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Issue 5 Spring 2021

Social Works

Understanding Quality. FOR LIFE. Haffmans QC Equipment In-line, At-line, Laboratory, Packaging & Monitoring • Reliable & comparable measuring results • Reduced product loss & faster reaction time • Consistent product quality • Increased process efficiency • Accurate measurement of: air, CO2, O2, N2, TPO, foam and turbidity Phone: +44 (0) 1905 797 280 Email: Sales.uk@pentair.com


Editor’s comment

Welcome to the Spring edition of SIBA’s Independent Brewer Magazine. to the people around them has grown into something of a new social movement. Not only are people like Paul Jones at Cloudwater and Richard Archer at Utopian, both featured in our Winter issue, building businesses that nurture their teams, encourage their individuality and involve them in creating a better place to work. But they are also looking outside at the wider world to see what they can do to influence change for the good.

Spring is traditionally a time for hope, and although I am writing this column while the UK remains under full lockdown restrictions, my hope is that by the time you read it there may be better times on the horizon, and at the very least a date for re-opening in your diaries. It has been a long, grueling, year for the sector since BeerX UK in Liverpool took place last March but the resilience and inventiveness that small brewers have shown in order to adapt and survive demonstrates just what a unique and special community it is. What has struck me most while speaking to brewing members for the last few issues of the magazine is the growing altruism that has been fostered by the pandemic. Small brewers have always been at the heart of their communities but over the last 12 months this sense of wanting to support and give back

In this issue I meet Tess Taylor from a brewery that is doing just that, Tap Social Movement (see pages 46-53). Tap Social has built its entire business model around supporting the reintegration of former prisoners into work, with the aim of cutting the rate of reoffending and also giving them the skills they need to support themselves in the future and contribute to society. Tess and her team work with the local open prison, employing prisoners, who are in the final months of their sentences, across all areas of the business - from brewing, to marketing, to retailing in the taproom and pubs they operate. Our guest columnist, and current Beer Writer of the Year Lily Waite, believes this move to look further outside our own beer bubble should include a much more concerted effort to speak to the LGBTQ community and invite them in both as consumers and employees, with ‘diversity and inclusion’ not just being words on a mission statement but part of an active programme of direct engagement (read her thoughts on the topic on page 27).

Society of Independent Brewers PO Box 136, Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4 5WW Tel: 01765 640 441 www.siba.co.uk Email: office@siba.co.uk

For this edition I also spoke to Jack Hobday at London brewer Anspach & Hobday to find out not only how he has been adapting his business during 2020/21 but also to hear more about the work he has been doing on behalf of the sector on the issue of Small Breweries’ Relief (see pages 28-35). Jack was inspired by a conversation he had with a journalist who asked him what he was going to do about SBR reform, to start a petition to Government last year that gathered over 50,000 signatures. More and more small brewers, like Jack, Lily and Tess, are stepping up and acting on issues they feel passionately about, as you can see in the Brewery News section in this issue (see pages 68-81). There are so many stories of charitable work, fundraising and local community initiatives that SIBA members have found time for whilst they continue to face the challenges of the pandemic. As we finally start to see a return to normality, I wish you and your teams the very best for a successful re-start and some strong trading as the weather gets warmer. As ever, please do keep sending me your press releases, updates, news and views to caroline.nodder@siba.co.uk so that we can share your experiences, thoughts and successes in future magazines – the deadline for submissions to our Summer edition will be May 3rd. Caroline Nodder Editor SIBA Independent Brewer Magazine

Editor: Caroline Nodder (caroline.nodder@siba.co.uk) Published by: Media Alive Limited Produced on behalf of SIBA by: Media Alive Limited, 2nd Floor, The Red House, 119 Fore Street, Hertford, Hertfordshire SG14 1AX. T: 01992 505 810 Creative Director: Darren Kefford (darren@wearema.co.uk) Studio Manager: Jon Hardy (jon@wearema.co.uk) Advertising Manager: Claire Rooney (claire@wearema.co.uk) Managing Director: Dan Rooney (dan@wearema.co.uk)

Printed by: Stephens & George Print Group Goat Mill Road, Dowlais, Merthyr Tydfil CF48 3TD

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or be any other means, electronic or mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of SIBA and/or Media Alive Limited. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information in this publication is accurate and up-to-date, neither SIBA nor Media Alive Limited take any responsibility for errors or omissions. Opinions expressed in editorial contributions to this publication are those of their respective authors and not necessarily shared either by SIBA or Media Alive Limited.

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


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News 9-17

SIBA news All the news from SIBA HQ


BeerX UK Online preveiw

68-81 87-99

Brewery news The latest from our Brewing Members around the UK Supplier news Updates from SIBA’s Supplier Associate Members

Comment 7 8 18-19 27 37 66-67

38-43 Issue 5 Spring 2021

Social Works

Cover On the cover of this issue is Tess Taylor, who, along with her sister Amy and Amy’s partner Paul, have launched Tap Social Movement, a brewery business dedicated to fighting social injustice by supporting prison reform (see pages 46-53 to read their story).

CEO’s update James Calder on SIBA’s strategy for the future Chairman’s comment Ian Fozard looks at an industry in flux The view from Westminster Our regular political update Diversity and inclusion Lily Waite calls for actions not just words Brewer's viewpoint Arran Brewery’s Craig Laurie examines the issue of beer duty Technical focus Brewlab’s Dr Keith Thomas and Brian Yorston look at the history of quality standards

Features 21 Meet the regions Find out more about our new regional reps Kirsty Ridge and Anneli Baxter 22-23 SIBA membership update The highlights of the latest SIBA Members’ Survey 24-25 SIBA desk beers We celebrate the beers that have kept the SIBA team’s spirits up during lockdown 28-35 Business profile We meet Jack Hobday from Anspach & Hobday to talk about 2020 and the rise of the can 38-43 Meet the brewer Alice Batham, sixth generation at the historic Black Country brewery, shares her career highlights 45 Supplier viewpoint Nick Law from Hop Forward on the rise of influencers 46-53 Business profile Tap Social Movement’s Tess Taylor explains how the brewery is helping to rehabilitate ex-prisoners 54-55 Supplier viewpoint BeerX Online Headline Sponsor Kegstar looks to the future 57-65 Business advice Legal, consumer insight, Brexit and trade marks 82-85 Gold Members Croxons & Napthens Solicitors 100 Gold & Silver Members Listing of our key sponsors 102 Contacts Key SIBA contacts

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021






CEO’s update

The beginning, not the end At this point in time everyone is rightly focussed on how, and when we might be allowed to open. But beating the virus and getting re-opened is just the beginning, it’s not the end. I write this column on the eve of Boris Johnson announcing the roadmap out of lockdown. This will be followed in the next few weeks by statements from the devolved nations on their plans, too. A singular focus on getting re-opened and reopened safely, for the final time, has probably united the country in a way not seen for decades. There are only so many walks and so many things to watch on Netflix before we all go stark raving mad. Everyone is desperate to see their friends, to hug family members and to enjoy a pint of independent beer in a pub, bar or taproom and be safe while doing it. Those things are an essential human need and we have been deprived of that basic human need for far too long. Independent brewing is at the core of providing the places, the experiences and the refreshment that we have all been missing so badly. We have endured so much over the past year that it is very difficult to think beyond what that first sip of a proper pint will taste like and what being back in a sociable environment will feel like. I think I might be chasing that dopamine and endorphin rush for the rest of my life. But look and think beyond that moment we must. Getting re-open will be a time to celebrate and to remember the people that this terrible virus has taken from us. But it won’t be an opportunity for SIBA to pause. Far from it. The structural challenges we face as an industry are still there. We need to think and act on how we tackle them. That’s why, amongst everything that has been going on I have been working with the team behind the scenes on SIBA’s new strategy. This will go to the SIBA Board in March, and then be brought to the AGM now taking place in June.

This strategy aims to tackle the challenges that existed pre-Covid, the new challenges that Covid has forced upon us and perhaps the biggest challenge we face of all. Detail will be confirmed when we have gone through the proper process but broadly speaking, SIBA’s strategy will cover five areas and attempt to answer these questions and, critically, act upon them: We’re only just getting started and we need you, and as many independent brewers as possible to join us on the journey. 1. Market share. How as an industry can we work together to grow our share of the market? At only 6 or 7% in a beer market that is shrinking and dominated by global players? 2. Fairness. This covers every sense of the word and our campaigning around it. Fairness when it comes to taxation. Fairness when it comes to how large companies treat small ones. How can we get a better deal? 3. Promoting independence. How can we help consumers understand why independent beer is better? How can we get them to recognise and engage in independent brewing and what we stand for? 4. Providing value. How can we as a trade association help you run better businesses?

5. Climate change. How can we as an industry work together to address climate change given we use a lot of energy, water and raw materials? The big problem with strategies like this is that they are often written, announced to big fanfare and then put on a shelf. They often fail to achieve what they set out to do. I’m determined that that doesn’t happen. Me and my team have never worked harder than we have over the past 12 months. We’ve done that because we are passionate about this industry. We really do care, and being able to make even a small difference has been hugely challenging, but hugely rewarding for us. Beating Covid and getting re-open will be a cause for huge celebration and for sombre reflection. But we won’t be resting in on our laurels in 2021. We’re only just getting started and we need you, and as many independent brewers as possible to join us on that journey. If you’re not a SIBA member, please join up to help us tackle these challenges that we all face. James

James Calder Chief Executive SIBA

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


Chairman’s comment

Adapting and Surviving

Having written my last column in mid-November, in the middle of national lockdown v2, I write this one in mid-February, in the midst of national lockdown v3! It feels like Groundhog Day – nothing has changed! And the same issues remain for our hard-pressed sector. There is, however, some good news for SIBA – in my last article I called for some new blood on the SIBA Board to help address the challenges we face as an industry. The great news is that you heeded the call and we now have eight new Directors elected across the SIBA regions. They are listed in the directory on the last page of this issue. Thank you to them for stepping up and wanting to make a difference.

position of not having to rely at all on Beerflex income. Fortunately, SIBA does have sufficient reserves to survive this year in the absence of commercial income – a testament to past prudence! Meanwhile, back in the harsh world of British independent beer, the same issues remain. The global brewers continue to dominate and gain market share. Supermarkets increasingly dominate retail and SBR reform is still an issue to be resolved. And whilst a small minority of independent brewers have undoubtedly had a “good” pandemic - as they were in the fortunate position of having strong “small pack” contracts - the vast majority have struggled as the pub market has been severely depressed, if not completely dormant for the best part of five months.

Another piece of good news is that, thanks to the positive efforts of the SIBA team during the Covid pandemic, many new members are signing up to SIBA in recognition that SIBA is the only organisation that can stand up for them in these difficult times. The pandemic is not being kind to SIBA in other ways. Despite the sterling efforts of our management team to minimise all discretionary costs whilst maintaining essential services for members, the simple fact is that our commercial services arm, which provides essential market access for the majority of our members as well as generating a small margin for SIBA is suffering in lockdown. Beerflex sales are running at a small fraction of their historic level with the result that SIBA’s income is, in turn, much reduced. In an ideal world, we would not be reliant on Beerflex to subsidise our member services, but the simple reality is that member subscriptions would have to more than double if SIBA were to be in the fortunate


Many new members are signing up to SIBA in recognition that SIBA is the only organisation that can stand up for them in these difficult times. It is clear to me that many brewers need more help to survive this Government-enforced pub market shutdown. Whilst I believe that most independent brewers will survive the immediate crisis due to the ability to furlough their staff, I think that, once we are able to trade normally again, it will be a testing time for many. What we are hearing is that pubs may still not be able to open completely free of restrictions and that most of the larger PubCos are likely to be cautious about buying independent cask beer initially. Cashflow will be stretched as brewers’ costs kick back in – will they have the income they need to survive?

Spring 2021 | SIBA Independent Brewer | www.siba.co.uk

It cannot be easy being in Government at present – having to make judgement calls on each sector, as Covid-related public health decisions, of necessity, take precedence. SIBA has managed to persuade the Scottish Government of the need for independent brewer-specific grants and continues to lobby the UK Government for similar much needed help in the other home nations. We recently heard that the major food retailers were voluntarily (and rightly) relinquishing their Business Rates relief - it’s time to re-cycle some of this in favour of independent brewers! We are a resilient community - most of us will adapt and survive come what may, but it is and it will continue to be a tough year for many. Over the next few weeks, SIBA will be analysing the results of our consultation on Beer Competition reform and the Board will be making decisions on future competition formats as we seek to modernise our competitions in line with the changing beer market without losing their unique character. We will also soon know if it is possible to hold face-to-face SIBA competitions in 2021 – let’s hope so as these are an essential means of our regional brewers coming together again. Our AGM is also on schedule to go ahead in June and this could be the first opportunity for us all to gather as a national community since BeerX UK in Liverpool last year. I can’t wait! Cheers

Ian Fozard Chairman SIBA

SIBA news

Take note: SIBA AGM to be rescheduled and confirmed soon Due to on-going Covid restrictions and the Prime Minister’s Roadmap to re-opening, BevExpo have taken the difficult decision to cancel the planned exhibition on June 8th and 9th.

The guidance announced in February permits no more than 1,000 people at one SIBA PRACTICAL GUIDE TO LABELLING Issue 5, January 2021 event in June. SIBA had provisionally agreed SIBA PRACTICAL GUIDE All TOofLABELLING thoseIssuein5, January the 2021 brewing industry are to work with BevExpo to host SIBA’s AGM, welcome to join the event either physically but due to this cancellation we are now or digitally, although only full SIBA exploring other options and these will be members will have voting rights. confirmed soon. James Calder, SIBA’s Chief Executive, said: Because our AGM is unlikely to gather Item more “Sadly, continuing Government regulations 1 Bottle Example Text/Symbol & Can 1 Bottle Example Text/Symbol than 1,000 people, we are confident we Item &to Can will not allow us partner with BevExpo Legal Name of Food Beer (Biere, Cerveza etc) A Beer (Biere, Cerveza etc) can still hold a physical AGM with digital Legal Name of Food A Name host our AGM, of food should appear in a language appropriate to the despite countries in whichour it is to bebest marketed.intentions. 3 All Mandatory information is subject to a minimum fonttosize. of 80cm2 1.2mm font Name of food should appear in a language appropriate theLabels countries in whichor itgreater is to be– marketed. participation in June ensuring robust debate, committed an height; labels ofinformation 25cm2However, to is 80cm2 – 0.9mm fontwe height. (FIC Article 13(2) and Annex IV) – to 3 All Mandatory subject to a minimum font are size. Labels of 80cm2 or greater 1.2mmhosting font height; labels of 25cm2 to 80cm2 – 0.9mm font height. (FIC Article 13(2) and Annex IV) For further Information: please refer to FIC (Articles 15 and 17) discussion and sharing of a beer or two.For further Information: AGM a physical presence with the please referwith to FIC (Articles 15 and 17) Alc. 5.0% Vol. B ABV option ofVol.dialling in to help facilitate robust Alc. 5.0% Under company law and SIBA’s articles ABVweaker than Alc. 1.2% Vol. must list the ingredients - with any allergens shown in bold. Beer B Beer 3 stronger thanthan Alc. 1.2% Vol. does not require be listed. Beer weaker Alc. 1.2% Vol. must list theingredients ingredientsto- with any allergens shown in bold. Beer 3 discussion of association an AGM must be held no stronger thanInformation: Alc. 1.2%debate Vol.please does not to be For further referrequire toand FIC ingredients Articles 9 (k), 28 listed. and Annex XIIon the issues facing For further Information: please refer to FIC Articles 9 (k), 28 and Annex XII 330ml Quantity our industry and to help in shaping SIBA’s more than 15 months following the C lastNet Net Name, Quantity Net Quantity & ABV %330ml must appear in the same field of vision (FIC Article 13(5)) C Legal forforin bottled/canned 2021-26. AGM, which took place in March 2020 inofName, 3 symbol is required beers filled an average Use ‘ ’ symbol. Thestrategy ‘ &’ ABV Legal Net Quantity % must appear the same field of vision (FICtoArticle 13(5))volume e.g. ‘ ’ symbol see:isSection 3 offorAnnex II to Directive 71/316/EEC. 500ml 3 ’ symbol required bottled/canned beers filled to an average volume e.g. Use of ‘ . ’For symbol. The ‘ sizing Liverpool’s Exhibition centre. . For ‘ ’ symbol sizing of Annex II to28Directive 71/316/EEC. 500ml For further Information: pleasesee: referSection to FIC 3Articles 9 (k), and Annex XII For further Information: please refer to FIC Articles 9 (k), 28 and Annex XII Name, SIBA Brewing Member, Unit 4, The Old Laundry, Fishergreen, Ripon, D Brewery North YorkshireMember, HG4 1NLUnit OR4,SIBA Member - www.siba.co.uk Brewery and/or Name, 3 SIBA Brewing TheBrewing Old Laundry, Fishergreen, Ripon, D Address (providing website details)Member - www.siba.co.uk North Yorkshire HG4contains 1NL ORcontact SIBA Brewing Address and/or Website 3



(providing website contains contact details) Ingredients: Water, Malted Barley, Wheat, Hops,Water, YeastMalted Barley, Allergens/ Ingredients: Wheat, Hops, Yeast OR Allergens/ Ingredients OR Contains: Malted Barley, Wheat Ingredients Contains: Malted Barley, Wheat Allergens may be listed in bold within an ingredients declaration – otherwise they can be listed as “Contains: X”. be listed in bold within an ingredients declaration – otherwise they can be listed as Allergens may “Contains: X”. please refer to https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/allergen-labelling-for-foodFor further info, manufacturers For further info, please refer to https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/allergen-labelling-for-foodmanufacturers Please note that it is mandatory for allergen info to be provided for large pack, draught beer as sold to the consumer (FICit Article 44). for allergen info to be provided for large pack, draught beer as sold to Please note that is mandatory consumer Article 44). Ifthedeclared, the(FIC ingredients must be listed in weight order with the most prevalent e.g. water coming first. Please the alsoingredients note that amust QUIDbe(Quantity Declaration) is needed if a beer name coming mentions a If declared, listed inIngredient weight order with the most prevalent e.g. water particular ingredient. ‘Honey Beer’ - the % of that ingredient must declared within thea first. Please also noteFor thatexample a QUID a(Quantity Ingredient Declaration) is needed if abe beer name mentions ingredients listing as [Honey (2.5%)] particular ingredient. For example a ‘Honey Beer’ - the % of that ingredient must be declared within the ingredients listing as [Honey (2.5%)] Best Before: 01/09/2020 Best Before Date Best Before: 01/09/2020 Best Before Date For further Information: Minimum Durability please refer to FIC Article 24 and Annex X For further Information: Minimum Durability please refer to FIC Article 24 and Annex X Batch/Lot/Gyle B9106 Batch/Lot/Gyle number B9106 number Not required if Best Before Date is being used for batch traceability Not required if Best Before Date is being used for batch traceability COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Country of Origin OR BREWED IN THE UK UK COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Country of Origin UK OR BREWED IN THE UK Only required where failure to declare would be misleading, such as when exporting. Onlyfurther requiredInformation: where failureplease to declare misleading, For referwould to FICbeArticle 26 andsuch AnnexasIXwhen exporting. For further Information: please refer to FIC Article 26 and Annex IX


New version of the SIBA Labelling Guide now available F F G G

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“In a highly social industry and after the most challenging of years we’re looking forward to meeting again at our AGM. The SIBA team is already starting work on plans for our 2022 BeerX UK event, which will once again include a physical AGM, and we 2 Cask Cask & Keg 2 intend & Keg to make it our biggest and best event yet. Watch this space for full details once the 3 is confirmed! date 3 "In the meantime, please keep an eye out for the AGM notice going out shortly, 3 3 which will confirm our plan. It is important BEER brewers as to hear from as many small BEER possible in order to ensure that SIBA is fully 3 3 representing its members and speaking as Alc. 5.0% Vol. 330ml Alc. 5.0%on Vol. key 330mlissues.” the voice of the sector


3 3

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H H 3 3 The SIBA Labelling Guide has been 3 3 updated according to the latest guidance Special Storage I Conditions/ StoreCold, Drink Fresh. (when applied to bottled/canned beer) Special Storage I Conditions and is now available to SIBA Members via for Use e.g. e.g. StoreCold, Drink Fresh. (when applied to bottled/canned beer) Conditions/ 3 3 Conditions for Use 3 3 Any instructions necessary to ensure appropriate storage conditions (FIC Article 25) the Toolbox. Any instructions necessary to ensure appropriate storage conditions (FIC Article 25) e.g. ALLOW TO SETTLE (cask beer) SIBA PRACTICAL Instructions for Use To download the guide, log in to ToolboxJJ here e.g. ALLOW TO SETTLE beer) Bottle Conditioned. Pour(cask Carefully’ Instructions for Use Bottle Conditioned. Pour Carefully’ 3 3 Instruction should be provided only where it would not otherwise be possible to make appropriate GUIDE TOuse ofLABELLING using your member details and click on 'Tools & 3 3 the product (FIC Article 27) Instruction should be provided only where it would not otherwise be possible to make appropriate use of BOTTLES | CANS | CASKS | KEGS the product (FIC Article 27) Member Benefits'. The guide can be found in the Total Saleable Total Saleable Volume 39 litres K Volume Saleable Total Saleable Volume 39 litres 'Legal & Compliance' section. K Total N/A Volume 3 Issue 5 January 2021

All cask labels must declare the ‘Total Saleable Volume’ of beer in each cask, excluding the unsaleable



Business Operator address of 1theJanuary EU or NI importer on theanpackaging or label. for the Food EU: All beer placed(FBO), on the or EUanmarket from 2021 must have EU or NI address

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sediment. All cask labels must declare the ‘Total Saleable Volume’ of beer in each cask, excluding the unsaleable The labelling guide includes all the latest updates sediment. EU Labelling Eiffel-Beer Imports, Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 including those that have come into forceLsince France EU Labelling export labelling) Paris, Eiffel-Beer Imports, Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 L (Mandatory (Mandatory export labelling) Paris, France the UK left the European Union in January. EU: All beer placed on the EU market from 1 January 2021 must have an EU or NI address for the Food Business Operator (FBO),include or an address of FBO the EU or NI importer on the packaging label.is not in NI or NI: Beer sold in NI must a NI or EU address from 1 January 2021. If theorFBO If you are having trouble logging in email EU, include your importer, NI or the EU.1 January 2021. If the FBO is not in NI or NI: Beer soldtheinaddress NI must ofinclude a NI or EUbased FBO in address from EU, include the address of your importer, based in NI or the EU. membership@siba.co.uk





Alc. 5.0% Vol. Alc. 5.0% Vol.

330ml 330ml


Canned on: 08/07/20 BEER Canned on:01/09/2021 08/07/20 Best Before:

Best Before:Water, 01/09/2021 Ingredients: Wheat, Malted Barley, Hops,Wheat, Yeast Ingredients: Water, Malted Barley, Hops, Yeast 1.7 Units - Drinkaware.co.uk 1.7 Units - Drinkaware.co.uk BREWED IN THE UK SIBA Brewing BREWED IN Member, THE UK

Store Cold, Drink Store Fresh. Cold, Drink Fresh. B9106 B9106

Unit The Old Member, Laundry, SIBA4,Brewing Fishergreen, Ripon, North Unit 4, The Old Laundry, Yorkshire Ripon, HG4 1NL Fishergreen, North

Yorkshire HG4Champ 1NL de Mars, 5 Avenue Eiffel-Beer Imports, Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France Eiffel-Beer Imports, Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue siba.co.uk Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France /societyofindependentbrewers /societyofindependentbrewers








www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


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SIBA news

Former SIBA Chairman Guy Sheppard steps down as SIBA Director The SIBA Team bid a fond farewell last month to a former Chairman and one of its longest serving Directors, Guy Sheppard, who has been instrumental in SIBA’s achievements over the last three decades. Guy has stepped down as a Director after handing over the day-to-day running of Exe Valley Brewery to a local couple, Libby and Kevin Stroud-Kroon, although he retains a shareholding in the business. Guy has been a familiar face in the South West Region for many years, becoming Treasurer and playing an active role in launching the first ever SIBA Beer Festival the Tuckers Maltings Beer Festival in 1993. This was the festival that hosted SIBA’s first ever Beer Competition, and subsequently Guy helped to roll this format out across the UK and more recently was Chairman of SIBA Beer Competitions nationally, acting as a compere and host for countless competitions around the UK. Serving as a SIBA Director for 15 years between 2006 and 2021, Guy was also a Director of the SIBA Commercial Board at its inception in 2010 and sat on the Executive which subsequently superseded it. He was SIBA’s National Chairman for three years from 2014 and remembers Board meetings fondly: “I shall miss the trips to Burton upon Trent for Board meetings, the pints in the Coopers and other pubs; catching up with others from the rest of the country and the friendships made.” The difficult decision to step away from running Exe Valley was born of both the pressures placed on the business as a result of the pandemic, but also a move away from Silverton, where the brewery is, to Dartmoor.

It followed a difficult time for the brewery, with Guy working six-day weeks on his own at the brewery during the initial stages of the pandemic in order to save the beer he would usually have sold to local pubs by transferring it to bag-in-boxes. “Doing that was ultimately what saved most of our beer – we only had to throw away about 24 firkins of beer; although plenty of credit was expected from beer in pubco cellars that could not be used,” he says. I will continue to be involved with SIBA events regionally and I may well step forward for a national role again in the future The challenges kept coming, though, and when the cooling system in the Exe Valley conditioning room broke, Guy was faced with a £6,000 bill for repairs. He says: “I decided that I was going to fight to keep the brewery afloat through the first lockdown and thus to make that investment – without doing that the beer stored there would have lasted only a few days with the hot weather that was to come. Pubs reopening in July was a glimmer of hope, but it was obvious that the pandemic was not over, and trade only ever got back to about 60% of what we should have been doing.” Decision time came when Guy’s wife Sue, a Church of England priest whose job is training others to be priests, was approached out of the blue and asked to consider taking on a group of parishes on Dartmoor as their Rector. After much discussion and with Guy’s blessing Sue took the job and the couple moved to Dartmoor in October 2020. The distance to the brewery meant the decision was taken and the transfer of the running of Exe Valley to the new owners began.

“I realised that if I moved that far I was either going to have to step back from the day-to-day running of the brewery and rely on others to run it or I was going to have to pass it on,” says Guy. “It was never formally marketed, but I let it be known that I was looking for someone to take it on and fortuitously Libby and Kevin Stroud-Kroon in the next village were looking for a project and so we came to a deal. I am delighted that they have come forward to run Exe Valley Brewery, I retain a reasonable shareholding in the business and have helped ease them into the driving seat. Taking over a brewing business in a pandemic is not easy, so very good luck to them. “In January 2021 the final transfer of responsibilities for Exe Valley Brewery passed to the new company and thus a new application to join SIBA has to be made which means that I am no longer eligible to be a SIBA Director. As with so many, the brewing industry has got under my skin, I will continue to be involved with SIBA events regionally and I may well step forward for a national role again in the future once Exe Valley Brewery qualifies for full SIBA membership again.” SIBA’s Chief Executive James Calder said: “The team at SIBA would like to thank Guy for his many years of service to the organisation and the huge contribution he has made to our successes over the years. Guy was instrumental in forging the blueprint for SIBA Beer Competitions and shaping them into an essential element of what SIBA does. We will all miss Guy’s input into our strategy and wealth of knowledge about the sector, but we wish him and his wife Sue all the best in their new home and look forward to sharing a beer with Guy at a regional event as soon as we are able to!”

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


SIBA news

200 million fewer pints of craft beer brewed in 2020

There were 200 million fewer pints of craft beer brewed in 2020, proving the sector needs targeted support and a sensible timetable for pubs reopening. Analysis from the latest SIBA Members’ survey has shown 200 million fewer pints of craft beer were brewed in 2020 compared to 2019. This figure represents 10 years of lost growth in the sector, with production of craft beer last being at these levels in 2009. As news emerged that UK GDP slumped 9.9% in 2020, by comparison the UK’s independent brewing sector contracted a massive 34% in 2020. 83% of breweries produced less beer and through the vital Christmas period, sales were down 45%.

On average, small breweries are burning through nearly £5k of cash a month with some spending up to £17k a month, far more than is available in the grants ‘postcode lottery’. This is because, other than in Scotland, specific brewery grants have not been forthcoming. Every small brewery is still paying VAT, beer duty, rent and business rates. James Calder, SIBA Chief Executive, said: “These startling figures demonstrate how brewers have been at the sharp end of restrictions within hospitality. They have done their best to adapt and to survive, but without targeted grant support in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and a swift and sensible re-opening of the economy, many will not survive.” James went on to say:

Independent breweries are rooted in their communities and can be engines of economic recovery if our politicians recognise this and act. To survive, breweries have been adapting, with the numbers who run an on-site brewery shop jumping from 37% in 2019 to 60% in 2020. But given pubs are the main destination for independent beer in the UK, no switch to cans, bottles or mini kegs could make up for that loss of trade. According to the new survey, only 33% of breweries in England have so far received discretionary cash under the Local Restrictions Support Grants or the Additional Restrictions Grants which were supposed to help businesses survive.

