Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA, said: "The rapid growth of distilleries, an increase of 135% since 2010, is yet another positive sign of the UK spirits industry going from strength to strength.
"From traditional products like Scotch, to the Great British gin boom and newer products like English and Welsh whiskey, it is an exciting time for spirits producers across the UK.
"Consumers here at home and around the world have developed a real thirst for top quality British spirits, and a new distillery is coming online at the equivalent rate of one per week to rise to that challenge.
"As the government negotiates free-trade deals with both Europe and third countries there is a real opportunity for the UK to boost its exporting capacity by trading quality spirits overseas. We have already seen how successful and in-demand British gin is to 139 countries around the world. But we believe with the right support the industry can go further to access more markets overseas."
A total of 45 new distilleries were registered in 2016 (an increase of 17%), including five known cancellations in 2016 - three in England and two in Scotland. Distilleries in England contributed two-thirds of the 45 new licences granted in 2016.