BURNLEY brewery Moorhouse’s has hailed a record-breaking Christmas with sales hitting almost 600,000 festive pints.

The Accrington Road firm’s sales were up nine per cent on figures from December 2011, thanks in part to a host of national pub chains snapping up its Pendle witch-themed ales.

The December sales success followed similar growth during November and for the Hallowe’en season in October.

The 148-year-old company opened a state-of-the-art £4.2million brewing complex in 2011, which allowed it to treble its former production capacity to 15million pints per year.

David Grant, Moorhouse’s managing director, was delighted with the 2012 results.

He said: “Sales at the start of the December were slow, but pubs were helped by the milder weather as people decided to get out and celebrate despite the economic gloom. Once again our acclaimed brews surpassed all previous sales to enjoy very healthy growth and beat the outstanding Christmas of 2011.

“We have achieved this by our commitment to excellent quality and service, not by heavily discounting. We are very pleased with this performance for the second festive season of the new brewery.

“Now we look forward to the challenges of 2013 and further building on the success of our new brewery.”

Chains including Enterprise, Mitchells & Butler, JD Wetherspoon and Punch saw the famous ‘witch brews’ on bars throughout the UK as well as in hundreds of free trade pubs across the north of England.

Top-sellers were Pride of Pendle and Blond Witch, with each accounting for 22 per cent of sales, while Christmas specials made up 19 per cent.

It aims to hit 600 brewer’s barrels-a-week - with 228 pints in each barrel — and a £7million annual turnover by 2014.