London's brewing scene revitalised
London's brewing - capital revealed as most transformed brewing scene in the UK -Londoners leading brewing boom, with 30 breweries now operational, compared to just 7 in 2006!
'London has gone brewing crazy'. These are the words of CAMRA's Great British Beer Festival and the London Brewers' Alliance (LBA) following figures out last week showing how 30 breweries are now operational across the capital - a whopping 24 of whom never even existed the last time the Great British Beer Festival was held at the Olympia Exhibition Centre back in 2005!
Since last year's Great British Beer Festival alone, 14 new breweries have started life, and with the London Brewers' Alliance reporting a further 14 currently in the process of setting up, London's brewing industry has undergone a total revival since its nadir in 2006 when only 7 commercial brewers were on stream.
After a successful 6-year stint at Earls Court, the 'Great British Beer Festival opened its doors at Olympia with the brewing landscape in the nation's capital having completely changed. From small artisanal set ups inside Westfield Stratfield City (Tap East), to mixing horticulture and brewing near Kew Gardens (Botanist Brewery), London has become the most transformed brewing scene in the UK.
Following on from this incredible growth, new consumer research shows that the growing number of brewers is having a positive effect on beer drinkers, with a 25% increase in the percentage of London's drinkers* having tried real ale since 2005.
Mike Benner, CAMRA's Chief Executive, said:
'It's a remarkable turnaround for London's brewing fortunes, particularly at a time when research shows 3 pubs a week close across the capital. Brewers from Bethnal Green to Battersea are successfully targeting a new breed of discerning beer consumer, tapping into the principles of localism and environmental awareness and winning new audiences for Britain's national drink. As seen at the Great British Beer Festival this week, this resurging interest in real ale can offer hope to the pub industry, especially when London's brewing business goes from strength to strength.'
Steve Williams, Secretary of the London Brewers' Alliance, said:
'Although London was behind the curve of the current British microbrewing renaissance; we have really caught up in 2011 and 2012 and are now proud to be at the cutting edge of the beer scene. We have new breweries and brewpubs opening every month and we can also now reasonably claim to be the brewpub capital of Europe.'
Since the first week of July, CAMRA's London branches have been co-ordinating a campaign - London City of Beer - to raise the profile of beer and pubs in the capital, and celebrate the industry's rich history. For more information please visit http://www.londoncityofbeer.org.uk/