09 September 2022

Some 200 new breweries opened in the UK last year

United Kingdom | Although craft beer has entered its second decade, there are no signs that the segment has reached a peak. Research from accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young shows that hopefuls are still entering the brewing industry. About 200 new brewing licenses were issued in the UK in the year up to 31 March 2022, bringing the total number to 2,426.

Although this makes for impressive reading, the boom in brewery start-ups has actually begun to slow. Growth fell for the third consecutive year, with the 9.1 percent increase for 2021/22 being almost half that of the 17.7 percent growth registered in 2018/19, says UHY Hacker Young.

The numbers are misleading

However, the reliability of the data has been questioned by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), which represents about 700 small brewers: “The latest figures from UHY Hacker Young can give a misleading picture of the number of craft breweries operating in the UK, as they include those who hold a brewing licence and not those who are actively brewing, which is around 1,800 breweries.” Moreover, SIBA said that about 160 small brewers were lost during the coronavirus lockdowns and that at least another 40 were forced to close this year.

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