British drink exports hit £391m

British drink exports hit £391m

Exports of quintessentially British beverages including gin and Yorkshire ale to the US reached a record £361m last year.

More than 220 million pints of ale, including from Yorkshire’s Ilkley Brewery and Aberdeenshire-based Brew Dog, were shipped to America in 2015.

Exports of ale are up 35% since last year, with figures hitting £164m.

Exports of gin roe 9% to £159m, while sales of English sparkling wine helped boost overall wine exports to the US by 23%.  

Speaking during a  special event to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday, environment secretary Elizabeth Truss said:“Business is booming for our iconic drink brand in the States.

“From our world class gins to beloved ales, it’s fantastic to see brands so synonymous with British culture becoming the drinks of choice in bars, clubs and restaurants across the US.”

Miles Beale, chief executive for the Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA) who organised the event said: “English wine is a fast growing industry with bold ambitions to boost production and open up new export opportunities.

“Like English wine our British gin is also experiencing a boom. We have seen an incredible rise in the number of distilleries set up in the last year with record breaking sales reaching £1 billion.

“This is a massive achievement for our Great British gin and English wine makers.

“They are rightly very proud to be making exceptional quality British products now sought after at home and across the world.”