AN award-winning brewery has opened up to visitors for the first time.

First and Last Brewery has moved its operations from Elsdon, near Otterburn, to the former ambulance station in Bellingham, which has stood vacant for nearly 10 years, at the bottom of Hareshaw Linn.

The award-winning microbrewery was established by Sam and Red Kellie in 2016.

Hexham Courant: Kate BuckinghamKate Buckingham (Image: Kate Buckingham)

"We've moved fully over to the new premises and we're a few cycles into the brewing", said Sam. "We've got a little tap room and shop on the side so people can come and have a drink and see what we're doing.

"It's something very different for us. We're proud of what we do; it's nice to be able to invite people into the brewery and show it off."

The brewery and tap room sells First and Last beers, as well as a range from other Northumberland and North-East-based breweries. It also sells a small selection of wine, cider and soft drinks.

There's also a Christmas Buck's Fizz-inspired beer and a beer which supports the North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team's vital work in the area.

Sam added: "We're not a pub, we're open until 9pm at night. We're not trying to tread on the toes of other pubs.

"It's just another string to our bow. It's really hard running any small business at the moment, we've never had a tap room, so it's a different income stream for us. We've got to do everything we can to keep on going - just like any small business. 

"The tap room helps us to tell our story and connect with people. They're in the brewery where the beer is made and they're talking to the people who have made it. 

"For us, it's also about making a consistent product, and it's really nice being under one roof, it's great for the team; we were spread across two or three locations."