: “The whole development has cost around £500,000 and will create 14 jobs in the first three years, with more to follow.
“This means we can increase our brewing capacity to 72,000 pints a week, split between most of the production at Jarrow and the rest at The Maltings, in Claypath Lane, South Shields.
“We will be producing our most popular ales at Jarrow, including Rivet Catcher, Jarrow Bitter and Westoe IPA.
“Carlsberg UK has a network of free houses throughout the country and our beers will soon be available at some of their chain.
“Jarrow Brewery ales will be available from Scotland to South Yorkshire, and this expansion means we can again start producing bottled ales.”