The UK has about 1,300 breweries, the highest since the 1930s according to the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), even though people are drinking less. A fifth of adults now say they are teetotal and the proportion of young adults who drink frequently fell two-thirds between 2005 and 2013, according to the Office for National Statistics. People are drinking less volume but better quality drinks.
Brewing is booming in the UK, spurred by growing sales of craft beer and ales, with applications to start breweries tripling in the past five years.
Small brewers in the UK are helped by a tax measure introduced in 2002, which gives a 50 per cent beer duty discount for brewers producing less than 5,000 hectolitres, about 900,000 pints, a year, and campaigners are still pushing George Osbourne to make further cuts in duty to both beer and cider (which doesn’t get as much publicity).
The surge in beer duty applications, a legal requirement for starting a brewery, comes despite falling alcohol consumption and the continuing closure of pubs. Last year, 304 applications were submitted, up 42 per cent on 2013 and 189 per cent higher than in 2010, according to UHY Hacker Young, the accountancy firm. Craft beers and ales, typically brewed locally and distinguished by strong flavours that are less common in mainstream beers, are a small but fast-growing segment of the beer market, and you can buy mixed cases from many different brewers on our website. Sales in this area grew at 30.3 per cent to £404m last year, according to GCA Peach.
With thanks to the FT.