Artisan gin's surge in popularity shown as distilleries rise by fifth in year

Updated: 

The number of distilleries in the UK has increased by a fifth in the last year amid a sudden popularity in artisan gin, a new report shows.

There are more than 130 distilleries, double the number in 2012, said accountancy group UHY Hacker Young.

The value of gin sales has increased significantly over recent years, exceeding £1 billion in 2016 and is expected to rise to £1.37 billion by 2020 as gin continues to undergo a "renaissance."

James Simmonds, of UHY Hacker Young, said: "Five years ago, artisan gin was a relatively unknown product, but now it's very common to see five or 10 different premium gins on the menu or on a supermarket shelf.

"Premium gins often retail at around £30 a bottle, making it a high-margin industry.

"Gin can be very versatile - with many companies adding new and unusual flavourings to their products.

"This means that new producers can differentiate themselves relatively easily in comparison to other spirit producers such as whisky."