A SOUTH Lakeland hostelry is toasting the the six month anniversary of 'putting the ale in Kirkby Lonsdale.'

Stuart Taylor and James Law opened the doors to The Royal Barn in December after a three-year wait for the venue to be transformed from a former auction mart to the on-site micro-brewery, bar and event space.

“It was great watching everyone’s reactions. Tourists said they didn’t expect to see a venue like it in a small town," said Stuart. "It was amazing to see everyone’s faces when they walked in, most had their mouths open and just said: ‘Wow’. I think they expected something a bit more traditional."

A feature of the venue is the on-site six barrel brewery.

“It’s good being able to brew here as it’s a real talking point and people will often come up to you and ask questions about it," said James.

The Royal Barn employs 12 staff, all from Kirkby Lonsdale and surrounding areas, and is looking to employ more in the future.

“We’d like to thank our customers and the locals for all their support. We hope The Royal Barn will help bring people to the town which will be good for Kirkby," said James. "We’d also like to say a big thanks to our local suppliers and the workmen and tradesmen who helped to bring the venue together.” .

Co-inciding with the anniversary, Royal Barn has launched a summertime lager, which has already proven popular with customers.

"We wanted to offer lager drinkers an option at the barn that was a bit of a hybrid between a lager and an ale, introducing our customers to new flavours and styles of beer," said Stuart.

“The Royal Lager is our own take on a European lager. At 4.9% ABV it is everything that a lager should be: crisp, refreshing and served extra cold – the perfect addition to those summer days at The Royal Barn.

"It was initially brewed in cask form in order to perfect the recipe, but due to its success over the bar and after rave reviews from our customers over the North West, we have taken the leap to keg our latest brew."