The number of breweries in the UK has doubled in the last decade, according to figures released by the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra).
There are now a total of 1009 breweries which operate in the UK, which is the highest figure in 70 years. 158 of those commercial properties have opened in the last 12 months alone.
Camra have called the figures “astonishing” given that around 10,000 pubs have closed in the last ten years, but people’s taste for real ale hasn’t disheartened. According to the British Beer and Pub Association around 20 million pints are drunk each day and nine out of ten of those are from breweries in the UK.
The boom in breweries is mainly down to micro-breweries (which aren’t included in the figures), which employ either one or two people having to expand into the brewery category, thus pushing up the numbers.
Roger Protz, Good Beer Guide Editor, spoke of the rise of the micro-brewery: “The boom in new breweries has, in many cases, made the term ‘micro’ obsolete, with some small brewers having become remarkably large, installing new equipment or doubling production to keep up with demand.”
Changes in consumer beer habits and technology have also contributed to how we now brew beer.
Roger continued: “Whilst historically there were more breweries in the UK pre-1930s, the distribution and communication networks of the modern day mean that real ale has never been so accessible to consumers, or to pubs wanting to meet demand for serving locally produced beer.”
There is now one brewery for around 50 pubs in the UK. If a pub is struggling, there is an opportunity for the commercial property to work closely alongside a local brewery to increase trade.
“In many cases, a pub serving quality real ale at the bar is an indicator of quality in other areas of the business,” Roger added.
Do you prefer real ale to lager? Or maybe you are more of a cider person? Share your tastes with us below.
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