Good new from the British Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA):
In marked contrast to the decline in volumes reported by national and global brewers, the local brewing sector grew by a total of 10 per cent in 2008. Of this, three per cent was contributed by new brewers not operational throughout all of 2007, leaving ‘like for like’ volumes up by an impressive seven per cent.
The growth of the local brewery industry has been achieved through both increased distribution – the average number of pub customers per brewer grew from 79 to 94 last year – and increased rate of sale – throughput of local beers grew by an average of nine per cent over the last two years. While draught ale, through the pub, is the mainstay of the local brewer, accounting for 86 per cent of volumes, bottled beer is growing fast. Last year, bottled beer volumes increased by over 50 per cent, which helped to grow total sales turnover by an average of 20 per cent.