Former Parliamentary Beer Group brewer of the year and multiple global award winner, Stuart Howe, has returned to Cornwall to take up the role of head brewer at Harbour Brewing Company.

Howe left Rock-based Sharp’s Brewery last year having been promoted to head of innovation and craft brewing by parent company Molson Coors.

He has since been director of brewing at Butcombe Brewery, at Wrington, and head brewer at Lost and Grounded Brewers, in Bristol.

Eddie Lofthouse, founder of Harbour Brewing, which is based Bodmin, said Howe stood out from other candidates because of his breadth of industry experience, technical ability and creativity.

“Stuart is here to oversee the next stage of our growth,” said Lofthouse, who explained that the business has seen a huge increase in sales in this, its fifth year. New fermenting vessels are due to be installed later this year to cope with demand.

He said he was keen to see Howe get a new project under way, studying a beer style for a couple of months then brewing to that style for a new limited-edition range.

Howe will lead a team of three other brewers and started this week creating a new coffee porter, using Nicaraguan beans supplied by Origin Coffee.

Also due for release soon is a raspberry vanilla Berliner weisse, “tart and fruity, yet very sessionable” at 3.5% ABV.

Howe said he had followed Harbour’s progress keenly over the past five years and was keen to take on the new challenge. He has already noted that the spring water the brewery uses is very similar to that in Czech lager capital Pilsen.

“That’s one of my ambitions, here, to make a brilliant Cornish lager,” he said.