However, in trying to get under skin of the modern brewing industry, I am acutely aware that for the most part brewers will not be willing to share their financial results with me. This is commercially sensitive information. So I am going to have to take another, less direct approach. We frequently hear in the press that breweries are opening every day, and as a beer drinker I rejoice at the beer bounty coming our way. Using data on the wonderful Quaffale site, the number of brewery openings between 1993 and 2013 can be tracked. As the graph below shows, without a shadow of a doubt we are in period when there is a boom new breweries, with 656 opening between 2009 and 2013.
|Graph 1: The number of UK breweries opening 1993 to 2013|
|Graph 2: The number of UK breweries which closed, 1993-2013|
But how can I gauge whether this is so? Using the Quaffale database, as well as other sources, in the next week or so will be looking for information on how and why breweries have closed in the last four years, as this may give an indication of the state of breweries' finances. Indeed, some may have ceased trading because of issues with the profitability and performance of trade – as was recently the case with the Breconshire Brewery. Nevertheless, other factors may have put pay to breweries, like the demolition of rented spaces, take-overs or even the fact that the owners got bored. Hopefully by the next post I will have a full picture. Any contributions will, of course, be welcome.