Record number of breweries are opening

Mutiny Festival brought over �2m to the local economy Picture: Paul Windsor

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THE number of new breweries opening in the UK reached a record high of 520 last year, a study has revealed.

Demand for craft beer helped the boom, with many entrepreneurs starting their own business, said accountants UHY Hacker Young.

New breweries jumped by 55 per cent in 2016, with craft beer sales increasing in this country as well as overseas.

Figures suggest that craft beer now accounts for between eight and nine per cent of the total beer sold in licensed premises in the UK.

James Simmonds, partner at UHY Hacker Young, said: ‘Craft beer has proved it is no flash in a pan.

‘Both supermarkets and pubs realise they are going to lose sales if they do not make way for some craft brands.

‘So far the pricing discipline of cult beer brands has held steady – they have been largely untouched by the supermarket wars that have savaged margins elsewhere in the food and drinks sector.

‘Recent high-profile takeovers by larger breweries have given entrepreneurs and their backers proof of what can be achieved and proper benchmarks of how craft breweries can be valued.

‘It is a long way from the cottage industry of a decade ago.’

Last year saw The Southsea Brewing Company open at Southsea Castle, set up by David and Lorna Eastwood.

It brews innovative and high-quality artisan beer with all-natural ingredients.

Its hand-crafted brews are produced in small batches in an old ammunition storage room within the walls of a coastal defence fort built by Henry VIII in 1544.

For more go to southseabrewing.co.uk/