Number of applications for new distilleries soars

By Laurie Macdonald contact

- Last updated on GMT

New expressions such as Thomas Dakin gin are part of a new breed of local spirit
New expressions such as Thomas Dakin gin are part of a new breed of local spirit

Related tags: Distillation

The number of applications for new distilleries in the UK has more than trebled in the last year, as new producers seek to cash in on the growing trend for locally produced small batch spirits.

Research carried out by Hacker Young Chartered Accountants showed the number of applications for distiller’s licences grow from 20 to 65 in just a year, which in turn was up from just five in 2010.

distiller chart

Source: UHY Hacker Young

PMA recently identified​ locally produced boutique spirits as one of the key areas of growth in the spirits category, alongside mezcal and American whiskey.

Hacker Young attributes the growth to customers considering boutique spirits luxury items worth paying more for, driven by the spread of cocktail bars using local spirits which has increased consumer demand. The number of applications is a response to supply this demand.

James Simmonds, a partner at Hacker Young, said: “Fashionable young consumers are searching for authenticity in their drinks, and they are not afraid to pay higher prices for it. The sharp increase in distiller applications reflects this rising consumer demand. A trend that started in the bars of Shoreditch is now becoming a real thriving growth sector across the UK.”

A distillers license is needed for anyone who plans to manufacture spirits and applications are processed by HMRC.

Related topics: Spirits & Cocktails