Forty-five UK craft breweries went insolvent in the twelve months up until 31 March, compared to 15 the previous year, according to a report.
The audit, tax and advisory firm Mazars reported the figure had jumped compared to the prior year in an analysis of the most recent official Insolvency Service statistics.
Mazars attributed the closures to primarily smaller craft breweries that have suffered from high inflation and “an oversaturated market”.
Even without the ongoing cost-of-living crisis there would have been “a major shakeout in the market”, Mazars argued. It said the rise in craft brewery start-ups has meant there was a surplus of breweries competing for limited shelf space in supermarkets and bar space within pubs and restaurants.
Paul Maloney, associate director at Mazars, said: “Craft breweries have been struggling for some time but rising prices have brought their financial challenges to a head.”
Mazars added in its report smaller brewers have struggled with a change in consumer spending when it comes to beer as the cost-of-living crisis has deepened.
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Maloney said: “Craft brewers often offer ‘premium’ beers, but consumers are turning to cheaper options. As such, discounted brands produced by large international brewers and supermarket own brands are increasingly the choice for consumers.
“The craft beer market became heavily overpopulated over the last decade. The cost-of-living crisis now means many of these brewers are fighting for a place in a shrinking market. Some of them will not make it.”
Distribution presents another issue for smaller UK breweries as they rely on doing lots of business within local communities, relying on taprooms and supplying to local “bottle shops”. Mazars stated that limited turnover of several craft breweries.
A recent example of a UK brewery entering administration occurred in May with Yorkshire-based Black Sheep Brewery. However, the brewery was bought by the investment firm Breal Group last week.