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Issue 6

Back to Reality

Summer 2021

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Editor’s comment

Welcome to the Summer edition of SIBA’s Independent Brewer Magazine. The pandemic has certainly also helped to enforce the strength of the relationship small brewers have with the independent off-licences and bottle shops they supply. In the face of so much bad news this has been one of the most positive partnerships, and has flourished during a crisis which has not only forced many small brewers to switch on-trade supply to off-trade but also led consumers to seek out independent local businesses like never before.

The sun has finally made an appearance as I look out of my home office window this bright June morning, but still small brewers across the country will be waiting with bated breath for the green light from Government to fully re-start hospitality. We were all of course hoping for a full removal of restrictions from June 21st but my wish as I write this is that, by the time you read it, this will be only days away. Despite the resilience and innovation our industry has shown in the face of great adversity, there is only so much the sector can take, and I have huge admiration for all of SIBA’s brewing members, and indeed supplier associates, who have been working so hard over the last few weeks and months to get their businesses ready for the restart. Here’s to a long hot summer and the light at the end of the tunnel we have all been desperately hoping for.

For this issue, we felt it was therefore timely to take a look at SIBA Business Award-winning independent retailer Real Drinks for the first in a new set of features called Meet the Retailer (see pages 34-41). Founder Nick Dolan spoke to me last month about the principles behind the business, which has now been operating for 16 years. His guiding aim, to support microbrewery businesses, remains as strong today as it was back in 2005. Outside of the pandemic that has dominated our industry’s thoughts for the last 12 months, the recent outpouring of stories on social media about sexism and misogyny within the beer, pub and restaurant markets has rocked our world. We all have a role to play in calling out this behaviour, and in some cases culture, within our community, in supporting victims in coming forward and in working harder to create an environment which discourages and prevents these incidents from happening. Our guest columnist for this issue, Katie Mather, asks what we can all do to be better in her column on page 19.

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

Elsewhere, we also meet two very different breweries for this issue’s Business Profile features. Steven Smith-Hay, founder of Vault City Brewing in Edinburgh, is three years into his journey, championing a fresh, modern style of sour beer that brings accessibility to a category often seen as niche (see pages 44-51). Meanwhile, Theo Freyne founded Deya in 2015 and has made a huge impact on the sector since then brewing his distinctive house style of hoppy pale ales. We caught up with him to find out more about the business and his plans for the future (see pages 24-31). As re-opening begins to accelerate over the summer, I wish you all the very best of luck in the coming weeks with getting your business back on track. 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 Autumn edition will be August 23rd. 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 | Summer 2021


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9-15 64-81 87-95

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

Comment 7 8 16-17 19 33 63

CEO’s update James Calder on SIBA's strategy for the future Chairman’s comment Ian Fozard looks back at his three years in office The view from Westminster Our regular political update Sexism in beer Katie Mather asks how we can do better Brewer's viewpoint West Berkshire Brewery’s Ryan Grace looks at how the business has driven forward during the pandemic Technical focus Brewlab’s Dr Keith Thomas examines mouthfeel and how it’s produced

Features 44-51

Issue 6

Summer 2021

20-21 22-23 24-31 34-41 42-43 44-51 53-61 82-85 96 98

SIBA membership update SIBA beers on tap We celebrate the return of taprooms and pubs Business profile We meet Theo Freyne from Deya Brewing Meet the retailer Nick Dolan from Real Drinks talks us through 16 years in independent beer retailing Supplier viewpoint Crisp Malt on how heritage hop varieties can be good for modern beer Business profile Vault City’s Steve Smith-Hay on growing a successful brewery out of his own back room Business advice Legal, consumer insight, intellectual property, tax and trade marks Gold Members Charles Faram & Murphys Gold & Silver Members Listing of our key sponsors Contacts Key SIBA contacts

Back to Reality

Cover The cover of this issue features Oscar and Ilaria at the Real Drinks independent bottle shop in Notting Hill. Read more about the Real Drinks business in our Meet the Retailer interview with founder Nick Dolan on pages 34-41.

