The UK brewing industry is continuing to experience closures across the country, new figures from the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) show.

For the first quarter of this year, the SIBA UK Brewery Tracker has recorded a -38 net closure rate across the UK compared to the last quarter of 2023, with all 8 SIBA regions seeing either a decline in the number of breweries or remaining the same. 

Now, there are a total of 1,777 active breweries in the UK, compared to the 1,815 that were recorded in SIBA’s previous UK Brewery Tracker.

SIBA’s year-on-year comparison showed that some regions were experiencing overall growth compared to this time last year, with the East seeing a +11 net growth in the past 12 months. Elsewhere, the South East and the South West also saw moderate growth. 

However, the country-wide year-on-year comparison showed a decline of -47, with the North West and the North East suffering from the highest closure rates.  

SIBA chief executive Andy Slee cited financial pressures as one of the primary reasons for the mass closures: “There is no single reason breweries in the UK close, but for most it is a combination of rising costs and slowing sales caused by the cost of living crisis, which when compounded by the repayment of substantial Covid loan debts makes many businesses struggle to turn a sustainable profit.”

He continued: “Every brewery closure is a huge loss to its local community and economy, and whilst the Covid loans offered to businesses to keep them afloat were a necessary step we are seeing many businesses now struggle with the pressure of the short and inflexible payment terms offered.”