An “explosive creativity” of craft spirits has seen 50 new distilleries open across the UK last year, according to a study.
Accountancy group UHY Hacker Young claimed new “boutique” distillers were pushing big brands off the shelf.
It said Scotland saw a 50% rise in new distilleries over the past year, from 12 in 2015 to 18 in 2016.
In England, a record 35 new distilleries were opened last year compared with 28 the previous year.
James Simmonds, of UHY Hacker Young, said: “Both the craft spirits and the craft brewery sectors are going through a period of explosive creativity.
“You can see that in everything from the logos, branding and advertising of these products.
“The quality of the product is streets ahead of their big brand competitors.
“It is no wonder that the global drinks giants are worried, and the best way they have found to deal with that new competition is get out chequebooks and buy them.”