Gin craze sees number of UK distilleries double in five years

By Sophie Witts

- Last updated on GMT

Gin craze sees number of UK distilleries double in five years

Related tags England Uk

The UK’s love affair with gin is showing no signs of drying up, and the craze for craft varieties of the spirit has seen the number of distilleries in the country hit a new high.

The number has risen to 315, more than double the 152 operating in the UK five years ago.

According to figures from HMRC 49 new UK distilleries launched in 2017, while seven closed.

Twenty-two of those were in England, 20 in Scotland, four in Wales and a further three in Northern Ireland.

The most rapid growth has been in England, where 122 distilleries have opened since 2010.

The Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA) says the boom is down to what it dubbed a ‘ginaissance’, with a record number of bottles sold in the last year.

“Gin is the key driver behind the surge in new distillery openings in the UK in the last five years,” says Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).

“It wasn’t that many years ago when a pub would stock one gin brand and now a gin menu offering a range of gins and mixers is commonplace in our pubs and bars.”

Portobello Road opened the UK’s first gin hotel in London​ in 2016, and Holborn Dining Room now offers over 400 varieties of the spirit at Rosewood London.

Over 8.8m bottles of gin were sold in UK restaurants, pubs and bars in the year to September 2017, a rise of 15% by volume, though the majority is still sold in supermarkets where 38.7m bottles flew off the shelves last year.

UK gin is also proving popular overseas. In 2016 the country exported £474m worth of the spirit, with an IWSR Forecast Report projecting that the figure will grow a further 37% by 2021.

Related topics Trends & Reports Casual Dining

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