London is emerging as one of the centres of British brewing

London is emerging as one of the centres of British brewing

London is continuing to see a boom in brewery openings, with an 18% rise in new producers in the last year.

Figures released today by UK consumer group the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) show that there are 52 real ale brewers operating in the UK capital, compared to 44 this time last year. This comes on top of a near-doubling in the number of operations between 2012 and 2013.

“For many years, London was lagging behind the rest of the UK in terms of the number of breweries, but a boom in microbreweries and brewpubs in the capital over the last few years has really put London back on the map of British beer,” said Tom Stainer, CAMRA’s head of communications. In 2000, London had only nine breweries.

The rise in the number of UK small breweries has mirrored a surge in openings in the US. Last month, trade body the Brewers Association revealed the US now boasts 3,040 breweries – the highest number since the 1870s

Meanwhile, CAMRA voiced fresh concern over UK pub closures, pointing to figures showing that the number of pubs shutting per week has risen to 31. The group has launched a campaign, entitled 'Pubs Matter', to persuade the Government to change the law so a planning application is always required before a pub is demolished or converted into another use.

CAMRA's annual, five-day Great British Beer Festival starts today in London.