British Beer sales rose by 4.2 percent to 3.4 billion pounds in 2014, with the growth being supported by craft beer, according to a report published this month by the Office for National Statistics.
The ONS report added that about 170 new breweries were opened in the year, citing a report by lobby group the Campaign for Real Ale.
Major deals such as SABMiller Plc’s purchase of London craft brewer underline the rapid growth in the industry. Meanwhile, craft beer pubs and bottles shops are opening up across the country.
“The craft beer thing has been going on in the past three to five years, but over the last year it has really stepped up another level,” Chris Wisson, senior drinks analyst at researcher Mintel in London, told Bloomberg.
In April, growth in the UK craft beer market was so great that the Office for National Statistics added it to the basket of goods and services used to calculate inflation.
“Off-sales of ‘craft’ beer have been introduced as these speciality and micro-brewery products are seeing an increase in both expenditure and the shelf space devoted to them”, wrote the ONS in March.