“Independent breweries are rooted in their communities and can be engines of economic recovery if our politicians recognise this and act. We need to see cuts to beer duty, an extension of the VAT cut to beer, preferential rates of beer duty in pubs, grants equal to those in Scotland and a reopening of pubs, bars and hospitality much sooner than we fear it will be. The Chancellor and Finance Ministers in Wales and Northern Ireland need to act now to help.” For the full results of the latest SIBA Members’ Survey go to pages 22 and 23. 1) Data was collected in January from a survey of 104 British Independent Breweries. 2) In Scotland, the Government announced the Brewery Support Fund in December, which gives grants of between £10k and £30k to every brewery in Scotland, based on their production size and rateable value.

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021



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SIBA news Obituary

Mark Wallington 1944-2021

The SIBA team was greatly saddened to hear of the sudden death in January of long-serving SIBA Member and colleague Mark Wallington.

Mark was the Finance Director for SIBA from 2001-2009 and a familiar figure at SIBA events and competitions, and our thoughts are with his wife Wendy, family and friends. He will be greatly missed by many within the small brewing community. Guy Sheppard, former SIBA South West Director and Chairman of SIBA Competitions, knew Mark well and shares this tribute to him: "At the beginning of January Mark Wallington, a founding member of SIBA, suffered a massive stroke from which he never recovered. His funeral was a small family commemoration, with his coffin looking fantastic covered in a mound of hops, and a more appropriate celebration of Mark’s life will be held for all his many friends and colleagues when restrictions allow. Mark, a former RAF pilot flying Hercules aircraft, started Archer’s Brewery, Swindon in 1979. On leaving the RAF he had opted not to go the conventional route and move on to flying civilian aircraft and had instead started to retrain as an accountant working in both small and large organisations, but he always hankered after running his own business. It was reading a newspaper article about Peter Austin and then embryonic Ringwood Brewery that caught his eye and so he found himself heading off to see Peter and his brewery. Mark was completely smitten with the idea and despite Peter and others trying to dissuade him otherwise, he was determined to set up his own brewery. Mark never completed his accountancy qualifications; the day of his final exam saw him moving casks around his new brewery rather than sitting studiously in an exam hall. Mark was always impressed with the welcome and openness that he received from brewers both established and new; an industry trait that most of us identify with and he was forever grateful for the help

that others had given him and in turn he passed on to newer brewers himself. A frustration was that there was no trade body who would acknowledge this new wave of brewers and so he and a few other new brewers met together at the Cross Keys in Wootten Bassett and decided to set up their own trade organisation and so it was that SIBA was started in 1980. He and a few other new brewers met together at the Cross Keys in Wootten Bassett and decided to set up their own trade organisation and so it was that SIBA was started in 1980 Mark was fastidious at attending SIBA meetings both regional and national and even after he retired – although like so many brewers, retirement seemed to include lots of assistance for brewers who needed it – he was always to be seen at SIBA events and competitions up and down the country. He was always there with his trademark half-pint tankard in his hand; I never quite gathered whether the half-pint was to limit his drinking or to increase it. Whatever his glass was always half-full – he was never a glass half-empty man – and an evening spent with him was always great fun and infuriatingly he would always be up first thing next day without any effects from the night before! The brewing industry has lost a passionate, cheerful, optimistic chap in Mark; he was a gentleman and great fun to be with. We will all miss him and our sincerest condolences go to his wife Wendy and daughters Chloe and Esther. Rest in Peace Mark – Cheers!"

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


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Spring 2021 | SIBA Independent Brewer | www.siba.co.uk

SIBA news

SIBA comments on the Scottish Brewers Support Fund

Free-to-use 'Gluten Free' Logo now available As part of our update of the SIBA Labelling Guide a new free-to-use Gluten Free logo, in a similar style to our free 'Vegan Friendly' logo has been added to the logos folder on the Toolbox.

Commenting on the announcement of the Scottish Brewers Support Fund, SIBA Chief Executive James Calder said:

To download the Gluten Free logo (and any of the other labelling logos), or the updated guide, log in to Toolbox here and then go to the Filing Cabinet > Artwork & logos > Packaging Symbols.

“Beleaguered small breweries have been some of the hardest hit by the Covid pandemic and seen their sales drain away with the closure of pubs. In these tough times it is hugely welcome that the Scottish Government has listened to our concerns and worked with SIBA to develop a new funding scheme specifically for small breweries in Scotland. In these tough times it is hugely welcome that the Scottish Government has listened to our concerns and worked with SIBA. “For the first time in this crisis there is now targeted support for small breweries. We hope that the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak and the devolved Governments in Wales and Northern Ireland now replicate this announcement to provide support to every small independent brewery in the land.” Further information on the Scottish Brewers Support Fund is available here

SBR after Brexit For those exporting their beer to the EU, HMRC has confirmed that you are still able to claim Small Breweries’ Relief in any EU country you export to, where they have a SBR scheme in place. The amount of relief will continue to depend on the rules in that country. You can access a full list here This is because there are World Trade Organisation/General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade rules on non-discrimination for foreign products. The WTO principle of non-discrimination states that a member shall not discriminate between “like” products from different trading partners and between its own and like foreign products.

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


BeerX UK Online preview www.beerx.org

SIBA's BeerX UK Online 2021

Thanks to the generous support of BeerX UK’s Headline Sponsor Kegstar and official event partners Brewers Select, Close Brothers Brewery Rentals, Muntons, Vigo, and Saxon Packaging, SIBA is making the first ever online version of its premier annual event completely free to attend.

With the UK’s small independent brewers facing their most challenging year ever, SIBA wanted to give something back to the sector by opening up our flagship BeerX UK event to the whole industry to attend free of charge.

James Calder, SIBA’s Chief Executive, said: “With many small brewers struggling to make ends meet, and no sign as yet of an end to lockdown, it is more important than ever that we come together as an industry to support each other.

BeerX UK Online will feature all the great content attendees have come to expect from BeerX, with three days of virtual seminars, workshops and tastings which will take place from the 16th to the 18th of March and be delivered via our dedicated YouTube LIVE portal here.

“BeerX UK Online will look very different this year, but by opening it up to everyone in the sector free of charge we hope it brings the opportunity for brewers and suppliers to exchange experiences, learn from some of our expert speakers and, of course, taste some great beers.

Topics on the agenda for the event include optimising online sales, no and low beer production, blending and barrel-ageing and classic lager brewing as well as updates on Small Breweries’ Relief and Deposit Return Schemes.

“Without the generous support of our Headline Sponsor Kegstar and our event partners Brewers Select, Close Brothers, Muntons, Vigo and Saxon Packaging we could not put on events like BeerX UK Online and I would like to say thank you to the team at Kegstar and all our sponsors who have made it possible to launch this online version of BeerX UK in just a few short months.”

A live tutored beer tasting will take place each afternoon featuring a wide range of beer styles, and whilst the tasting boxes are now sold out you can see a list of suggested alternatives in the beer box section of this guide. For 2021 SIBA is also partnering with the team at Brewers Journal, who will be helping deliver World-Class content, with SIBA likewise involved in their Brewers Congress event in December.

BEERX UK Online | 16, 17 & 18th March | www.beerx.org

BeerX UK Online preview www.beerx.org

Programme Overview Session 1 10.00 – 10.45

Tuesday 16th

Wednesday 17th

Thursday 18th

Welcome to BeerX Online 2021

Optimising your web shop for better sales conversion

Speaker: James Calder, SIBA

Speaker: Neil Walker, SIBA

Host: SIBA

Host: SIBA

Modern Beer Businesses Must Move Beyond Functional Hedonism Why Facing Vulnerable People and Social Justice is our Future Speaker: Paul Jones, Cloudwater Host: SIBA

Session 2 11.00 – 11.45

Session 3 13.00 – 13.45

Classic Lager Brewing: Decoction Mash, Methods & Malts

Blending & Barrel-Ageing

Brewing great tasting No and Low alcohol beers

Speaker: Jeremy Swanson, Utopian

Speakers: Rob Lovatt, Thornbridge Brewery. Chris Pilkington, Põhjala. Colin Stronge, Salt Beer Factory

Host: Close Brothers

Host: Brewers Journal

New hop varieties and utilisation

Improve your brewery tours and taproom tastings

What does the future hold for SBR?

Speakers: Luke Kulchstein, Yakima Chief Hops. James Wilson, Brook House Hops. Paul Corbett, Charles Faram

Speaker: Melissa Cole

Speaker: Eddie Gadd, Gadds’ Brewery

Host: Kegstar

Speaker: Rob Fink, Big Drop Host: Kegstar

Host: SIBA

Host: Brewers Journal

Session 4 14.00 – 14.45

Yeast flavour profile in hop-forward beers Speaker: Robert Percival, Lallemand Host: SIBA

Session 5 15.00 – 15.45

Session 6 16.00 – 16.45

Tutored Tasting: Low & No Alcohol Speaker: Muntons

Deposit Return Schemes are coming to the UK – what you need to know to start preparing your brewery business

Embracing the small pack opportunity

Speaker: Barry Watts, SIBA

Speakers: Theo Freyne, Deya Brewing Company. Julie O’Grady, Neptune Brewery. Sally Stewart, Brick Brewery.

Host: SIBA

Host: Brewers Journal

Insights in NEIPA, Brut IPA & Yeast

Craft: Undefinable, hopelessly misunderstood, and absolutely essential

Speaker: Gino Baart, Fermentis

Speaker: Pete Brown

Host: SIBA

Host: SIBA

Networking Session:

Tutored Tasting:

Join us for a beer at the virtual bar!

British Beer Styles

Tutored Tasting: International Beer Styles

Speaker: Natalya Watson

Speaker: Paul Davies 18.00 – 19.00

Watch the SIBA Business Awards 2021 here being presented LIVE by Jonny Garrett of the Craft Beer Channel, next Thursday (18th March) from 6pm.

BEERX UK Online | 16, 17 & 18th March | www.beerx.org

BeerX UK Online preview www.beerx.org

Meet the BeerX UK Online Speakers

James Calder,

James Calder took over his current role as Chief Executive of SIBA in 2019, having previously been SIBA’s head of public affairs and communications since 2017. James’ background is in lobbying, which has enabled James and SIBA’s senior management team to call on their contacts in Westminster and ensure that the voice of SIBA brewers is heard in the corridors of power when it is more important than ever before.

SIBA Chief Executive

Neil Walker

Neil Walker is SIBA's Head off Comms & Marketing. Specialising in marketing communications in the independent craft beer industry, Neil is a trained journalist, beer writer and accredited beer sommelier who oversees all aspects of promoting and marketing SIBA Member breweries in the UK. He also runs the SIBA Business Awards, Digital Beer Awards, and BeerX Online.

SIBA Head of Comms & Marketing

Luke Kulchstein is a WSET graduate & Certified Cicerone. He’s also the EU marketing manager for Yakima Chief Hops, a 100% grower-owned global supplier of premium quality hops and uncompromising service, centered on sustainably produced hop products and brewing solutions from the Pacific Northwest. Luke Kulchstein, EU marketing manager, Yakima Chief Hops

Jim Wilson is the sales manager at Brook House Hops in Herefordshire. Brook House Hops use a mixture of the latest technology and traditional farming expertise to grow some of the most aromatic, verdant hops in the world. They also source highest quality hops from the USA and selected UK farms who share the company’s values. James Wilson,

Sales manager, Brook House Hops

Barry Watts is SIBA's Head of Public Affairs & Policy. Barry represents independent brewers in Government, fighting for a better deal for Britain's brewers. Most recently this can be seen in SIBA's work to protect and extend of Small Breweries' Relief, as well as gain Government support for brewers impacted by Covid. Pete Brown,

Barry Watts

Beer Writer

SIBA's Head of Public Affairs & Policy

Jeremy Swainson,

Jeremy is the Head Brewer at Utopian, an award winning lager focused brewery in Mid-Devon, established in 2018. His passion for lager brewing traditions and techniques developed early on during his apprenticeship at Privatbrauerei Bolten, Germany’s oldest Alt beer brewery. He went on to earn his Brewmasters at the Doemens Academy in Munich and then spent two years with the highly successful Camden Town Brewery in London.


BEERX UK Online | 16, 17 & 18th March | www.beerx.org

Pete Brown is a British author, journalist, broadcaster and consultant specialising in food and drink, especially the fun parts like beer, pubs, cider, bacon rolls and fish and chips. Across twelve books, his broad, fresh approach takes in social history, cultural commentary, travel writing, personal discovery and natural history, and his words are always delivered with the warmth and wit you’d expect from a great night down the pub. He writes for newspapers and magazines around the world and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4’s Food Programme. He was named British Beer Writer of the Year in 2009, 2012 and 2016, has won three Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards, been shortlisted twice for the Andre Simon Awards, and in 2020 was named an “Industry Legend” at the Imbibe Hospitality Awards. Pete is currently Chair of the British Guild of Beer Writers. He lives in London with his wife Liz, and dog Mildrid.

BeerX UK Online preview www.beerx.org

Paul Corbett, Charles Faram

Robert Percival, Lallemand

Paul has been the managing director of Charles Faram since 1996 and has been responsible for the development of the company during this time. Whilst in his current role Paul has also served as follows: – Trustee for SIBA from 1997-2001 Chairman of the BFBi Midland Section 1999 BFBi National Chairman in 2009-2011 He is currently: – Chairman of the IBD Hop Industry Committee Chairman of the Hop Merchants Association A Director of BTS (who run the International Brewing Awards)

Robert is a qualified brewing professional with extensive experience in quality and technical roles in beer production. Based in the UK and working for yeast specialists Lallemand, Robert’s expertise includes Fermentation and cask beer production. He has won awards working on projects with breweries in the US and Australia and was named IBD young brewer of the year 2013/14. Passionate about beer flavor and sensory science, he is also a Doemans Beer Sommelier graduate.

Emma Inch is a multi-award-winning freelance writer and audio-maker, and the former British Beer Writer of the Year. She has written for a number of national and international publications, and also produces creative audio and podcasts for the drinks trade. You can find out more about Emma at www.fermentationonline.com and follow her on Twitter at @fermentradio. Emma Inch Beer Writer

Rob once told us that he wants see more educated, skilled brewers creating innovative and exciting beers, brewed using the correct procedures – beers that excite the geeks whilst also making beer more accessible and attractive to all drinkers. And as production director at Thornbridge, his name is a byword for doing just that. Rob Lovatt

Production director, Thornbridge Brewery

Joe Fifield is Muntons Brewing and Distilling Malt Sales Manager for London, Southern England and Wales. He joined Muntons as a management trainee after graduating with a degree in Nutrition and Human Health. Joe’s worked as part of the Maltings, Malt Extract and Barley intake teams so has learnt a thing or two along the way.

When it comes to stouts, porters and barleywines, there are very few breweries making these as well as Põhjala of Tallinn, Estonia. Regarded and respected for their dark beers, among others, the brewery’s expansive barrel programme and know-how has wielded some of the finest beers in their class. Chris Pilkington,

Joe Fifield,

Head brewer, Põhjala


Colin’s impact in the modern UK brewing industry cannot be underestimated. As head brewer at Salt Beer Factory, he boasts more than a decade’s experience from his time at Northern Monk, Buxton Brewery Company, Marble Brewery and Black Isle Brewery, brewing a diverse and excellent range of styles along the way.

Fabian Clark is Muntons Senior Brewing Technologist. He joined Muntons in 2017 after completing a degree in brewing and beverage technology in Germany. As part of his role at Muntons, Fabian has been involved with the development of new malts and malt extracts as well as recipes, trial brewing and sensory evaluation for customers of all sizes. Colin Stronge,

Fabian Clark,

Head brewer, Salt Beer Factory


Jonny Garrett is a beer journalist and documentary maker. As well as running the multi-award-winning Craft Beer Channel – which makes short films about beer, brewing and travel and has over 100,000 subscribers – he writes regularly for national newspapers and Good Beer Hunting. He's also published two books with a third out in Autumn this year. Jonny Garrett Beer Writer

Melissa Cole Beer Writer

Melissa Cole’s passion in life is getting people to learn as little, or as much, as they want about what she considers the finest social lubricant known to humankind - beer. As a Certified Cicerone© and Beer Sommelier she is regularly invited to judge beer competitions Worldwide, and is also recognised as one of the UK’s leading experts in beer and food pairing, and cooking with beer. Last year saw the publication of her latest book The Beer Kitchen. Follow her on Twitter @MelissaCole

BEERX UK Online | 16, 17 & 18th March | www.beerx.org

BeerX UK Online preview www.beerx.org

Meet the BeerX UK Online Speakers Julie O’Grady,

Natalya Watson Beer Writer

Natalya Watson is a beer educator, Beer Sommelier, and Advanced Cicerone® passionate about sharing her knowledge of beer with others because she believes that beer is simply too delicious to remain undiscovered. She's the founder of Virtual Beer School, host of the 'Beer with Nat' podcast, and author of Beer: Taste the Evolution in 50 Styles. Follow her on social @beerwithnat or find out more at beerwithnat.com.

Julie is the head of sales and events at Liverpool’s Neptune Brewery. Based in Maghull, the company was recently awarded Best Brewery in Merseyside, as well as Best Beer for their pale ale, Mosaic, at the RateBeer Best awards. Since 2015, the outfit have been brewing quality beer that is both traditional and modern as well as unfined, unfiltered, and vegan friendly.

Head of sales and events, Neptune Brewery

Theo is the founder of Cheltenham-based Deya. Brewing beers on its 40hl four-vessel brewhouse, Deya go from strength-tostrength producing a wealth of popular hopforward pales and IPAs alongside traditional lagers, English styles and mixed-ferm beers. Theo Freyne,

Paul Jones is the owner and Managing Director of Cloudwater Brew Co, a six year old craft brewery in Manchester. With a passion for people-centred business, and imagining business beyond capitalism, Paul’s work self-imposes difficult questions with the intention of sparking much-needed critique of the current state of modern beer in the UK and of what it’s future holds.

Founder, Deya Brewing Company

Paul Jones,

Cloudwater Brew Co

Rob Fink,

Eddie Gadd,

Gadds’ Brewery

Eddie graduated in engineering from Imperial College in the late 80s and switched careers to brewing in the early 90s. The Firkin Brewery employed him as a brewer in London before seconding him to Allied Domecq Int who sent him to France and Holland to help establish a chain of European brewpubs. Five years later Eddie moved his family back to the UK and established The Ramsgate Brewery, beginning production in 2002. He owns a curious affection for fairly simple maths.

Big Drop

Sally Stewart,

Gino Baart, Fermentis

Dr. Gino Baart (1973) is a brewing professional with strong expertise in microbial cell physiology, cell metabolism and industrial biotechnology, has a background in Food, Nutrition & Biotechnology (PhD), Bioprocess Engineering (MSc) and Chemical Engineering (BSc), loves fermentation and is a passionate home brewer. With more than 20 years of experience in academic, technical and managerial roles at research institutes and universities, he now supports brewers, distillers and winemakers with getting the best out of the fermentation process using Fermentis products.

BEERX UK Online | 16, 17 & 18th March | www.beerx.org

Co-founder, Brick Brewery

Paul Davies, AleHunters

In 2016 Rob Fink founded the world’s first company to focus entirely on brewing alcohol-free craft beer – Big Drop Brewing Co. A lawyer at the time, he had recently become a father and was looking to cut back on the booze but could not find any decent alternatives to his favourite craft beers. Big Drop now sells its beers in 12 countries, brewing in four of them and has won over 60 international beer awards. This includes four times being judged the ‘World’s Best’ at the World Beer Awards and - the ‘Holy Grail’ of any AF drink - winning medals against fullstrength rivals in blind tastings. Having worked with brands for over 22 years, Sally brings the skills she has garnered across different industries, to Brick, which is the result of a long and passionate journey for her family. Focusing on strategy and brand direction, this last year has certainly been a challenge and adaptability has been key, but through such challenges, it has also brought opportunities and the chance to do things differently.

Since leaving Fuller's towards the end of 2018, Paul founded his beer tours and events business AleHunters. Since lockdown, tours in London and to Belgium have been put on hiatus while tasting events have moved on-line and have been very popular, including attendees from the US, Africa and EU. An accredited Beer Sommelier, Certified Cicerone® and beer judge, Paul is looking forward to when he can get back to resuming live events.

BeerX UK Online preview www.beerx.org

Beer Tasting Sessions

We will be hosting a beer sommelier led tutored tasting as the last session of each day during BeerX Online 2021. These sessions are designed not only to give participants a better understanding of the characteristics of these specific beer styles, but demonstrate how to lead customer tastings through your own taprooms, pubs or events. To get involved in the tastings have some beers ready from our suggested list to taste along with the sessions on Wednesday (17th) and Thursday (18th). We are also delighted to be working with Muntons who, as well as being an Official Event Partner for BeerX Online 2021, are running a tutored tasting of low and no alcohol beers on Tuesday (16th March).

‘No and Low’ Tasting

Led by Muntons This session will feature four beers from the no and low category – a lager, IPA, stout and sour. The beers in the boxes are not commercially available but are beer styles brewed using Muntons versatile new alcohol-free malt extract. If you didn’t manage to order a box before they ran out you can still buy your choice of no and low beers and join the session to hear more about the general characteristics of each style.

British Styles Tasting Led by Natalya Watson

Salopian Brewery – Darwin’s Origin 4.3% (Best Bitter) First brewed in 2009 to celebrate the bicentennial of Charles Darwin’s birth in Salopian’s home town of Shrewsbury. A copper coloured Bitter given an international twist with an eclectic mix of new and old world hops that give the beer its distinctive lemony aroma and dry finish. Alternatives: Redemption Hopspur, Abbeydale Daily Bread, Fyne Ales Maverick, Black Tor Raven Star Wing Brewery Stain Glass Blue 5.4% (Porter) A dark and distinct porter which is as complex as it is delicious. Balanced and authentic, yet unique and boundary pushing. Anyone who loves dark beer should try one of the best dark beers in the UK. Anyone who doesn’t love dark beer – maybe this will change your mind. Alternatives: Anspach & Hobday Porter, Bridgehouse Porter, Kirkstall Black Band, Windswept Wolf Chiltern Brewery – Bodger’s Barley Wine 8.5% (English Barley Wine) A golden chestnut ale with citrus fruits, juicy malt and spicy hops. A unique style of beer with ‘hop wine’ overtones. Brewed with 100% pale Maris Otter malt and large quantities of Fuggles & Goldings for aroma. Brewed in the style of a very strong India Pale Ale.

International Styles Tasting Led by Paul Davies

Weetwood Brewery Kühl Lager 4.2% (Pale Lager, Germany) Authentically brewed using high quality barley, Saaz and Perle hops, soft Cheshire water and a genuine lager yeast. Kühl is chilled for at least a month in tank before release to maximise flavour. Alternatives: Otter Tarka, Utopian British Lager, Thornbridge Lukas, Cloudwater Helles Burning Sky Brewery – Rustic Table Beer 3.0% (Saison, Belgium) A light and crushable rustic table beer. Fermented with their unique house culture for that classic Burning Sky farmhouse character before being dry hopped with Kazbek for full refreshment. Alternatives: Lost & Grounded Saison D’Avon, Harbour Coolship Saison, Wild Beer Epic Saison, Signature Brew Festival Saison Vocation Brewery Love & Hate 7.2% (NEIPA, USA) An authentic Vermont yeast strain and a big dose of oats work together with a triple dry-hopping process to create beautiful aromas and a silky mouthful. Juicily crushable, unapologetically murky. Alternatives: DEYA Invoice me for the Microphone, North Brewing Transmission, Love Lane NEIPA, Wild Card NEIPA

Alternatives: Ridgeway Imperial BW, Cullercoats Royal Sovereign BW, Five Points Old Greg’s BW, Lacons Audit Ale BEERX UK Online | 16, 17 & 18th March | www.beerx.org

BeerX UK Online preview www.beerx.org

BeerX UK Online 2021 Sponsors and Event Partners The SIBA team would like to thank our headline sponsor Kegstar and all our event partners for their generous support for the event this year, which has enabled us to open BeerX UK Online up to the whole brewing industry free of charge. We could not put on events like BeerX without the support of our sponsors and partners and we value their contribution enormously.

BeerX Online 2021:

Official Event Partners

Brewers Select is a one-stop solution for high quality brewing ingredients, from around the world, supplied directly to the craft beer market. With the ability to order a wide range of malts, hops, adjuncts and yeasts all under one roof for delivery the next working day, their model offers the perfect convenience for busy craft brewers. With multiple Regional account managers and the ability to order by email, phone, or through their website, Brewers Select are attuned to be the most convenient supplier of craft brewing ingredients and equipment.

BeerX UK Online 2021:

Headline Sponsor Kegstar

SIBA are delighted to continue our BeerX partnership with Kegstar for a third year with their Headline Sponsorship of BeerX UK Online. Kegstar makes keg rental simple with their smart one-way stainless steel kegs and casks. Each keg has its own unique identity, making it easily tracked through your supply chain on their proprietary cloud based software. In some countries Kegstar clean the kegs for you, in some countries they collect the kegs too - but in every country, they help you to get more great beverages to more happy drinkers and keep it as simple as fill, scan, deliver, repeat!

Close Brothers Brewery Rentals are industry specialists for kegs, casks and drinks equipment. As a specialist division of Close Brothers, a leading merchant banking group, they work with businesses of all sizes to provide keg and cask rentals, container maintenance services and equipment finance. As well as long and short-term container rental, their equipment finance options give you access to the assets you need upfront whilst allowing you to spread the cost over time. During Covid they have helped many breweries evolve their business by installing canning and bottling lines so they can package their products for the off-trade, and have been accredited for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), another way they have been able to support brewing customers. Close Brothers Brewery Rentals are well-known in the brewing industry for their flexible container rentals, as well as wider equipment finance solutions which support investment. Now, to help the businesses they work with, they have adapted many of their key products to ensure they are as effective as possible. Their ecask and ekeg solutions, which allow breweries to take a ‘fill and forget’ approach to wholesale distribution, is useful for fast-turn arounds as the containers can be available at short notice, depending on your location. Beer producers and cider makers simply pay a fill fee, report which wholesaler they have been delivered to, and Close Brothers Brewery Rentals collect them when they are empty. To support brewers in these unprecedented times, they are also offering contactless distribution, using email delivery notes, to help with social distancing. The introduction of new services and technology like this is designed to keep everyone safe, as well as facilitating smooth and efficient work. Close Brothers Brewery Rentals are also accredited by the British Business Bank for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). This means they can provide loans up to £5m to brewers they work, offering vital cash flow help. David Beswick, Managing Director at Close Brothers Brewery Rentals, said: “Our tailored solutions support drinks producers across the UK, and we remain dedicated to providing support to the market. “As Gold Standard Sponsors of SIBA, we work closely with the organisation and its members so that our products remain reflective of the industry’s needs. When lockdown rules change, we will continue to listen to the market and ensure that our solutions are as suitable and adaptable as possible. “The drinks and hospitality industries have been some of the hardest hit by the pandemic and we know that many fantastic businesses will require additional support when the time comes to reopen. We’re ready to move quickly and go forward together.”

Find out more at www.closebreweryrentals.co.uk BEERX UK Online | 16, 17 & 18th March | www.beerx.org

BeerX UK Online preview www.beerx.org

Muntons manufactures and supplies globally a wide range of 100% sustainable malts that have been developed to satisfy the exacting needs of today's creative brewers and distillers. With 2021 being Muntons’ 100th year, its passion for malt embraces both tradition and innovation, offering technical support and onsite brewing facilities to help customers looking to develop existing recipes or the addition of something new and exciting to their range. The day to day demands of the creative craft brewer differ from larger breweries, as the need for products that stand out from the crowd are crafted and honed - Muntons extensive range of malts and liquid extracts provide the perfect starting point for our craft brewers to create award winning beers. Muntons is proud to be an official event partner of this year’s virtual SIBA BeerX UK Online and is excited to launch a new brewing innovation at the event. This year, Muntons will be introducing its new Premium AlcoholFree Malt Extract, a revolutionary brewing ingredient for craft beer enthusiasts. An industry first, the malt extract has been two years in development and makes the creation of great tasting alcohol-free more accessible to all brewers. Designed to give body, mouthfeel, and taste, it is also versatile and easy to use. Muntons new extract allows the brewer to include alcohol-free options to their range without the need to invest in expensive equipment. Muntons are regular supporters of BeerX and love the buzz that surrounds the event. When dedicated craft beer enthusiasts gather under one roof, it really is an exciting place to be. Whilst it is sad not to meet friends, old and new in-person, the team at Muntons are excited to have the opportunity to virtually discuss their favourite topic – BEER! Muntons is bringing some of the industry’s best experts together for a fully interactive beer tasting session. Joe Fifield, Brewing and Distilling Malt Sales Manager, will be hosting the Muntons online event and will be joined by special guests to discuss and showcase four alcohol-free beer styles made with the new Alcohol-Free Malt Extract. Muntons is a family owned malting business established in 1921 with maltings in Stowmarket and Bridlington, as well as sites in the USA and Thailand. The maltster works closely with both traditional and modern breweries to find new and exciting ways to enhance beer recipes, improve efficiencies and create new and innovative products. Producing around 200,000 MT of malt per annum for the brewing, food and distilling sectors, Muntons is proud to be one of the most sustainable maltsters in the industry. During the virtual event Joe will be joined by: Fabian Clark, Muntons Senior Brewing Technologist; Emma Inch, multi-award-winning freelance writer and audio-maker; and Jonny Garrett, beer journalist and documentary making.

