Whether you prefer a pale ale, porter, ruby, IPA, DIPA or stout, the choice of beer at pubs across the UK has changed beyond recognition mostly thanks to the rise of craft breweries. Here's how you can turn making your own tipple into a brewing business. It all started with a tax change. In 2002 then chancellor Gordon Brown introduced the 'small breweries' relief' scheme. Also known as Progressive Beer Duty (PBD), the incentive gave huge tax breaks to small breweries.It might sound like a lot, but breweries producing less than 600,000 hectolitres each year – or about ten million pints – qualifies for a discount on the amount of duty they pay. Norton Support Extra small breweries, producing only 5,000 hectolitres each year, pay 50 per cent of the duty compared to large companies.In 2000 there were around 500 breweries in the UK. In October last year, there were 1,700 – and this trend is only going one way. In the US, the number of craft microbreweries jumped by 21 per cent to 3,132 from 2015 to 2017, according to the Brewers Association.
There are two main routes people can go to start their own brewery, says Seb Brink, head brewer at North Brewing Co, based in Leeds. Either start out as an enthusiastic home-brewer, like he did, or get an apprenticeship at a brewery and learn the trade from there.After graduating from a music degree, Brink was brewing at home for a while. One day he asked a local brewery if he could rent some of their equipment. A few years after using that to start his own brewery, called Golden Owl, he was approached by a local bar, North Bar, which wanted to start its own brewery.
With a few bars dotted around Leeds, North Brewing Co. already had somewhere to sell its beer. Now, just over a year and a half years late, North Brewing Co. is receiving orders from across the world and finding it difficult to keep up with demand.