UK-based brewer Hepworth & Company has announced a major investment programme to increase production and improve sustainability at its brewery in Sussex.

As part of this, the company is installing a canning line, which is scheduled to begin operations next month.

The canning line will have an hourly capacity of 30,000 cans and will help Hepworth launch beers for the craft can sector later this year.

It is also intended to offer a high-quality canning service for other brewers.

Hepworth founder and managing director Andy Hepworth said: “Given our many years of successful contract bottling, the logical move was to bring canning in house, which gives us complete control over the quality of our canned beers and means we can go to our contract customers with a new service.

“The thirst for canned beers looks set to continue growing so we’re confident there will be demand from brewers who know Hepworth’s as a trusted contractor.”

In addition to the canning line, Hepworth is investing in a number of environmental measures to achieve its 85% carbon-neutral target by 2025.

One of these measures is a carbon dioxide reclaim project, which the company will implement later this year.

Andy Hepworth added: “Sustainability has driven the way we do business at Hepworth’s since the start.

“By any measure, we are now one of the most sustainable brewers in the UK, but we are continuing to look for new ways to reduce our carbon footprint even further.

“We are aiming for 85% carbon-neutral status by 2025 – 100% is simply not achievable within that time frame, but we will get there.”

Andy Hepworth will lead the investment programme while stepping down from day-to-day operations to become Hepworth & Company’s chairman.

The company’s portfolio includes traditional ales and contemporary craft beers available in casks, kegs and bottles.