Increase in breweries amid surge in craft beer popularity
The number of breweries has increased by 8% to around 1,700 in the past year amid a surge in popularity of craft beers, research shows.
Breweries are becoming increasingly profitable and targets for acquisition, said accountancy group UHY Hacker Young.
Drinkers are prepared to pay premium prices for a luxury product such as craft beer, which has driven increased sales of food, said the report.
A growing trend in the industry was an increase in microbreweries, according to James Simmonds of UHY Hacker Young, who said: "Craft beer is leading the way in the surging popularity of artisan products and has pushed aside other brands in high street bars. Many are now firmly established household names."
"This increasing popularity has transformed many microbreweries into highly profitable businesses for entrepreneurs looking for a niche position in the food and drinks market."
"As a result of their success, microbreweries across the UK have also become attractive acquisition targets for larger breweries."
Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom said: "Our food and drink is renowned the world over and for most of us there's nothing more quintessentially British than enjoying a pulled pint of ale in a classic English pub.
"Thanks to the popularity of our pint we're now seeing a record number of microbreweries opening up across the country, bringing quality beer to communities across the nation and creating countless jobs and opportunities for our economy."