Find out more at www.muntons.com

BeerX Online 2021:

Beer Box Partner

Vigo are proud to help support the fantastic work that SIBA do by being Silver Sponsors. Vigo supply a wide range of equipment to independent breweries, including American Beer Equipment canning machines/lines and brewhouses; bottling & kegging equipment from semi-automatic machines to fully automatic lines (CIMEC; Malek Brautech); STS labelling machines; Technibag bag-in-box filling systems; Speidel & ABE fermentation/conditioning tanks; filtration & carbonation equipment; Schneider pumps; and more. Installation, commissioning, and backup is carried out by their highly qualified and experienced team of Vigo engineers. They also sell consumables online, e.g., crown caps, bag-inboxes, filters & fittings. If you are thinking of upgrading any of your equipment or planning a new setup, please contact their sales team by clicking the logo and visiting their website. If you asked us how we feel about there being no face-to-face/real life BEERX this year, the only word that comes close is ‘gutted’! BEERX has become as firmly embedded in the calendar as bank holidays are. There are very few exhibitions that come close to developing sense of community which BEERX has – in fact, we feel that BEERX is a community in itself. This year we will really miss those face-to-face chats/glasses with friends, familiar faces and those who are joining in for the first time, but we feel really privileged to be BEERX UK Online 2021 partners, by way of sponsoring this year’s online event. SIBA have prepared a great programme of virtual topical and technical sessions as well as virtual tastings which are free of charge to brewing professionals so we hope you’ll join in. It’s strange to think that when online BEERX 2021 begins on 16th March it will be a year to the day since the government muted the idea of social restrictions in response to the pandemic. The past 12 months seem like a blur of challenge after challenge. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the team at SIBA for the way in which they have responded so quickly to every regulatory change whether through information sharing; encouraging feedback/dialogue; speaking out for members and non-members alike; raising national awareness; or the other supportive measures. It’s been hugely beneficial to our industry. Despite the challenges of finding new ways of working throughout the restrictions, in the last few months we’ve been busy working (where safe and in line with government restrictions/guidelines) on various customer projects and installs, including carbonation, chilling, kegging, canning & bottling with areas covered including London, Dorset, Kent, Northampton, Sussex, Norfolk, Glasgow & Dublin.

If there is anything we can help you with before, during or after BEERX UK Online, we may be back at base, but we warmly invite you to get in touch, even if it is just to say hello, by calling us on 01404 892 100 or emailing us at sales@vigoltd.com

Saxon Packaging have been manufacturing & designing packaging since 1986. With over 30 years’ experience helping breweries with their packaging needs and being proud members of SIBA, LBA & the BFBI, they know their stuff when it comes to packaging solutions for the brewing industry. Their comprehensive and modern manufacturing facility allows them to have a flexible way of producing a wide range of custom made (and standard) cardboard packaging, boxes and other corrugated products. Carrying a wide range of cutting tools to cover the majority of standard can & bottle sizes, they are effective in saving brewers time and money. If a standard pack isn’t right for you, their in-house design team can design you one bespoke. Not only are they able to provide exceptional packaging at the most economical rate and detailed advice on best-fit packaging materials and print finishes. As manufacturers, they have the buying power to purchase materials at competitive prices, enabling them to offer their customers products and services at a competitive rate whilst maintaining high quality standards. BEERX UK Online | 16, 17 & 18th March | www.beerx.org

2020 Brewery of the Year - North Brew Co.

The SIBA Business Awards 2021 The SIBA Business Awards will take place between 18:00 - 19:00 on Thursday 18th March 2021. The online presentation of the awards will be compered by Jonny Garrett, co-creator of the Craft Beer Channel and the British Guild of Beer Writers' 'Beer Writer of the Year 2020', and hosted by SIBA and Brewers Congress. The SIBA Business Awards seek to congratulate excellence in the brewing industry across a variety of categories, from pump clip, can and bottle design, to efforts taken by brewers to make their business more eco-friendly, innovative or successful, as well as naming the UK’s best bars, restaurants and retailers of craft beer from independent breweries. The award for UK’s Best Independent Craft Beer Taproom will also return in 2021 following its introduction last year. Jonny Garrett

The new categories for Covid Brewery Initiative and Covid Supplier Initiative seek to highlight those businesses making the best of a very tough situation for independent breweries, pubs, bars and bottle shops, and the communities they support. To enter this year’s competition please visit here.

BEERX UK Online | 16, 17 & 18th March | www.beerx.org

BeerX UK Online preview www.beerx.org

“2020 has been an incredibly tough year for independent breweries but what has been hugely impressive has been the ability of businesses to adapt and overcome the pressures of Covid, and the many obstacles that have been thrown at them. We are acknowledging this changing environment with the introduction of two new categories specifically relating to Coronavirus, but I equally look forward to seeing the entries across our other categories as lots of amazing work has flown under the radar this year. The independent brewing industry may be under attack on many fronts, but so many breweries are proving they can meet any challenge put in their way, and these awards seek to highlight and reward those businesses.” Neil Walker, SIBA Business Awards Chair of Judges.

Joining Neil Walker as Judges for the 2021 SIBA Business Awards are: Elliott Colburn MP,

Member of Parliament for Carshalton and Wallington

Barry Watts,

SIBA’s Head of Public Affairs & Policy

Pete Brown,

Award-winning beer writer and author

Ellie Hudspith,

Senior Campaigns Manager at CAMRA

Robyn Black,

Beer writer and former Editor of Imbibe

Caroline Nodder,

Editor of SIBA Independent Brewer

2020 Green Business - Purity Brewing Co.

SIBA Business Awards 2021: Awards Categories • Covid Brewery Initiative Award – NEW • Covid Supplier Initiative Award – NEW • Marketing Implementation • Green Business • Best Individual Design • Best Concept Design • Business Innovation • Commercial Achievement • UK’s Best Independent Craft Beer Retailer – Multiple • UK’s Best Independent Craft Beer Retailer – Single • UK’s Best Independent Craft Beer Bar or Pub – City • UK’s Best Independent Craft Beer Bar or Pub – Rural 2020 Business Innovation - North Brewing Co.

2020 UK's Best Independent Craft Beer Restauraunt - Curry Leaf Cafe

• UK’s Best Independent Craft Brewery Taproom • UK’s Best Independent Craft Beer Restaurant • Lifetime Achievement Award • Supplier Associate of the Year • SIBA Brewery Business of the Year

BEERX UK Online | 16, 17 & 18th March | www.beerx.org

BeerX UK Online BeerX prewiew UK Online preview www.beerx.org

BeerX UK Online: get free 1 to 1 support and advice from our legal and business experts


During BeerX Online, over the 17th and 18th of March, advisers from Napthens Solicitors are available to BeerX Online attendees for free 1 to 1 meetings.

How does it work

BEERX UK Online | 16, 17 & 18th March | www.beerx.org


Book a 45 minute session with the specialist of your choice.


Simply email: SibaLegal@napthens.co.uk


Head your email BeerX meeting request and state the issue/questions you would like to discuss.


Napthens will arrange a virtual meeting with you - first come first served.

BeerX UK Online preview www.beerx.org

Napthens team members are available to discuss: Regulatory Covid Regulations and Alcohol Licencing including on and off sales and their relationship with the “Tier Regulations” l

Commercial Any aspects of commercial contracts e.g. sales agreements, distribution, procurement, agency l


Buying or licensing IT systems and software


Marketing and advertising law


Data protection and GDPR

Business Recovery Options for restructure / rescue of companies in financial difficulties l


Directors’ duties in distressed companies

Understanding common corporate insolvency proceedings (liquidation / administration / cva ) l

HR Issues impacting on your people and your people strategy including: l


Restructuring or making redundancies


Growing your workforce to support diversification


Supporting your employees’ wellbeing

Health and Safety l

Understanding the H&S risks to your employees


Identifying and overcoming H&S challenges

Managing H&S in your workplace effectively and efficiently l

Corporate/property l

Selling your business / acquiring a business

Any aspects of commercial property including sale/acquisition l

BEERX UK Online | 16, 17 & 18th March | www.beerx.org

The view from Westminster

We are now close to a year of this perpetual cycle of lockdowns. But at last there is a feeling of hope as the vaccination programme speeds up and the Prime Minister begins to unveil his roadmap out of this crisis. SIBA has continued to be part of the conversation with Ministers and civil servants on how this roadmap will impact pubs, bars and brewers and how we can prepare to reopen this year and crucially, stay open. Given that this reopening may be still months away, SIBA has been pushing for vital and immediate support to get brewers through this crisis.

Barry Watts SIBA Head of Public Affairs and Policy


Spring 2021 | SIBA Independent Brewer | www.siba.co.uk

The view from Westminster Scottish funding In January the Scottish Government rolled out specific and tailored support for small breweries in Scotland, providing £1.8m for the industry and up to £30,000 for each brewery. This was the culmination of months of behind-the-scenes work led by SIBA and your Scottish Regional Director Jamie Delap. Initially we worked to convince the Minister of the need to provide additional and direct help to breweries that were struggling and missing out on other funding provided by the Scottish Government. We then provided detailed case studies on the impact of Covid on breweries’ cash flows and my thanks go out to all the Scottish brewers that assisted us in put this together. With the Minister now convinced by the overwhelming evidence, we worked with Scottish Government officials to design a scheme that was tailored to brewers’ needs. We formed a solution which didn’t just rely on Rateable Values but also took account of the production size of the brewery. Since then we have been helping them to roll it out across Scotland. Unfortunately a stumbling block has been the overwhelmed local authorities left to administer the funding. While some have been nimble and efficient and paid within a week, other brewers have been left waiting as their own cash flows dry up. But I’m hopeful that by the time you read this, most if not all brewers eligible for the scheme should have got the help they need. This demonstrates how SIBA can make a difference and how by working in partnership we can deliver. Budget Our attention continues to be focused on getting a similar package of support in England and in Wales and Northern Ireland. All eyes are on the Chancellor’s Budget on 3 March where we hope to see further Covid measures to survive this crisis and then to revive the industry when it reopens. The data you provided in our latest members’ survey has played a vital role in demonstrating the impact it is having on your business. That survey shows that 200 million fewer pints were brewed last year – undoing ten years of growth in the industry. It also clearly shows that in the last quarter of 2020, sales were down 45% and on average brewers burned through £5,000 per month of cash. We have underlined to Ministers that brewers need urgent support, access to business rates holidays and compensation for spoilt beer. Hopefully the Chancellor will listen to our concerns when he delivers his budget speech in Parliament in March. Small Breweries’ Relief (SBR) Finally, after many months of uncertainty, the technical consultation on SBR has been published. If you haven’t had a chance to look through this detailed report please do so government/consultations/small-brewersrelief-sbr-technical-consultation

It is vitally important that as many small brewers as possible respond to the consultation, reflecting the impact the changes will have on your business and you have until 4 April to send in your views. And there’s a lot to think about – which of the five options for a new taper will work best? Should SBR be calculated on a rolling 12 month basis or annual production? What could relief look like for those brewers that merge? This is why shortly SIBA will be sending its guide to assist you in thinking through these changes and help you to consider what works for you and the whole industry. At the same time, we continue to lobby the Government not to reduce SBR below 5,000hl or place it on a cash basis – which could see SBR eroded away over time. Before Christmas over 100 MPs from across the political parties wrote a joint letter to the Treasury asking them to reconsider. If you haven’t done so, please get in contact with your local MP using the template letters siba.co.uk/sbr/ NI Licensing Laws In Northern Ireland, it is perverse that small breweries can’t easily open taprooms to sell their beer directly to the public. This is why we’ve been lobbying the NI Executive to make changes to the licensing laws to allow them to do so. I had the opportunity to speak to the committee looking at the Bill alongside Bruce Gray from Left Handed Giant to explain how integral taprooms are to modern breweries across Great Britain. Tied Pubs Bill In Scotland, parliamentarians are currently looking at introducing laws which would allow tied pub tenants to have the same rights as those in England and Wales. This would mean they can trigger a Market Rent Only (MRO) option for their lease and there would be a Pubs Code to help manage relationships between the PubCo and tenants. One of the other parts included in the Bill is a provision for a Guest Beer Arrangement, where pub tenants could access a beer of their choice. SIBA would like to see tied pubs access more beer from small breweries in Scotland so have been pushing for changes to the Bill to enable this. As ever if there’s anything I or the SIBA team can do to help you, do not hesitate to contact me on the details below. Barry Watts is Head of Public Affairs and Policy at SIBA. He covers political relations and policy for SIBA members. He can be contacted at barry.watts@siba.co.uk or 07977837804.

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


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Beer Box Partner

Meet the regions

Name: Kirsty Ridge

Name: Anneli Baxter

Region: North West

Region: Midlands

Contact details: kirsty.ridge@siba.co.uk

Contact details: anneli.baxter@siba.co.uk

How did you first get into brewing? “I’ve operated pubs for the last eight years and when one of our favourite local breweries came up for sale, Stringers Beer, it was too good an opportunity to pass up. We acquired Stringers in 2018, and we were lucky enough to retain head brewer and founder Jon Kyme, who’s continued to brew our beer since.” What do you love most about the industry? “I love the variation! Over the years I’ve seen so many weird and wonderful varieties of beers. Over recent years I’ve fallen in love with fruit beers and I find it so exciting to see what’s coming next.” How long have you been involved with SIBA and why did you join? “We joined in 2018 as the previous owners of the brewery were members. For me, someone who had never brewed a single beer before purchasing a brewery, it was a great place to find resources and information on the UK brewing scene, not to mention the learning that came with getting our FSQ accreditation.” What do you see as the most important part of your SIBA role? “As a female in a male dominated industry, I hope I can bring some diversity to the voice of UK Independent breweries. Alongside this, I have years of experience running a successful pub group so I bring a wide and varied knowledge of the hospitality industry.” Why should Members get involved in SIBA locally? “I genuinely believe, and especially given the year we have had, that power is in numbers. If more members got involved, it would give us more opinions, a better understanding of the challenges facing breweries in the UK and a louder voice.” How is your brewery facing the challenges the pandemic has thrown at you this year? “Our biggest challenge this year was that 95% of our trade was cask to Lake District pubs. This was obviously wiped out overnight but it also gave me time to focus on the business. We are now in the middle of a rebrand to Lakeland Brewhouse, a brewery move which will see us have a brand new brew kit, a space 4 times bigger and an onsite tap bar.” What do you see as SIBA’s most important role in 2021? “I think it will be offering up to date information, support and guidance to brewers as we navigate through the reopening of the UK.” What is your favourite beer in your region other than your own? “Beers from Bowland Brewery have held my heart since the early days of running pubs, but recently I’ve fallen in love with Little Critters Raspberry Blonde (not my region but I really love it)” Who do you most admire in your local brewing community and why? “I couldn’t pick a specific brewery or person, but I think the brewing community as a whole have done a great job of fighting through this pandemic! Completely changing how we operate and quickly adapting to the new at home drinking culture, its impressive!”

How did you first get into brewing? “As a kid I was brought up in pubs and just fell in love with the industry. I knew from being at secondary school I wanted to sell beer, which probably worried a few careers teachers. I started working for a licenced wholesalers on leaving college before joining Scottish & Newcastle Brewery, initially in sales and then in the marketing dept before running my father’s wholesale business which specialised in cask beer. From there I joined Titanic Brewery where they put up with me for 14 years before the opportunity arose to take over at White Horse Brewery.” What do you love most about the industry? “The people. There can’t be many other industries where competing companies collaborate and share ideas and knowledge and where such strong relationships and friendships are formed.” How long have you been involved with SIBA and why did you join? “I first got involved with SIBA when running the wholesale business, attending conferences and beer competitions and then when I joined Titanic Brewery my level of involvement increased, especially as Keith Bott was then Chairman. The Midlands region is such a large region, so I wanted to get involved as one of the most southerly members to balance the locations of the regional directors out and to act as a voice for the more southern brewers.” What do you see as the most important part of your SIBA role? “The current challenges that we face as an industry mean that SIBA is more important than ever to the future of British Beer and the brewing industry and I would hope that my experience, knowledge and contacts can further support the efforts and endeavours of the organisation.” How is your brewery facing the challenges the pandemic has thrown at you this year? “Like every brewer in the country, we had to change our business model overnight to accommodate at-home drinking when pubs closed. We’ve increased our bottled beer range, improved our website and included an online shop which we hadn’t previously invested in, increased and improved ways for consumers to enjoy cask ale at home, got to grips with social media, utilised the furlough scheme as much as possible and have, unfortunately had to make staff redundant in order to safeguard the future of the business. ” What is your favourite beer in your region other than your own? “That’s tough with so many diverse beer choices available, but favourite brewers include Ashover Brewery, Castle Rock and more locally to White Horse Brewery, Little Ox Brewery are brewing some cracking beers.” Who do you most admire in your local brewing community and why? “He’s going to hate me for saying this, but it’s got to be Keith Bott for his endless contributions to the industry as well as his (mostly) patience with me over the years and still answering my phone calls (mostly) when I have yet another idea that I want to sound out.”

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


SIBA membership update

SIBA Members’ Survey: Latest results

The results of our latest SIBA Members’ survey make for sombre reading, with 200 million fewer pints of craft beer brewed in 2020 compared to 2019. This figure is startling, but not unexpected, given small independent brewers have been among the hardest hit by the Coronavirus pandemic, and have received much less financial support than other sectors. We would like to thank all our Brewing Members who responded to the survey in January. Your input is vital in providing us with the ammunition we need to go to Government and fight for more dedicated financial support for small brewers. Something we are busy lobbying for on your behalf and will continue to fight for in the coming weeks.

Overall response:

Survey response from:

104 UK brewers

Small brewers <1000hl: 37%

England: 88%

Medium brewers 1000-5000hl: 50%

Wales: 5%

Larger brewers <5000hl: 13%

Scotland: 7% Northern Ireland: 0%




North West

North East

Wales & West




South West


South East


Your input is vital in providing us with the ammunition we need to go to Government and fight for more dedicated financial support for small brewers.

83% 34% brewed less beer

average fall in production

Equivalent to

200 million fewer pints of craft beer in 2020

Small brewery production down 31% Medium brewery production down 35% Larger brewery production down 37%


Spring 2021 | SIBA Independent Brewer | www.siba.co.uk

SIBA membership update

45% fall


in sales during key Christmas period* Small brewery sales down 40%

of brewers used furlough

Medium brewery production down 45%


Larger brewery production down 47% *October to December 2020

of staff made redundant

compared to 2019

100% of large

breweries used furlough

96% of mediumsized breweries used furlough

69% of small

breweries used furlough

Burned through

£5000 per month on average*

Small brewery cash burn was £1,100 per month Medium brewery cash burn was £3800 per month Larger brewery cash burn was £17,100 per month *on average between October to December 2020

68% 68% of breweries have a taproom, shop or visitor centre

There’s been a jump in the number of breweries with shops from 37% in 2019* to 60% in 2020 *SIBA Craft Beer Report 2020


60% 40%


32% 7%




Visitor Centre

7% Shop & Taproom

Shop & Visitor Centre


Visitor Centre & Taproom


All Three

One of them

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


Desk Beers

SIBA Desk Beers!

The Ordinary Bitter – Anspach & Hobday (Ordinary Bitter, 3.7% ABV) Picked by James, SIBA’s Chief Executive “I’ve been drinking a heck of a lot of Anspach & Hobday’s The Ordinary Bitter. Throughout the various lockdowns I’ve been rotating the stock in my fridge to try lots of new breweries, and lots of new styles and experimental beers. Sometimes, however, what you want and what you need is a 3.7%, well balanced, ‘ordinary’ (that is anything but) beer that’s eminently crushable on a Tuesday night.”


Spring 2021 | SIBA Independent Brewer | www.siba.co.uk

Being part of the SIBA Team, we are more spoilt than most people by the selection of beers from small independent craft brewers we get to try during an average working year. Over the course of countless SIBA regional events, competitions and beer shows like BeerX UK we feel privileged to be introduced to such a wide selection of inspirational ales and to meet some of the brewers behind them. So, we certainly weren’t going to let 2021 deny us the beers we love, and we were so impressed to see SIBA brewers back in March change their business model almost overnight to allow us, and people just like us, to buy a wide range of genuine independent UK craft beers online. Needless to say we have all taken full advantage of this new route to market and have enjoyed various members’ beers over the course of the last few months. Below you will find just a small selection of SIBA Staff favourites…

Looper IPA – Full Circle Brew Co (IPA, 6.7% ABV)

Picked by Barry, SIBA’s Head of Public Affairs & Policy “This is Full Circle’s flagship beer with the Newcastle skyline on the can shouting proudly of its North East heritage. Hopped to the max, but with no overpowering bitterness just fresh bursts of citrus and gentle hints of grapefruit. It is easily quaffable after a day at your desk.”

Desk Beers Born Smiling Tropical IPA – Yeastie Boys

Cocoa & Coffee Imperial Stout –

Picked by Bex, SIBA’s Financial Controller

(Imperial Stout, 12.5% ABV)

(IPA, 6.5% ABV)

“There is a theme emerging from the beers I have chosen, my choice the last issue of the magazine was mango flavoured and this one is also tropical! I love a fruit beer, I’ve always loved a cherry beer and these tropical flavoured ones are right up my street!”

360 Degree Brewing – West Coast Pale Ale

(Pale Ale, 5.2% ABV) Chosen by Elle, SIBA’s Operations Assistant “I managed to take one of these home from the leftovers in the office after the Guild of Beer Writers Awards. This smelt amazing! True to its origins, it is a Californian style pale ale and is packed with the fruitiest and most vibrant US hops, with pale and crystal malt grist to balance the fresh bitterness.”

Coffee Porter Firebird Brewing Co (Porter, 5.5% ABV)

Picked by Sara, SIBA’s Company Secretary “Great to drink after dinner, this beer is made with Columbian Arabica beans added to a rich blend of dark malts which creates a smooth porter with a pleasant kick to it. Delicious!”

Collaboration between North Brewing Co and Mikkeller Chosen by Neil, SIBA’s Head of Comms & Marketing “I loved this Imperial Stout that North did with Mikkeller. The coffee and cinnamon are really subtle and works perfectly in this big beer - for the strength it’s incredibly smooth and not too sweet. I would love to see this become a permanent beer in their range.”

Trommel Treboom Brewery

(Kölsch-style Lager, 5.1% ABV) Chosen by Jenna, SIBA’s Operations Administrator “I have chosen a beer from another brewery, Treboom, that is fairly local to me. This is a lovely crisp and fresh Kölsch-style lager. Crisp and clean this beer has the character of a lager beautifully combined with the full flavours of an ale.”

G-Sharp Grapefruit Sour – Signature Brew (Sour, 4.2% ABV)

Chosen by Caroline, Editor of SIBA’s Independent Brewer magazine “I have always loved Signature Brew’s core range, and during lockdown I have also been enjoying quite a few sour beers. So I had to give Signature’s guest sour beer G-Sharp a try. Not only is it a great example of letting beautiful zingy grapefruit shine through, but it is also brilliantly integrated with the Signature brand, built around music. Check out the recommended playlist that comes with G-Sharp on their website!”

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


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Comment: Lily Waite

Who is diversity and inclusion actually for? Is the brewing sector simply paying lip service to the idea of diversity and inclusion and are we really any closer to meaningful change? Awardwinning beer writer Lily Waite is calling for actions, not just words…

"In the wake of the murder of George Floyd in May of last year, the subsequent rightful protest that swept America, and the demonstrations and direct action throughout the UK, themes surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion moved, if not centre stage, at least somewhere more under the industry’s spotlight than before, as opposed to lurking in the wings. Breweries banded together to form coalitions committed to working harder at diversity and inclusion, posted black squares and other halfhearted, non-committal gestures on their social media, and promised to do more, be more, and commit more to the cause of diversity and inclusion. But in the UK industry, who does diversity and inclusion actually serve? In early July last year, a trans woman was ‘heckled’ with transphobic abuse by a Beavertown Brewery staff member whilst passing the brewery. Whilst she made it clear she was fine and wasn’t seeking any response from the brewery, a comment in the ensuing statement from founder and CEO Logan Plant gave me pause for thought. “We are an inclusive company,” he wrote, “and believe that everybody should be treated equally and with respect.” But are you an inclusive company just because you say you are? Is this industry as welcoming and open as commonly claimed, just because we like to believe it is? The above is merely an example, I’m not starting beef with Beavertown - I do not doubt their regret and upset that such unpleasantness occurred, though I do not know whether the offending employee was ever disciplined. I am, however, interested in the question it raises. In an industry comprising predominantly a homogenous demographic, serving an audience predominantly of that very same demographic, via channels seemingly only facing that demographic, how can it possibly be inclusive, or diverse, as so many claim? If we’re all committed to a more diverse, and equitable, and inclusive, and welcoming industry, why do we continue to market to, for the most part, only people who look, and act, and are like us? It’s all very well putting a rainbow sticker on the door of your pub, but it’s no use if the only people who know about your pub and its welcoming of us queers are

people for whom that makes little difference. My issue with much of the industry’s diversity and inclusion efforts is this: these efforts primarily speak to people for whom diversity and inclusion is simply not important. As long as the industry serves the same customers through the same outlets, waiting for a more diverse audience to find its way in and discover these efforts, it is essentially ensuring a state of stasis. An image often comes to mind of a group of white, straight, cisgender men all nodding and agreeing with each other, saying ‘yes! We are diverse, equitable, and inclusive!’ Meanwhile, everyone on the outside simply sees a group of people who don’t look like them despite the efforts of craft beer the world over, the image problem of the sector being the realm of bearded bros still pervades, and craft beer remains generally unappealing to those outside its sphere. There is an attitude, it seems, of ‘build it and they will come’. All breweries need to do is to brew the beer, and people from all walks of life will drink it; all bars, pubs, or bottle shops need is to throw open their doors, and anyone can walk in, right? In an ideal world, yes! In our less than ideal society, however, we must do more than that, considering craft beer’s current exclusivity and homogeneity. We must put in work. Of course, I don’t have all the answers. But there are simple ways to look beyond our current bubble - by casting the net out further both in terms of to whom we sell beer, and in front of whom we place job listings. The primary objective of our industry is to sell beer, so that beer can be drunk, and enjoyed. There is a great wealth of outlets - bars, pubs, restaurants, and retailers - that is currently overlooked and ignored. By approaching different markets, we can unleash beer’s huge potential to be enjoyed by anyone, and simultaneously draw others in whilst broadening the sector. There are obstacles, of course, but as the saying goes, nothing worth having comes easy. And a more diverse and equitable industry is certainly worth having. There are innumerable benefits, too, to posting job listings elsewhere than the usual forums

and websites. By searching wider, you gain access to countless skills and talents perhaps previously inaccessible, you gain access to the lived experiences of those previously excluded, which may reap incalculable benefits to your business, and you gain access to fresh ideas, new minds, and different cultures. Over the past week, I have seen the joy that craft beer can bring to people who previously did not consider themselves spoken to. Since the release of Queer Brewing’s core range, I’ve posted a number of sample boxes to LGBTQ+ people on social media with either some influence or who are looked up to by others. The response to photos posted of a beer with the word ‘queer’ on it has validated everything I’ve done with Queer Brewing up until this point, and is proof that simply putting your beer in front of a new audience and saying ‘this is for you’ really works. Of course, the vast majority of the industry does not target specific communities or demographics, and perhaps as such cannot engender such a specific response. But, at the same time, the vast majority of the industry is based around the joy and enjoyment that beer can provide. On top of the capitalistic gain of selling more beer, we all have the capacity to provide that joy and enjoyment to a great many more people. It just takes a little work."

Lily is a London-based freelance beer writer, photographer, ceramicist, and the founder of The Queer Brewing Project, an LGBTQfocused brewery. She’s won a number of awards for her writing, is the youngest-ever winner of the British Guild of Beer Writers’ Beer Writer of the Year award, and was named Imbibe’s Trailblazer of the Year for 2020. She enjoys cooking, music, and walking her small dog, Teddy.

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


Business profile: Anspach & Hobday

Anspach & Hobday

Jack Hobday and Paul Anspach, from eponymous London brewery Anspach & Hobday, have known each other since they were kindergarten classmates aged just four. A shared love of music and homebrewing eventually led the pair, then student flatmates in South London, to the idea of launching their own brewery. Their first homebrewing success, a London Porter, is still their best seller today, and even before the pair had officially launched a commercial product to market, the Porter triumphed in the International Beer Challenge, taking away a silver medal against a field of far more experienced and established brewers. The quality of their beers and vision for launching a modern London brewery, inspired by traditional methods and recipes, got them


Spring 2021 | SIBA Independent Brewer | www.siba.co.uk

the attention they needed to raise funds through Kickstarter for their first professional brew kit, and the brewery launched from a site in Bermondsey on what is now the ‘Bermondsey Beer Mile’. Adding a second brewing site in Croydon and a retail site, The Pigeon, the business has grown substantially since then. More recently, they have switched production mainly to the canning line, fortuitously installed just as the first lockdown hit. Caroline Nodder, Independent Brewer’s Editor, spoke to Jack in mid-February to hear more about how he and Paul founded the business, as well as how he came to launch a petition to Government on the issue of Small Breweries’ Relief that has attracted over 50,000 signatures…

Business profile: Anspach & Hobday Brewery Basics

Name: Anspach & Hobday Founded: 2012 (first brew 2014) Location: Brewing sites in Bermondsey and Croydon, plus bar and bottle shop The Pigeon in Camberwell Owners: Paul Anspach and Jack Hobday with around 570 shareholders Annual production: In 2019 – 1,584hl. In 2020 – 1,988hl Brewing team: 4 (led by Paul Anspach) Staff: 12 in total (including part-time) Core beers: The IPA (6% ABV), The Pale Ale (4.4% ABV), The Ordinary Bitter (3.7% ABV), The Lager (4.7% ABV), The Sour Dry Hop (4.9% ABV) and The Porter (6.7% ABV) Production split (cask, keg & small pack): In 2019 – 69% keg, 18% bottles, 13% cask. In 2020 – 63% cans, 24% keg, 8% bottles, 5% cask.

