Craft boom continues as distillery numbers grow

30th September, 2015 by Amy Hopkins

Last year saw a record-breaking number of craft distilleries open in the UK, but 2015 is set to “slightly surpass” this figure.


According to data collected for the Craft Distilling Expo, 25 craft distilleries are expected to open by the end of the year

According to data collected for the third annual Craft Distilling Expo, which will take place in London on 7 and 8 October, 25 craft distilleries are expected to open in the UK by the end of this year, compared to 24 last year.

In total, 19 distilleries have already been opened in the year to date.

More UK craft distilleries opened in 2014 than in the previous five years combined (see graph) as consumer demand for independent, heritage-driven products soared.

“2014 was a bumper year for distillery openings in the UK and in 2015 we’ve already surpassed the number of distillery openings that we had last year,” said David T. Smith, spirits expert and co-founder of the Craft Distilling Expo.

“Gin continues to be the most popular spirit for UK distilleries to produce, but there has also been an increase in the production of vodka and fruit spirits.UK-craft-disitlleries

“Some gin distilleries are now moving into making whisky, with the Cotswolds Distillery and Rademon Estate Distillery already laying down spirit; there are also three distilleries producing spirit for whisky in London.”

Other independent distilleries that commenced production in 2014 include Kingsbarns Distillery in Fife, East London Liquor Company in Hackney and Edinburgh Distillery.

In 2016, the number of sites could increase further after it was revealed that the number of applications for UK distillery licences trebled in 2014/15.

Trade fair the Craft Distilling Expo will take place at the Boiler House in the Old Truman Brewery and will feature a number of masterclasses, seminars and debates.

For more information on the show, or to purchase tickets, click here.

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