Craft beer

181 new beer brands registered in the UK in 2015

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Major brewers capitalising on craft's popularity
Major brewers capitalising on craft's popularity

Related tags Trademark

Beer trademark registrations in the UK have hit a record high, following the continued rise in the popularity of craft beer, according to City law firm RPC.

Registered UK beer brands rose by 12% from 1,485 to 1,666 in 2015, RPC’s analysis of the government’s Intellectual Property Office showed.

In the past five years the total number of beer trademark registrations jumped by 43% from 1,162 in 2011.

Big and small brewers are investing heavily in new brands to keep up with consumers’ growing appetite for new and craft products, said RPC head of retail Jeremy Drew.

Epicentre of the proliferation

The epicentre of the proliferation is London, which saw 36 new breweries open last year, compared with 29 in 2014.

Global drinks giants have increased the number of ‘artisan’ brands they are launching to capitalise on the growth of craft beer and to “compete with the threat of independent breweries”, Drew added.

“In the past, mega-breweries may have placed greater emphasis on consolidating their current range,” continued Drew.

“As the number of craft beer products rises, the possibility for a conflict of similar names may become greater, especially in an industry that’s growing so fast.

“As a result, there could be a rise in disputes between brewers and beer retailers over intellectual property rights of their craft beer.”

Examples of breweries pumping money in to their businesses​ to grow market share include Hogs Back Brewery in Tongham, Surrey, which announced a £400,000 investment to ramp up production.

Dual-purpose vessels

The capital will see three new fermenting and maturation vessels installed at the brewery, as well as one 80-barrel and two 120-barrel dual-purpose vessels.

Infrastructure for two more 120-barrel vessels and a new boiler and chilling system for the whole brewery will also be laid.

Three new hop stores and a racking building with a keg racker and sterile filtration equipment will also be installed.

A second warehouse will also be built next to Hogs Back’s existing listed barn.

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