How did you come to launch Anspach & Hobday and how has the business developed since then? “I had a lecturer at University, a guy called Keith Langley, and he suggested if I homebrewed I could save a bit of money. And at the time I was flatmates in Vauxhall with Paul [Anspach] who was also studying at the time although not at the same University. I’ve known Paul since I was four. We went to kindergarten together, so we go back a long way. We were originally quite musical and wanted to have a go at having a band and doing a bit of music production. So we’re quite creative people and we got into beer too and found ourselves making house music and doing lots of homebrewing. By that point we were both graduates and it wasn’t long after the last recession so it was quite difficult to find work. I was working in Waterstones, Paul was working in a bottle shop in Parson’s Green, so didn’t have a lot to lose by having a go at beer. We would go to house parties and people were far more interested in the beer than the music we brought. Through Paul’s contact in the bottle shop, he would bring out some of the homebrew for anyone who showed an interest in the beer section he used to curate and through that we made a few connections and found a few early mentors and shareholders who saw an opportunity for craft beer and saw potential in Paul and I. We then did a Kickstarter campaign – I think we were the first brewery to use Kickstarter – and we made a relatively modest amount, £5,000, and that bought us our first brew kit. We had 122 people back us, most of whom hadn’t tried our beer but liked our vision. We based everything round the Porter in those days, which was the first really good homebrew we did. It pays tribute to the style which is obviously a style from London, so we didn’t have to do anything to change the water profile too much. We also

took a punt and decided to enter the Porter into a professional competition called the International Beer Challenge and in 2013 we won a silver medal with it – which we had no right to really, we had incorporated by then, but we only had a homebrew side. Once we’d had 120 people back us with the Kickstarter we really had to get on with it then. The focus went on to finding the site. We raised a bit more money privately and got our site in Bermondsey. We started on a 100litre kit and by the time we finished at Bermondsey [before adding the second brewing site in Croydon] we’d grown to 1,100litres.”

What is your brewing ethos? “It is obviously a market where ultimately everyone is doing the same thing – producing beer. But we spent a lot of time thinking about it, and one of our early investors had worked for a long time in marketing, so he took us through quite a good process to decide what we wanted to be all about. We originally registered at Companies House as ‘Alements’ – a really bad pun – and it was suggested the name could be better. We focused in on the fact beer is something we have got in common with the past, the recipes are from the past and beer really draws on that history. Craft beer is ultimately an exchange of ideas from the past in different formats. So ‘making traditional beer modern’ is probably the quickest way of summarising what Anspach & Hobday is about. We have always been very innovative and we don’t necessarily try and tie ourselves down to an authentic style but we certainly have a lot of reverence for the fact a lot of what we are doing has been done for hundreds of years. That is reflected in our branding. The characters on the labels reflect that, you have an old and a new character on each of the core range labels – on the Porter it’s actually me and Paul. We recognised that the way the market was going was to make more of a big deal of art work. We always had that within the branding back in 2014, but we recognised the volume on that had to go up, so we did that when we brought the cans in. Of course the name Ansbach & Hobday was part of that as well. The change from ‘Alements’ followed a bit of an exploration of what branding was in the past. Basically the first brands were usually the surnames of the people in the business and it happened when a very small business in a village got big enough to start selling to the town next to them they would take their names with them. So using Anspach & Hobday meant people knew who was brewing the beer, and that is another nod to the past, and one of the reasons we ultimately settled on our names as a brand.” Continued on page 31

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


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Business profile: Anspach & Hobday

Are there any emerging trends in terms of beer styles that particularly excite you? “One thing we have got coming up soon is that we’re going to be doing our first gluten free pilsner. We have seen a few around the market and my partner didn’t particularly like beer because she is on the side of avoiding gluten, but she had been thoroughly enjoying Gipsy Hill’s gluten free version of one of their pales. We are definitely seeing a trend of a lot of gluten free beers coming to the market, so we thought why not have a go. We have not done a pilsner either so we’re not afraid to try a couple of new things. Then looking at no and low we brought out the Table Beer, and we are looking into whether we can do our first 0% or 0.5% ABV. For the very smallest breweries that is quite a challenge. If you look at a lot of the ones on the market they are made in quite large facilities because you need to pasteurise them. We are not in a place to do that, but as far as our low ABV Table Beer goes it is a more traditional brew simply using less malt so it is a lighter beer. That has been really fun and as far as researching Table Beers, a lot of people think of them as being a bit modern – I remember the Kernel’s Table Beer was probably the first, but it is not a new idea at all. For a long time, Table Beers with that lower ABV would probably be the mainstay drink, especially when water purity would have been a real issue. It is only because water became cleaner you see a drop in their visibility, but in my mind they are making a comeback. It is actually just history repeating itself, albeit they are a lot more hoppy than they were a few hundred years ago.”

You do quite a lot of collaboration beers, what does this bring to the business? “I don’t think we’ve announced this anywhere yet, but we are actually in the process of working on a collab with Marble at the moment. Doing it remotely you can imagine it’s been difficult to collaborate with people in the last year or so, it has basically been over the phone. Our last collab was with Against the Grain and that happened around this time last year, they are an American brewery. The collab is an excellent way of bringing brewers together to discuss ideas and notes. Marble already do a fantastic Barley Wine and we are going to have a go at a collab Barley Wine. It

hasn’t been named yet, but we are actually going to do something quite exciting. We are hoping, and this may change in the final iteration, but we are hoping to create some wort up at Marble with their team and then take some of it down to ferment at our plant. Part of it is that we are going to go for a high gravity and use the first wort from theirs for a second mash to the initial sugar content up as high as possible. So you’ll have a really good Wine. Sometimes a collab can look on the surface as a bit of an exercise for the sake of it, but actually the interaction and the combination and the exploration for this Barley Wine with Marble has been really meaningful. Over a Zoom call, they sent us some of their beers to try including their Barley Wine, and talked about what they’d done, and we discussed different ways of working. It really will be a collab in the true sense of the word. It is something I think we are always going to be open to because it is such a great opportunity to create something new.

What do you do differently at Anspach & Hobday? “Our real thing is we try to go for as much balance as possible. We are not afraid of big flavour but there is a real focus on precision and balance in the brewery and that is partly out of respect for traditions. If you are going to make a lager make sure you lager it properly. Then in terms of the proportions and how you are using flavours and bringing them together, it should all settle and balance. I accept that many brewers are trying to do the same, and many are achieving it as well. To some degree it is also part of us being a London brewer, and goes right back to when we ran our Kickstarter and said we wanted to bring London back to the centre of the brewing world – which of course in the 1800s it was by far the biggest place of beer production in the world. I think it is about being part of that London brewing community and bringing that back. We are producing a London Bitter and we have a London ESB on the way, and we do a London Porter – that is a big part of what differentiates us. About 10% of our wholesale it typically export and I think a lot of that story around being a brewery that started under some arches in London is what makes us, us and different from others.” Continued on page 33 www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


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Spring 2021 | SIBA Independent Brewer | www.siba.co.uk

The team has done a fantastic job, the number of cans they’ve been able to brew and package has been far more than we were expecting.

Business profile: Anspach & Hobday

Describe your business as it was at the start of 2020 and how it has changed since? “Initially we were terrified. We had a very bleak meeting with one of our financial advisors, and asked him where are we, what happens if they close the pubs, where are we going to be? That was about a week before lockdown. It was before furlough had been announced and it was not a good-looking picture. We basically gave ourselves about four months. That was pretty scary, especially when you consider the pressure on the whole team, but particularly Paul and myself, was quite big because we’d just implemented the big expansion to Croydon and spent a whole year working on getting things ready and right so we could grow the business as we had told all the investors we would. Then we saw it in the evidence of 80% of our sales dropping away, we saw it in the kegs, and the cask – 82% of our business was cask and keg so we suddenly saw that route to market just gone. We were lucky in a way, we had just bought the cans on line, and we were imagining we were going to be launching the cans in our Croydon tap and our Bermondsey arch and at The Pigeon in one big weekend, even thinking of doing some sort of local can giveaway. And suddenly no one could visit those sites. So we switched everything to online. The webshop had been built in November 2019 so it was quite new, and it had only done a tiny bit of business. But we started to do pre-orders for the cans. At that point the mindset was effectively damage limitation entirely. But having the 570 investors was a key thing in saving the business from disaster. Those people had invested in us, they liked the beer and liked the brand, and they acted as an immediate core of customers when we switched over the business. We saw this blossoming of the webshop that was suddenly doing numbers we couldn’t believe. It meant pretty quickly that there was one member of staff certainly that was no longer furloughed. And sales ballooned from zero to not quite matching previous retail but certainly conserving a lot of what we had lost which meant we could keep the tanks full and a skeleton team on production. We carried on growing in that way and it was quite an emotional journey because it was such a disaster and so uncertain you almost got high off the adrenaline of it all. Then we got to the point at the end of the first lockdown we started to come out of it and that was a whole challenge in itself. We obviously were all optimistic at that point that we wouldn’t still be locked down at this time. We made sure we had keg beer ready to go – we’d moved a lot of kegs that were ready for pubs early on in. to cans which had saved us a lot of wasted beer, and for a lot brewers that didn’t have access to a canning line that was just

not possible, so we avoided the worst. We reopened The Pigeon just as a bottle shop and it did quite well. We opened it again a further time and we opened our arch in Bermondsey once as regulations relaxed further. But it was a real halfway house, and many customers quite rightly during a pandemic wanted to stay away. We had our overheads back but our revenue was much lower. It must have been the case for pubs, bars and other brewery taps as well, it was very very difficult. Then we got to the next lockdown and like the first we saw online sales grow. We had M&S move over to cans from bottles at last so that meant for us in December and early January we were stocking them up so it hasn’t been a total disaster and overall the business has managed to grow as you can see from our production volumes.” Do you think the widespread move into small pack will permanently affect the sector? “I think if you look at the way the market was going in 2019, from what I have read about pandemics they generally shake out what was going to happen anyway. So trends that were already in motion get sped up. The previous trend was that small pack was growing so I would suspect you won’t see the same level of growth but you won’t see a reversal. It will continue to be a very important part of what we do. The team has done a fantastic job, the number of cans they’ve been able to brew and package has been far more than we were expecting. We are hoping kegs will come back because it is easier to grow the volume but we will see.” Longer term how do you think the pandemic will affect the small brewing community in the UK overall? “It is a very worrying time. February, where we are right now, has historically been the hardest time for brewers and when they are most likely to fold because January is a quieter month so cashflow in February March is at its lowest. Fingers crossed I am really hoping the Government’s assistance has meant that a lot of people have been able to keep going, especially those that haven’t had access to cans or been able to make anything work. Even from our side I still feel like between the Government assistance and the sales we are able to do we are still walking a pretty fine tightrope. I am hopeful most will be OK but it wouldn’t be surprise if in March/April if we hear of a bit of a bump and some have called it a day.” Continued on page 35

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021



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Business profile: Anspach & Hobday

You have been very involved in the campaign on Small Breweries’ Relief. How did that come about? “The SBR announcement came at a time when it was a bit of a body blow to brewers across the country. I don’t think anyone could believe that a certain section of the brewing world – which obviously our brewery is in – would be paying more duty. The way they announced it was awful as well because there wasn’t any detail. Imagine trying to raise money then to mitigate Covid and the headline is small breweries in a certain range are going to pay more money. But how much? At that time as well with the background of Covid it was obvious that the voice of smaller breweries needed to be turned up. I had a chat with a journalist who had got in contact to ask what I thought of this issue and they then challenged me and said, ‘well what are you going to do about it?’ And I just stumbled around a bit and then said I was going to start a petition. So I thought I’d better get on and do it, and I spoke to Paul and wrote a petition on the basis that on the limited information we had it was unreasonable to expect small brewers to pay more duty. For some brewers to want to pay less, but for that to be at the expense of other small brewers is not on in my mind. It didn’t seem fair. The petition wording was rejected the first time but James [Calder] at SIBA had a look at it and sent over some ideas and I sent a correction which was passed. And I think we got around 50,000 signatures. I feel like anyone in the SBR scheme should be working together to grow our share of the market from the larger companies. I know some medium sized brewers believe the current set up is unfair in terms of their position on the duty curve, but a lot of the evidence for that based on the production values per hl for different breweries doesn’t incorporate market access and it doesn’t show a peak of brewers sitting at 5,000hl who chose not to grow because there is a steep increase in duty. The system wasn’t dramatically broken, so I think to increase duty rates for brewers between 2,100hl and 5,000hl will lead to the loss of small breweries and less choice for the consumer. I think the petition, although it didn’t hit the 100,000, along with the coordinated response from SIBA led to a lot of MPs becoming involved and the cultural and community value of breweries was raised. A lot of MPs have local breweries in their constituencies that would be affected at a time when it couldn’t really be worse.”

been quite an emotional journey but actually the lessons in growing and how the team has come together has been a real positive. Also how our little community has rallied behind us has really kept us going. We don’t take any of that for granted.” What are you proudest of during your time at Anspach & Hobday? “The first time we hit three months of profit was really big. The first six months in to 2014 we got to the point where I could bring myself in on a salary, which wasn’t a big salary, but that personally was a moment of big pride. This idea that started as homebrewing had got to the point where it had created a job. I suppose on a wider front the fact that in the community there are lots of people who really enjoy our beers and are happy to be a part of the Anspach & Hobday world and that is just really nice to be a part of. Along with our team it really is a great little community, and I am privileged to be within it.” What plans do you have for the business for the rest of 2021? “We are looking seriously at another fundraise. We are hoping to raise some funds for a new site in Wembley Park which will be a north of the river Anspach & Hobday outpost – a Wembley tap and bottle shop. And we will also probably consolidate a few production upgrades just to maximise what we are able to do in Croydon. There is definitely an appetite to do that although we can’t say at the moment when that will go live. Another little thing which is coming is that we have done a nitro version of the Porter. That is going to be limited to draught so until pubs are open I don’t see us being able to move that project forward, but I am hoping eventually we will be able to do London Guinness.” What is your all-time favourite beer? “The Porter is the beer that got us to where we are. So it is a pretty important one and it is a lovely Porter. I think externally I would say probably Rochefort 10, because it is just such an outstanding beer that is fairly widely available and it is a phenomenal and complex Belgian beer. Then in the States there is 3 Floyds Brewing Co and their Dark Lord which is a 15% Imperial Stout, we have a great relationship with the brewery and that is phenomenal too.”

Are there any positives you have taken from your experience over the last year?

Who do you most admire in the craft beer market at the moment and why?

“I think so. I have found it tremendously rewarding to work with our team to navigate through the twists and turns. It has been really trying, and it has taken its toll on people’s mental health, it has not been easy for anyone. But it has been about problem solving and our team has shown fantastic flexibility and our shareholders have shown great loyalty. It has

“I think because they handled the pandemic so well, and although he’s a marketing machine and it gets annoying at times, I think BrewDog have done a really good job. If we are looking at how we bring more people into the craft beer scene, BrewDog are the ones who are doing the best job at that and I think we have a lot to admire in what they are doing." www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


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Brewer's viewpoint: Craig Laurie

Beer Duty, and why it should bother you Craig Laurie, the Head Brewer at Arran Brewery off the West Coast of Scotland, offers his view on the current debate over reform of Small Breweries’ Relief, a matter he feels should deeply concern all small brewers… "Well, 2020 certainly was… something, wasn’t it? Hopefully you all stayed safe and managed to pull a fun festive period out of the bag at the last hour – with or without delicious Arran Beer, of course. I’d wanted to start 2021 on a positive note, being the cheerful guy that I am*, but unfortunately dark clouds are already on the horizon for small breweries in the UK. Last year was a devastating year for the licensed trade as a whole – pubs and bars were badly hit by the lockdown restrictions in Easter, Summer & Christmas (the most profitable periods of the year, no less), which has a knock-on effect to the breweries who supply them. Losing your route to market is debilitating for most businesses, beer or not. We’re entering 2021 with a fresh round of lockdowns, so it stands to reason that it will be a long while before the cask beer market comes back to pre-pandemic levels (if it ever does). Which unfortunately leads us to the tricky question of Beer Duty. If you’re a CAMRA member, you’ll probably be aware that the UK has one of the highest rates of Beer Duty (tax) in Europe – three times higher than the EU average, 11 times higher than Germany or Spain. In consumer terms, every time you buy a pint of Arran Blonde, you’re paying 54p in tax in the UK, vs 18p on the same pint in Italy, or 5p in Germany. One of the biggest expenses in running a brewery is the tax component – we pay a monthly bill straight to HMRC based on how much beer we sold, and at what strength it was packaged. A small mercy of the UK Revenue & Customs system is something called Small Breweries’ Duty Relief (“SBR” from herein). SBR was introduced in 2002 after decades of lobbying by the Society of Independent Brewers – and it led directly to the vibrant brewing scene within the UK as it now stands. SBR gives breweries a 50% relief on Beer Duty, provided they’re producing less than 5,000hl per year – ie microbreweries. This relief makes competition possible – microbreweries simply don’t have the economy of scale on their side to allow them to compete with large established regional breweries on equal terms, but with a 50% reduction in the tax rate on beer, it at least makes competition possible.

Above the 5,000hl mark, the relief tapers off as your annual production increases, up to the level of 60,000hl – wherein all relief ceases, and you pay the full rate of duty. The idea, again, is that the level of relief decreases as your brewery’s economy of scale increases. In practice, however, this has led to the 5,000hl mark being seen as something of a cliff edge for successful breweries. Without very careful planning and management, you can see your raw production costs (your monthly tax bill!) increasing dramatically. The argument, essentially, is that you’re punished for being too successful. The UK has one of the highest rates of Beer Duty (tax) in Europe – three times higher than the EU average, 11 times higher than Germany or Spain. Enter the Small Breweries Duty Reform Coalition (“SBDRC”, I’m so sorry for all these acronyms). They argue that the current system of tapered relief unfairly affects small-to-medium sized breweries, and would be better served by the following: 1. Lowering the level at which brewers can receive the maximum 50% relief to 1,000hl 2. Raising the upper level for relief to 200,000hl 3. Excluding export sales from breweries’ volume until combined domestic and export production exceed 200,000hl On one hand, yes – this stops the “cliff edge” effect above the 5,000hl mark. But in practice, this represents a potential death blow to all small and medium sized breweries in the UK, organised by a coalition of large regional breweries. What these

“reforms” would do is substantially increase the production costs of all breweries that are supplying beer outside of a small local market, but who don’t have the economy of scale to compete. For perspective, here at Arran, our average annual output is ~2,500hl – which currently entitles us to a 50% reduction in our duty rate, and allows us to employ a small team of 6 full time staff. With these “reforms”, our duty rate would increase instantly, to the same rate as if we were producing 9,000hl in the current system, but without the profitability we would have at that level. More tax on lower profits. By contrast, if we were producing 20,000hl per year, the “reforms” would lower our duty rate to that of a brewery producing 15,000hl in the current system. Lower tax on higher profits. Can you see why these reforms are favoured by large regional breweries? They stand to gain significant financial advantage, while simultaneously kneecapping the ability of small competitors to compete with them. It’s not a given that the “reforms” will be made into law, but it looks very, very likely – large regional breweries tend to be generous political donors, and the SBDRC are composed almost entirely of large regional breweries. Hopefully more focus on the impact these “reforms” would have on your favourite breweries (most of us are screaming bloody murder about it!) will make it more unlikely to pass. I’m all in favour of a reform to the Beer Duty system; it’s hard to argue that the brewing industry in 2021 is the same as it was in 2002 when the reforms were first introduced. But I can’t support reforms that will force us to either increase our prices, reduce our workforce, or cheapen our beer. And neither should you." * That’s a lie, I’m not.

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


Meet the Brewer: Alice Batham

Meet the Brewer:

Alice Batham

As a member of the sixth generation of her family to be working at Bathams brewery in the West Midlands, Alice Batham has 144 years of family history in brewing behind her. Recently returned to Bathams to work with her father, Head Brewer Tim Batham, as a research brewer, Alice first spent several years honing her brewing skills in two very different brewing businesses. Working with Sara Barton at her brewery Brewster’s in Grantham, Alice had the freedom to experiment with new recipes as part of a small team. She subsequently went on to work in a much larger team at Thornbridge, where she hosted the International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day, and later formed part of a reduced brewing team that saw Thornbridge through the first lockdown, brewing mainly Jaipur for small pack. In 2019,


Spring 2021 | SIBA Independent Brewer | www.siba.co.uk

Alice was named Young Brewer of the Year at the inaugural Brewers Choice Awards, presented by Brewers Journal, with the judges recognising her for her enthusiasm and drive, as well as her ability to make a real mark on the brewing industry. Returning to Bathams, Alice is now working alongside not only her father Tim but also her Uncle Matt Batham who runs the retail arm of the brewery, with 12 pubs in the current estate, and her sister Claire. Specialising in a small core range of traditional cask ales, Bathams is trusted by its local customer base to produce consistently top quality beers to the same recipes used by the family for generations. Caroline Nodder, Independent Brewer’s Editor, spoke to Alice to find out more about her career so far and what it means to come from such a historic brewing family…

Meet the Brewer: Alice Batham You obviously grew up as part of an iconic brewing dynasty, what is your earliest memory of the brewery? "I remember my Dad putting me and my sisters into the empty fermenting vessels when we were little - they are open FV’s! We loved it and it kept us out of trouble. I can also remember carrying saccharometers around very carefully as I was terrified of breaking one of them."

How many generations of your family have worked at Bathams and who runs the business currently? "Tim Batham and Matt Batham, my Dad and my Uncle, currently run the business togetherthey are the fifth generation. My sister Claire also works at the brewery, she previously ran one of the Bathams pubs for three years. "

What is the ethos behind the beers you brew at Bathams? "Bathams has provided people of the Black Country with traditional ales of that region for well over 100 years. We brew a Best Bitter and Mild using recipes passed down through generations. They are cask session beers meant to be enjoyed in the pub - it is that simple."

Did you always intend to go into the family business? "No, when I left school I went and did a BA English degree at the University of Leeds. I thought I’d go into the arts but after spending a year in Australia away from the family I changed my mind. The pub culture is so different in Australia and it really made me appreciate the opportunity of maintaining the Bathams legacy. I longed for a traditional British pub when I was out there. When I got home, I finished my English degree and agreed with my Dad to do some training."

Where did you train/begin your brewing journey? "I did my Masters in Brewing Science and Practice at the University of Nottingham. The lecturers and professors were undeniably helpful and knowledgeable. What I liked the most was that most of them had industry experience and were so enthusiastic about the practical side of brewing. The Sutton Bonington Campus is home to the International Centre for Brewing Science so we had access to some great kit. It was a one-year course and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to accelerate their training in brewing."

Tell us a bit about your current role at Bathams. "I am currently learning the ropes from Bathams’ head brewer and my Dad. It’s different at the moment because of Covid, hopefully the pubs will open soon and production will increase. It's great to have my sister working there too, I’m sure our roles will be fairly fluid as time goes on and we’re keen to get involved in each other’s roles. It would be cool to get her involved in the brewing one day."

You previously worked at Brewster’s, a female-led brewery, was that a conscious decision and do you think women are represented enough in brewing?

I have had a really positive experience in the industry and think that women are being represented more and more. I’ve said before that things in beer that come across as problematic are often problematic because we live in a patriarchal society - I think it’s important to keep in mind it’s not just our sector, there is work to do everywhere."

You have also worked at Thornbridge, tell us about your role there. "I started my job as a shift brewer at Thornbridge in 2019 and loved every minute of it. It was a massive step up from Brewsters in terms of size and production but I really enjoyed that challenge. All of the guys in the team were very welcoming - we got through the first lockdown together with a limited brewing team and it felt great to be working. We brewed mostly Jaipur for small pack during that period. Thornbridge employs a young team and it creates the perfect environment - everyone is hungry to learn and succeed. It was great to be given the opportunity to host the IWCBD [International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day] there in 2020 when the theme was tribute. We made an ESB at the hall brewery - a tribute to Lord Marples that was the first beer brewed at Thornbridge. It was packaged into cask and unfortunately did not make it out to the pubs before lockdown." Continued on page 41

"It was a conscious decision but it felt like the perfect fit for me straight out of university regardless. I learnt so much from Sara, she has so much knowledge and insight having worked in the industry most of her career. She also gave me the freedom to try new processes and develop recipes there. It was a small team and we had a lot of fun - I have a lot of respect for them and their extremely drinkable beers.



Date 2020-Present

Job title/Training course Research Brewer

Company Bathams Brewery


Shift Brewer

Thornbridge Brewery


Technical Brewer

Brewster’s Brewery


MSc Brewing Science & Practice

University of Nottingham

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


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Meet the Brewer: Alice Batham

What did you bring back to Bathams from your experience working at Brewsters and Thornbridge? "It’s very early days and quite hard to answer this question as I’ve only been at Bathams during the pandemic so my working life there hasn’t been “normal”. Just working in other breweries and absorbing how they operate is really beneficial - it's helped me to question our process at Bathams. In terms of production, things like working on a shift pattern at Thornbridge and questioning how many brews are possible in a day at Bathams cross my mind. Also, working at Brewsters where they bottom crop ale yeast and do cask slightly differently. Then there is the experience of working in craft beer environments where modern styles and different flavours are sought after - if Bathams was to ever venture down a route like that. To be honest, I am a traditionalist and love the simplicity of how Bathams operates. To be able to maintain such a tiny range of beers for such a long time means we’re doing something right repetition is mastery."

How has life changed at Bathams during the pandemic? "Shutting the brewery down during the first lockdown was very difficult for my family as it had never ceased production - during both World Wars my predecessors continued to

brew. Closing the pubs has obviously been very difficult but the safety of own customers is paramount. Fortunately, we are able to brew for bottle to maintain the yeast." Bathams are in their 144th year of production - this alone is indicative of differences between us and new small independents. The brewery is a classic Victorian tower brewery and still uses old techniques and equipment.

You have been volunteering at a vaccine centre, how did that come about and what has been your experience of working on the front line? "I’ve had some spare time with the pubs being closed and decided to use it helping St John’s Ambulance with the vaccine program - they are aiding the NHS with it. Anyone can volunteer and we’ve all been through appropriate training - I wouldn’t exactly call it front line but it’s great to see people getting their vaccines. It feels like we are moving one step closer to the pubs opening with every dose that is given and that is a fantastic thing. Who knew I’d be injecting people this time last year!?"

How would you compare Bathams to some of the new wave of small independent breweries that have launched in the last few years? "Bathams are in their 144th year of production - this alone is indicative of differences between us and new small independents. The brewery is a classic Victorian tower brewery and still uses old techniques and equipment. I’ve been trying to adjust from Celsius to Fahrenheit over the last few weeks! One of the other huge differences is that Bathams has a very small core range that we stick to. I think it’s great that small independent breweries are experimenting with beer styles as it introduces people to beer that they might never have tried. What I think Bathams customers appreciate is the reliability they can go to any Bathams pub and know they are going to get a top quality pint of cask any day of the week." Continued on page 43

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


Meet the Brewer: Alice Batham

Are you looking to introduce any changes to the business?

What current trends in the beer world excite you?

Who do you most admire in today’s market?

"It’s hard to think about changes at the moment when a lot of factors are uncertain. I think people look at Bathams and the traditional nature of the beer, brand and company and think it has barely changed, but Bathams wouldn’t be here if it hadn’t evolved with the times. This longevity is testament to my family and their commitment to producing quality ales year on year, as well as the Bathams’ pub estate Matt has developed. I would love to get involved with a brewing apprenticeship programme and perhaps offer one at Bathams in the future - I sometimes think the science is lost under the bravado of craft beer. Bigger changes will come when the pandemic has settled."

"I am enjoying trying lagers that some breweries are experimenting with - I had one from Camden called Show Off the other day and Thornbridge has just released a Helles and Pilsner. I really enjoy this style, I tend to stay away from IPAs now. It’s interesting seeing how breweries are reacting to Covid, I’ve seen a lot of beer boxes or subscriptions pop up online which look like they are destined to stick around for the near future."

"I have always admired Northern Monk and watched their progress as I was an English student in Leeds when they first opened. I’d go down to the brewery with my Uni mates and see what they were up to. It’s incredible how much they have grown. I’m living in Birmingham at the moment and I really admire what Oli has done with Dig Brew in Digbeth. He is from an art background and you can see this in their beers - I love that their can designs are different and not the same old copycat stuff you see on the shelf."

What most excites you about brewing? "Creating a product from scratch that I know people are going to enjoy with friends and family is the most exciting and rewarding thing. I love looking after the yeast and knowing how to nurture it in order for it to perform how you want it to. It feels like a great privilege to do this in a brewery that is intrinsically linked to my family - I hope my ancestors would be proud."

