Craft beer boom in Britain, 300 new breweries launched last year

More than 2,000 breweries now in Britain for the first time since the 1930s

Just days after British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) launched a new strategy to drive exports of the British beer by £100m over the next five years, it has now emerged that more than 300 new breweries have been launched in the UK in last year alone.

According to a report by accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young, the number of breweries in Britain has broken the 2,000 barrier mark for the first time since the 1930s. The number of new breweries has risen by 18% in 2016 to 1,994, taking growth over the past five years to 64%.

“The craft beer boom has reversed around 70 years of consolidation in the brewing industry. There is plenty of growth still to come. However, the majors are beginning to make a fightback by acquiring craft brewers and launching their own artisan style brands,” said James Simmonds, partner at UHY Hacker Young.

Read related story: £100 million boost for British beer thanks to new export strategy

“The craft brewers can’t afford to rest on their laurels. They will need to work hard to get their product into that limited shelf space and bar space,” Simmonds added.

Even smaller breweries have continued to benefit from a tax break introduced in 2002 by the then chancellor, Gordon Brown, paying 50% less beer duty than their larger counterparts, reports suggest.

This boom in craft beer sales has prompted startups to offer specialist offers ranging from gluten-free beer to ale made from leftover bread, and also encouraged people interested in home brewing to raise money and open their own microbreweries.


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