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UK brewery numbers rise as demand for craft beer surges

FBR Staff Writer Published 04 October 2016

A new research has revealed that the number of UK breweries has increased by 8% to nearly 1,700 over the past year due to the continuous surge in popularity of craft beers.

The research from UHY Hacker Young has found that the number of breweries in the UK rose to 1,692 in 2015 from 1,558 in 2014.

Over the past five years, the number of breweries has gone up 65%, from 1,026 in 2010.

The report revealed that new brewery businesses are getting increasingly profitable while attracting larger breweries to acquire them.

The acquisitions would allow the new microbreweries to invest further in their artisan products and make them ready for exports outside the UK.

It also said that UK drinkers are not shying away from spending premium prices on a luxury product like craft beer ahead of the mass-produced mainstream brands. Fine wine is not too behind craft beer in contributing profitability to the UK drinks industry.

According to UHY Hacker Young partner James Simmonds, craft beer is leading the way among all the artisan products which are seeing an increase in demand. Craft beers have not only pushed away other brands found in high street bars but have also firmly established themselves as household names.

Simmonds also said: “This increasing popularity has transformed many microbreweries into highly profitable businesses for entrepreneurs looking for a niche position in the food and drinks market. As a result of their success, microbreweries across the UK have also become attractive acquisition targets for larger breweries.”

SAB Miller, with its 2015-acquisition of London based Meantime Brewing Company, has paved the way for other multinational brewing companies to go for similar acquisitions of microbreweries in the UK.

Image : New breweries have surged to around 1,700 with a growth rate of 8% in the past year. Photo : courtesy of Visitor7.