What would you say has been the highlight of your career in brewing so far? "I can’t single out one collaborative brew day but being involved in Project Venus at Brewster’s and various events for IWCBD are the moments that I really treasure. Winning Young Brewer of the Year in 2019 was also definitely a highlight!"

I think people look at Bathams and the traditional nature of the beer, brand and company and think it has barely changed, but Bathams wouldn’t be here if it hadn’t evolved with the times.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given in your career? "When I first started to brew with my Dad he told me to think of brewing as a fishing net stretched out so that all quadrants were even and the squares equal. If you pull on one end of the net, all of the squares are tilted out of shape. He meant that small mistakes can cause a rippling effect of errors and implications further down the process. This has really stuck with me and reminded me to never cut corners or skip on important QA checks."

Where do you see yourself being in five year’s time? "Sitting next to my friends and family in a pub enjoying a pint without any restrictions."

What is your favourite beer and where would be the perfect place to drink it? "I know it’s pretty boring to say your own beer but we’re nearly at one year of lockdown and it’s been such a long time since I’ve had a pint of Best Bitter in cask. I’d drink it on the beach in Wales where my family visit each year."

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


Supplier viewpoint: Nick Law The backlash against influencers has been swift and harsh, but should we dismiss them all entirely as freebie hungry freeloaders? Nick Law from creative agency Hop Forward suggests not…

Under the Influencers

"Remember when you wouldn’t give a Castlemaine XXXX for anything else? Or would answer the phone with the longest ‘Whhhaaaatttsssuupp?!’ you could possibly muster before passing out? Global beverage companies have undoubtedly spent millions on advertising campaigns to differentiate the same yellow fizz with clever slogans that refresh the places that other straplines don’t reach. But now, in the digital age, anyone with a smartphone can grow a global audience. These people are known as Influencers. Ask a brewer their opinion of Influencers and I’m sure they’ll spit out their response like a heavily oxidised NEIPA. But, before you unceremoniously drain-pour Influencers altogether, it’s worth considering what an Influencer actually is. The word ‘Influencer’ carries many misconceptions and has become a catch-all, often derogatory phrase. However, to be an Influencer, in the truest sense, is to be ‘someone who affects or changes the way that other people behave’. People who are actually influential in the world of beer often create meaningful content and are usually extremely knowledgeable about their subject: whether it’s taking professional photos that showcase a beer in the best light, a certified Sommelier or Cicerone exploring the combination of food pairings, or a broadcaster speaking passionately into a microphone or down a camera lens about the science of dry hopping. The problem is, a lot of brewers associate the word ‘Influencer’ with someone who’s just trying to score free beer. But there’s a lot to be gained by working with people who are actually influential. Working with any Influencer needs to be a relationship that offers an equal exchange of value, integrity and transparency behind the motives of both parties. Get it right and you have a recipe for success. ‘Using carefully selected influencers can be a useful marketing tool on a new release’, says Wild Card Brewery’s Jaega Wise, both a brewer and a broadcaster. ‘[We] have often swopped photography for beer. I can take a photo on my phone but if a professional photographer wants to take a photo of our beer with good light, etc, that does have [monetary] value. Someone

even offered to make us a full TV advert in exchange for beer, which ended up on telly!’ Similarly, during the first lockdown, Devon’s Utopian Brewing quickly gained widespread popularity by sending out care packages to Influencers, making it clear that there was no obligation other than to ‘enjoy the beer’. The effect was immediate: content creators quickly took to their social accounts to discuss the brewery and rave about its quality Pilsners. Before you could say, ‘Stay at home, but don’t stay at home!’ bottle shops across the United Kingdom were stocking Utopian’s beers. Influencers are one of many tools in a brewer’s toolbox to help lubricate sales friction and crack open new customers. As managing director, Richard Archer, explained on the Hop Forward Podcast, ‘The coverage we got off the back of it, if you costed it up as a marketing campaign to try and pay for it as direct marketing, would have cost us a lot more than the actual beer. We needed to energise our webshop and get people to come directly to the brewery and if we were going to do that we needed people to know about the brewery, so we just needed some signposts really: people to point towards that space’. It’s evident that Utopian Brewing, with input from experienced Marketing Manager Ruth Mitchell, had the right combination of connecting the right voices with the right beer. By building meaningful relationships with the right Influencers, you unlock the potential to expose your brand to a new audience, pick up trade customers through personal

recommendations and - at the very least open yourself up to objective feedback and sound advice from individuals who know marketing and taste lots of beer: the good, the bad and the ugly. Social media and content marketing will continue to play a significant role in beer marketing and brand awareness; even more so now our lives have become more digitised. ‘I always suggest working with social media and content producers for product launches and feedback on beer,’ says Craft Beer Channel’s Jonny Garrett. ‘It's a vital part of gaining awareness and momentum that all breweries should look at for each announcement. Often the follower count isn't the most important thing – it's who follows them, what their reputation is, where they live.’ The bottom line is this: Influencers are one of many tools in a brewer’s toolbox to help lubricate sales friction and crack open new customers, waiting to discover the best beers they’ve never had. It’s inevitable that you’ll be contacted by the 5-follower-freeloaders, the self proclaiming egomaniacs and the have-a-go-beer-bros but if all it takes to gain some traction is extending an invitation to an event, taking a genuine interest in a content creator’s platform and occasionally sending out a four pack by way of appreciation, that’s a small price to pay for the brand recognition you may get in return." Nick Law is the Creative Director of Hop Forward, a branding and marketing agency, and runs the Hop Forward Podcast. www.hopforward.beer @hopforwardbeers

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


Business profile: Tap Social Movement

Tap Social Movement Tap Social Movement was founded by this issue’s cover star Tess Taylor, along with her sister Amy and Amy’s partner Paul Humpherson as a way of furthering their joint mission to address injustice in society. The trio come from a legal and hospitality background and combining their various skillsets, they were able to launch a small brewery in Oxford that offers work placements to inmates from a local open prison who are reaching the end of their sentence and looking to reintegrate into society. The project is the first of its kind for a brewery in the UK, and evidence shows that by training inmates in this way so that they leave prison with the skills to get a job and thrive, the chances of them reoffending are reduced by an incredible Social Works 70%. The scheme also addresses issues such as unemployment, reliance on state benefits and even mental health problems commonly Issue 5 Spring 2021

Cover Story


Spring 2021 | SIBA Independent Brewer | www.siba.co.uk

encountered by newly released prisoners and sets them on a path to build a normal life outside of prison and contribute to the community around them. Prisoners work in all areas of Tap Social, from brewing, to marketing, to sales to retailing and they can learn a wide range of different skills during their placement. Tap Social has retained a number of them on staff after their release and for others, introductions are made to other local businesses after their placement to find them permanent roles. Meanwhile, the brewery itself has very much thrived within its own local community in Oxford. As one of very few small breweries in the area local craft beer fans have embraced Tap Social Movement’s mission and flocked to events at the brewery tap including a brew school which allows consumers to have a hands-on experience of brewing their own beer. There are now plans to expand the project and seek brewery sites in other parts of the country where a similar prisoner placement scheme could be set up. Independent Brewer’s Editor Caroline Nodder spoke to Tess back in February when the team was busy renovating their latest acquisition, Oxford’s historic former Wadworth pub The White House, ready for the next set of prisoners who will be trained up in its kitchen as chefs…

Business profile: Tap Social Movement Brewery Basics

Name: Tap Social Movement Founded: 2016 (first brew November 2016) Location: Oxford (two brewing sites in Botley and Kennington) Owners: Tess Taylor, Amy Taylor and Paul Humpherson (plus a small number of minor shareholders) Capacity: Botley site has 9hl brew capacity, 16hl fermentation space and Kennington site has 20hl brew capacity, 140hl fermentation space. Brewing team: 3 on permanent team (plus placements through the prison scheme)) Staff: 20-25 at any one time (depending on placements through the prison scheme) Key beers: Cell Count (4.5% ABV American Pale Ale), False Economy (4.8% ABV Pilsner), Time Better Spent (5.1% ABV IPA), Jobsworth (3.5% ABV Session IPA) and Inside Out (5.5% ABV Stout) Current Production(hl) and split (cask, keg, small pack): Last year’s production 1,000hl – pre-Covid 90% keg, currently 100% cans

How did you come to launch Tap Social Movement and how has the business developed since then? “I am originally from Toronto and over there I was a counsellor and worked with ex-offenders for a non-profit organisation that helped people get pardons and waivers if they had a criminal record. It was essentially to seal your record so that when you are applying for a job or housing or anything that might flag it, it would be sealed off and no one would see it. It put people on an equal playing field when they were applying for those things. It was a really good system, and that was where my passion for working with people who are in the system came from. My sister Amy at that point was already living over here in London, and she had done her Masters at LSE and was working in prison reform with the Ministry of Justice. She was going into prisons and speaking to people who were serving sentences and looking at ways that the prison system could be reformed so that it was a better experience and people were actually getting something out of it and getting the support they needed. Paul is a criminal barrister and at this time he was also working with the Ministry of Justice as an independent barrister. So we had all seen at first-hand how much of a lack of opportunity there is for people coming through the system and the fact it is really just a revolving door. You come out of prison and you can’t get a job because you have a record, and one thing leads to another. It is a really vicious circle and it is hard to break out of that if you don’t have traditional support systems around you and you don’t have family or a social network around you. A lot of people if they have served lengthier sentences in particular don’t have that foundation. We all felt really strongly we wanted to do something to work with people through that system and support people into long term and really fulfilling employment. So in the summer of 2015 I came over to England to spend the summer with my sister, thinking I’d just be a here for a

couple of months. But I really enjoyed it here, and I have a British passport which helped, so I was able to pick up a job in a craft beer bar in London. I got into management with them and they were really great about sending us out on different brewery tours and really getting to know the product we were selling. That is really where the beer side came from, and I started to have a real passion for the whole industry – it was just something that is so fun and exciting. When I was in Canada I didn’t even drink beer! But trying so many beers with that job showed me how many different flavours you could get and how diverse it was as a product. Amy, Paul and I were planning a social business and we knew what we wanted to do in terms of the social enterprise side, but the business side was something we were still brainstorming and developing. It sounds really cliched but it all happened over a pint. All the while I was getting really into beer, and we were sitting in taprooms all the time just talking about what we wanted to do, and we realised it was the most incredible environment to support people and get people excited about going back to work. We were sitting in taprooms all the time just talking about what we wanted to do, and we realised it was the most incredible environment to support people and get people excited about going back to work. The brewing industry presents so many opportunities under one big umbrella – manufacturing, production, packaging and distribution, retail, hospitality, sales, marketing…there are so many jobs created by it. We thought that was a really exciting prospect and it is quite a vibrant and young industry, and it feels like someone might feel really proud to be involved in if they are serving a prison sentence and coming out to work in this industry. A lot of the other opportunities people are offered when they are coming out of prison are things like picking litter, or steaming clothes at charity shops, so we thought it might be something that people could get really on board with. So we went from there. Our brewer is Jason Bolger - he's an American that had been brewing for several years before joining us in October 2016. He's incredibly charismatic and friendly, and one of the reasons we thought he'd be a fantastic addition to our team was that he'd bring this energy and enthusiasm to the guys he was training from the prison. Another key person on the team is Matt Elliott. He's been with us just about from the beginning and we recently asked him to join us as a Director. He heads up the brewery management side of the business, focusing on wholesale and brewing operations alongside Jason.” Continued on page 49

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021





Floor made, naturally.


www.warminster-malt.co.uk | robin.appel@warminster-malt.co.uk 39 Pound Street, Warminster, Wiltshire. BA12 8NN | Tel: 01985 212014


Spring 2021 | SIBA Independent Brewer | www.siba.co.uk

Business profile: Tap Social Movement

What is your mission? “Our whole ethos is that we want to offer rehabilitation and reduce reoffending through employment.”

What does social justice mean to you and your team? “We all recognise that there are massive injustices in society every day. We all come from positions of privilege where we have grown up as part of families and we have had the opportunity to get a University education, but so many people just don’t come from that background. So many people are born into a life that is just not that supportive for them and they don’t have great experiences as a result of that. I think it is very important to recognise that when you do have that position of privilege you can support other people through the work that you do and offer people a supporting hand and put them on the same playing field. In terms of ex-offenders and the route that has led them there, so often it is factors that are so far beyond their control, so it is quite difficult to see that there is such a stigma around offending and around the prison system. For us it was about changing the whole conversation about offenders and about the whole social climate of working with people who have had major hardships and are now ready to move on and better their lives. It is about giving people a step up and long term support, so it is not just a one-time handout, it is a sustainable long term solution for this.”

You work with rehabilitated criminals, how did that come about and what have you achieved through this program? “Amy and Paul because of the work they were doing already had quite a few contacts. So we got in touch with the governor at Spring Hill, which is the main prison we work with, just outside Oxford between Bicester and Aylesbury. We pitched the idea to them and they were really receptive and excited about it. So many people are born into a life that is just not that supportive for them and they don’t have great experiences as a result of that. It was something a bit different that they felt a lot of the prisoners would be keen to get on board with. So we went in to the prison well before we started the brewery, this was in the planning phase, and we showed up almost like a recruitment fair. We pitched to a lot of the guys who were serving sentences and we were inundated with CVs almost immediately afterwards. We decided there was definitely something it this, so we took the space in Botley which was just a disused warehouse, and we converted it into the brewing space. We began brewing in November of 2016 and our first placement was in February of 2017. Approximately 25 prisoners have been through placements, and the way that it works is we get guys out

on day release programs. So they come out to work with us in the day and then return to the prison at night. Most of the guys who are eligible for these programs are in the last couple of years of their sentences. Spring Hill is classed as a category D open prison so people are sent there when they have served a lengthier sentence and have shown good behaviour and are coming to the end of their term. It provides the opportunity to go out and start rebuilding some of the networks that you need on release. You get some rights for home visits, you are allowed to go and see family, and then allowed to go out and work and volunteer and that type of thing. The majority of the guys we have working here come from the open prison and then we do some work with people who are post-release but are struggling to find work or have been long term unemployed because of a past conviction. They come to us through word of mouth and we also work with a couple of local charities who refer people to us. There is no set placement term, the majority of people will stay with us until the end of their sentence, and at that point we support them into permanent employment, whether that’s with us or with other local businesses and organisations, or through CV and career support. Quite a few of the guys have stayed on and worked with us on release. We have placed a few with an organisation in London because geographically it made more sense for them, and a few were self-employed before and have gone back and resumed that.” Continued on page 51

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


Business profile: Tap Social Movement How does your community space operate? “It is definitely something that has taken off more than we anticipated. When we set out we thought we’d mainly be a wholesale brewery and then open our taproom once or twice a month for tastings and brewery tours. But quite quickly we learned that Oxford was really crying out for something a bit different in the nightlife scene and we became a destination within the first couple of months. Obviously we decided to run with that, and at our taproom now we host a whole range of events – pre-Covid we were open to the public at least four nights a week and had private events the other three where people can hire out the space. We have live music at least three nights a week, we do pub quizzes, we hold charity fundraisers, we hold fitness events, beer festivals, food events, weddings. Literally everything you can think of! It has really become a place where you can go in Oxford and bring the whole family down. We have really been welcomed in and we are very proud to be number 1 on Tripadvisor now for places to go in Oxford.”

You also run a brew school, what does that bring to your operation? “We offer brewing lessons at the weekend. Unfortunately we launched that about a month before Covid, so we have got quite a backlog to get through of people who are booked in to do it but haven’t had the opportunity. The idea behind that was that we had so many people asking to come in and do brew days – we did a few and we did some corporate ones but it is quite difficult to get the public in when you’re brewing. So we thought about offering the brew days at the taproom where we have the kit set up and it is a real social day out.”

Describe your business as it was at the start of 2020 and how it has changed since? “We had actually just invested in a canning line when Covid hit. It was from Cask, a Canadian company, so it had just arrived in the brewery and their technicians were due to come and spend a few days in Oxford with us teaching us how to use it and installing it. Obviously travel wasn’t allowed so they couldn’t come over, so we decided to use Facetime for the installation. Our most expensive piece of kit we have ever had and we had to use Facetime to find out how to use it! Once we got the canning line up and running we used the first lockdown as a chance to re-brand. Until that point it was very much a home grown look and we did it all in house. It was a quirky looking local brand but it definitely wasn’t something that would have stood up against the major players in a supermarket. We got a local designer involved who we really love, and we got to know him through the taproom, so he came up with actual look for the new cans and designed a new logo for us as well. We had already partnered with another prison which is Huntercombe over towards Henley, and in

their art department there they’ve got some really brilliant managers and leaders that teach art classes for the men serving there. So we had partnered with them to get artwork done for some smaller projects but fortunately just before lockdown last year we had gone in and spoken with them about doing a major rebrand project with them.

that has been a big hit. We also have a lot of local support with different pubs and bars and restaurants taking out beer as well so we have lost the vast majority of our revenue streams. But we were fortunate with the cans it allowed us to get some new streams started so we are now stocked in the Coop and a few other quite big distributors that before we would have struggled to get in to so that has helped.”

Longer term do you think the pandemic has heightened the need for movements such as yours?

All the artwork you see on the cans was created for us by the guys serving at Huntercombe. So their whole art department focused on creating brand new images for us based on the spec we provided which was for them to be really bright, abstract and interesting pieces of art. They made 25 huge canvasses, about a meter squared, and brought those over in time to be used in the rebrand, so all the artwork you see on the cans was created for us by the guys serving at Huntercombe. We also relaunched our website with a web shop as well, and started doing local delivery and soon after that we got nationwide shipping sorted. It doesn’t come close to the volumes we were doing before, through our own venue at the taproom we were getting through a very substantial amount of kegs each week so obviously having to close

“I think so and I really hope so. Certainly that is the way it has seemed, at the beginning of lockdown there was such a move towards shopping local and buying independent, and everybody was posting on social media about all the local places you could get food from rather than going with big corporate companies or supermarkets. So I think that is definitely the general trend and it will be interesting to see if that stays after the pandemic when normal life resumes. Unfortunately the reality is that there is probably going to be more of a need for different social programs and social movements because the pandemic has deepened all kinds of different social problems. If you look at prisons you can see how badly they have been affected with all the training and employment programs basically all stopped, and prisoners spending 20 hours a day locked in their cells. The aftermath of that is going to be so extremely heavy, there is going to be a need for more support for people in vulnerable positions.” Continued on page 53

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


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Business profile: Tap Social Movement

Is the Government doing enough to support businesses like yours, if not then what more could be done?

What additional work have you been doing to support your local community during the pandemic?

“Some of the initial grants and initial roll out seemed to be quite promising, and the furlough scheme has definitely been really helpful. But breweries definitely fell between the gaps, because we weren’t told to close like other hospitality businesses but we still lost the vast majority of our revenue when they were forced to close. There definitely needed to be a more specific and targeted approach to the way the grants were managed and handed out.”

“Our neighbour at the taproom on the first brewing site is the Oxford Foodbank, so we have always worked closely with them anyway. We did a few projects with them, like we did a brew where all profits went to them and that type of thing. So during the pandemic itself we offered them storage space because they were receiving massive shipments from all the businesses that were closed, they used our unit for storage for quite some time. And then we have just been trying to support local as much as we can. At the White House while it is under construction we wanted to show the neighbours that we still wanted to keep the momentum going so we put a pop-up horse box in the front garden of the pub and we have been serving out of the horse box since June. We do coffee and baked goods and lunch during the day, and when we were allowed to we were doing pints over the summer and cans to takeaway. We source as much as we can from local producers – we use a local coffee roaster and two local bakeries and just try to keep everything as local as we can.”

What plans do you have for the business for the rest of 2021? “We had planned at the beginning of 2020 to begin construction on a new pub in Oxford. And we were supposed to be opening that is spring last year. It is a beautiful pub called The White House, and we are going to keep the name, The White House by Tap Social. It was a Wadworth pub for the last 40 years but it is owned by the University so we have taken over the lease and we are restoring it. We have got a kitchen for the first time so we are adding a whole culinary side to our training programs. It is a beautiful listed building, really stunning heritage site, so we couldn’t start construction in spring but we began in the summer and it has been an ongoing project and we are due to open as soon as lockdown ends. We have got a kitchen for the first time so we are adding a whole culinary side to our training programs with prisoners offered front-of-house and kitchen training as well. We’ll open for regular pub dining and also for events and community functions. We had also been due to open another bar, the Market Tap, which is in the covered market in Oxford. That again got put on hold but we are resuming talks about that now, and we hope by the end of the year we will be open that too.”

Are there any positives you have taken from your experience over the last year? “It has forced a few things to happen faster for us. So the canning line and the rebrand was something we were working on and working towards but it was always something that got pushed and pushed when other things came up. So we had to make some quick decisions on that. And we had to get the website revamped and the web shop up and running. It has forced us to learn how to pivot and adapt and it has been really challenging but that has really kept us going, forcing us to keep fresh. The whole community support side of things has also been a really positive of this year too. You see so many people wanting to support their local businesses.”

What are you proudest of during your time at Tap Social? “It definitely would be the individual relationships with the guys we work with. Seeing the individual outcomes for each person is something that is quite humbling, to feel that we have had a part in helping someone turn their lives around. We did an impact report in 2020, to ensure that as we grow the business and open more venues and employ more people, that the social mission stays at the forefront of everything. The report was really interesting to receive back and it was both quantitative and qualitative, so they had written out quite a few detailed paragraphs about their experience. That was probably the proudest moment of my life was reading those.”

What is your end goal for Tap Social? “The main thing for us is having as broad and wide a reach as we can. We want to get the message out about the prison system as far and wide as we can in the UK and to do that it means getting our beer into more people’s hands. All our beers are named after a fact that relates to the criminal justice system and we have a QR code on the can that takes you to a website that has additional information about prison reform and how many things we are trying to change. Also opening more venues and looking for more partner opportunities in different cities, so we want to extend the reach and there are open prisons all across the country obviously. So we want to extend the amount of people we can place in work. whether that is in our own venues or in partner organisations. We’d also love to be able to have some influence on policies and make some changes there. Having Government take notice of us is really important.”

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


Supplier viewpoint: Kegstar

Kegstar raises a glass to a bright future for the brewing sector Never has the beer and hospitality sector undergone such a challenge as the Covid-19 pandemic. But as we all look to the future, BeerX Online’s headline sponsor Kegstar is convinced that happy hour is just around the corner.


Spring 2021 | SIBA Independent Brewer | www.siba.co.uk

Supplier viewpoint: Kegstar

If events like BeerX Online have taught us one thing about the brewing industry, it’s that we are all resilient enough to find new and imaginative ways to share our passion whatever challenges are thrown in our path. Independent craft brewers, bars and hospitality venues have been particularly hard hit by restrictions over the past 12 months. Yet it’s forced us all to take a fresh look at our businesses, which is never a bad thing. And, ever-confident that triumph will eventually follow the industry’s current adversity, Kegstar has doggedly continued to innovate throughout the pandemic, determined to fulfill its core focus of getting more great beverages to more happy drinkers. Kegstar’s tech innovation is getting smarter, which will boost supply chain efficiencies just when the industry needs it most. The most exciting of these developments is Project Starlight, Kegstar’s pioneering IoT enabled keg tracking programme, which is due to be rolled out soon in the UK and European markets. Project Starlight builds on Kegstar’s existing barcode and RFID-scanning tracking technology, which has already generated more than 22 million scans in over 10 countries, with more than 1,300 customers in Australia, New Zealand, UK, USA, Ireland and The Netherlands in just eight years since the business started. Kegstar has developed Project Starlight over several years, alongside IoT technology experts Thinxtra, with the clear objective of improving customers’ business costs, efficiencies and experience. The system’s tracking technology not only provides realtime data on the location of a keg, but also its contents, temperature, orientation, whether it’s being off-loaded from a truck or is ready for collection. James Bleakley, Kegstar’s General Manager for UK and Europe, said: “We’re constantly searching for new and better ways to support our customers while always trying to keep things simple.” “Project Starlight is a real game changer – and given the challenges that the industry has faced during the pandemic, there’s no better time to be launching this technology.” It’s advances like Project Starlight that have made others in the global keg rental market sit up and take a close interest in Kegstar. This has recently manifested in a merger announcement with leading US keg solutions provider MicroStar Logistics, giving

customers even more comfort that their businesses are being guided by capable hands through these difficult times. Bleakley explained: “Since the very beginning, we’ve always tried to be agile and inventive enough to respond quickly to our customers’ needs. Our merger with MicroStar is only going to improve that for even more customers.” Kegstar has doggedly continued to innovate throughout the pandemic, determined to fulfill its core focus of getting more great beverages to more happy drinkers. As testament to Kegstar’s innate passion for all things beer-related, it continues to expand its charitable support for the industry. One example of this is Kegstar’s “do two lots of good” scheme, where the company donates cash to a worthy cause each time one of its kegs is scanned by a customer. In the UK, the company supports The Drinks Trust in this way – a charity dedicated to helping those in hospitality who have fallen on hard times. “Many people and businesses in our industry have suffered terribly over the past year, through no fault of their own,” said Bleakley. “The Drinks Trust has a huge impact on those affected, offering not only financial support, but career and well-being assistance as well. All of this plays a part in helping the brewing and hospitality industry get back on its feet. “We’ve all learned a lot from the pandemic and have every reason to be positive about the future. We take our hats off to SIBA for managing to organise the very first online version of BeerX, and we’re very proud to play our part in the event.” Christian Barden, Chief Kegsecutive of Kegstar’s global operation, believes the company’s success and forward-thinking approach is unequivocally down to the people who work there and the team’s united purpose. “Without good people, you don’t get good companies,” he said. “The team at Kegstar is second-to-none and tirelessly dedicated to delivering great customer experience.”

And, for a company that places ping pong at the centre of its culture and working life, it will be no surprise to learn that Kegstar attracts a special sort of employee. Bleakley, who has been at Kegstar since 2017, knows every team member has a passion and interest in anything related to brewing and hospitality. “Positivity and passion go a very long way in our industry,” said Bleakley. “There’s no doubt that times have been tough, but I can definitely see light at the end of the tunnel now.” “Thanks to the brilliant Kegstar team and its fantastic customers, we’re well-placed to help the industry keep punching – and we’re always available to offer support to anyone that wants to reach out to us.”

Kegstar makes keg rental simple with our smart one-way stainless steel kegs and casks operating in Australia, New Zealand, UK, USA, Ireland and The Netherlands. Each keg has its own unique identity, making it easily tracked through your supply chain on our proprietary cloud-based software. In some countries we clean kegs ourselves, in some countries we collect kegs ourselves too, but in every country we want to help more great beverages get to more happy drinkers and keep it as simple as fill, scan, deliver, repeat. Kegstar was founded in 2012 in Australia. Brambles, one of the world’s most sustainable logistics businesses, bought a 30% share in 2014 and full ownership at the end of 2015. In 2021, Kegstar merged with Microstar Logistics taking 85% ownership with Brambles retaining 15%. For further information on Kegstar’s UK and Ireland operation, visit www.uki. kegstar.com or follow hashtag #dontwriteoffreachout on social media.

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


Business advice: Legal

Director’s Duties: What are your potential liabilities? In this article, Grahame Love, Business Recovery Partner at law first Napthens, looks at what the repercussions might be for the Directors of a business should it enter a formal insolvency procedure…

An inevitable consequence of the pandemic is the economic impact on the hospitality sector – with many experiencing extreme financial hardship. The temptation in these circumstances is to “cling-on” until the eventual relaxation of lockdown rules hopefully goes some way to improve prospects. If unsuccessful this strategy may leave companies in irrecoverable financial positions where formal insolvency becomes inevitable. For directors of a company (or those who fulfil the role without formal appointment) there may be personal consequences arising from the company entering a formal insolvency procedure: ‘Drawing a wage’ - director’s loan accounts / illegal dividends It is common for directors in owner managed companies to draw dividends as opposed to a salary. The director will usually draw a net monthly sum which builds up as a loan from company to director. At the end of the accounting period, it is hoped a dividend can be declared and credited to the overdrawn directors’ loan account. Be aware - this strategy may be flawed in the period(s) immediately before entering a formal insolvency procedure because either: • a loan exists between company and director on entering the procedure which the liquidator/administrator will seek to recover; or • the dividends declared to clear the outstanding overdrawn director’s loan will have been declared when no distributable profit existed and may be repayable as ‘illegal dividends’ Wrongful Trading If during insolvent winding up/insolvent administration it appears a director knew/ ought to have concluded there was no reasonable prospect of avoiding insolvency, the liquidator/administrator may seek a Court Order that the director(s) contribute to company assets. (“Director” defined as any person formally appointed / any person fulfilling the role) A liability may arise if it can be shown the company is worse off as a result of continued trading past this point in time. Taking “every step” to minimise potential loss to creditors is a defence, however, “every step” is a high, subjective standard.

