Tracker launched to keep tabs on brewery numbers

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

SIBA initiative: the tracker will show how many breweries are active across the 10 areas of the UK
SIBA initiative: the tracker will show how many breweries are active across the 10 areas of the UK

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The number of breweries in the UK will no longer be a mystery after the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) launched a tracker that shows how many active brewers there are.

SIBA UK Brewery Tracker 2023

Correct as of 1 January 2023

Scotland: 146

Northern Ireland: 29

North-east: 265

North-west: 209

East: 178

Midlands: 282

West of England: 75

Wales: 102

South-east: 335

South-west: 207

UK Total: 1,828

The SIBA UK Brewery Tracker​, which went live on Friday 13 January, shows a definitive number of actively trading breweries in 10 areas of the UK with its first figure stating the total number of active brewers as 1,828 as of 1 January 2023.

The move comes after a tough 2022 for the industry, where brewery closures are estimated to be at 80 compared to 46 new openings.

The SIBA UK Brewery Tracker​ will be released on a quarterly basis throughout 2023 and beyond, giving an accurate and up to date brewery number for the UK, something that SIBA said has often been difficult to track in the past in a consistent way.

Accurate and timely figure

“It has been an incredibly tough few years for the independent brewing industry and as we look ahead to the future it is important to be able to track our market share against the dominant global brewers,” said SIBA chief executive Andy Slee.

“The SIBA UK Brewery Tracker​ plays an important role in this and will give the industry an accurate and timely figure on active breweries, with a clear regional breakdown of numbers.”

One of the issues which has made tracking accurate brewery figures in the UK tricky in the past was clearly defining what constitutes a brewery, something SIBA has tackled head-on with a clear criteria and figures that represent active breweries rather than just registered beer businesses.

It defines a brewery simply as ‘an active business that makes beer and that has its own brewing equipment’ with further criteria defined for breweries with multiple sites or are now owned by a global brewer.

Slee added: “The figures released today are a snapshot of the UK brewing industry as it stands at the start of 2023, but which I believe will form the basis of an incredibly useful resource for tracking the increase and decrease in breweries across the UK in the coming year – an important barometer for industry health.”

Free for everyone

He continued: “With figures released every quarter, we can track numbers nationally and regionally and will be releasing the data freely to all, giving everybody access to up to date and robust data on brewery numbers – something which has been sadly lacking in the past with multiple sources for often wildly conflicting numbers.”

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has welcomed the launch of the tracker. Chief executive Tom Stainer said: “CAMRA welcomes and supports any accurate information that gives a better picture of the state of Britain’s brewing industry.

“It’s essential we’re able to assess the true impact of the past few difficult years, and regularly updated information about the country’s independent brewing sector, and diversity of beer choice for consumers, will be immensely helpful.”

You can see the tracker by visiting​.

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