While the Doom Bar sand bank off Cornwall's coast has a reputation for catching out unwary ships, its namesake ale is hoping to develop a more positive reputation as the UK's second-biggest bottled ale.

Sharp's Brewery has set out its stall to seize the number two off-trade spot from Newcastle Brown Ale within the next three years.

The Cornish brewery, which which was recently named the fastest growing drinks company in The Grocer's Fast 50 [2 October], will need to increase off-trade sales of its biggest brand from £3m to more than £20m to do so.

The 15-year old brand, which represents 85% of Sharp's sales and has grown 51% in the past year, currently generates only 10% of sales through off-trade channels. However, the brewery was currently operating at 50% capacity, so had room to expand, said Sharp's director Joe Keohane.

In September, the bottled variant gained national distribution through Majestic. Since then, it has become the distributor's number two bestselling bottled ale after London Pride. Doom Bar, which is priced between £1.70 to £2 and is 4.3% ABV 0.3% higher than the on cask version, is also available regionally through the multiples and Morrisons is now rolling it out more widely.

"Using Majestic as an example, there is very strong awareness of and interest in Doom Bar," said Keohane. "We're not going to retailers saying we're launching a new brand. It's a brand that has a lot of credibility from its strength in the on-trade."

Sharp's plans to finance its ambitions itself, according to Keohane, who describes the brewery as a "very profitable business".

In the next three years, it also hopes to make Doom Bar the biggest ale brand in the on-trade, and will be increasing marketing activity around its association with rubgy. "A lot of our strong growth has come from central UK and the South East. People like the flavour of the beer and the branding, but a lot of its success is also to do with people going on holiday in Cornwall, seeing it, and and finding it in their local pub."

Old Speckled Hen is the UK's biggest off-trade ale.