Is the UK’s explosion of craft beer and cider coming to an end?

By 7th September 2023Uncategorised

After decades of gradually being overshadowed by other drinks, the 21st century has seen an explosion in craft beer and cider that has changed the landscape of what, where and how we drink. Many high streets have benefitted from the additional footfall and novel bars that have subsequently appeared.We are sponsoring Pete Brown’s talk at this month’s Abergavenny Food Festival when he explores the craft beer and cider revolution. Pete has witnessed, drank and chronicled it all in the twenty years since the publication of his first book, Man Walks into a Pub.

The UK has enjoyed a decade-long boom in the craft beer scene. Even though the UK high streets have experienced dramatic change in fortunes, the drinks sector has largely gone from strength to strength. The market has grown consistently for innovative and premium craft beer and cider producers, and consumers have also been happy paying more for experiential drinking with the growth of town and city centre independent breweries and taprooms.

Our interest in the craft drink scene comes from working with industry experts in several towns and cities to assess and develop the evening and night-time economy. We have designed and reshaped the streets and quarters where people meet to eat, drink and socialise – creating experiential destinations that transform places to go beyond purely drinking.

But has the bubble burst for craft beer and cider? The industry reports over 100 microbreweries have closed in the last 18 months, due to a mix of Brexit repercussions, COVID financial hangovers, rising living costs, and impending alterations to beer tax regulations. Whilst this may well lead to a visible decline of craft beer and cider on the High Street, independent brewer are also seeing growing sales direct to consumers and an increased trend in online sales.

We are very excited to hear Pete’s talk on the craft beer and cider revolution. Pete will choose beers and ciders local to Abergavenny that represent key points in this extraordinary journey, and share some of the tall tales from the twelve books that have seen him named Beer Writer of the Year four times.

Tickets are available for Pete’s talk from


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