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HAWKSHEAD Brewery has reported a 17.5 per cent increase in production in 2012, comprehensively bucking the economic trend.

Production at its base in Staveley rose to 5,250 barrels – which equals 190,000 gallons or 1.5 million pints – made possible by the brewery’s second major investment in plant and equipment in its ten-year life.

“It is tough in the beer market at present, with the economic squeeze, the government forcing the price up by duty increases, the large number of new breweries and the lack of finance, so we’ve done very well to increase our share,” said Hawkshead’s Alex Brodie.