Starting a Microbrewery

  • Price: £5.99
  • Published: August 2016
  • Type: Business Opportunity Profile
  • Format: PDF
  • What qualifications and skills are required?
  • Key market issues and trends
  • Trading, commercial and legal issues
  • Legislation
  • Further information

Microbreweries are run by craft brewers who produce, bottle and sell real ales and craft beers on a small scale. They produce innovative, unique beers and ales, often using locally sourced ingredients. Typical trade customers of a microbrewery include freehold pubs, restaurants, hotels, caterers, caf├ęs, speciality food retailers and supermarkets. Some microbreweries also trade online and via local farmers' markets, selling beers and ales to individual consumers.

It is a legal requirement for all microbrewers in the UK to hold the relevant licences before they start trading. Licensing requirements differ depending on whether the business premises are located in England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

There are strict rules surrounding the sale of alcohol, and breweries have been affected in recent years by health and social policies aimed at cutting alcohol consumption.

This profile provides information about starting up and running a microbrewery. It describes the skills required, the training available, the current market trends and some of the key trading issues. It also explains the main legislation that must be complied with and provides sources of further information and support. It does not cover the production of cider, which is covered separately in MBP 269, Cider and Perry Producer.

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