A Wiltshire brewery works that was completely dismantled and shipped to North Korea has been hailed by the secretive country for boosting its economy.

The former Ushers Brewery factory in Trowbridge was bought by Korean officials for £1.5 million in 2000 after the 175-year-old firm collapsed and went out of business.

It was totally dismantled and rebuilt in the reclusive country's capital Pyongyang - using 20,000 kegs to hold the new Korean beers being produced.

Wiltshire Times: The Taedonggang Brewing Factory in North Korea's capital Pyongyang. The Taedonggang Brewing Factory in North Korea's capital Pyongyang. (Image: SWNS)

The newly-dubbed 'Taedonggang Brewing Factory' began production in July 2002.

The sale was only approved after the UK Government inspected the brewery equipment to check if it could potentially be used to produce chemical weapons. 

More than 20 years later Kim Jong Un's regime have commended the Taedonggang Beer Factory for its "contribution to the five-year plan for national economic development".

Taedonggang beer, named after the nearby Taedonggang River, produces a selection of 5.7 per cent draught, black and rice beers.

The North Koreans apparently took quickly to producing beer - with help from German-made computerised brewing control technology.

Wiltshire Times: The former Ushers Brewery works in Trowbridge.The former Ushers Brewery works in Trowbridge. (Image: SWNS)

The brewery uses water from the natural springs in the Mirim district of Pyongyang and barley and hops that are grown domestically.

With an alcohol content of 5.7 per cent its beers are stronger than the majority of
those produced in South East Asia.

Its recognition as a leading enterprise this week by Pyongyang cited the brewery’s “production and management on a new scientific basis”. 

German agent Uwe Oehms, who facilitated the sale in 2000, said in 2009 that he remembers the deal as "one of the most interesting" of his life.

He recalled at the time: "Despite their lack of English I was surprised that they were learning how to do this quite well.

"The quality of the beer was quite good in the beginning but when they couldn't buy good foreign ingredients the quality decreased."

At one point, the North Koreans even attempted to convince the former head brewer Gary Todd to move to the country to teach them.

In 2009 the company made international headlines after inspiring the country's first-ever beer commercial in South Korea.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who took power following the death of his father in 2011, has visited the factory on several occasions to encourage its officials and workers to further improve the flavour and quality of the beer.