Crouch Vale Brewery, whose beer was again voted best beer at the Great British Beer Festival, has had to delay bottling plans due to overwhelming demand.

Brewers Gold won the Champion Beer of Britain title for the second year running at last week's festival, but the beer is currently only available in casks and the plant is operating at maximum capacity.

After last year's win, general manager Olly Graham said the brewery hoped to move into bottles before 2006, but the increased demand has led it to postpone plans until capacity can be increased.

"We will be going into bottling when we have time," said director Colin Bocking. "It won't be this year, but we will be aiming for 2007.

"Our immediate focus is to move into a new brewery building later this year. Then we will have sufficient capacity and we can look at bottling. At the moment we have only a limited amount of beer and we are getting requests from all over the world. It is heartbreaking to have to turn it all down."

Previous winners said that the title had helped them expand into the off-trade, but many admitted that bottling is a difficult exercise for a small brewer. Oakham Ales only bottled its Oakham Ales JHB after the beer won the title in 2001, and Harviestoun Brewery's Bitter & Twisted secured a hugely increased off-trade distribution when it won in 2003. "We always intended to go into bottles at some point, but this gave us the push we needed," Oakham Ales head brewer John Brian said last year.

With smaller brewers often unable to meet the capacity required by multiple retailers, the creation of Internet-based beer retailers is on the increase to offer another route to market.

This year's GBBF event included, which offers bottle-conditioned beers delivered direct to the door, plus The Beer Club of Britain allows online orders of a range of international beers.