There are now around 1,700 breweries in the UK, a 8% jump in the last 12 months, new research shows.

Accountancy group UHY Hacker Young pointed out that breweries are becoming “increasingly profitable” and represent targets for acquisition.

James Simmonds, partner at UHY Hacker Young, explained: “Craft beer is leading the way in the surging popularity of artisan products and has pushed aside other brands in high street bars. Many are now firmly established household names.”

“This increasing popularity has transformed many microbreweries into highly profitable businesses for entrepreneurs looking for a niche position in the food and drinks market.

“As a result of their success, microbreweries across the UK have also become attractive acquisition targets for larger breweries.”

Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom added: “Our food and drink is renowned the world over and for most of us there’s nothing more quintessentially British than enjoying a pulled pint of ale in a classic English pub.

“Thanks to the popularity of our pint we’re now seeing a record number of microbreweries opening up across the country, bringing quality beer to communities across the nation and creating countless jobs and opportunities for our economy.”