PLANS have been unveiled for a new microbrewery on an employment site in the countryside.

On The Level Brew Company (OTL) has been set up with the intention of producing quality craft beers to supply to local pubs and off licences.

The firm hopes to base its operation at a vacant unit at Wrantage Mills, Wrantage, and has applied for a change of use permission of premises, which are licensed for light industrial use.

In a submission to planners at Somerset West and Taunton Council, it says the beer would be produced in a unit and stored in casks ahead of distribution.

It would initially be a part-time operation with hopes of expanding to become full time in the future.

A spokesman for OTL said: "Craft beer has become very popular in the beer market.

"While people are drinking less overall, craft beer sales have increased, indicating a change in market tastes shifting from quantity to quality.

"Craft beer drinkers seek out new breweries and new beers to try, often taking special care to visit pubs/bars where they know a brewery’s beer is stocked.

"OTL would like to nurture a craft beer community and contribute to Somerset’s already established tourism industry.

"Somerset has one of the largest populations of independent free trade pubs in the United Kingdom, with many of them located within five miles of the proposed brewery site.

"This will provide these small businesses an opportunity to lower their carbon foot print and buy into local produce, contributing to the local economy."

A statement in support of the application says the proposal would bring an existing building back into use; bring employment to the area; generate economic activity; enable the production of sustainable produce; and turn a soakaway into a willow reed bed to attract wildlife.

It adds: "Importantly our operation will also not cause any harm to the amenity of the surrounding properties and area."