From small Acorns...

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Acorn Brewery is expanding as demand continues to rise for its award winning cask-conditioned ales.

The Barnsley brewer has invested £60,000 in increasing capacity by around 25 per cent to 140 barrels a week, installing new cooling equipment and 20-barrel conditioning tanks and buying 200 stainless steel casks.

Wombwell-based Acorn’s latest expansion follows investment last year in fermenting and cold store equipment to develop off-trade sales.

Last year also saw the brewery reopen Barnsley’s historic Old No 7 pub as the ‘brewery tap’ – a move that was rewarded by the pub being named the Campaign for Real Ale’s Barnsley Pub of the Year in April.

Proprietor and head brewer Dave Hughes said: “We are growing business for both cask and bottled ales despite the dire economic climate.

“Our investment in the Old No 7 in central Barnsley has acted as a shop window locally. We now sell much more in South Yorkshire as licensees, and their customers, increasingly appreciate the broad choice of our range - from our moderate strength Barnsley Bitter to our premium Gorlovka Imperial Stout and IPAs.

“These local sales are crucial, reducing our food miles and costs. In general the demand for cask ale is growing as younger beer enthusiasts and females increasingly reject global brands and look for true provenance. We are determined to grow with that demand.”

Acorn beers have won more than 50 awards since Dave, a former chef, and his wife Judi launched the brewery in 2003, using the same strain of yeast that was used by the original Barnsley Brewery in the 1850s.

Earlier this year the brewery’s Gorlovka Imperial Stout took a top accolade at CAMRA’s National Winter Ales Festival.

Acorn’s bottled range now sells through Tesco, Waitrose, Asda, and the Rhythm & Booze chain of off licences, while Sainsbury’s recently agreed to roll out Acorn Blonde to its Yorkshire stores.