AN award-winning brewery that set up in Pocklington 18 months ago could be set to move to Malton.

Brass Castle Brewery hopes to convert an old car showroom in Yorkersgate, enabling it to increase production. Its plans also include a sales area, and the brewery would be open to visitors.

The Fitzwilliam Estate and the Malton Food Lovers Festival hope Brass Castle will be the first of several companies to relocate to the town as part of the Made In Malton project, to develop the town’s reputation for food and drink.

Debbie Waite, development and project manager for the estate and festival, said they hoped also to attract producers including a cheesemaker, a chocolate-maker, a baker and possibly a miller.

She said: “We are inviting really good Yorkshire producers to come to the town and produce in Malton and to have both a production unit and a retail area in the town. We are hoping we can have something that’s really fantastic for both tourists and residents.”

She said they were “very excited” about Brass Castle possibly relocating and hoped others would follow.

Brass Castle Brewery, run by Phil Saltonstall and his wife Harriet, was launched in Pocklington in August 2011, initially in their garage and later also on a Victorian brew-kit on Lord Halifax’s Garrowby Estate in East Yorkshire. The beers won immediate acclaim from ale enthusiasts, winning awards at the York Beer Festival and Mr Saltsonstall now hopes to move to a bigger site, although the Malton move has not yet been finalised.

Mr Saltonstall said: “We have found a space in Malton we are very interested in and we are hoping to be able to establish a larger brewery there, to be able to work full-time.

“We are taken with the fact that there is a real attempt to turn Malton into a food town and this is part of that process. It is a developing food hub and it really deserves to have a brewery back.”

The planning application to Ryedale District Council said the building was currently redundant and had been empty for a considerable time.