I read continually about various "brands", all look alike and taste alike lagers, setting out to differentiate themselves in an increasingly crowded market. Some are obvious such as Alhambra the Spanish fizz producer aiming at tapas bars and Spanish restaurants or Tsing Tao, aiming at Chinese ones. There are loads of them coming out of the woodwork as importers take advantage of the disarray in which the lager "on trade" currently finds itself. They all have perceived niches to aim at. But they are all, by and large, tasteless industrial fluids, carried expensively over miles of ocean. Want to feel my big carbon footprint Lagerboy?
It is therefore heartening, pleasing, and just bloody good news to see that one of my favourite breweries, Copper Dragon, the Skipton-based cask ale producer, is to double its brewing capacity by moving to a larger site in the town. Copper Dragon produce superb beers such as Golden Pippin and Black Gold. They are modern, clean, hoppy and flavoursome beers. If you haven't had their beers you are truly missing out. The new 120 barrel plant will be built by an unnamed German Brewery, will cost £2.5 million and will double capacity. It will stay in Skipton to draw on the same water it currently uses. At the same time the brewery is looking to increase its current estate from 10 to 30 pubs.
Copper Dragon has had a 500% growth rate in four years. Who says there is no future in cask?
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