Curious Brew lager from Kent’s Chapel Down winery was the bestselling craft beer at Waitrose over the Christmas season, posting sales growth of 116% at the multiple retailer across 2015.

The lager outperformed the craft beer segment at Waitrose, which nevertheless itself posted impressive growth of 23% across the year.

Curious Brew is made by Chapel Down’s Curious Drinks subsidiary using sparkling wine yeast and Nelson Sauvin hops.

Sales at Curious Drinks were up 33% in the first six months of 2015 to just under £1 million.

Kate Prall, beer buyer at Waitrose, said: “The crisp flavour of this classy lager appeals to both beer aficionados and wine drinkers alike.

“Its refreshing finish cuts through rich food and makes a refreshing change to wine. “The addition of sparkling wine made it the perfect alternative tipple to toast in the New Year.” 

Chapel Down is currently crowdfunding expansion of its brewing operations, targeting £3.65 million by the time the funding round through the Seedrs platform closes on February 29.

Its initial target of £1 million was reached within a month of the campaign’s launch in October.

As of January 7, it has raised £1,375,400.

Craft beers were added to the Office of National Statistics national “shopping basket” last year, demonstrating they are very much here to stay.