Food Minister George Eustice Hails The UK’s Thriving Beer Industry

The British beer revolution shows no sign of slowing, Food Minister George Eustice today announced as the latest figures reveal one billion pints were shipped to beer lovers around the world last year, bringing a £600 million boost to the UK economy.

More than 500 breweries opened in the last year to meet the growing demand for a British pint – with shipments to a record 121 countries, including brewing powerhouses Australia and Germany. A further 2,000 new beer brands, including Sheffield’s first craft lager and Arkell’s first flavoured beer range, also launched – the highest figures of new beer on the market for over a decade.

To build on this momentum, this week the Government is connecting some of the country’s best craft beers with buyers from across the US and Europe, putting the UK’s national drink in the global spotlight and helping boost the bottles of British beer on shop shelves around the world.

Food Minister George Eustice said:

The UK’s beer industry has a lot to celebrate – our established breweries now export to more countries than ever before, with bottles of British beer on shelves as far as Japan and New Zealand.

The craft beer boom in particular has secured our position at the forefront of the industry and made us a first choice for beer lovers the world over – with major retailers and supermarkets now stocking our smaller, unique brands over global big hitters.

Through the Food is GREAT campaign, the Government is working hard to make sure this important sector goes from strength to strength, which is why we are connecting our finest brewers with world-leading buyers, opening new markets and driving exports.

Total exports of UK beer grew by nearly £100 million in the last year, securing British brewers’ spot among the UK’s top five food and drink exports for the second year running – ahead of some of our most famous exports like salmon and cheese.

Taking advantage of this trend, the Government’s Food is GREAT inbound trade mission will show leading buyers our renowned craft-beer industry in action. The trade mission includes tours of local breweries and a visit to the Bristol Craft Beer Festival, which showcases more than 200 UK beers to more than 2,500 visitors.

International Trade Minister Mark Garnier said:

The boost in beer exports is great news for UK breweries and beer enthusiasts across the globe.

Our beer industry now exports to more countries than ever before and, as an international economic department, we are committed to help them build on this success to make the most of rising demand.

British breweries can use our overseas network which operates in 108 countries, or look for live exporting opportunities on our digital hub, to build their brands abroad as part of a Global Britain.

Across the country, breweries and exporters are recognising the growing demand overseas, and with Government support have set their sights on emerging and growing markets such as China and the US. This trend isn’t only being felt in the beer sector – last week Lloyds Bank announced 69% of UK food and drink companies are looking to tap into new international markets around the world.

Last year Defra and Department for International Trade (DIT) launched the first International Action Plan for food and drink which will see Government and industry working together to boost food and drink exports over the next five years.

Led by Defra in partnership with DIT and VisitBritain, the Food is GREAT campaign plays a key role in driving exports for UK produce overseas – increasing the demand around the world and positive public perception of our food and drink. UK businesses can explore their potential exporting opportunities through DIT’s digital portal, The website acts as a single destination for trade and investment. There are more than 1,900 ‘live export opportunities’ online, bringing together and connecting UK businesses, international buyers and international investors.