DARWEN’S microbrewery has celebrated a special year by unveiling a number of locally inspired brews.

It will be a decade in September since Barry Tyson launched Hopstar in the garage of his Pole Lane home.

Then, he had planning permission from Blackburn with Darwen Council to brew 72 gallons of ale a week.

Now, the firm has a dedicated brewing unit in Grimshaw Street, run by Barry’s daughter Natalie, and Number 39 Hopstar Brewery Tap in the town centre.

And to celebrate the 10th anniversary year, Hopstar has launched five special recipes paying homage to Darwen.

Tower Tipple (3.9 per cent) was available from March to June and brewed with 100 per cent British hops, while India Mill-inspired ‘Off t’Mill’ is currently on sale.

Upcoming tipples include ‘10th Anniversary Ale’ and beers linked to the World War One memorial and the tram sheds, although names have not been decided for those. Mr Tyson said: “Ten years ago I never expected to be brewing on this scale but it is great.

“I have handed it all over to Natalie now but she still gets her dad working for her from time to time.

“She has designed her first beer with Off t’Mill and it is brilliant.

“I used to design all the beers before but this one is outselling one of mine in the pub, so I am really proud of her.

“I concentrate on smaller brews in the garage now.

“I love brewing and it is good to make different things and put your tastebuds to the test.”

Natalie, 26, took over the brewery from her dad four years ago and has worked there for the past six years.

She said: “I pretty much do everything on my own now, although I do have a brewer who makes the beer for me.

“We can go up to 100 barrels a week now, although I tend to do about half that.

“I really enjoy it and it is nice to still have my dad’s help and advice.”