Beer industry in the UK - statistics & facts

It appears that the beer industry in the United Kingdom is at a saturation point when it comes to new breweries. With a turnover close to nine billion British pounds, the number of breweries increased for several years. The main reason for this increase was the growing number of small and microbreweries producing craft beers. BrewDog has become the cornerstone of the British craft beer market with multiple entries among the most profitable craft beers. In the UK, the growth of on-trade craft beer sales has slowed and now comes to 1.2 million hectoliters. In recent years, low-alcohol and non- alcoholic beers have recorded significant on-trade sales growth. Since 2016, the sales volume has more than doubled.

Key figures from the industry

There are multiple ways to measure an industry's performance. One is to look at sales from the manufacture of beer in the UK, which came to 3.4 billion British pounds. The turnover mentioned above was generated with close to 28 thousand barrels of beer sold. When it comes to the beer industry's seasonal performance, it its important to note that the first quarter of each year usually sees a drop in beer sales. This is likely due to the large amounts of alcohol consumed during the holidays. In recent years the Dry January campaign has also contributed to reduced beer drinking in the first quarter. On an overall and non-seasonal scale, beer sales have been increasing from 2017 to 2019. Total UK beer production came to 37 million hectoliters, of which 29 million were cleared for consumption.

Beer drinking

Adding imported beer cleared for consumption to the amount of UK produced beer totals 47 million hectoliters approved for consumption. On an individual level, 73 liters of beer were consumed per capita on average. The most popular type of beer in the UK was lager, followed by India pale ale. Spending on beer amounted to 5.7 billion British pounds. Budweiser was the brand with the largest number of drinkers in Britain, followed by Stella Artois.

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Beer industry in the UK

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Important key figures

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On-trade and off-trade sales


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