Breweries and Distilleries

Number of UK breweries rose by 7.5% in 2020

There are now 3,000 breweries in the UK, despite pub and bar closures resulting from the pandemic

The number of breweries in the UK increased by 7.5% in 2020, according to research carried out by UHY Hacker Young.

There are now 3,000 breweries in the country, despite pub and bar closures resulting from pandemic lockdowns.

In 2020, pubs were closed for 161 days, which is around 44% of potential trading days for the industry.

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Some 55 new brewery companies were incorporated during the first lockdown alone, between 16 March and 1 June 2020.

According to the Society of Independent Brewers, 30% of independent breweries still did not offer direct-to-consumer delivery or takeaway services by April 2020.

James Simmonds, partner at UHY’s Nottingham office, says: “Growth in breweries during a very difficult period for the drinks industry is a positive sign. Entrepreneurs clearly feel confident in the prospects for a bounce back once pubs and bars can open again.

People’s appetite for trying new beers from different breweries has contributed to the long-term rise in new breweries being set up. The sector hasn’t fallen into the trap of discounting.”

He added: “There is also the prospect of an exit to a major brewer if you can build a valuable brand.

“With the closure of pubs and bars, smaller breweries have had to adapt to direct-to-consumer models. As hospitality begins to reopen, these new breweries will need to build on the momentum they have created through their direct-to-consumer sales.”


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