Before the rise of homogenised, corporate brewers, small brewers often formed the heart of the community. Well, with the rise of the modern-day craft beer movement, it seems as though we are returning to traditions of old. And we’re far from the only ones celebrating this revival: the government has announced that currently a new brewery is opened in the UK every other day.
Drawing on figures from the British Beer and Pub Association, the government has revealed that there are now more than 1,400 breweries in the UK. Not only has the British beer boom of craft brewers, brew pubs and regional brewers brought a whole range of innovative new brews into consumers’ hands but there are also three new breweries opening up each week. This has resulted in a beer and pubs sector that now accounts for 869,000 jobs in Britain.
The brewing industry has certainly seen some impressive growth over the last two years. Since July 2013, the number of breweries in London has increased by 69% to 76, whilst the south east has also seen some significant growth, growing by 44% to 192 and overtaking both the north west and south west to become the region with the most breweries. Brewing has also become a vital part of local economies: in the south west, it employs 91,600 people and accounts for 3.5% of employment, whilst in the west Midlands it employs 86,155 people and constitutes 3.4% of jobs.
“Today’s figures show Britain is back on the map as a global ‘brewing powerhouse’,” said Marcus Jones, the government’s community pubs minister. “We gave the world the I.P.A and the Great British pint has been revered ever since. This brewing boom means we are not only creating some of the world’s best beer that we all enjoy in our local pub and at home but also thousands of jobs and a multibillion-pound boost to the economy.”
Mike Benner, managing director of the Society of Independent Brewers, said: “This is an incredibly exciting time for British craft brewing. The number of breweries is soaring, leading to more jobs across the UK and more choice for consumers. With such an exciting range of different colours, strengths, styles and flavours, in draught, bottle or can format now available, I’m sure there is a beer out there to suits all palates.”
We’ll drink to that.