Drinkers are ditching mass-produced lagers in favour of
local brews, which means that Britain now has more
breweries than before the Second World War, says the
Good Beer Guide 2009.
Editor Roger Protz reports that 70 microbreweries have
opened over the last two years, adding to the 80 in 2006
and 80 in 2007.
"Britain now has more than 550 craft breweries, and many
of them are enjoying spectacular growth," he says. "The
reason is simple -- more and more drinkers are looking
for taste and character in beer rather than the
The guide says that the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA)
reports an average increase in sales of 11% in 2007,
while sales of Stella Artois, the country's
biggest-selling premium lager, fell by 10%.
Says Protz: "Major brewers, including Marston's of
Burton-on-Trent and Wolverhampton, and Fuller's of West
London, have applied to join SIBA despite already being
members of the British Beer and Pub Association.
"More and more consumers are concerned with how beers
are made and the ingredients used. They prefer beers
made and sold locally rather than driven thousands of
miles. The success of craft brewing really fits the
green, carbon-conscious attitudes of modern consumers."