Welsh distillery numbers on the rise

11th May, 2018 by Nicola Carruthers

The number of distilleries in Wales increased to 17 last year, up from one just five years ago, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).

In Wales, consumers spent £630 million on spirits

In Wales, consumers spent £630 million on spirits

The WSTA held a showcase of Welsh wines and spirits at the National Assembly for Wales in partnership with Janet Finch-Saunders, assembly member for Aberconwy, to raise awareness of the British drinks industry.

According to HMRC data cited by the WSTA, a total of 51 new distilleries were registered in the UK last year, an increase of 15%.

As of 2017, there are now 17 distilleries in Wales, with four new sites opening last year.

The UK drinks industry is calling on the government to “be bolder than ever” in its support for British wine and spirit producers.

Wine and spirits sales in Wales were worth almost £1.3 billion (US$1.76bn) in 2017, with £630 million (US$854m) spent on spirits.

The Welsh wine and spirits industry provides an estimated £400 million (US$540m) windfall for the Treasury each year and supports 33,000 jobs, according to the WSTA.

Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA, said: “Welsh wine and spirit businesses continue to boom, with both the size of the industry and the quality of produce increasing each year. Our event at the Senedd earlier this week was well attended, and it was clear that assembly members have great enthusiasm for supporting welsh wine and spirits producers.

“Four distilleries opened in Wales last year, and a reported six vineyards as well, bringing a boost to the local economy as well as new jobs to the area.

“There is a significant amount of investment going into wine and spirits in Wales, and the industry was worth over £1 billion (US$1.36bn)  to the Welsh economy last year, but 48% of this goes straight to the Treasury. That’s why the support of Welsh AMs is so crucial as producers look to invest in their business, and seek to take advantage of new export opportunities as we ready for Brexit.”

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