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"Open" sign (Photo: Tim Mossholder, Unsplash)
08 April 2021

More than 3000 breweries in UK

United Kingdom | It is hard to believe, but more than 200 new breweries opened in the UK last year, despite the devastating impact of the coronavirus on Britain’s hospitality sector, according to new research by accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young.

Per its research, published in March 2021, numbers grew by 216 (or 7.5 percent) to just over 3000 breweries in 2020, even though pubs were shut for 44 percent of trading days, due to social distancing restrictions.

About 640000 jobs were lost in the hospitality industry last year, trade body UKHospitality has previously said, making it one of the sectors worst affected by the pandemic.

Start-ups go direct-to-consumer

However, researchers believe the closure of hospitality firms and the resulting loss in sales may have encouraged people to start new breweries and find alternative avenues to sell their goods, such as direct-to-consumer deliveries and takeaways. According to the Society of Independent Brewers, at the beginning of the first lockdown in April 2020, one in three independent breweries still did not offer direct-to-consumer delivery or takeaway services.

Number of UK breweries (Source: UHY Hacker Young)

The total number of UK breweries is now more than 1100 higher than in 2016. “Growth in breweries during a very difficult period for the drinks industry is a positive sign,” remarked James Simmonds, a partner at UHY Hacker Young.