BREWERY chiefs are celebrating after smashing the five million pints per year barrier at their new brewing complex.

Moorhouse’s in Burnley revealed it had hit the landmark after just two years at the £4m ‘tower’ brewery, which tripled former production capacity to more than 1,000 brewer’s barrels a week.

The Moorhouse Street brewer also reported hitting a turnover of £4.5m for the full financial year to last September, with sales growing by 18 per cent despite the ailing economy.

Managing director David Grant said the move to the new brewery had paid off for the firm.

He said: “When, several years ago, we decided to invest for the future we knew we faced a huge challenge.

“But we had no idea that we would suffer the economic climate we now experience.

“Consequently, we are delighted to report that we have expanded our business further despite those harsh conditions.

“It is a real tribute to the dedication of the whole team.”

For the future, bosses said they aimed to hit 600 brewer’s barrels per week and a £7m turnover by 2015. They have pledged to place sustainability at the heart of this growth, including establishing partnership deals with barley farmers to safeguard future malt supplies.

New export opportunities are being investigated in Europe, Asia and China for bottled and keg beer, while ties have been strengthened with wholesalers in the US.

Recently, discussions have been held with the Canadian Liquor Board and the Irish Republic drinks authorities.

Mr Grant said: “We have made significant progress, but cannot rest on our laurels.

“Life is getting even tougher in the industry with more than 130 new breweries entering the market in recent months, while pubs continue to close at an astonishing rate.

“But we have made the investment in the capital infrastructure and there has never been a time when the stakeholders and directors have been stronger in their commitment to securing our future in cask ale.”