Small brewers are toast of industry

Being a boutique product, craft beer can command a higher price than mass-produced lager

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The Independent Online

The number of microbreweries rose by almost a quarter last year, highlighting the swelling popularity of craft beer.

Britain now has 361 independent brewers of craft beer, up from 291 in 2014, research from the accounting firm UHY Hacker Young has shown. The 24 per cent growth far outstrips the 8 per cent rise seen the year before.

The number of applications to open microbreweries has nearly trebled over the last five years, thanks in part to tax breaks introduced in 2002.

Being a boutique product, craft beer can command a higher price than mass-produced lager, enabling the small brewers to compete with industry heavyweights such as SABMiller.

James Simmonds, a partner at UHY Hacker Young, said: “Craft beer is viewed as an aspirational leisure accessory – so the profit margins available can be very attractive.”

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