A BREWING business which has been in administration three times in six years says it is in the best shape it has ever been after being swallowed up by another company and relocating .

Skipton-based Copper Dragon Brewery is now owned by Greyhawk Brewery based at the Airedale Business Centre. The company said the change of ownership had secured brewery jobs.

Steve Taylor, a former Rolls Royce engineer who founded Copper Dragon in 2003, and remains closely involved in the business, said : "Since Copper Dragon was brought under the Greyhawk brand we've seen growing interest and take up from many independent pubs and chains especially within Leeds and Manchester. This is testament to our passion and commitment to only brewing the finest ales.

"In particular, we're seeing an increasing demand for Golden Pippin and our popular Best Bitter, both of which are permanent brews and represent possibly two of the finest examples of a blonde and traditional bitter ale in the UK.

"We also have a number of new ales and lagers in development thanks to some recent key appointments, including that of Yorkshire brewer Dave Sanders who's come on board to develop the Greyhawk brand craft brewing philosophy."

Mr Sanders has created many award winning beers, including the Champion Beer of Britain.

Alongside established Golden Pippin and Best Bitter ales, the brewery is also developing a number of artisan beers under the Greyhawk name using a modern Bavarian style brewing plant producing both cask and keg products, including Copper Dragon Pilsner.

Head Brewer Gordon Wilkinson, who has been with the company since 2003, continues to oversee all aspects of brewing .

Steve Taylor added: "Working with this team, both new and old, the brewery looks perfectly positioned to thrive going forward. "

Lane Bednash, of CMB Partners UK, was appointed as administrator of Copper Dragon Ltd on April 23 and the business was bought out of administration on the same day by Greyhawk Brewery Ltd.

Established in 2002, Copper Dragon had been among Yorkshire's fastest-growing breweries with a £5 million turnover but fell victim to pressure from HM Revenue & Customs for unpaid beer duties.

Greyhawk Brewery operates as a microbrewery and so is exempt from the beer duty. The takeover did not include a restaurant and three pubs formerly operated by Copper Dragon .

While around 15 brewery staff kept their jobs, restaurant staff were made redundant.