Craft beer breweries are drying up in the UK

“We’re not saying that the market is shrinking, just the number of players is consolidating and sales growth is going to be harder to come by.”

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Craft beer is falling flat across the pond.

After the UK enjoyed a beer boom with 395 breweries opening in 2017, just eight new breweries opened shop last year, according to a report.

Research conducted by financial firm UHY Hacker Young revealed that while the UK nearly doubled its brewery count over a five-year period, the firm said that the craft beer market has dried up due to larger beer companies dipping its toes and investing in successful smaller breweries.


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A storm a brewing?

“We’re not saying that the market is shrinking, just the number of players is consolidating and sales growth is going to be harder to come by,” James Simmonds, a partner at UHY Hacker Young, said, via the Guardian.

The UK housed 2,274 breweries in 2018, a massive growth from the 1,352 in 2013. However, heavy-weight brewers Budweiser and Heineken are some of the biggest beer companies who’ve recently started acquiring a stake in the craft beer business. These larger companies have made it difficult for smaller, independent businesses to get their footing, according to the Guardian.

AB InBev, which is Budweiser’s parent company, snatched up independent brewer Camden Town Brewery for a reported £85m ($110 million) in 2015.

Craft beer in the US continues to be on the rise: Over 7,000 breweries were operating in the US in 2018, according to USA Today.

An additional 1,000 more are expected to open later this year.


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Kyle Schnitzer|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at kschnitzer@theladders.com.