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UK brewery numbers remain stable despite challenges, reveals SIBA

12 April 2023
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New figures from SIBA’s UK Brewery Tracker show that the total number of breweries in the UK has remained ‘relatively stable’ in the first quarter of 2023.

SIBA reported a national net loss of just four breweries since the start of the year, representing a -0.22 per cent change. This offers a promising outlook in the face of mounting pressures on fledgling independent businesses in the industry.

Regionally, the Midlands has seen a net gain of two breweries over the last three months, while the South West has lost two and the West of England has lost four. Wales saw the highest net growth with five breweries.

Read more - Optimum Finance provides craft brewers Mondo with tailored cashflow solution

Andy Slee, Chief Executive at SIBA, said: “It is very positive to see some areas of the UK now in growth and a national figure which has beaten the odds to remain relatively stable.

“With rising raw material and utility costs, alongside existing market access issues, far too many small breweries are closing, but the figures paint a much better picture than many predicted.

“Small breweries have a hugely positive impact on their local community, providing jobs, raising money for charity, supporting local initiatives, and providing access to the freshly brewed local beers that are now in such demand across the UK.”

This is backed by recent consumer polling, which confirmed that eight out of ten people recognise the positive local impact of a well-run independent brewery.

Andy added: “It is clear that demand is there from drinkers for great quality beer from local breweries, but getting those beers onto bars and into the hands of consumers can be tough in a competitive market.

“It’s the reason why so many breweries are now opening community taprooms where they can serve brewery-fresh beer direct to local people.”

Last month’s SIBA Craft Beer Report showed that 40 per cent of independent craft breweries now have a taproom, up 10 per cent on the previous year. Taprooms, brewery shops, and webshops often supplement traditional pub sales, generating on average 27 per cent of an independent brewery’s income.

Read more - Berry Bros. & Rudd acquires minority stake in The Cotswolds Distillery


Born and raised in Berkshire, Dan fell into journalism after completing his bachelor’s degree in English at UCL.

Writing for The Business Magazine and local Biz News sites has given him the opportunity to chat with all manner of small business owners and share their success stories with a wider audience.

Outside of work, Dan enjoys live music, board games and quiz shows, and is making a slow but persistent effort to learn Spanish.

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