The total number of distilleries registered in the UK has risen by 22%, from 361 in 2018 to at least 441 in 2019, according to figures from HMRC.
Last year reportedly saw a record number of UK distillery openings as numbers were boosted by at least 80.
For centuries, Scotland had dominated the spirit industry due to the popularity and heritage of Scotch Whisky, HMRC said.
However, in 2018, the number of distilleries in England overtook those in Scotland for the first time. England now operates 228 distilleries, adding at least another 62 to its total since the year before.
Scotland, meanwhile, saw an increase of 26 distilleries, taking their total up to 186 distilleries.
While Scotland operates some of the largest distilleries in the UK, an increasing number of smaller distilleries have emerged across England.
The latest figures show that English spirit makers continue to dominate the UK spirits map.
Growth over the last few years has been put down to the popularity of artisan gin as well as consumer demand for craft rum.
According to HMRC, the gin boom – also called the ginaissance – saw the total number of UK distilleries more than double in the last five years from 184 to 441 with figures in England more than tripling.
The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) end of year market report showed a surge in gin sales in 2019 with over 82 million bottles sold in the UK worth £2.6 billion.
WSTA CEO Miles Beale said: “It’s fantastic to see a growing number of British distilleries up and down the country, year on year, providing jobs and boosting their local economies.
“A freeze at the last Budget has certainly helped our innovative British distillers to invest and boost exports. And because we also know that an increase in wine duty has reduced Exchequer revenue, we are asking the Chancellor to take the time to consider a clear win/win. A cut to excise duty would boost both British Business and Treasury coffers.”
The latest HMRC figures do not reveal the total number of distillery openings in Wales and Northern Ireland as the applicants were fewer than 5 and the actual number has been withheld by officials to protect the confidentiality of HMRC’s customers.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020
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