Quantum of liability for wrongful trading is calculated by assessing the increase in the company’s net deficiency from when directors first realised/ought to have realised there was no prospect of avoiding insolvency. Amongst the Government’s Covid-19 support packages it is provided that a director is not responsible for worsening the company financial position between 1 March 2020 30 September 2020 or 26 November 2020 - 30 April 2021. This is not a repeal of the wrongful trading regime - merely a suspension within these time periods. Fraudulent Trading If the liquidator/administrator discovers evidence a business has carried on with the intention of defrauding creditors (or any fraudulent purpose) they may seek a declaration that anyone knowingly party to the fraudulent business contribute to the company’s assets. (Fraudulent trading requires “actual dishonesty, involving…real moral blame” and is a criminal offence)

Personal Guarantees Directors are generally not personally liable for company debts. It is, however, commonplace for banks and other lenders to require facilities be guaranteed personally by individuals. Directors are advised to have a firm grip on potential guarantee exposure. Reviewable Transactions When entering formal insolvency, certain transactions entered into before the process may be challenged, including transactions at an undervalue; preferences; invalid floating charges; and transactions defrauding creditors. Broadly this ensures company assets are appropriately realised and distributed. Of particular interest are transactions with the directors/parties related to the directors.

Key considerations For formally appointed directors, or anyone performing the role of director (in limited companies) or for members in LLPs (where similar rules apply) a formal company insolvency may pose serious personal risks. Director Disqualification and Anyone in this position should: Compensation Orders • act promptly Under the Company Director Disqualification • be dispassionate in assessing the position Act 1986 a Court may disqualify an individual from being a director or in any way concerned • continually review matters with company promotion, formation or • hold frequent board meetings to review management for between 2 - 15 years. the company’s financial position – and keep proper minutes When a company enters into insolvent liquidation or administration, the liquidator/ • maintain accurate, up to date company administrator must report on director conduct financial records to the Insolvency Service. The Insolvency • continually monitor cashflow requirements Service recommends to the Secretary of State Finally, whilst this is a difficult scenario for for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy any director, it is vital to take professional whether the director(s) should be prevented advice as early as possible in order to mitigate from company directorship for between potential issues and liabilities. 2-15 years. The Secretary of State may apply for an Ancillary Order that the disqualified person pay compensation to benefit creditors. Commentators predict these proceedings may be utilised to elicit compensation for the Exchequer in respect of misconduct connected to CBILS or BBLS.

For advice on this topic or on legal issues affecting your business please contact the SIBA Legal Helpline: 0845 6710277 North West law firm Napthens LLP is a SIBA supplier associate and gold standard sponsor. Napthens manages the SIBA Legal Helpline which offers legal advice and guidance on a wide range of legal issues.

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


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Business advice: Consumer insight

Am I less of a customer if I don’t want alcohol? Katy Moses, the MD at insight specialist KAM Media, looks at the seemingly unstoppable rise and rise of Low and No and what that might mean for brewers and retailers in 2021…

There's no escaping the fact that 2020 has been a year like no other. Clearly such circumstances are going to have a distinct impact on consumer behaviour. Snacking, for example, has increased. Sales of ‘lounge wear’ are through the roof. Many might expect alcohol consumption to have increased significantly, but over all this isn’t the case. In fact, we’re still seeing similar levels of desire from consumers to reduce the amount of alcohol they consume as we did in 2019, suggesting that as drinkers, and despite all that has happened in the last 10 months, we are increasingly becoming aware of the need to drink responsibly and that we understand the benefits associated with moderation. This is especially higher for those in the 18-34 age bracket. I heard that the co-founder of Big Drop Brew Company successfully completed Dry January. He drank (no-alcohol) beer every single day! One thing that can be said to have hit the mainstream in 2020 is low and no alcohol as a category. KAM’s latest ‘Low and No 2021’ research report, carried out in partnership with Peroni Libera 0.0%, suggests that consumer awareness has skyrocketed. Last year only 66% of UK adults had even heard of non-alcoholic beer, this year that figure is 75%. It’s a similar story across all alcohol sub-categories. 1 in 4 consumers say they drank more low & non-alcoholic versions of their usual alcoholic drinks in 2020 as a direct result of lockdown(s). Consumers have been trialling various new brands and foods during lockdowns and it seems the low and no category is one of them. With hospitality closed for much of the year, an impressive 43% of UK adults consumed a low or no alcoholic drink at home in 2020, a considerable increase on 2019 (34%.) This ‘at

home’ consumption is driven by Generation Z and young Millennials. Many consumers are choosing low or no alcohol variants ‘to drink with their evening meal’ (22%), ‘when watching sport on TV’ (10%) and even while working from home (5%.) In a recent interview with Jez Manterfield from Peroni Libera he suggested that “as consumer behaviour becomes increasingly driven by the mantra of ‘less but better’, it’s clear to see that conscious consumption will drive the category, not just in January but all year round. We can expect low and no to continue to move into an increasingly diverse array of social occasions, particularly during the warm summer months when consumers typically look to meet with friends and family and enjoy a chilled drink. The opportunity from these shifting consumer trends is huge and those that adapt and innovate accordingly will thrive.” I couldn’t agree more. But what does this mean for hospitality? Despite having had only a few months to actually visit a pub or restaurant, the research showed that an astounding 1-in-4 visits to pubs last year did not involve alcohol, a similar figure to 2019. The figure is 1-in-3 for restaurants. Do we put enough of our energy into our alcohol-free offer? The fact that 22% of those who come to a venue not wanting alcohol will typically default to ‘tap water’ suggests not. 22%!

I’m not just referring to getting a great low and no range here. Operators need to think bigger – how are the hot drinks? How are the alcohol-free cocktails and fresh juices? Which ‘adult soft drinks’ do they have available and visible and are they served with as much focus and flair as we give alcohol? Only 37% of customers rated the current range of low and no options in pubs as “good or very good”. The figure was 39% for restaurants. Both figures are down on the previous year. Re-building hospitality is going to be a long hard fight. Venues will have to diversify to survive (many already have.) We’ll need to open our eyes to new customer occasions, give customers new reasons to visit, embrace new dayparts, some of which will contain even fewer alcohol drinkers. Hot drinks for example will be critical for remote workers. Quality juices, served beautifully of course, are essential to a decent breakfast and brunch offer. We’re going to have to work hard to attract many customers back and just because someone isn’t drinking alcohol doesn’t mean we can afford to give them any less of an absolutely outstanding experience. We simply can’t risk not delivering on expectations on a potential 1-in-4 visits. The industry needs to make every single visit – every single experience – count, and that means accepting that not everyone will want alcohol on every single occasion.

KAM Media is a boutique research consultancy, specialising in hospitality and retail, running bespoke and syndicated customer research programmes for both pub companies and on-trade suppliers, such as Punch, Ei Group, Shepherd Neame, Brewdog, Carlsberg, Matthew Clark and Accolade Wines. www.kam-media.co.uk twitter: @KAMMediaInsights email: katy@kam-media.co.uk call: 07841 666325

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


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Autumn 2020 | SIBA Independent Brewer | www.siba.co.uk

Business advice: Trade marks

What to do when there’s trouble brewing for your brand Cameron Malone-Brown

Chris Baume

Despite pubs and taprooms being closed right now, the beer drinking public of the UK is spoilt for choice and competition among independent brewers is as intense as ever. Such an environment is a breeding ground for conflict, something that the sector is no stranger to and a specialised enforcement strategy and understanding of the industry are key, if you are to enforce and protect your brands. The particularities of the industry The craft beer industry in the UK is an unusual beast; a balance must be struck between the independent brewing values of collaboration and community, while still enforcing IP and protecting brands. These goals sometimes come into conflict, and breweries leaning too far towards either direction may be penalised through negative PR or commercial brand damage. As we have seen countless times, heavy-handed enforcement may damage a brand beyond repair if made public but, at the same time, failing to protect one’s IP may dilute or damage a brand to the same extent. Given the ever-increasing prevalence of contract brewing (and the corresponding decline in openings of new physical breweries), it has never been easier to get your trade mark on a can or bottle. Traditionally, brewers would need to commit to expensive overheads, but these financial demands can now be reduced or avoided, and products can be on shelves quicker than ever. As a result, branding in this industry is vital and there is very little room for error. Despite the growing competition, the craft beer market maintains a strong sense of community. This results in plenty of collaborations between breweries and strong inter-brewery networks. It is possible, however, to protect brands while still maintaining industry relationships. Marketing masterclass An incident late last year involving BrewDog and ALDI is a great example of enforcement and collaboration in the brewing space. BrewDog announced in late August that ALDI would shortly stock a new product named ALD IPA, made by BrewDog. This followed a public back-and-forth between

Cameron Malone-Brown and Chris Baume, trade mark attorneys at leading European IP law firm Potter Clarkson, offer some advice on how to handle a conflict when it comes to defending your brand…

the two parties over social media. The exchange began with an ALDI announcing an “Anti-establishment IPA”, which carried some strong visual similarities to BrewDog’s flagship Punk IPA. BrewDog were publicly disapproving of the development. Shortly after the public spat, it was announced that Aldi would be stocking the ALD IPA product, in collaboration with BrewDog. Accordingly, ALDI began stocking another highly desirable beverage and BrewDog benefited from a (presumably) huge number of sales while maintaining its disruptive image. The involvement of the public in the lively and good-natured banter between the parties via social media has only furthered the parties’ interests. Indeed, Wise considers it a “marketing masterclass”, and it’s hard to disagree. Often, however, the most publicised disputes involve a party outside the brewing industry – and have not been solved so amicably. These sorts of challengers from outside of the industry rarely follow the values of the independent brewer world, and those falling short risk being subject to a loud and public reaction. One such dispute last year involved a challenge by fashion powerhouse Hugo Boss against small Welsh brewer, Boss Brewing over the beers BOSS BLACK and BOSS BOSS. The outcome was a change of name for a few of Boss Brewing’s products, but some fairly serious negative PR for Hugo Boss. Keep it personal So, how should independent brewers enforce their brand whilst maintaining their appealing and collegiate image? Importantly, the first discussion about a potential issue should be in person or over the phone. Wise estimates that IP issues in the craft beer industry can be resolved over the phone 95 per cent of the time. Since the industry is rife with personal relationships

and friendly networks, it is highly likely that someone within your business will have a contact at the potentially infringing brewery. A phone call or a chat at an event (as and when it is permitted) will often resolve the concerns and may prevent the dispute ever being made public. Any written correspondence may be, and often is, publicised. This is a consideration in all industries, but the danger is greater in the brewing industry, since it takes relatively little to appear heavy-handed here. If the first contact over a potential infringement is in writing, especially if sent by a lawyer, it may appear more aggressive than intended. To avoid this, first contact ought to be made by the brand owner. Draft wording prepared by a legal adviser can be very useful, but a friendly tone can pay dividends, especially where settlement is in both parties favour. A negative decision in registry or court proceedings will often be highly publicised in the industry, and also potentially misrepresented on social media, so it is imperative that brands are cleared and registered from the outset. Negative decisions are often viewed as proof that the losing party was in the wrong, which is not necessarily the case, so ensuring you have the rights necessary to be successful in proceedings (if needed) is of paramount importance. Breweries are increasingly wise to this: from 2009 to 2019, the number of trade mark applications filed annually covering “beer” in class 32 increased by around 530%. Ultimately, while 2020 has brought new and serious challenges for the craft beer sector, there is every sign that it will rally and continue to grow through 2021, bringing enormous rewards for those who employ a well thought-out IP enforcement strategy.

Potter Clarkson helps companies, organisations and individuals across all sectors of business to understand, create, protect and defend the commercial value of their innovations anywhere in the world through intellectual property rights. Find out more at https://www.potterclarkson.com

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


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Business advice: Brexit

Brexit’s impact on food & drink Thomas Chartres-Moore from law firm Stephens Scown offers an overview of how Brexit will affect the food and drink sector in the UK…

Since the announcement of the long-awaited UK-EU trade deal on 24 December 2020, there has been a significant impact on the food and drink industry. Here are some changes that have occurred: Rules of origin The Brexit trade deal means no tariffs or quotas will apply to goods traded between the UK and EU, leaving many breathing with a sigh of relief. However, businesses now have to demonstrate the origin of their products’ ingredients, proving they originate from the UK to qualify for the tarifffree access. This has meant complicated consequences have arisen around what constitutes ‘UK-made’. For example, EU goods arriving at UK distribution hubs to be re-exported are not seen as ‘UK-made’ if they have not been further processed meaning they do not qualify for tariff-free access to the EU. This has forced many suppliers to cancel deliveries to Ireland and EU countries. These new rules do not apply to Northern Irish goods. Imports and exports British producers that trade with the EU now have to comply with customs and VAT procedures that apply to non-EU countries. This includes import and export declarations, safety and security declarations, health certificates and border checks. British producers exporting certain foods, such as meat, fish and dairy products, will need to ensure their business is listed as an approved EU establishment and prove they comply with UK and EU regulations. Plant products will also need to provide sanitary certificates. The Food and Drink Federation has warned that the new extensive admin and paperwork will likely increase food supply chain costs because of wasted time at borders. It has

also already led to shortages in Northern Ireland supermarkets due to British products needing to be checked at the Northern Irish border. There are no border checks between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland because Northern Ireland remains in the EU’s single market for goods. Businesses now have to demonstrate the origin of their products’ ingredients, proving they originate from the UK to qualify for the tariff-free access.

October 2022. Products from Northern Ireland will continue to follow EU labelling requirements. Heat-treated pallets British exporters must use heat-treated wood pallets when sending goods to the EU, in order to prevent contamination and pests. This has meant more additional costs and logistical difficulties as there have already been shortages of these pallets due to their increased demand. Goods moving from Northern Ireland to Great Britain and Ireland will not need to comply, but pallets imported to Northern Ireland from Great Britain will need to. Geographical Indication (GI)

Labelling From 1 January 2021, new labelling requirements apply to food and drink products placed on the EU market. The EU logo must not appear on British products and it must display the name and address of their Food Business Operator (FBO). The FBO details must be either an EU or Northern Irish address or the importer of the products into the EU or Northern Ireland. A British name and address is not valid and cannot be sold in the EU. This has led to many businesses needing to change their supply chains in order to provide valid FBO details. The labelling requirements for EU food and drink products placed on the GB market has been extended to

All existing UK products registered under EU GI schemes will be protected under the UK GI scheme. It is expected that the EU will agree for all registered UK GIs to remain protected under the EU GI scheme. There is quite a large disparity between UK and EU GIs. For example, the UK currently has 96 GIs, whereas the EU has 3574. GB producers applying for protection for a new product name must apply to the UK scheme. Once it has been accepted, they can apply to the EU scheme. This does not apply to Northern Irish products. A Northern Irish producer must apply to the relevant EU scheme to protect a product name.

With a specialism in assisting food and drink businesses and being a leading law firm for brand and reputation management, we are happy to help and assist you in making the most of your intangible assets. Thomas Chartres-Moore is a senior associate in our Intellectual Property & IT team and head of our Food and Drink team. If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised in this article, please email dataprotection@stephens-scown.co.uk or call 01392 210700.

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


Business advice: Tax

Does your Business have untapped hidden wealth? Research and Development (R&D) Tax Relief is a government led tax incentive that exists to encourage and reward those companies that are actively looking to develop new systems, processes, products, materials, devices or any changes to the way your business works. Here, business consultant David Grant, a specialist in the brewing & pub industry, unravels the mystery of R&D for independent brewers…

Research & Development (R&D) is often thought of as the preserve of big tax paying corporate entities or huge Pharma companies and the like - all white coats, laboratories and microscopes. Neither perception is true. Certainly you don’t have to be big to qualify for R&D tax relief, or even be turning a profit. Indeed, if you are a loss making business the incentive is significantly more generous! Breweries are regularly doing R&D without a white coat in sight, they just don’t know it. In today’s fiercely competitive brewing environment brewers are unlikely to survive by simply brewing good beer. The fast pace of the industry means keeping up and constantly moving ahead - striving to be innovative and creative, inventive and sometimes inspired even. Often, as a new brew gets underway, many small brewers spend a big chunk of their day thinking - and talking. But much is not idle thought and chatter. Brewers are often pondering the next beers they will tackle and how they can push the business forward. Maybe creating new products, new branding, looking at raw material suppliers, marketing, packaging or energy savings. This thinking is normal. It’s what brewers do. They may then go on to chat their thoughts through over a ‘brain storming’ tea break with the team. Some ideas will be discarded. Some will be parked. Some will ‘have legs’ and be adopted for further investigation. You might then call your hop supplier to seek advice on the characteristics, suitability and availability of hops for a new range, consult your malster to choose the best malt, or talk to a bottling or canning company.

All this is in the daily/weekly routine of a small brewer. It is also the start of your R&D. From there you may progress to trial brews. Some will work, some will not – more research. The good news is that this R&D can give you financial benefits in the form of tax credits. Every brewer I know undertakes R&D. Many don’t realise it, and therefore never claim. The incentive exists to encourage investment in this research and development. Technically, the relief works by reducing a company’s Corporate Tax liability by an amount equal to a percentage of the company’s eligible R&D expenditure. It allows up to 33.35% of a company's R&D spend to be recovered, either as a cash repayment or to mitigate Corporate Tax. All companies that spend money developing new products, processes or services; or enhancing existing ones, are eligible for tax relief. These R&D tax credits can provide an essential source of non-repayable funding for many small, medium and large enterprises. All companies that spend money developing new products, processes or services; or enhancing existing ones, are eligible for tax relief.

A good test to determine eligibility is whether you or your project team faced uncertain outcomes at the start but were then prepared to take on the inherent challenges and financial risk to solve that uncertainty. I have spent some four decades in the brewing and pub industry and have considerable experience in this arena. As managing director of a local brewery I was able to claim R&D tax credits for a number of innovative projects. For instance we were in the forefront of the first wave of brewers to launch a premium blonde beer, which became a top selling brand. Later we revived the cultivation of Maris Otter barley in the North West, partnering with Lancashire farmers who had long ceased to grow the crop. These projects took time to research and time to develop; they qualified for significant tax credits. In these deeply troubled times, when the brewing industry faces the ongoing challenges of the Covid-19 crisis and the threatened changes to Small Brewers’ Relief, businesses must explore every possible avenue to survive and thrive. So we ask this: why are independent brewers not claiming this generous government incentive? If you push the boundaries in your brewhouse you should be looking now at investigating tax credits.

David Grant has teamed up with taxation specialist Signature Tax Innovations, to offer their expertise to small brewers looking to maximise their profits and identify R&D investment. You can contact David at: davidwgrant121@gmail.com

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


Comment: Technical focus Dr Keith Thomas

Atrocities in Acid

With many quality systems now embedded in the processes modern craft brewers employ, Brewlab’s Keith Thomas takes a look back at the history behind the regulations and the tragic incidents that led to them being put in place…

What’s the value of regulatory controls? They certainly keep the admin department busy but are sometimes difficult to justify in the steam of an active brew day. Perhaps the case of the sulphuric acid poisoning is the easiest example of relevance. Sulphuric acid isn’t the sort of liquid to drink neat, or even diluted, so common sense gives us a natural regulation. However, we do include it in many of our beers, typically to neutralise the alkalinity in our water so reducing bicarbonate concentrations and controlling pH. Achieving the desired pH in the mash (around 5.3) and in final beer (3.9 – 4.2) are well known targets and often need a dose of acid into the liquor tank either as acid itself or a proprietary treatment. Such chemistry isn’t new or complex and was well understood by Victorian brewers and their chemists who elucidated the effect of mineral salts on beer quality. By the early 1900’s recipes were clearly listing salt additions to the mash indicating a formulation for flavour and pH control. This, of course, was a period when beer quality could be variable and subject to speculation of what caused problems, particularly acidity from microorganisms. In some postulations hygiene was considered valuable but many breweries employed practices which would be unforgivable today but still produced acceptable beer, albeit to different flavour expectations. The lack of effective cleaning and sanitising systems come to mind but extensive oxidation during transfer and storage of beers in wooden fermenters are additional concerns. Weather was a further culprit of quality being rigorously recorded in brewing legers to assess correlation with beer character. In broad climatic terms this was recognised with breweries before refrigeration having to cease production in warm weather. On a local scale the possibility of weather influencing


brewing was considered in terms of atmospheric pressure affecting effervescence in fermentation. Not an impossible cause but probably insignificant in comparison to other influences on yeast activity. Before 1900 analysis of beer was limited and lacked regulatory control. Considerable discourse was centred on the digestion of starch and nitrogenous materials from malt. Amylase enzymes were recognised as essential in mashing and regularly investigated for their impact on extract values. Other reports addressed water analysis, for example fluoride, but only in the context of mineral character rather than toxicity. This changed in 1900, however, when the analysis of beer was given a major and infamous exposure. The culprit being sulphuric acid which took the headlines with an adulteration scandal involving the deaths of 70 Manchester beer drinkers and injury of thousands more from arsenic poisoning. Although the specific incidence arose from accidental use of contaminated sulphuric acid from a Liverpool supplier the importance of arsenic analysis was dragged into the legal limelight. In the subsequent Royal Commission into the tragedy the responsibilities and independence of public analysts were highlighted. In this context the concept of risk was strongly debated since analysis of beers and their ingredients indicated that samples could contain some arsenic irrespective of any accidental acid contamination. Malt was a particularly common contributory adsorbing arsenic from poor quality coke used in kilning. Moreover, incidences of arsenic poisoning from beer had been identified previously in contamination of beer by rat poison in a pub cellar and by storage of army beer in casks previously used to transport arsenic itself! Routine analysis was, however, not a

Spring 2021 | SIBA Independent Brewer | www.siba.co.uk

consideration, quite possibly for fear of bad publicity. This inevitably changed in 1901 and the need for routine analysis was rapidly adapted by brewers stung by accusations of selling beer made cheap with poisonous ingredients. In a speedy response brewers poured out publicity to reassure drinkers of beer’s purity. As such the concept of testing became fundamental to quality assurance and has inevitably progressed to an increasing range of contaminants. Despite this, incidences of harm from hazards in beer have reoccurred. Cobalt added to stabilize head formation in Belgium and Canadian beer in the 1960’s led to deaths of heavy drinkers with heart ailments. Other scares include acrylamide, carbamates, chloropropanols and, inevitably pesticides. One positive development since the cobalt scare was a greater integration of medical awareness and industry response. Identification of groups at risk from specific ingredients or combinations such as additives and alcohol are an important assessment of hazards. This identification was a difficulty in 1900 when the symptoms observed were initially associated with excess drinking of cheap beer in poor communities and due to the effect of alcohol itself. It took some sound epidemiology to note that similar symptoms were not correlated with the volume of drinking and were not observed in spirit drinkers. 120 years on we accept the value of regular testing and are concerned to reassure customers of purity. Today we not only test for arsenic in beers but other heavy metals, nitrosamines and pathogens and base our production on HACCP principles. Regulation is a requirement we now work with and, hopefully, a prevention against another contamination scare.

Comment: Technical focus Supplier Viewpoint

Innovations in Quality Keith’s colleague at Brewlab, Brian Yorston, offers his personal view on the evolution of quality systems in brewing… Quality Systems Quality systems did not really exist in the early 1980's nor did HACCP or COSHH. I cannot even remember risk assessments. Quality systems found their way into breweries due to a number of factors, but it was mainly due to pressure of supplying supermarkets who were taking a much bigger slice of the manufacturing cake. This was due to the reduction in heavy industry causing a decline in beer consumption especially in the pubs and clubs. At first, I thought that these systems were an unnecessary burden on work. I may have been right on this as I remember that the systems were often over complicated and bureaucratic. Given time I honestly believe it was what the Industry needed. Mistakes became less frequent; accidents were reduced whilst standards were raised. One word of advice - if you are going through a SALSA or BRC implementation at the moment it will be worth it, at the end. Here’s just one example of where quality checks have made a difference. ATNC – the nitrosamine scare of the 1980’s his one may be a surprise to most people, but I believe this "scare" made the biggest impact to the hygiene of the brewery. During the 1980's it was discovered that beer

contained nitrosamines. Nitrosamines at low levels (0.5mg per Kg or just a spec in a bag of malt) were found to be carcinogenic. ATNC is a measurement of nitrosamine compounds one of which is NDMA (N-Nitrosodimethylamine). It was discovered that there were two sources of this compound. One was from the direct kilning of malt which caused the formation of a precursor which the boiling process caused the formation of NDMA. This problem was resolved by the maltsters indirectly kilning malt usually via glass tube to exchange the heat. Brian Yorston

I honestly believe it was what the Industry needed, Mistakes became less frequent; accidents were reduced whilst standards were raised.

in standards has carried forward so much so that it has undoubtably improved the beer.

The other source of NDMA was through the existence of wort bacteria such as Obesumbacterium proteus. This bacterium was generally ignored by brewers as unless it was in large numbers caused little problems or so we thought. What the bacterium did was to convert nitrates in the beer to these nitrosamines. Since it was impossible to remove the nitrates, the solution was to eliminate the bacteria. The result of all this was in my experience a quantum leap in hygiene standards and microbiology monitoring in larger breweries. This increase

ATNC analysis should be done by all breweries once per year and if above acceptable limits then action should be taken. As an example, at one brewery, we operated a teak mash tum and every time we had the beer analysed for ATNC it was above the limit. As the mash tum was Victorian teak we could not clean it using caustic soda as it would destroy such a historic vessel. We tried to clean the vessel with hot water or steam, but the issue persisted. We assumed the O. Proteus was harbouring in the fabric of the wood. The issue was finally resolved by lining the vessel inside with stainless steel so preserving the past but protecting the present.

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


Brewery news

Salcombe Brewery in double awards win Salcombe Brewery has added two new accolades to its growing list of achievements with its Island Street Porter winning Champion Beer at the Taste of the West Awards and its new vegan, gluten-free ale, Sun Drop winning a Gold Award from Food Drink Devon. John Tiner, founder of Salcombe Brewery, said: “We are thrilled that in this challenging year our constant efforts to deliver an outstanding range of beer have been recognised. This is an amazing tribute to the creativity and technical prowess of our brilliant young brewers led by Sam Beaman, in just our third full year of operation.” Sam Beaman, head brewer at the South Devon-based brewery said: “We introduced our Island Street Porter last year and we have been thrilled with the response. This is the third prestigious award it has won in its short history.” Sam continues: “We only launched Sun Drop earlier this year, in response to an increasing demand for high quality vegan and glutenfree ales, so we are delighted that it has already been recognised with a Food Drink Devon Gold Award. These successes are very welcome during such a difficult time for our industry.” For further information visit www.salcombebrewery.com

Docks Beers celebrated local teacher Zane Powles with its festive beer Docks Beers added a new beer to its range for Christmas, inspired by the herculean endeavours of a local teacher. ‘Miracle Worker’ is a 5.7% double dry hopped IPA brewed with Golden Naked Oats, features a drawing on the can of Zane Powles MBE delivering free school meals. Shaz Shadan, Director of Docks Beers, said: “We wanted to celebrate Zane’s magnificent efforts on delivering so many free school meals to children on foot during the first lockdown and we thought Miracle Worker was an apt name. Also, we wanted to draw attention to Zane's cause. He believes in free school meals for children and so do we which is why we are giving 10p from every can sold to a charity of his choice." Zane Powles, who was awarded with an MBE last summer, said: “I’m so proud that what I did during lockdown has been the inspiration for Docks Beers latest beer. Obviously, it was a huge honour to get an MBE but, as a proud Grimbarian, it’s awesome to be recognised by a great local business like Docks!” For more information go to www.docksbeers.com


Spring 2021 | SIBA Independent Brewer | www.siba.co.uk

Brewery news

Ossett Brewery raises a glass - or two - to double global triumph Yorkshire’s progressive Ossett Brewing Company is celebrating a brace of international crowns for its much loved Silver King ale. Following the award of a gold medal in the fiercely fought English Pale Ales category of the World Beer Awards the more than 20-year-old brand has triumphed at another prestigious global contest. Silver King (4.3%) first claimed a Gold Medal in the Pale Ale category and then the overall Trophy for ‘Best Ale Up to 5% ABV’’ at the International Beer Challenge. Welcoming the news, owner and group MD Jamie Lawson said: “These terrific global awards for one of our original core beers are real testimony to the team’s passion for brewing the finest quality ale.” The World Beer Awards (WBA) select the best from 2,200 beers across nine international styles. The International Beer Challenge awards only nine trophy awards across some 600 entries from 30 countries, including traditional producers Germany, Belgium, USA and the emerging beer markets in Asia and South America. A specialist panel of judges recognises winners as outstanding commercial examples of their style. Find more information at www.ossett-brewery.co.uk

Rooster’s Oliver Fozard wins coveted SIBA sponsored Brewer of the Year award Oliver Fozard, of Harrogate-based Rooster’s Brewing Co, has been awarded the title of Brewer of the Year at the prestigious Guild of Beer Writers’ Annual Awards, which took place as a Zoom event on December 10. The Guild’s annual competition for communications about beer and pubs received close to 150 entries across nine categories, with a record number of brewers nominated for the Brewer of the Year award, which was sponsored by SIBA. Oliver won the highest number of votes in a poll of Guild members. Commenting on his award win, Oliver Fozard said: “To be considered and even shortlisted for Brewer of the Year, alongside such an eclectic group of talented people, was reward enough for what has been such a challenging year for me personally, for Rooster’s and the brewing industry on the whole, but to be recognised by a some of the most knowledgeable and revered writers in our industry and winning this award isn’t something I’ll forget in a hurry. The people I have around me at work, and further afield, are particularly important to me and have kept me going throughout the year. My next pint will be raised to them!” James Calder, chief executive of award sponsors SIBA, said: "Massive congratulations

to Oliver Fozard of Rooster's on being named the British Guild of Beer Writers' Brewer of the Year 2020 - I can think of no more fitting recipient of this prestigious award. Oliver's talent of absolutely nailing a diverse range of beer styles in varying formats is second to none and the work which he has done over the last twelve months to raise awareness of mental health issues is hugely commendable and necessary. The industry is lucky to have him and on behalf of everyone at SIBA I'd like to say a huge well done and congratulations. Cheers!" Presenting the award, Guild chair Pete Brown said: “Oliver is a hugely popular figure in the brewing industry and his win this year in our vote was decisive. He’s taken on the mantle at Rooster’s and overseen the move to a new brewhouse, while continuing to produce a stunning core range of beers at the same time as creating new ones under the Outlaw Project. But on top of that, he’s been an excellent ambassador and role model for positive mental health in the industry with the launch of collaboration beer Mind Games, and through speaking out and writing publicly about his own experiences.” Earlier this year, Oliver, alongside fellow brewers Colin Stronge of SALT Beer Factory and Daniel Price of Exale Brewing, spoke candidly about his own struggles with anxiety

and his desire to promote mental health awareness within the brewing industry. As part of this initiative, the trio created Mind Games, a cask-only, low ABV beer, to raise awareness of mental health within the brewing industry and amongst men in general. For more information go to www.roosters.co.uk.

