Bradford-based supermarket giant Morrisons has seen its sales of real ale rise thanks to an unlikely source – heavy metal titans Iron Maiden.

Last month it became the only supermarket to stock Robinsons Brewery’s Trooper Ale, inspired by the band and brewed in conjunction with their lead singer Bruce Dickinson.

Supermarket bosses say sales of the ale have been “phenomenal” and it is their fastest-ever selling newly launched ale.

Sales have exceeded expectations tenfold and photographs of the bottle on store shelves have been widely spread on social media.

Robinsons Brewery unveiled the drink in May and with the backing of Morrisons it has now sold over a million pints – six months faster than the brewery expected.

The ale takes its name from the band’s classic 1984 single The Trooper and the bottle features the same image as that release – band mascot Eddie taking part in the charge of the light brigade. The beer has the history of the 1884 battle on the back of each bottle.

Mark Land, Morrisons’ ales buyer said: “Trooper has been phenomenally successful since Morissons launched it in June.

“The bottle’s label has definitely been a huge factor in its success, as has the push our stores have given it.”

The drink also received a huge boost by being sold at last month’s Download Festival, which Iron Maiden headlined.

Robinsons managing director Oliver Robinson said: “We are amazed to reach this mark in such a short time – a million pints already is way ahead of all rational expectations – and are grateful for the support we have had from the retailers, Maiden fans, real ale enthusiasts, our distributors and the beer trade generally as they were so quick to catch on to the genuine and unique quality of this beer.

“Trooper is truly unique, it literally drives fans into their nearest pub or supermarket.”