Brewery Closures

As a new year begins, there is like no other time, a level of uncertainty for pubs, breweries and beer drinkers. 2022 was not a vintage year, with 83 breweries closing their doors for the last and this year seems to be following a similar trend, with 6 closing during the first 4 weeks.

Many that rode the post Covid wave, where demand for packaged beer was at its highest, are now seeing an unprecedented increase in raw ingredients, a reality of having to pay back grants and loans and consumers cutting back on such luxury items.

Breweries closing is not something that we are used to seeing and there have been some notable casualties. Wild beer probably stands out, having just celebrated a 10-year anniversary, raised over 1.5 million in crowdfunding and had a good presence in supermarkets.

Cloudwater Brewery, who from a distance, look untouchable, with them being seen as one of the market leaders within the UK had their CEO announce on the BBC that he is having sleepless nights about running the business and has on several occasions considered closing down. Their beer range has evolved, gone are the adventurous beers, what you are more likely to see is lower abv, more crowd pleasing ‘safe’ beer styles.

I don’t know what the answer is, there are so many variables at play and every brewery’s struggle will be different. What we are likely to see is an increase in the number of smaller breweries starting up, out of the ashes of those that have fallen possibly, and these won’t have any plans for world domination and just want to serve their local communities.

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