That’s according to the Good Beer Guide 2014, released by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) today.
The extra 187 microbreweries across the country means that there are now 1,147 breweries in the UK; and the number of regularly brewed British beers is now running at more than 5,200.
The guide said that the past 12 months had seen the number of breweries in London double to 46, while West Yorkshire tops the leader board with 57.
It added that breweries had popped up in the most unusual places, from a beer brewing pizzeria (Crate Brewery in London) to a transformed Dairy Farm (Malt Brewery in Prestwood, Buckinghamshire) and a converted School outbuilding (Old School Brewery in Warton Lancashire).
Guide editor Roger Protz welcomed the “greater choice for the drinker and more opportunity to buy locally produced brews”.
Protz added: “West Yorkshire has always been a strong area for beer, with Leeds, Bradford, Cast-leford, Halifax and Huddersfield, as well as many more smaller towns, boasting hundreds of fantastic real ale pubs.”
Protz also said that a growing number of female brewers or 'brewsters' are adding momentum to the real ale market.
“It is only in modern times that men have overtaken women as the main brewers of beer, as historically it was women who dominated brewing," said Protz. "Traditionally known as ‘brewsters’, it is fantastic to see more women rejoining the industry and in many cases giving the chaps a run for their money."
According to the CAMRA, women now account for 22% of its membership – a growth of 20,000 in the last decade alone. The amount of women trying real ale is also up, from 14% to 34% in the last three years, showing that wider availability and variety of beers is having a positive effect on the number of women giving real ale a go in the pub.
The guide also noted that pubs are being saved from closure by an “unlikely method” by being bought by locals.
Last month, the pubs minister announced that 100 pubs have been listed as Assets of Community Value, which means that once a pub is listed, and if it is up for sale, the community has six months to bid for the site.
“The determined action to save pubs shows the depth of feeling there is to save locals that are community assets in different parts of the country, with different customer bases,” said Protz. “Pubs don’t have to close: they can be saved for future generations to enjoy.”