Crafting growth independently

New beer report shows peaks and troughs for producers

The UK’s small independent breweries are expected to create 890 jobs this year

THERE’S more beer being produced and more jobs being created by the UK’s independent craft brewers, a new wide-ranging report into the market has revealed.

Published by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), The British Craft Beer Report 2019 also found that almost half (45%) of consumers are happy to pay more for genuine craft beer, while 24% would be more likely to visit a pub or restaurant if it had a good selection of craft beer.

The report brings together views from Britain’s craft brewers, industry insight and consumer polling to provide an “authoritative” report on the current state of British craft beer.

The report noted that there was “little doubt” that the growth in popularity of craft beer had helped boost the overall beer market which saw growth of 2.6% in 2018, the biggest increase in 45 years.

Small independent brewers are expected to create 890 jobs this year, while the volume of beer brewed rose by 0.8% in 2018 compared to 2017.

Another key finding in the report was that the traditional pub market is becoming harder to access so brewers are said to be looking for new markets and opening their own routes to market in the form of taprooms and craft beer bars.

Mike Benner, SIBA chief executive, said the report “paints a fascinating picture of the British beer market”.

He added: “On the one hand you have an increasing growth in popularity of craft beer and consumers who are better educated in what that means than ever before, but on the other you have got increased saturation and competition.

“The independent craft beer breweries in the UK produce the beers that consumers want to drink, and whilst there is increasing pressure and competition, the biggest barrier for brewers is securing access to market – getting their beers into the hands of the people who want to drink them.”