A SOUTH Lakeland brewery is to celebrate brewing more than a million litres of beer last year by releasing 12 cask ales across 2017.

As part of its 'Cask Session Series', the Hawkshead Brewery, Staveley, plans to launch a new cask beer every month.

January's offering is 'Session IPA' - a 4.7 per cent strength beverage. It builds on a beer of the same name that was brewed in collaboration with a dozen craft brewers at Hawkshead’s beer festival, Northern Craft, held last July.

The beer gets its taste from citra, mosaic, simcoe, Nelson sauvin and centennial hops.

Hawkshead is currently looking into various ideas for its monthly beers, such as creating flavours with different hops and collaborating with other breweries.

In the last calendar year, Hawkshead brewed 10,169 hectolitres (1,016,900 litres) of beer, an increase of eight per cent over 2015.

This was made possible by a £175,000 investment in extra fermentation capacity last spring.

Sixty-five per cent of Hawkshead’s production in 2016 was cask-conditioned beer. This will also be a central part of the brewery's activities this year.

Made from four ingredients: water, malted barley, hops and yeast, cask beer is a fresh, unpasteurised product, which is fermented twice: once at the brewery and once in the cellar of the pub.

Unlike lagers, cask beer does not have as much fizz because it holds no added gas.

Alex Brodie, the owner of Hawkshead Brewery, said: “Cask led the British brewing revolution. It is unique to Britain. Cask is this country’s craft. We believe in cask and we are investing in it."

Hawkshead Brewery will be featured in several festivals throughout the year both home and away, including the CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) beer and cider fest in Manchester, Craft Beer Rising and Beavertown's Extravaganza in London, where over 60 of the best breweries are invited from around the world.

The brewery will also put on its Northern Craft Beer Fest to celebrate innovative craft brewing in the north of Britain. It will be held this year between March 24 - 26 and July 20-22 at The Beer Hall.