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021



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Brewery news

Bristol Beer Factory produces its first alcohol free beer to raise awareness of men's mental health Bristol Beer Factory has launched its first alcohol free beer in collaboration with Talk Club, a male mental fitness charity. Clear Head, a 0.5% ABV beer, combines two of the US’s best hops, Mosiac and Citra. Packed with flavours of sharp citrus, apple and stone fruits, Clear Head also has added lactose for a subtle smooth creamy sweetness, which then finishes with a crisp dryness on the palate. Sam Burrows, Bristol Beer Factory Sales Director, said: “We approached brewing Clear Head, as we do with any of our beers,

using quality ingredients to produce a bold flavoursome taste. HOWEVER, Clear Head isn’t just an awesome AF IPA. This liquid will save lives. Because this beer has the power to prevent men becoming mentally ill.” He continued: “5% of every bottle or pint sold will go directly to keeping TALK CLUB sustainable. To help us keep building this community of positivity and mental fitness. Which is good for all men and their partners, parents, kids, friends and colleagues.” Find more information at www.bristolbeerfactory.co.uk

East Yorkshire brewery wins European beer awards

Wold Top Director Alex Balchin with the award winning beers

The team at a Wold Top Brewery is celebrating after winning three awards at the European Beer Challenge. Wold Top's first lager, Landmark Lager, and gluten free favourites Scarborough Fair IPA and Marmalade Porter all won gold awards at the annual European competition that is dubbed ‘the Oscars of the beer world'. Landmark Lager won its award in the International Pilsner category; Scarborough Fair in the English IPA category and Marmalade Porter in the Robust Porter category. Brewery manager Alex Balchin said: "It's been a challenging year for everyone in the brewing industry and these results are welcome news and bring some pre-Christmas cheer. We're one of only a few English breweries to win gold awards in this competition and this success is testament to our hard working team." The European Beer Challenge is judged by Europe's most prominent beer buyers using a triple blind tasting method. The panel included senior representatives of The Ritz Hotel, Bibendum and Venus Wine & Spirit Merchants PLC who judged thousands of beers from 39 countries. Europe is an important market for Wold Top, with exports to Italy alone accounting for 15% of annual sales in a non-Covid year. For more information go to www.woldtopbrewery.co.uk

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


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Brewery news

Quantock Brewery celebrates being awarded SALSA plus beer standard Quantock Brewery is celebrating being awarded the SALSA plus beer standard. Currently only around 200 UK breweries have achieved this specialist accreditation which includes an intensive audit of food hygiene, safety, quality and control processes. Cheryl Ford, Managing Director and CoFounder of Quantock Brewery, said: “Getting confirmation that our team is consistently creating the perfect pint day in and day out is brilliant news. There aren’t many microbreweries that have this accreditation, and it feels like we’ve achieved the brewing world’s equivalent of a Michelin star. It’s another way to demonstrate to our customers they can be confident buying our beer. As we start 2021, receiving the accreditation gives Quantock Brewery the opportunity to target larger national and international retailers who regard

SALSA plus as a crucial quality and compliance measure.” The SALSA plus beer standard was developed in association with Cask Marque, the industryfunded quality-checker of the brewing industry, to offer small and micro-sized brewers a Standard tailored to the scale and systems of their particular operation. The assessments are undertaken by specially trained auditors with extensive experience of the brewing industry. To be awarded SALSA plus, breweries have to demonstrate excellence in a wide range of areas including the brewing and bottling of beers, personal hygiene and cleaning standards, control of raw materials, prevention of contamination and cross contamination and waste control. To find out more visit www.quantockbrewery.com

Saltaire launches its first low alcohol beer Yorkshire’s Saltaire Brewery has launched its first low alcohol beer, Northern Light, a 0.5%ABV, single-hopped pale. Highly refreshing Northern Light 0.5% ABV is a crisp and citrusy pale in 330ml bottles. It’s the brainchild of Saltaire’s new development brewer Rob Cooke, who previously worked at Brewdog developing its beer range. Rob says of this latest creation: “It’s been great to join the Saltaire team. The guys here produce some cracking beers, and have a lot of brewing experience, but not in low alcohol beer. I’ve been able to share my experience of brewing these kinds of beers, and I’m really chuffed with this one. It’s a really pleasing, single-hopped Citra beer, and at 0.5% ABV we can all enjoy as many as we like!” With drinkers increasingly looking for tasty, low alcohol alternatives to their favourite tipples, Saltaire’s sales director Nick Helliwell said: “I’m so excited to add this beer to our range and, having tasted it, I really think many no and low alcohol beer drinkers will be delighted to give this a try. I also hope all our Saltaire beer fans give it go too – it’ll make a refreshing change, and give them a great choice when wanting to keep their alcohol consumption low.” For more information go to www.saltairebrewery.com www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021



Spring 2021 | SIBA Independent Brewer | www.siba.co.uk

Brewery news

Nordic brewers help raise the bar for alcohol-free beer Alcohol-free brewer, Big Drop, has teamed up with four leading Nordic breweries to launch a limited-edition range of 0.5% ABV collaboration brews. The range is the second in Big Drop’s ‘World Collab Series’, curated with renowned beer expert, Melissa Cole, and a showcase for demonstrating the heights that alcohol-free craft beer has reached. Big Drop is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of alcohol-free beers and its World Collab Series does this by only inviting leading breweries with a reputation for experimentation to participate. The resulting beers often make eyes widen, pique curiosity and bring a smile but, most importantly, they demonstrate to new communities of craft beer fans what’s possible with alcohol-free. The four beers (all 0.5% ABV) include a Coconut Stout, an Elderflower IPA, a Juniper Rye IPA and - last but not least - a veganfriendly Peach Melba Pastry Sour. Find out more at www.bigdropbrew.com

Devon’s Exe Valley Brewery welcomes new owners

Exe Valley Brewery is now in the safe hands of a local husband and wife team Libby and Kevin StroudKroon. It's a new chapter for a much-loved Devon brewery as its legacy passes to new owners. In 1984 Richard Barron, the former landlord of the Three Tuns pub in Silverton, founded Barron Brewery. After an expansion, the business became what is today: Exe Valley Brewery. When Richard retired in 2003, Guy Sheppard, a partner in the brewery, took over full ownership of the business and has been running it ever since with the help of head brewer James Fryer. Now Guy has passed the brewery to husband and wife team Libby and Kevin Stroud-Kroon, who have known Guy and his wife Sue, for many years. In fact, Sue, who is a priest, married the pair. Libby said: "We love Exe Valley; we've bought their beer for years. The power and potential of local produce is huge. Both me and my husband have backgrounds in the drinks industry. My husband has worked in some of the world's best cocktail bars. We liked the idea of a hospitality venture. we'll still be brewing the same great beer with James, and Guy will still be around to offer his invaluable words of wisdom, with the aim to keep things running as normal as we can." Find out more at www.exevalleybrewery.co.uk

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


Brewery news

Beers raise cash for ocean clean-up The Driftwood Spars Brewery, a pioneering microbrewery anchored firmly on the North Cornwall coast, is donating a percentage of all profits from its Cove range of beers to Fathoms Free, a certified charity which actively cleans the ocean around the Cornish peninsula. Each purchase of the small-batch, craft beers – there are four different canned beers in the Cove range – will help generate funds to purchase a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and fund retrieval dives; every brew will raise the equivalent cost of a fully-funded dive. Fathoms Free is a Cornwall-based charity whose day-to-day mission involves dives from their fast-response specialist vessel to recover ghost

fishing gear; abandoned nets, pots, angling equipment and other plastic causes severe damage to the marine environment and the death of countless seabirds, seals, dolphins and other sea life. The campaign to raise funds for an ROV is a new initiative which will take the clean-up work to a new level; the highly-manoeuvrable underwater vehicle will be used to scour the seabed, harbours and remote parts of the coastline for abandoned fishing gear and other marine litter. Project Manager Natallia Paliakova from Fathoms Free said: “We are really excited to be partnering with The Driftwood Spars Brewery and appreciate the proactive support of Mike

and his team in bringing the purchase of an ROV a step closer to reality.” Head Brewer Mike Mason personally approached the charity after their work was featured on the BBC 2 documentary, ‘Cornwall with Simon Reeve’. He said: “As a keen surfer I am only too aware of the problem of marine litter and had heard about Fathoms Free, but seeing them in action prompted me to find a way of contributing. The scale of the challenge is scary, but the determination of organisations like Fathoms Free is inspiring.” Find out more at www.driftwoodsparsbrewery.com

Abbeydale Brewery celebrates its Silver Anniversary year Sheffield based Abbeydale Brewery is celebrating its 25th year of production with the release of a series of anniversary beers, to be launched throughout the course of 2021. The first two of these are iconic favourites being brought back for a limited time only (Brimstone, a 3.9% Amarillo hopped American Brown Ale, and Last Rites, an 11% Barley Wine), with some twists on regular brews and some completely new and exciting releases also in the pipeline. Each beer will be marked with a special commemorative logo.


Established in 1996, the brewery employs over 20 people locally, and has adapted significantly over the course of the past year in response to the ongoing Coronovirus crisis, with online operations increasing and beer in can becoming a much larger proportion of total output (from under 3% in 2019 to over 16% during 2020). Brewery Director Dan Baxter said: “After a very unpredictable 2020 for the whole population – including our beloved beer industry, and us here at Abbeydale Brewery, we’re determined to keep going and are finding things to look forward to in 2021.

Spring 2021 | SIBA Independent Brewer | www.siba.co.uk

One thing we can be sure of is that we will be celebrating our 25th anniversary! We feel very fortunate to be here and certainly feel it’s a milestone well worth celebrating.” The brewery hopes to add to their Silver Anniversary celebrations as the year progresses, including involving their many trade customers when it is possible and safe to do so. For more information please see www.abbeydalebrewery.co.uk

Brewery news

Unity Brewing Co unveils refreshed core range designs Working in collaboration with illustrator Matt Canning, Unity Brewing Co has refreshed and updated its core range of year-round craft beers. After a long and in-depth reflection on its brewery, culture and values, Unity Brewing Co has overhauled its existing label designs to better reflect this. Working with long term collaborator Matt Canning to create a new, fun and exciting view of the brewery and the beers including flagship Pale Ale Conflux, Collision IPA and Prinzen Lagerbier. Founder and Head Brewer Jimmy Hatherley said: “I am so proud of the journey our business has taken over the past four years, and I have always strived to build upon and improve every aspect of the brewery - from our recipes, to the service in our taproom and of course how our beer is presented in the market. Matt Canning is an integral part of our team, and his work is key to communicating who we are as a company.” Find out more at www.unitybrewingco.com

The new can designs also carry the SIBA Independent Craft Brewer seal and Vegan Friendly logos.

Neptune Brewery wins two top awards The team at Liverpool’s Neptune Brewery are celebrating after winning twice at the annual RateBeer Best awards. Neptune Brewery, based in Maghull, has been awarded Best Brewery in Merseyside, as well as Best Beer for its pale ale, Mosaic. Julie O’Grady, Co-owner of Neptune Brewery, said: “We’re thrilled to have been awarded the accolade of Best Merseyside Brewery by RateBeer. For us, it shows appreciation of the hard work and quality beer we brew.” Neptune Brewery has recently purchased a

canning line from Micro Can, allowing the team to package more beers, making a big difference to the business, especially during Covid times. New cans released so far this year include barrel-aged beers, Kelpie (a Wee Heavy) and Medusa’s Gaze (an American Stout), which have been well received by both trade customers and the general public. The brewery’s latest beer releases are Takaroa, an IPA brewed using New Zealand hops, perfect timing to coincide with New Zealand Beer Month; and Turbulence, a West Coast IPA collaboration with Manchester’s Marble Brewery. Turbulence was originally brewed

in March 2020 for Neptune’s 5th birthday celebrations, but due to Covid-19 its wider UK release was very much restricted. More beers will be released over the coming weeks, some of those previously only available in draught. Les O’Grady Head Brewer and Director has recently taken on a role as one of the North West SIBA Directors. Having joined SIBA a year ago and seeing the good work it is doing he wants to support those in the North West, and ensure that their voices are heard. Find out more at www.neptunebrewery.com

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021



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Spring 2021 | SIBA Independent Brewer | www.siba.co.uk

Brewery news

Electric Bear Brewing wins Feefo Gold Trusted Service award Bath-based Electric Bear Brewing has been awarded the Feefo Gold Trusted Service award after crafting and distributing 120,000 cans and increasing online sales by 250% during the most challenging trading conditions. The coveted award is an independent seal of excellence that recognises businesses for delivering exceptional experiences, as rated by real customers. Ian Morris, Head Brewer, Electric Bear Brewing, said: “We’re very excited to receive this award because it’s based on the feedback of real customers, who are the most important judges of our beer and customer service. The award also recognises how hard we work to give all our customers the best possible experience, even in a year as tough as 2020! We’re all committed to the highest quality of service, so it’s important for us to listen, understand and respond to all our customers.” Congratulating Electric Bear Brewing on winning this year’s award, Steph Heasman, Director of Customer Success at Feefo, said: “The Trusted Service award has always been about recognising companies that go way beyond the norm in customer experience and generate great feedback from happy customers. This year, despite the incredible challenges of a global pandemic, so many companies using Feefo have continued to provide remarkably high levels of service and they deserve a huge amount of credit for what they have achieved.” Find out more at www.electricbearbrewing.com

'Let's eat pies and talk about men's mental health' fundraising hits the halfway mark McColl's Brewery is proud to announce that the halfway mark has just been reached in its target to raise money for Men's Pie Club (MPC) to help tackle social isolation in men across the North East of England. The North East craft brewery collaborated with MPC late last year to brew a traditional bitter (with a twist), with £1 from every can of beer sold being donated to the club. They hope to raise £2,500 in total, which will enable Men's Pie Club to continue their great work. Men’s Pie Club is about local guys, making pies. Supported by Food Nation, a social enterprise based in Newcastle, MPC was developed in response to the need for increasing levels of social connections and feelings of belonging for men in the North East of England. Danny McColl, Co-owner and Head Brewer at McColl's Brewery, said: "We're so grateful to everyone who's shown their support for this campaign; to have raised £1,250 and reached the halfway mark is amazing! But there's still so much to do to reach the full target and help so many people who are really struggling with their mental health right now." Jamie Sadler, Founder of Men's Pie Club, added: "We’re very proud to be collaborating with McColl’s to make this happen, they completely understand what we are trying to achieve with Men's Pie Club – and they make incredible beer!" Find out more at www.mccollsbrewery.co.uk www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


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Spring 2021 | SIBA Independent Brewer | www.siba.co.uk

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Brewery news

Helping give something back to farmers — all with a pint of beer East Yorkshire’s Great Newsome Brewery has announced that it will be donating five pence from each bottle sold of its latest beer to the Farming Community Network. FCN offers confidential support and guidance for farmers and their families via a free helpline (03000 111 999) operated by volunteers who understand farming life. “We’re a family of farmers, so it’s for a cause that’s very close to all of us,” said Matthew Hodgson, founder of Great Newsome Brewery. “Agriculture really can feel isolating, you know.

When it seems like you’ve got absolutely no support or anyone to talk to in an industry as volatile and personal as this one, things can quickly slip. We’re proud to be working with such a kind-hearted, compassionate charity. I hope we can help make a real difference.” Despite much of the craft beer landscape focussing on urban environments, Great Newsome has never made a secret of its farming heritage. Many of its most popular tipples are named after old (occasionally ancient) farming terms, such as Sleck Dust and Yan Tan Tethera. The brewery itself is even housed inside converted farmhouses.

The latest bottled beer in question, Old Fergie, is no different. The name and artwork refer to a specific Massey Ferguson 35; one that’s been in the family’s service for around half a century. The beer itself is a brown ale in the classic northern English style. Great Newsome Farm — the farm which the brewery is part of — was awarded both Family Farm of the Year at the 2020 British Farming Awards and the Yorkshire Post’s Farm of the Year award in 2019. Find out more at www.greatnewsomebrewery.co.uk

Rebellion Brewery launches new returnable bottles Last month Rebellion Brewery underlined its commitment to the environment by launching a new returnable one litre bottle. Green credentials have always been important to Rebellion, with efforts always made to minimise the environmental impact of the production, delivery and selling of their beer. This new product allows customers to return the bottle for a discount on their next order. It is hoped that once in circulation over 40% of the beer sold through the shop, drive-through

and home delivery will be in returnable, reusable containers. Rebellion currently uses approximately 100,000 one trip bottles per year, so there is the opportunity with this initiative to significantly reduce the amount of glass needing to be recycled or ending up in landfill. The future looks exciting for Rebellion, with a taproom set to open for drinks. The brewers also have some new toys, with a new pilot brewery installed this year too. This will allow small batches of more varied and exciting beer types to be brewed on a small scale.

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


Gold members

2020 WAS SOME YEAR - A WHOLE WORLD OF UNCERTAINTY AND AN EVER CHANGING NEW NORMAL. We know that the last year has been deeply challenging in this sector, and whilst we are thankful for the rise in small-pack customers, who have pivoted during each lockdown, we also have many customers who have had their complete market removed due to the pandemic. Likewise, whilst small pack sales are good, we are conscious that for many, it will never offset the loss of sales through pubs. We remain passionate about this industry, and will continue to support every customer. For our long-held customers, thank you for your continued trust and custom; for those who have come on board with us over the past 12 months, welcome to the family of packaging. Family sticks together, through good and bad - we will continue to champion you, continue to work with you, continue to give you the service you need to thrive, despite the challenges.

LOOKING TO DIVERSIFY? Given the changing trends in the craft beverage market, not helped by the impact of the pandemic, together with the need to improve efficiency and profitability for most breweries, diversification has become a hot topic. If you are considering diversifying, Croxsons can provide all types of primary packaging, designed by an award winning design team to help maximise your brand in a unique and distinctive way. Please contact us to discuss your ideas.


Spring 2021 | SIBA Independent Brewer | www.siba.co.uk

For further information: Tel: +44(0) 20 8337 2945 Web: www.croxsons.com Email: hello@croxsons.com

Gold members



has recently launched an online shop to make it easier for brewers to purchase closures. The initiative is based on the need for increased flexibility, as not all brewers are working normal days and are often unable to make orders during office hours. “The launch of the e-commerce site gives our customers the added flexibility of being able to order closures to suit their own timeframe, as and when their busy schedule demands,” said Tim Croxson, COO Croxsons. “We started with crowns last year, and we are shortly going to be adding twist-off closures, so our many food customers can also join in.” Online ordering will also mean a reduction in Croxsons minimum order, which will allow more customers to benefit from their wide UK held stock. Crowns include the popular Union Jack and the SIBA Assured Independent crown, which was launched last year in conjunction with SIBA to help beer drinkers identify genuine independent craft beers from mass produced global brands.

Croxsons’ online shop is at www.croxsons.com/department/beer


GOING LOW OR ALCOHOL FREE? GETTING SMASHED WITH DRYNKS During 2020, Croxsons supplied the primary packaging for the Smashed range of 0% abv ales, beers and ciders from Manchester-based Drynks Unlimited. As a start-up, Drynks had enjoyed a considerable run of success last year, having received funding from a favourable appearance on Dragon’s Den to its Smashed range, overtaking big established no and low alcohol products, such as Peroni, San Miguel and Budweiser in terms of units sold in Booths supermarket. For this particular project, Croxsons produced a complete range of amber, flint and green glass 330ml bottles along with a branded crown, in addition to the UK’s first 660ml sharing bottle for alcohol-free lager. Richard Clark, Drynks Unlimited Founder & Managing Director, said: “It’s vital as a start-up to have the right team around you who can support your vision. The 300ml and 660ml sharing bottles from Croxsons have been excellently received.”


From the way we worked, to how we bought our essentials, the coronavirus pandemic has meant that nobody’s life looks the same as it did at the beginning of last year. But have these changes in our routines affected our behaviours?

Eden Mill, Scotland’s first single-site distillery and brewery, crafting gin, whisky and beer, opted to change the packaging of its best-selling brand – Love Gin.

When the lockdown was first announced, social media pages were flooded with promises of a new, healthier start. Almost like a second New Year, this drastic adjustment acted as a catalyst for change in our lifestyles.

The gin collection was bottled in ceramic, but Eden Mill wanted to move to a glass bottle in response to trade and consumer feedback. The result is a new lightweight glass bottle, which is more easily recycled than its ceramic counterpart. And by using 18% less glass than most other spirit bottles, it attracts a lower carbon footprint, helping Eden Mill to emphasise its sustainability commitment. “Having listened to feedback from both trade and consumers, the new glass Love Gin design represents an important statement for Eden Mill. By being 100% carbon efficient, we aim to be the first carbon neutral distillery by 2022, so from a sustainability perspective, moving to glass is the right strategy for the business. It also enables us to create some important production and supply chain efficiencies as a result,” said Tony Kelly, coowner of Eden Mill. Croxsons submitted the new glass bottle into the Harpers Design Awards last year, where it won an impressive Gold.

It’s not uncommon for those looking to get healthy to decrease their alcohol intake. Research by Alcohol Change UK found that 1 in 3 of survey respondents had either stopped or reduced the amount of alcohol consumption, compared to 1 in 5 who found themselves drinking more frequently. Citing a desire for improvements to both physical and mental health, this has seen an increase in sales for lower alcohol and alcohol-free brands. For producers of soft, low-alcohol and alcoholfree alternative drinks – just like New Years, Dry January and Sober October – lockdown provided an opportunity to expand their audience by connecting with these new curious drinkers. Needless to say, Croxsons are well placed to support low or alcohol free ventures in the beer/ ale category. Whatever your product choice, we are here to assist your venture with an extensive range of bottles and closures, including bespoke options.

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


Gold members

Napthens provides a wide range of services to businesses and individuals. From their offices across the North West, the firm deals with clients locally, regionally and nationally.

Napthens has been acting for breweries for more than forty years and has been actively involved with SIBA for a number of years, through long-standing Supplier Associate membership and currently as a Gold Standard sponsor. Napthens also acts for the organisation itself, providing support to the SIBA managing committee and to the membership with initiatives such as the SIBA Legal & Business Helpline, which provides members with immediate access to specialist lawyers. Napthens has a team of individuals who are specialists in their area of law, but who are also dedicated to dealing with the day-to-day issues faced by breweries of all shapes and sizes. The team has acted for over eighty breweries in recent years, so they understand how a brewery operates. That knowledge and experience means they are able to apply their legal skills in a tailored way; offer a more efficient service; and ultimately achieve better results. Napthens recognises the need to work hard for their clients, not only by providing expert legal advice, but ensuring this advice is commercially focused for the individual business. They take a keen interest in their clients’ businesses and will look to meet with them regularly to understand their objectives, priorities and challenges, and how Napthens can help achieve them. They look to introduce clients to their wide range of contacts in the industry to help in this respect and give added value to the service they provide.


Spring 2021 | SIBA Independent Brewer | www.siba.co.uk

Napthens can help in areas such as: • Employment and HR • Intellectual Property and Trademarks • Licensing • Commercial Property • Dispute Resolution and Commercial Litigation • Debt Collection and Recovery • Corporate • Commercial Contracts • Business Recovery • Corporate Finance • Tax • Construction and Engineering • Services for individuals including wills, estate planning and wealth management

Below are some examples of the comments from SIBA members about the service the team provides: “I genuinely feel that Napthens has a passion for our business and will go the extra mile to guarantee complete customer satisfaction. They have dedicated specialists in each area and a very wide range of services that you would not ordinarily find outside the “city firms” and yet they are not cost prohibitive. On the contrary, we have found their price structure to be transparent, very reasonable, and exceptional value. I can honestly say that I would recommend Napthens unreservedly, particularly for those who operate in our sector.”

Gold members

Some of Napthens’ clients include

Keith Bott, Managing Director, Titanic Brewery

We have engaged Napthens’ Leisure Team out of Kendal and, notably, Jamie Allison and Malcolm Ireland to help us with all things legal in our business. We have experienced growth and development in our business and we look at Jamie and Malcolm’s team as an extension of our own business – whether that is for advice on property, licensing, intellectual property rights, export contracts or debt recovery. I am happy to say we are their clients and I would recommend the team to anyone who simply wants to get things done. Commercial in their outlook and user-friendly lawyers. What we, as brewers, need.” Richard Husbands, Managing Director, Bowness Bay Brewing Company

Advice is always current, concise and - in my experience - correct. They are extremely responsive and, compared to other businesses, add good value. Andrew Buchanan, Daniel Thwaites Plc

For further information or assistance with your legal or commercial requirements, please contact Head of Leisure and Licensing, Malcolm Ireland: Malcolm.Ireland@napthens.co.uk

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


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Spring 2021 | SIBA Independent Brewer | www.siba.co.uk

Supplier news Supplier Viewpoint

Challenges, Opportunities & Green Shoots Vigo Ltd supplies equipment and consumables to independent breweries in the UK and Ireland, and SIBA is delighted to have had the team there on board this year as an event partner for BeerX Online. Here, they take a look at what the last year has meant for their customers and what the future might hold… It’s strange to think that at the time this edition of Independent Brewer went to print it will have been a year since the government muted the idea of social restrictions in response to Covid-19. The past 12 months seem like a blur of changes, huge challenges and some opportunities too. We’d really like to take this opportunity to thank James Calder and the team at SIBA for the way in which they have responded so quickly to every regulatory change whether through information sharing; encouraging feedback/dialogue; speaking out for members and non-members alike; raising national awareness; or the other supportive measures. Every business has a its own story to tell throughout this pandemic, but amidst what sometimes feels like a tide of challenges and difficult decisions, there are some strong opportunities and green shoots which we’ve observed. We serve many sectors of the drink industry and the flexibility and creativity our customers have demonstrated to keep the channels open (physically or virtually) to their customers has been an inspiration. Click and collect, virtual tastings, and #shoplocal collaborations are three examples which really stand out. As a direct result of the responsiveness of independent producers to the restrictions, there are now many more ways consumers can shop for their favourite craft product. It's no surprise that consumers have developed a dependence on multi-channel shopping which is generally felt to be unlikely to reverse when life returns to some form of 'normal'; it offers convenience and much easier access to a very diverse range of products. The dividing line between online and retail (bricks & mortar) has become more blurred as consumers

can 'pick & mix' using online and offline in tandem in one transaction, as with the click & collect method. Multi-channel, more than ever before, is an opportunity which producers are really utilising to retain and boost sales. A carefully chosen combination of different shopping channels increases brand awareness and, in turn, increases niche sector awareness too which benefits us all. Despite the challenges faced throughout the past 12 months, a strong core group of our customers from multiple sectors have reported very positive product sales. What they share in common is a strong brand, strong and diverse shopping channels, and the ability to respond very quickly to both consumer demand and changing shopping methods. One of the ways this can be achieved is through small-pack in-house packaging facilities. It is interesting to note that following a recent survey, the London Brewers Alliance concluded that ‘it is those [breweries] with their own can and bottling lines that are best placed to weather the storm’. We've observed that the demand for smallpack remains as strong during the pandemic as it was in the years leading up to the pandemic. We can demonstrate a proportion of this demand by sharing with you some notable supply and installation projects we’ve been working on in the last few months. While they include a diverse range of drink producers including contract packers, they are, nevertheless, projects which centre around small-pack at craft-level production: • A 2,500 bph automatic rotary multiple cap type capping machine with conveyoring & accumulation table to a contract packer in the South East who wanted to increase the efficiency of their capping process • Full contract packaging line to a craft brewery in the South West to include canning, kegging & bottling facilities, including pressure tanks, chilling unit, glycol ringmain & product pipework • 6 additional canning lines to the leading contract canning company in Ireland • Semi-automatic counter pressure filling machine with rinsing & capping function to a brewery in East Anglia

• A 6,000 bph counter pressure bottling line with rotary labeller to a craft drink producer in the South West •T  he first CraftCan DUO [dual lane] machine to a craft brewery in the South East • I n-build in America: A CraftCan DUO for a brewer in the South West wanting to double canning capacity • A 2 head semi-auto minikeg filler to a brewery in the South East Sales of consumables over the last 12 months have shown a strong demand in the small-pack market.

