Gin boom almost triples UK distilleries in five years

By Robert Mann contact

- Last updated on GMT

Gin boom: new results have revealed that the number of gin distilleries in the UK has tripled in just five years
Gin boom: new results have revealed that the number of gin distilleries in the UK has tripled in just five years
The boom in gin sales in the UK has led the number of distilleries almost tripling in five years, new results have revealed.

According to information published by HMRC there are now 361 registered distilleries in the UK, almost three times the 128 registered in 2012.

The gin boom has also led to England overtaking Scotland in total registered distilleries for the first time, while distilling in Wales and Northern Ireland also continues to grow.

In 2018, there were 166 distilleries in England and 160 in Scotland, while in 2017 there were 135 in England and 149 in Scotland. There are currently 19 registered distilleries in Wales up from just one in 2012, and 16 in Northern Ireland, up from two in 2012.

Scotland still boasts some of the largest distilleries in the UK, however, an increasing number of smaller distilleries have emerged across England and Wales many of them diversifying and making new gins, whiskies, vodkas, rums, brandies and liqueurs.

Wine & Spirit Trade Association chief executive Miles Beale said it "lifts the spirits" to hear that distillery numbers continue to grow in the UK.

"It’s not just our gins picking up awards, but we have also seen a growing number of excellent quality English and Welsh whiskies too," Beale exclaimed.

"With all the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, it is extremely reassuring that our talented spirit makers are continuing to innovate, invest and grow.

"With England now boasting more distilleries than its Scottish cousins, 2018 really has marked a moment in history.

"There is a significant amount of money being poured back in to the British spirits industry, which has been helped by the Chancellor freezing spirit duty."

According to HMRC, the UK exported £532m of British gin in 2018 which is expected to grow further in 2019.

New distilleries include the Aber Falls distillery in north Wales, while construction has also begun on the Thomas Dakin Gin Distillery​ in Manchester.

Warren Scott, chief executive of Quintessential Brands Group, owners of Thomas Dakin Gin, spoke of his delight upon the build of the new Manchester gin distillery. 

"There’s a growing thirst for knowledge when it comes to gin and with our new Thomas Dakin distillery, we are looking forward to breaking new ground in craft gin distilling and also to showing the world the north-west’s important place in the colourful history of gin," Scott said.

Related topics: Spirits & Cocktails

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