PALMERS Brewery in Bridport was struck by lightning during this morning’s thunderstorm – the second time in 12 months.

The brewery’s building on South Street, the only thatched-roof brewery in the United Kingdom, was hit just after 8am this morning which lead to a full evacuation of the staff from the premises.

Darren Batten, the head brewer at Palmers Brewery said: “We were hit just after 8am this morning. There was a massive hail storm and a massive bang and a flash of light, and then the alarms started sounding, so we had to evacuate.

“There has been no damage to the building, and thankfully nobody is injured. We think the lightning hit the scaffolding on the end of the Malt House building, which is our biggest storage area which is where all the sensors are which started the alarms.

“We are brewing today as well, but it didn’t really affect the brewing process because we just turned it off then started it up again after.”

The brewery did call the fire brigade after the incident, but two of the staff are also retained firefighters and after they conducted their initial checks, the brewery cancelled the fire brigade once everyone’s safety was ensured.

The building was previously hit by lighting in May 2013. Mr Batten added: “It’s the second time in a year it has happened, so lightning really does strike twice.”