Cheers: Distilleries in the UK have more than doubled thanks to the "ginaissance"

Emma Haslett
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Gin o'clock? The spirit has sparked a national obsession. (Source: Getty)

Gin is back - and the craze for artisanal versions of the classic English tipple have sent the number of distilleries in the UK to a new high.

The number has more than doubled in five years, to 315 across the UK, with 49 new ones opening in 2017 (although seven closed). In 2013, there were just 152 distilleries in the UK - most of which were in Scotland.

The Wine and Spirits Trade Association said the boom was down to what it dubbed the "ginaissance" - a boom in gin consumption.

According to the figures, gin sales in shops and supermarkets have grown 19 per cent by volume in the past year, to 268,000 hectolitres, while sales in pubs and restaurants have risen 15 per cent.

In the last year, the UK drank the equivalent of 1.32bn G&Ts, while we exported 180m bottles, worth £474m, to 139 countries.

"New gin brands continue to pop up on our supermarket shelves on a regular basis, as Brits show no sign of tiring of the quintessentially British spirit," said Miles Beale, chief exec of the WSTA.

"It wasn’t that many years ago when a pub would stock one gin brand and now a gin menu offering a range of gins and mixers is common place in our pubs and bars.

"There is a significant amount of investment going in to the British spirits industry and the chancellor's welcome boost is likely to see this trend continue into 2018 – as well as broadening out into new variations of English and Welsh whisky."

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