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A woman climbs a ladder to reach a bottle from a collection of gin in the gin tower restaurant
Image: A woman climbs a ladder to reach a bottle from a collection of gin in the gin tower restaurant. REUTERS/Edgar Su

Gin Sales Have Tripled in the United Kingdom

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Image: A woman climbs a ladder to reach a bottle from a collection of gin in the gin tower restaurant. REUTERS/Edgar Su

Though gin had gone out of fashion for a few years, it appears to have rebounded in the U.K.

The spirit has become a preferred beverage among many groups looking to higher end drinks.

Tripling of Sales

Since 2009, gin sales have tripled in the United Kingdom as this drink has started to make a return to popularity. According to data from the Office for National Statistics, sales hit £461 million for gin in the U.K. last year. That represents a 32.5 percent increase over the year before.

That said, back in 2009, those sales had been only £126 million. The reason is that the beverage had gone out of style at that time, but has been experiencing a powerful renewal in interest. This has not only been good for existing distilleries, but has also brought a number of new distilleries into existence.

New Distilleries on the Rise

Last year alone, the United Kingdom became home to 49 new distilleries. This, according to data from HM Revenue and Customs and the Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA). At the same time, only seven shut down. Regardless of the closures, there were still far more new entries into the market than there were those that exited.

The new distilleries are divided primarily between England and Scotland where there are 22 and 20 new sites, respectively. There are also another four in Wales as well as three new ones in Northern Ireland.

This has brought the total number of distilleries in the United Kingdom up to 315. When compared to the number from five years ago, the total has more than doubled. At that time, there were only 152 gin distilleries.

Why Gin?

According to the WTSA, the reason gin sales are rising as strikingly as they are is because of “premiumisation.” Drinkers in the United Kingdom have become more willing to pay for higher end forms of alcohol. This means that people are starting to look for certain appealing features. Among them may be the quality of the ingredients or process, the use of local ingredients, or even the distillery’s – or its founders’ – histories.

Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of Alvexo on the matter.