There have also been a couple of kegging system projects in progress in readiness for the reopening of the hospitality sector. These have included: • A 1,500 litre per hour pasteurisation & bag in box facility and cleaning & filling kegging facility (35 kegs per hour), with full product chilling & in-line carbonation with filtration, for a craft drink producer in Northampton • I n-build in our workshops: a 2,000 litre per hour chilling, carbonation & kegging facility for beer & cider in Dorset All the projects above also show a commitment to growth and investment in an extremely challenging year. By the time this edition of Independent Brewer goes to press, we very much hope that the government’s roadmap will give our industry much needed clarity and the vital support it needs to work to building it back up to full strength. It will be a long road and we will, no doubt, face many bumps, but with the help and support of organisations like SIBA, the strength and warmth within the brewing community, and the following/ purchasing power of craft beer enthusiasts, we will get through. In the meantime, if you’d like to discuss small pack and any other projects with us, we warmly invite you to get in touch by calling us on 01404 892 100 or emailing us at sales@vigoltd.com. www.vigoltd.com

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021







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Spring 2021 | SIBA Independent Brewer | www.siba.co.uk

Supplier news

British Hops:

Supplier Viewpoint

The Responsible Choice for the British Brewer The British Hops Association looks at why British Hops are the most sustainable choice for brewers… Hops have been grown in Britain for over 500 years - their history can still be seen across the main hop growing areas of Kent and Herefordshire and Worcestershire throughout the landscape and distinctive architecture. Hops are harvested in these regions today, around 1,000 hectares in total, and during the harvest months, the air becomes thick with hop aromas, from citrus and berry, to chocolate, resin and spice to tropical fruit, lychee mint and pine. Though British Hop growing is steeped in history and heritage, it is today a modern and thriving industry. British Hops are one of only a few crops in the UK to have their own grower-funded breeding programme. Much of this work is designed to increase pest and disease resistance, to reduce pesticide usage and increase climate change resilience. British Hops have been working with Charles Faram Ltd focussing on aroma hop crosses from the last 10 years, assessing an initial batch of over 1,000 options, from which there are now over 60 new British Hop varieties coming through this programme that have been thoroughly assessed during the last 5 years – there is no doubt that at least 3 will be market leading aroma hops of the future. British Hops not only lead the way with their breeding, but they are arguably the most sustainable when it comes to their environmental impact. Over half of the acreage of British Hops is not irrigated at all. An average hop plant requires nearly 60 litres of water across a growing season. Luckily for us, our wet maritime climate is perfect for providing hops with plenty of natural water which means irrigation in minimal if it is required. Worldwide, water consumption and irrigation has become a big issue with regard to water scarcity, but this is not a concern for the brewer choosing British Hops. British Hops have a much smaller carbon footprint than our global counterparts too. If you think about the transport and carbon required to ship a tonne of hops from America or New Zealand, up to 85% more CO2 is required versus shipping hops from Kent or Herefordshire, the difference is stark. Not only that, but you can trace your British Hops all the way back to the farm and

farmer – Britain has some of the most robust farm assurance and traceability systems in the world. And of course, if you are buying from a British farm, you can get to know the hop farmer personally – why wouldn’t every brewer want that sort of provenance to their beers? Chemical and pesticide usage across all food products has become very closely regulated and much reduced in the last 20 years, but again, British Hops are market leading - using fewer active ingredients than any other hop growing region, with some of the highest pesticide residue standards in the world meaning that the British Hops will be the cleanest hop of choice for brewing. All British Hops share the same wonderful “terroir” – great soils and a unique mild maritime climate with even rainfall throughout the year. It is this special and sustainable terroir that produces British hop’s delicate and complex aromas. The unique terroir of British Hops, combined with lower levels of myrcene makes British Hops the perfect hop to brew a drinkable session beer and this is what makes them the bedrock of the cask ale industry. As you can imagine, with an industry reliant on cask ale and pub drinking sessions, hop growing has not been immune to the impact of Coronavirus. Cask ale sales declined by almost 60% in 2020 (Source: BBPA). As brewers seek to get brewing again this year, they ought to be considering the 34 British varieties available on their doorstep, from Goldings and Fuggle to the wonderful modern varieties like Endeavour (blackcurrant, spicy citrus,) UK Cascade (lychees, floral, grapefruit,) Ernest (apricot, citrus, spice) and GP75 (grapefruit, lime, citrus.) The British Hop Association together with Reading University and the East Malling Research Centre are currently funding a PhD project researching molecular marker assisted breeding techniques with the British hop breeding programme. This research will allow new varieties to enter the market faster so the industry can be more receptive to market demand. Hop breeding in the UK isn’t just limited to the British Hop Association though, with Charles Faram heading up their own breeding programme too. A project began in 2008 with the objective to produce intense, fruity aromas for

the Charles Faram Hop Development Programme. From those initial forays, Jester® (grapefruit, lychee, tropical,) Olicana® (mango, grapefruit, passion fruit,) Godiva™ (spicy, gooseberry, grapefruit,) Mystic™ (blackcurrant, citrus, passion fruit) and now Harlequin™ (passion fruit, peach, pineapple) have entered the market providing far more flavour and aroma than initially thought possible. These bold, fruity varieties more than stand up against foreign counterparts, with the added bonus of being grown much closer to home. There are over 34 commercially grown British Aroma Hop varieties in the UK. From traditional varieties, to these more modern varieties providing the citrus high notes the craft industry is seeking. The UK is the only country to have focused so strongly on disease resistance, making British Hops both environmentally friendly and inevitably more appealing. The legacy of hop growing has shaped the landscape and architecture of Britain, and can continue to shape the brewing scene on a global scale. British Hops offer environmental sustainability, world leading aromas and excellent quality. If you’re not brewing with British Hops already, the only question you need to ask yourself is… why? With the average beer containing 4-5 hops, why not make a large proportion of those hops British and make a more environmentally sustainable choice for your brewery. The British Hop Association is on hand to help with any enquiries regarding hop varieties and availability. Their website at www.britishhops.org.uk contains many resources to support brewing with British Hops. For more information on the Charles Faram Hop Development Programme or to buy hops for brewing, visit www.charlesfaram.co.uk

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


Supplier news

PakTech unveils its latest packaging innovation Packaging specialist PakTech has launched PakLock - child resistant packaging for Cannabis Beverages including CBD beers. PakLock, made from the same 100% recycled and 100% recyclable HDPE as PakTech’s popular multipacks, is a child resistant cap designed for CBD infused beverages. The new packaging is designed to be a safe, secure, and simple solution to allow responsible adults to enjoy their CBD infused beverages worry-free while ensuring the safety of children. Developed by PakTech’s engineering team, PakLock is an important innovation for the growing cannabidiol beverage market. PakLock provides a cost-effective solution to child resistant packaging needs that is easy to apply, fits perfectly on all standard 202-260 aluminium can formats, and is removable by adults. Find out more at www.paktech-opi.com

Polykeg Launches new Pro one-way keg Polykeg a global leader in the design and manufacture of PET kegs has announced the launch of its new Polykeg Pro range of one-way kegs. Tony Hird, Polykeg UK Managing Director, said: “Polykegs are already regarded as the best kegs on the market because they are high quality, safe and so easy to use. However, we wanted to take the product to a new level. Our design team focused on 3 key areas of improvement, safety, recyclability, and stability.” The new Polykeg Pro’s features an Automatic PRV which is built into the top of the main valve. The PRV

BFBi & IBD Virtual Environmental Conference 2021

has 2 functions. If the pressure inside the keg exceeds 5.5 bar, it will automatically vent the excess pressure preventing any further build-up of pressure. Then once the keg is empty and is ready for recycling, the valve can be manually broken using a red lever. This will automatically depressurize the keg completely rendering it safe for dismantling. The construction of the new Pro now allows it to be very easily dismantled in minutes. No glue is used in the assembly, the valve screws off from the top and the base and handle now simply pull apart. This makes disassembly and therefore recycling of the keg much easier.

BFBi & Institute of Brewing & Distilling Present:

Saving the planet one grain at a time: Progress towards a zero carbon brewing & distilling industry

Date: Thursday 22nd April 2021 Time: 4-6pm Bringing together maltsters, brewers, distillers and more suppliers to the Brewing, Food & Beverage Industry to share ideas, successes and challenges on the way #TowardsZERO. Valuable talks by: Muntons Brewing & Distilling, Good Things Brewing Co and Good Business Sponsored by Carlsberg Marston's Brewing Company, British Beer & Pub Association, BFBi (Brewing, Food & Beverage Industry Suppliers' Association), The Institute of Brewing & Distilling, and The Brilliant Beer Company. Register for the FREE webinar here: https://ibdandbfbi.eventbrite.co.uk


Spring 2021 | SIBA Independent Brewer | www.siba.co.uk


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www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


Supplier news Supplier Viewpoint

Celebrating 37 years in malting As long serving member of the Crisp Malt team Rob Moody retires from his role, and with a proper send-off sadly not allowed in lockdown, the Crisp Malt team wanted to pay tribute to his years of service…

Ask friends if they can imagine what a tonne of malt looks like and the chances are, they can’t. Ask brewers if they can imagine 6.5 million tonnes of malt and… well, can you? That’s how many tonnes of malt Rob Moody has been involved in over his 37 years in the malting industry. This has in turn enabled brewers to make around 100 billion pints of beer. However, as Rob steps away from work to pursue his other long-neglected interests, it is not the large numbers that give him a sense of time well spent. “It is the people,” he says, “My brilliant team, great colleagues – and the amazing brewers and distillers we’ve had the privilege to supply and work with. It’s been a hugely exciting time to have been working in the sector, especially with all the opportunities for innovation in malt stimulated by the boom in craft beer. I have been so lucky. I just hope the country’s fantastic array of brewers can get back on their feet successfully after the pandemic.” Guinness to Crisp Following a false start in surveying, in 1984 Rob followed in his dad’s footsteps, by joining Guinness to work at its floor maltings in Diss, south Norfolk. Ten years later, Diageo closed the site and Rob joined Crisp as barley intake supervisor at the maltings in Gt Ryburgh, Norfolk. Abandonment to Production In July 2002, Crisp bought a maltings in Alloa in the south east of Scotland. Rob was sent north with a set of keys and a torch, and the instruction to get the place, previously owned by Bass, up and running again. More than that: he was set a production target of 1,000 tonnes of malt within less than 4 months. As soon as activity at the site was spotted by local people, Rob was contacted by several former maltings employees seeking to be taken on by the new owners. He was hugely impressed by the enthusiasm and support for the project - and ended up with a workforce made up of 50% previous Bass maltings employees and 50% new blood. “They were really great guys to work with,”


says Rob, “and the time spent in Scotland is one of the highlights of my career. We pulled together as a team; worked stupidly long hours; overcame endless issues with the plant; and delivered on the challenges we’d been set. We’d reached 1,000 tonnes of malt by the end of October and went on increasing production in the months that followed. I loved it.” The Alloa maltings is still an integral part of Crisp’s business, with recent investment in a new bagging line. “This ensures Scottish craft brewers can buy barley that has been grown, malted and bagged in Scotland – a first in the industry,” says Rob. Structural Change A year after the Alloa maltings set up, Rob was coaxed back to England to help restructure the company’s head office in Gt Ryburgh; set up a ‘central services unit’ (CSU); and improve planning and logistics to ensure 365 days a year malt production. These he did – and has been running the CSU ever since. The changes foretold, and helped the emergence of, a buoyant craft sector. Focus on Craft When Anglia Maltings (Holdings) acquired Crisp in 2005, Rob was appointed as a director, with responsibility for logistics, and, later, also for the company’s craft brewing sector business. “Right up my street,” as Rob says. “A professional reason and a personal excuse for sampling a wide range of beers – and enjoy the huge range of flavours and styles that are made with our malts.” More breweries, more beers and greater experimentation by brewers mean more complexity in the supply chain. For Crisp, it meant building the capability to supply smaller specialist orders to multiple destinations, without compromising the efficiency needed for the large volume brewers and distillers. The 5 or 6 sku’s offered when Rob first took on the job now number over 100, and the number of customers has increased 1,000%! Production and sales of speciality and crushed malts in bags has spiralled.

Spring 2021 | SIBA Independent Brewer | www.siba.co.uk

Tribute to Rob Crisp’s managing director Adrian Dyter says, “Rob has played an instrumental part in the evolution of the company. His enthusiasm for the new direction the market was taking; pushing for change; and laying the foundations of our support to the craft sector has been critical. “In addition to his other responsibilities, Rob has been heading up marketing, seeing through the company’s rebrand. The results are clean and modern whilst simultaneously capturing Crisp’s heritage and longstanding support to customers. “In paying tribute to his 27 years’ with Crisp and 37 years’ service to the malting industry, I would like to thank Rob for his passion and commitment, as well as for his skills and knowledge. He has definitely helped to make the company what it is today; he’s been a truly excellent colleague, and we will all miss him.” Friendships forged “I’m leaving at a time when things have been thrown up in the air for the drinks industry. At Crisp, it’s been all hands on deck to support brewers and distillers in whatever way we can. I honestly believe that the service my colleagues have provided to customers – and to the wider industry - has been second to none. “It’s been a privilege to work with so many fantastic people over the years and I’m sad not to be getting together with the team to thank them all in person. “I’m also disappointed that the pandemic means no visiting of customers to say goodbye. Still, I’d like to assure craft brewers that I’ll be supporting them in a personal capacity, drinking at least my fair share of beers! As you’d expect, I’ll always be looking out for brews that I know are made with malt from my friends at Crisp.” For more information go to www.crispmalt.com

Supplier news

The latest in eco-friendly can-holders from NicheSolutions GB The plastic six-pack can holder is one of the brewing and soft drinks industries’ thorniest environmental problems. The latest, most effective solution is the eco-friendly holder made from bagasse – or sugar cane pulp. The UK’s first completely eco-friendly can holders were made from 100% recycled wood pulp, which in turn was 100% biodegradable. But ultimately consumers weren’t happy with the faint odour, or the strength Now the manufacturers of those ground-breaking eco can holders, NicheSolutions GB, has completely upgraded the design. The all-new Nc6 and Nc4 eco-friendly can holders are now smoother, stronger, odourless, biodegradable and compostable. They are made from environmentally friendly sugar cane pulp, a by-product that would otherwise go to waste. Comfortably holding 330ml, 440ml and pint cans, they represent the most affordable and eco-friendly alternative to the thoughtless status quo. Find out more at www.nichesolutionsgb.com

Boxmart Wins at 2020 UK Packaging Awards While 2020 presented many challenges, the BoxMart team, in collaboration with client Tiny Rebel, found success at the UK Packaging Awards - winning the Corrugated: Online Retail and Consumer Goods award with their Eighth Birthday Blending Pack. In a year where consumer behaviour made a huge shift to online sales and home delivery, the importance of great packaging and a memorable opening experience came to the fore – and this pack delivered. Described as “artists” by the judges, BoxMart delivered a stand-out pack with an interactive opening experience using minimal materials and intelligent constructional design. The client commented: “To date it has been our most successful Birthday Pack and we saw a huge uptake in followers and new fans that were blown away by each stage of the packaging and opening experience.” Internal integrated fittings held in place four pairs of blendable beers plus a limited edition glass which popped forward upon opening. The pack built upon Tiny Rebel’s successful 7th Birthday limited edition pack, also by BoxMart, which was awarded a Highly Commended honour in the 2019 awards. Managing Director of Boxmart, Joanne Offord said “I am delighted that our expert design team have again been recognised for their ability to create stand out packaging. After being Highly Commended in the previous year for Tiny Rebel’s 7th birthday pack, we were looking forward to rising to the challenge this year and hoped to win the award outright. I am so glad to see that the team’s ingenuity and hard work paid off!” Alongside their win, BoxMart were also recognised for a further two projects - gaining Highly Commended accolades for their Beerhawk 12 beer gift crate in the same category, and their Bramley Cottage dolls house style gift box in the Limited Edition of the Year category. Find out more at www.boxmart.co.uk

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


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Spring 2021 | SIBA Independent Brewer | www.siba.co.uk


Supplier news Supplier Viewpoint

What’s your brand plan for bounce-back? In this issue, Myles Pinfold from WPA Pinfold offers his view on how brands should approach the re-start and re-opening of the economy…

Are you simply going to dust down those old brands and reinstate them as the ontrade opens up for business again… or are you going to grasp the opportunity and return to market with renewed vigour? The Isle of Man has experienced significant bounce-backs across the on-trade on the two occasions that the authorities have done away with Covid restrictions during the course of the pandemic, with consumers relishing the opportunity to return to their cherished pubs and bars. For the UK, when the surge comes, it will be all about being first back into market with viable and credible brands that have a real connection with the consumer. Over the last 12 months provenance has become king, and there has been a shift to 'local' as we have all come to appreciate our place in our community. Whilst there has been increasing talk of the practicality of keg,

the nostalgia for that hand-pulled pint that has been so elusive over the past year must be a big draw for those with the knowledge (of the difference between cask and keg). Certainly, there is no place for complacency and drinkers will be visiting on-trade premises with renewed expectations and a thirst for a quality drinking experience, it’s a fantastic opportunity to focus on what truly differentiates you from the competition – in a market where quality is a given, your brand is a key differentiator. It’s going to be a much flatter playing field as pubs and bars open up again and the clock is reset. Those brave enough to stand up for what they believe in and who are prepared to create an outstanding presence built around a differentiating value proposition will be the winners. If your marketing plan is simply

to repeat the tried and tested (and tired) routines of the past, maybe it’s time to think again, the market has become disrupted and segmented. Are you being true to your brand? What segment are you targeting? Do you understand your customer and their place in the category? What’s your positioning in relation to your competitors and other viable alternatives? What are your SMART objectives and your tactics to deliver success over the next 12 months? Having a brand with a plan, and the right people to deliver it, is one of the best business investments you will make. Myles Pinfold is founder and strategic director at WPA Pinfold. For more information go to www.wpa-drinks.co.uk

Moody Direct Ltd becomes the first UK Authorised Distributor of Pentair’s Südmo valve range Following discussions between leading supplier to the UK process industries, Moody Direct, and the global manufacturer of efficient and sustainable process technologies, Pentair, an authorised distributor agreement has been signed. Moody Direct provides its customers with a one-stop-shop for all their process requirements and has been doing so for more than 45 years. Pentair is globally recognised as a responsible manufacturer of sustainable hygienic solutions. Its range of Südmo valves and fittings are well-known throughout the industry. This official partnership between Moody Direct and Pentair reinforces the strength of their already well-established business relationship. This agreement will allow Moody Direct to officially supply Pentair’s Südmo valve range from Hamilton NZ, including hygienic components and spare parts. For more information regarding the Moody Direct and Pentair offering in the UK, visit www.moodydirect.com/pentair-process-valves.

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


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Spring 2021 | SIBA Independent Brewer | www.siba.co.uk

02/12/2016 17:01

Supplier news

Lister’s Brewery gets ready to launch unique sales software onto the market Family-run West Sussex brewery Lister’s is preparing to launch its own sales software, designed in-house, ready for the time when pubs fully reopen and brewers can resume sales in earnest. The software has a preloaded database of 72,000 outlets including 38,000 selling real ale and includes pubs, bars, social clubs and sports clubs. It is fully searchable by address, type and

real availability. It will even tell you how many real ale pumps a venue has. Available at a monthly cost with options to include particular parts of the country, Lister’s eight strong telesales team across the country have used the software with great success to expand direct distribution to 30 counties. During lockdowns, the software has been directed to different parts of the country according to where premises are open.

Co-owner Phil Waite said: “Even in these tremendously challenging and frustrating times, there is much to look forward to when we can get back to some sense of normality and this software is going to get brewers off to a flying start.” Anyone who wants to know more about the software can contact Phil on 07775 853412

Saxon Packaging creates beer subscription packaging for Big Smoke Brew Co Surrey-based Big Smoke Brew Co has a reputation for delivering an array of quality beers, and since 2016 the brewery has been working with packaging specialist Saxon Packaging to create quality packaging that reflects its brand. The latest innovation is a beer subscription packaging solution which holds 12x330ml cans of beer and associated merchandise. The box is based on a FEFCO 0471 style and flexographically printed to both sides, onto white kraft corrugated cardboard. “The artwork behind Big Smoke Brew Co’s beer subscription packaging was very cleverly constructed. By utilising the white kraft corrugated cardboard as part of the artwork design, a two-colour visual was achieved by using solely one single colour of ink,” said Saxon’s Sam Rowe. To ensure product protection during the rigors of transit, and to add an extra dimension to the product presentation, this particular beer subscription back incorporated two internal dividers (divs) and a bespoke internal fitting. The cardboard packaging is also 100% recyclable after use. “We’re very pleased with the whole project from start to finish. Saxon were able to advise in the early design stages and supplied an excellent quality mock-up in the development stage,” said Sam Medway from Big Smoke Brew Co. Find out more about the beer subscription box at www.bigsmokebeercollective.co.uk and read more about packaging solutions at www.saxonpackaging.co.uk

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


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Spring 2021 | SIBA Independent Brewer | www.siba.co.uk

Batch Traceability SALSA data collation

Supplier news Supplier Viewpoint

First impressions really do count The team at Lemontop Creative takes a look at what makes one beer stand out from the others… We all love beer, but what makes us choose one product from another? Is it the style? Is it the taste? Well, you may be surprised to know that one third of consumer decision making is based on the product packaging. Taste and price play an important part in retaining loyalty, but no-one will appreciate the flavour if they are not first enticed into purchasing the product and trying it at home. Everybody knows the old saying “First impressions count”. In fact, brands have about seven seconds to make a good impression on a potential buyer. Packaging design can be much more important than the product inside. The brewing industry gives a design and advertising company like ours plenty of food for thought, and not just on promoting what

is on your supermarket shelf. Now more than ever, packaging design continues to be thrust under the spotlight. Economic struggles and a growing concern for environmental issues have created challenges for everybody. Bearing all of this mind, we have helped a number of breweries, as well as many industry suppliers, producers and distributors get their products to market. It’s not only our packaging that is helping make that first impression count. Our creative design is beginning to make a dramatic impact on the industry in a whole host of other areas, especially online. Ecommerce websites and social media promotions now make up a much larger percentage of advertising exposure than ever before, and are beginning to make it better. LemonTop play an important role in defining and executing promotional strategies and advertising processes for businesses throughout the brewing industry. Not only

is creative design tremendously important in successfully competing in the industry, but it should play an active and decisive role at all stages of your business process. This includes everything from the packaging of your products right through to the in-store point of sale, encompassing advertising and promotions along the way. Creating a distinctive packaging design that is tailored to the product, stands out on crowded shelves, and doesn’t cost a fortune to produce can be challenging. However, it is an essential part of the process of fulfilling a customers needs and encouraging brand loyalty. To succeed in an ever more competitive industry, we help companies throughout the brewing and beverage industries understand what consumers want and create a clear vision of what they need to do to feed that hunger. Find out more at www.lemontopcreative.com

www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


Gold & Silver members

Gold members Brewers Select

Dan Unwin sales@brewersselect.co.uk

Silver members

Alfa Laval

Rebecca Halpin rebecca.halpin@alfalaval.com

Charles Faram & Co Ltd Any of the Team sales@charlesfaram.co.uk

Anton Paar Ltd

Tertia Rimell tertia.rimell@anton-paar.com

Beatson Clark

Close Brothers Brewery Rentals

Mark Banks enquiries@closebreweryrentals.co.uk

Charlotte Taylor charlotte.taylor@beatsonclark.co.uk

Beer Box Shop

Simon Hulse sales@beerboxshop.co.uk


Tim Croxson Tim.croxson@croxsons.com


Ruth Evans ruthevans@bfbi.org.uk

Murphy & Son Ltd

Frances Maud frances.maud@murphyandson.co.uk

Quality, Consistency & Support

Core Equipment Ltd

Jonathan Chaplin jonathan.chaplin@core-equip.com


Malcolm Ireland Malcolm.Ireland@napthens.co.uk

Crisp Malting Group

Rob Moody rob.moody@crispmalt.com

Premier Systems Ltd Sam Williams Sam@premiersystems.ltd.uk

Thomas Fawcett & Sons Ltd

James Fawcett james@fawcett-maltsters.co.uk


Spring 2021 | SIBA Independent Brewer | www.siba.co.uk

Framax UK Limited

Elizabeth Smith esmith@framax.co.uk


Jake Mortiboys jake@kegstar.com

Lallemand UK

Sarah Young syoung@lallemand.com


Muntons Plc

Vanessa Makings vanessa.makings@muntons.com

Paktech OPI

Nancy Baker nancy.baker@paktech-opi.com

Pentair Food & Beverage Solutions

Debbie Larkin debbie.larkin@pentair.com

Rankin Brothers & Sons

Jim Rankin sales@rankincork.co.uk

Rastal GmbH & Co KG Nick Crossley ncrssly@aol.com

Saxon Packaging Ltd

Mike Impson mike.impson@smurfitkappa.co.uk

Vale Labels Ltd

John Riches john@valelabels.co.uk

Vigo ltd

Sales Team sales@vigoltd.com

“Specialising in the Manufacture and Supply of Keystone’s For Beer Barrels“ Our industry standard T.P.E. Rubber Keystones have been tried and tested by brewery’s na�onwide for over 15 Years. “Food Contact Compliant Material” We manufacture both so� and hard variants packaged in 'Poly-lined Polypropylene Sacks'. Our Keystone’s are supplied in quan��es of 1000 and are all individually marked for 'End of Life Recycling'.

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30 day accounts available upon request Unit 8, Fairway Business Park Castle Road, Eurolink Sittingbourne Kent ME10 3FB

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www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Spring 2021


SIBA contacts

PO BOX 136, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 5WW

SIBA Head Office: 01765 640441

SIBA Team James Calder Chief Executive james.calder@siba.co.uk Sara Knox Company Secretary/ Directors Assistant sara.knox@siba.co.uk Rachel Harriott Head of Operations rachel.harriott@siba.co.uk Neil Walker Head of Comms & Marketing neil.walker@siba.co.uk Barry Watts Head of Public Affairs & Policy barry.watts@siba.co.uk Rebecca Kirby Financial Controller rebecca.kirby@siba.co.uk Louise Henley Operations Administrator louise.henley@siba.co.uk Jenna Barningham Operations Administrator jenna.barningham@siba.co.uk Elle Spencer-Blanchard Operations Assistant elle.spencerblanchard@siba.co.uk

Board of Elected Directors Existing members wishing to contact your regional representatives can use the relevant regional e-mail addresses listed below. For individuals, just type firstname.lastname@siba.co.uk Chairman of SIBA Ian Fozard Rooster’s Brewery Ltd

East east@siba.co.uk Chair Richard Naisby Ian Rydings Marcus Beecher

Milton Brewery Leigh on Sea Brewery Elgood & Sons Ltd

Midlands midlands@siba.co.uk

Chair Anthony Hughes Lincoln Green Brewing – Vice Chair Board Ken Munro Milestone Brewery Anneli Baxter White Horse Brewery

North East northeast@siba.co.uk Chair Mark Anderson Ian Fozard Ewen Gordon

Double Maxim Beer Co Rooster’s Brewery Ltd Saltaire Brewery Ltd

North West northwest@siba.co.uk Chair Kirsty Ridge Les O’Grady William Mayne

Lakeland Inns Group & Lakeland Brewhouse Neptune Brewery Bullhouse Brewing Co

Scotland scotland@siba.co.uk Chair Christie Slater Jamie Delap Fiona MacEachern

Loch Leven Brewery Fyne Ales Loch Lomond Brewery

South East southeast@siba.co.uk Chair Andy Hayward Peter Hills Robert Wicks

Thames Side Brewery Hackney Brewery Westerham Brewery Co Ltd

South West southwest@siba.co.uk

Chair Paul Arrowsmith Red Rock Brewery Darren Batten Palmers Brewery Alan Collyer The Exeter Brewery

Wales & West west@siba.co.uk All General Enquiries contact office@siba.co.uk


Spring 2021 | SIBA Independent Brewer | www.siba.co.uk

Chair Roy Allkin Norman Pearce

Boss Brewing Corvedale Brewery

Our specially crafted Genuine Brewflex® hose assemblies for brewing are designed to not only meet stringent food hygiene standards and obligations but also help to minimise unnecessary and avoidable costs commonly caused by improperly recommended hose solutions.


Poorly maintained hoses can burst under pressure during a CIP regime. Caustic in eyes, boiling water being flushed through or loose fittings detaching from the hose can cause serious injury to employees and operators.


Hose liners can delaminate over time, especially if the wrong one is used, & (if not maintained) the microscopic particles can bypass filtration systems, into your beer, damaging product integrity.


HACCP. HSE, FDA 21.CFR.177.2600, EU Food Regulations (EC 1935/2004), Food Safety Act, Good Manufacturing Processes (GMP’s), SALSA Audits, 3A Sanitary Standards, 3.1B Material Traceability.

Get in touch now for your FREE HOSE HEALTH CHECK T:+44(0) 1753 570 099 sales@flextechhose.co.uk www.flextechhose.co.uk “A hose is not just a hose…”

Profile for SIBA, the Society of Independent Brewers

Independent Brewer Spring 2021  

Independent Brewer Spring 2021

Independent Brewer Spring 2021  

Independent Brewer Spring 2021