A brewing company from Prestwood toasted the success of one of its ales after it won a major award - despite a race against time to create it.

Malt the Brewery's Dark Ale claimed a silver medal, making it officially one of the 40 best beers in the country, at the Society of Independent Brewers awards.

But the company only managed to get its ale off to the awards in the nick of time, after a burst water main left them unable to brew it when they planned to.

Owner Nick Watson said: "We have to plan the brewing two or three weeks ahead, to allow for demand and stock.

"On the day that we were due to brew it, we arrived at the brewery to find there was a ruptured water main in the road outside. There was about four inches of muddy water flowing down the road.

"Anticipating they were going to turn the water off, which they did later in the day, we postponed it and brewed it two days later.

"It was really tight on timing and we worried if we would get it to the distribution hub in time.

"I jumped in the van with a single barrel and dropped it off just as the truck arrived to take it to Sheffield for the final.

"It was incredibly tight timing, but I'm glad we made the effort."

The Dark Ale made it through to the final of the SIBA competition after winning its heat.

Mr Watson said: "It was the third competition we ever entered. Our Dark Ale won the standard mild category in the Midlands region - the biggest region in the UK - and it was automatically put through to the national final.

"It got a gold award with five stars, which was really good news for us.

"It went through as a regional winner and got a silver award, which means it's been named in the top 40 ales in the country. We can now say it's a champion ale."

SIBA chairman Guy Sheppard said: "With close to 800 brewers now members of SIBA, competition for our awards is fierce and all our winners can be very proud of their achievement.

"We congratulate them on brewing beers that have been judged as the best in the country and we hope they will use this success to market their beers to pubs and consumers in the future. I would like to wish them every success within the vibrant, innovative British brewing industry."

The Dark Ale also won a Great Taste award last year, claiming a gold star, and Malt the Brewery intends to put two more of its creations forward for this year's competition.

The firm will enter its Prestwood Best bitter and the Golden Ale for the 2015 Great Taste awards.