Micro-breweries prove a big pull in Britain

Britain has the greatest number of small breweries of any major industrialised nation, with 71 starting up in the last year alone, according to the Good Beer Guide.

Despite falling beer sales and pub closures running at 50 a week, enterprising enthusiasts have started micro-breweries to capitalise on demand for smaller, quirkier ales.

Of the 711 breweries in the UK, West Yorkshire has the most (34), followed by Norfolk (31), Derbyshire and North Yorkshire (both 28) and Devon (27).

Among the new breweries are Morrissey Fox, founded by the actor Neil Morrissey at Marton cum Grafton, near York, and Mill Green, which brews beer with energy from solar panels behind the White Horse in Sudbury, Suffolk.

Duncan Sambrook decided to ditch his job as a management accountant at Deloitte to start the Sambrook Brewery in Wandsworth, London, after having a “few too many” pints at a beer festival in 2006. A year after moving into old warehouses last August, the business employs five staff and supplies 9,000 pints of Wandle Ale weekly to 80 pubs.

“The concept is a London beer for Londoners,” he said.

“It’s gone fantastically well. We’ve had huge support from the local community, publicans and CAMRA. Because of support of local CAMRA members, pubs have been ringing us up.”

Good Beer Guide editor Roger Protz said the nationwide total of breweries made the UK “undisputed top brewing country in the world”. “Britain has more small craft breweries per head of population than all other major industrialised countries; but it also offers tremendous choice,” he said.

“While most other countries offer mainly mainstream lagers, Britain has enormous diversity - milds, bitters, strong ales, porters, stouts, barley wines, old ales, Christmas ales, spring beers, golden ales and harvest ales to name just a few.

“This rebirth of British brewing is due to the pioneering work of Camra – there are now more than twice as many breweries in Britain than when the campaign was launched in 1971 – and to the enthusiasm and innovation of independent brewers.”

The guide features 1297 new pub entries, but says goodbye to some old favourites that have shouted last orders for the last time, including the Jolly Anglers in Reading, Berkshire, and the Hope poles, at Risbury in Herefordshire.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Guru Careers: MI Developer

    £35 - 45k: Guru Careers: An MI Developer is needed to join the leading provide...

    Recruitment Genius: Fitness Manager

    £20000 - £22500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leisure organisation manag...

    Recruitment Genius: Visitor Experience Manager

    £25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Delivering an inspiring, engagi...

    Recruitment Genius: Learning Team Administrator

    £17500 - £20500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are looking for a great te...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
    Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

    Confessions of a former PR man

    The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

    Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

    Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
    London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

    The mother of all goodbyes

    Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
    Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

    Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

    The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
    Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions