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CAMRA says there are now 1,424 British breweries

The number of breweries in the UK has increased by over 10% for the third consecutive year bringing a huge increase in the choice and availability of cask beer to drinkers across the UK.

  • 10% net growth in British breweries for third consecutive year
  • Now 1,424 breweries in the UK
  • 204 new breweries featured in the Good Beer Guide 2016
  • Over 11,000 different real ales now brewed
  • One in six pints sold in British pubs now a pint of real ale

The statistics, released today to mark the launch of CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide 2016 show that 204 new breweries have opened in the past 12 months, taking the total number to 1,424 – the highest it’s been since the 1930s and 40s. View the number of pubs and breweries including new openings here.

Editor Roger Protz says: “The great British beer revolution rolls on and appears to be unstoppable. More and more new breweries have been launched to keep up with the demand for full-bodied, full-flavoured beers. Britain now has more breweries per head than any other country and the range of beers on offer is the best in the world, ranging from the palest golden ale to the darkest, pitch-black stout.”

With well over 11,000 different real ales, that’s an average of around 8 per brewery*, now being brewed in the UK the choice for drinkers has never been better. Gone are the days when a brewery made just one or two different beers, as brewers expand their repertoires to include porters, stouts, IPAs, fruit beers, or even beers aged in wine and whisky casks.

Brewers are also creating British versions of famous Belgian styles such as saison, strong brown ales and sour beers that use wild yeasts rather than cultivated brewers’ yeasts. But it’s a truly British beer style that is proving most popular

“The great success story of the moment is IPA, which stands for India Pale Ale. Long before the first golden lagers were produced in central Europe in the middle of the 19th century, British brewers developed a pale beer for export to ‘the Raj’ in India. Now it’s back with a bang and scores of brewers are producing their interpretations of IPA, including the American style that bursts with fruity hops.”

As real ale continues to outperform the rest of the beer market** one in six pints of beer sold in a pub is now cask ale, with 634 million pints consumed a year.

While the brewing bug has struck across the UK, it is London that is leading the way and reclaiming its place at the centre of British brewing according to Protz: “London is the most remarkable success story. Today there are 74 breweries operating in the capital, compared to 54 a year ago. There are so many packed into areas such as Bermondsey and Hackney that weekend ‘brewery crawls’ have become a popular part of the London drinking scene”

But it’s not just London brewing that’s thriving, says Protz “London is closely followed by Greater Manchester, which has 19 new breweries, including four in Stockport and arguably the most amazing new brewery name, Zymurgorium in Irlam.”


*Statistics compiled using CAMRA’s Brewery Information System (BIS)

**The 2014 edition of the Cask Report states sales of real ale out-performed “on trade” sales of all beer sold in pubs, clubs, bars and other licensed premises by 4.5%.