Last year there were more new small breweries created than for 70 years, “so there’s something positive going on”, Adnams chief executive Dr Andy Wood said.
The small brewery sector has seen a boost in sales, which was linked to the scrapping of the beer duty escalator by the Chancellor George Osborne last year, according to a Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) beer report published last month.
Sales of beer grew by 7.9% in 2013 to 1.55M barrels, which meant consumers drank 33M more pints of local beer than in 2012, which “paints a picture of an industry in rude health”, the report added.
Jobs in small breweries also rose by 900 last year, following “significant capital investment” by 60% of SIBA's members, chief executive Julian Grocock said.
SIBA members felt more confident about the long-term prospects of the industry and, in response, have invested significantly in staff and new equipment, Grocock added.
SIBA is now joining industry calls for a freeze on beer duty to maintain growth in the sector ahead of the Budget on March 19.
Click here to view our exclusive video interview with Wood.