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5th April 2023

UK’s Top 25 independent breweries see a 32% increase in turnover, rising from £998m to £1.32bn

  • Craft breweries now account for 1 in 5 independent breweries with the highest turnover
  • But sector squeezed by soaring energy and food costs, as well as weakened consumer demand

The UK’s Top 25 independent breweries* have increased their turnover by 32% in the last year, from £998 million to £1.32 billion, says national accountancy group, UHY Hacker Young.

Following the end of Covid restrictions pubs returned to full capacity, increasing the number of sales breweries made to pub and pub groups.

There are fears that growth in independent breweries’ turnover will be hit by decreased demand from pubs and supermarkets, as consumer discretionary spending decreases. Pubs dealing with the costs of soaring energy prices are more limited in their beer purchasing ability than previously.

Brewery revenues are very likely to suffer the knock-on effects of the recent wave of pub and bar company insolvencies, as there will be fewer pubs to make orders. There was an 83% increase in pub and bar insolvencies in 2022, with 512 companies ceasing trading**.

Some breweries have already had to implement cost-saving measures, such as reducing operating hours, closing temporarily or offering a reduced menu. Many have been forced to close permanently, with craft brewers Wild Beer and Tyne Bank going into administration at the end of last year.

After many years of rapid revenue growth, the seven craft breweries in this list have seen growth in annual revenue slow to 20%, overtaken by the 32% growth amongst non-craft breweries.

Brewdog, the largest UK craft brewery, is still aggressively targeting growth. Recently, it reached an agreement with AB-Inbev to utilise their Chinese distribution infrastructure and opened flagship venues in prime London locations.

Whilst the Top 25 independent breweries have seen revenues pick up in the past year, they have not returned to pre-pandemic levels, which saw them reach £1.57bn in turnover in 2019.

James Simmonds, Partner at UHY Hacker Young says: “The UK’s independent brewery market has been fuelled by craft breweries in recent years. But now there are concerns the market’s smaller companies will struggle to secure debt in a weak economic environment, due to limited cash funds or assets to use as security.”

“Independent brewers in particular may struggle to reduce costs compared to larger competitors, as their smaller scale means they are less able to negotiate beneficial deals with energy suppliers.”

“Craft brewers have benefitted from consumers taste in beer becoming more sophisticated, as well as the growing preference for independent and locally sourced goods. However, the cost-of-living crisis means many consumers will either cut back on spending on craft beers or opt for more affordable products.”

*Independent breweries with the highest turnover, year end 31st December 2022. Independent breweries’ defined as breweries where ownership is independent of large multinational drinks companies. Judged by majority share ownership

**Insolvency Service statistics


About UHY Hacker Young:

The UHY Hacker Young Group is one of the UK’s Top 20 accountancy networks with 100 partners and around 600 professional staff working from 23 locations around the country. The offices within the Group provide a wide range of accounting, tax and business advisory services, with a reputation for integrity and reliability within the financial community, and particularly with London’s Stock Markets. UHY Hacker Young are also ranked 12th in the ARL Corporate Advisers Rankings Guide amongst other UK audit firms for advising London Stock Exchange listed companies.

UHY Hacker Young is a founder member of the UHY International network with offices in every major financial centre in the world. Further information can be found at


James Simmonds


UHY Hacker Young

Phone: +44 115 959 0900