London toasts boom in craft beer start-ups

 
Adam Hignett
BUSINESS is booming for London’s micro-breweries, with 2014 emerging as yet another record year for start-ups entering the capital’s thriving artisan beer scene.

Last year there were 30 applications to HMRC to launch breweries in London, a small increase of one on 2013’s record year and almost double that of two years earlier.

London is now at the heart of the nation’s craft beer industry, according to accountancy group UHY Hacker Young.

The thirst for craft beers has been driven by an increasing appetite for niche brews, especially in London’s trendy districts of Shoreditch and Hackney, where connoisseurs are increasingly willing to pay a premium for locally sourced beverages. The recent success of small brewers in the capital is offering encouragement to budding entrepreneurs and investors, whose products are seen as part of the luxury food and drinks market, said UHY Hacker tax partner Roy Maugham.

New breweries which recently opened, such as the Bullfinch Brewery in Bermondsey’s Maltby Street Market, are looking to emulate the success of pioneers such as Hackney’s London Fields Brewery which opened in 2007.

Recent research from Mintel estimated 38 per cent of Londoners over 18 have drunk a craft beer in the last six months.

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