Chin chin to gin!
Remember last year when we were warned that we might soon be facing a gin shortage? Well, it seems as though that was a load of bollocks as gin sales have absolutely soared in 2016. So if we do face a shortage any time soon it's probably because us Brits have literally been drinking it by the bottle.
Yes, according to new figures released by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA for short), we've been drinking record amounts of gin in 2016. Though given that this was the year of Brexit, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt divorcing and Donald Trump winning the US election who can blame us for hitting the hard stuff?
For the first time ever in the UK, gin sales broke the £1 billion sales mark a good six months ahead of forecasts. This means that about 40 million bottles of gin were sold in the past 12 months (that's enough to make roughly 1.12 billion gin and tonics, just FYI).
How did this happen? Gin sales have increased by 19% to a value of £619 million across UK pubs, bars and restaurants over the past 12 months, more than other spirit sold. Sales have also risen by 13% in shops, supermarkets and off licenses to a value of £437 million, resulting in the highest ever volume of gin sales in the UK.
Not only have gin sales skyrocketed, but this new found gin appreciation has also resulted in a massive boost for the home-grown industry as well. With 40 new distilleries opening in the UK between January and November.
Chief Executive at WSTA, Miles Beale said: 'There are many reasons why people may not feel like celebrating 2016 but the WSTA are pleased to give you something happy to reflect on - 2016 can now be remembered as the 'Great British Gin Take Off'.'
'Let's make sure gin continues to boom in 2017,' he added.
We can certainly drink to that!
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