Gin Boom Drives Surge In UK Distillery Openings
The UK now has a total of 315 distilleries – more than double the number that were in operation five years ago, according to new figures from the country's Revenue & Customs department.
The data reveals that 49 new distilleries were opened in 2017, with operations starting up across all parts of the nation.
The UK's Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) attributes this growth to the country's recent gin boom, with a record number of bottles sold last year.
It added that the gin industry across on- and off-trade in the UK in 2011 was worth £630 million, but nearly doubled to £1.2 billion in 2017.
"Gin is the key driver behind the surge in new distillery openings in the UK in the last five years," said Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA.
"New gin brands continue to pop up on our supermarket shelves, on a regular basis, as Brits show no sign of tiring of the quintessentially British spirit," Beale added.
The WSTA is predicting growth to continue this year, boosted by the UK chancellor's decision to freeze wine and spirit duty in last November's budget.
It also anticipates that distilleries will diversify, with new varieties of whisky growing in popularity.
"There is a significant amount of investment going into the British spirits industry, and the Chancellor's welcome boost is likely to see this trend continue into 2018, as well as broadening out into new variations of English and Welsh whisky,” added Beale.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.