New brewery growth continues to slow

YesMore close up of beer

Some 200 new breweries opened in the UK in the year to March 31, but growth has slowed on previous years.

According to a study by accountants UHY Hacker Young, there are now 2,426 breweries in operation across the UK. Growth in the number of breweries was 9.1% in 2021/22, a fall for the third consecutive year, having stood at 17.7% in 2018/19, the company said, citing HMRC data. 

James Simmonds, partner at UHY Hacker Young, said: “It is remarkable that Britain’s craft beer boom is entering its second decade and is still registering significant growth in start-ups.

“The attraction of starting a craft brewery still remains for many. However, the challenge of making a success of a start-up in the sector is now greater than it was.”

He highlighted some UK brewers that were start-ups only a few years ago are now major players, such as BrewDog, as well as craft brewers that were acquired by larger companies. 

“They now have access to distribution in both the on and off trade that younger brewers cannot yet match. Start-ups can still grow quickly through local and online sales if they have the right product and branding, however.”

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