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


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CEO’s update First off, I want to say a huge thank you to Ian Fozard of Roosters brewery for putting up with me over the last two years. He’s been a superlative Chairman and stepped down in June after doing his three-year stint. We’re very different people, but as Chairman and CEO we have complimentary skills, experiences and attitudes. He’s been a driving force behind many of the changes in SIBA over his term and as an unpaid volunteer he has certainly put in the hours. A big thankyou to Ian from me on behalf of every brewery in the UK for your contribution and your counsel. I feel a little bit at the moment as if, after the hardest year of our professional and personal lives, the next year may actually be more challenging. I don’t know about you, but I do feel a bit burnt out. Beers in the sunshine and now inside have lifted all of us and our businesses upward; but consolidation in the marketplace, intense pressure on price, squeezed margins, rent and debt coming due and pressure from Government are all still there. I recently presented SIBA’s strategy for the next five years at the AGM and following Board approval the strategy in full will be unveiled to members - it attempts to tackle these issues and the many others that we face We are a small organisation and reflecting over the last year we have not gotten everything right and we haven’t achieved everything we wanted to. But we have certainly punched way above out weight class. Any strategy I put forward has to reflect upon that reality. As I’ve mentioned in a previous edition, SIBA’s strategy will focus on five pillars: Market Access, Fairness (from Government and within industry), adding Value to your business, promoting and championing Independence and driving Environmental Sustainability. By the time you read this you will have heard more on those areas at SIBA’s AGM and Members Conference on June 8th. If you missed it then you can catch up on all the AGM & Conference content (split into relevant sections) via youtube.com/societyofindependentbrewers We’ve also been assessing our values, and what it is we believe at SIBA:

1. Delivering for Brewers

We believe that if we are making a difference to breweries, we need to put ourselves in your shoes. Everyone at SIBA has a passion for beer, for brewing and for doing the best we can for the greatest number in our industry. We want to deliver for brewers just as you deliver for the UK’s beer lovers.

2. That independent beer is better beer

We believe that independent is better. It is more interesting, it is of higher quality and it creates jobs and supports communities. We want to make everyone in the UK think the same way as us and as a result, grow independent beer by protecting and promoting indie.

3. Building Community

4. Sustainability

We believe we have an important role to play in addressing climate change. We are an industry that uses significant energy, water and raw materials. We have made great strides, but more can be done to reduce our impact and dependencies on the world.

8. Working together

As a small, fragmented industry, we believe we are stronger if we work together. Despite the many ways in which we can define ourselves; of old vs new, small vs large, cask vs keg, independence is the thing we all have in common and we all believe in. We believe that if we collaborate, we can achieve more than if we work alone. We want to unify the independent sector, not drive it further apart. The last year has been one which none of us expected. But I hope in the years to come SIBA as an organisation can grow and with it so can the fortunes of your businesses. It’s not going to be easy, but nothing worth doing ever is.

5. Inclusivity

We believe that the brewing industry should be accessible and accepting to everyone, regardless of who you are. We believe everyone has a right to enjoy independent beer and not be harassed, judged or be discouraged from being a part of independent brewing.

We believe that everyone within the supply chain deserves to be treated fairly and equitably. From the farmer to the bar worker, with distributor, supplier, bottle shop, brewer, publican and everyone in between able to make a fair living. Where we see unfairness, we call it out and aim to improve it.

We believe that beer is a force for good. Pubs, taprooms and the back garden are just some of places where people come together, have a beer and put the world to rights. Brewing is a community in itself which sees suppliers, brewers, hospitality and customers all rely on each other. We believe in building community.

7. Fairness

James Calder Chief Executive

6. Quality


We believe that every beer should be brewed, packaged, dispensed and stored to the highest possible standards so that every time someone chooses independent, that beer is guaranteed to be enjoyed and savoured. www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Summer 2021


Chairman’s comment

A farewell from our Chairman

This is my final column as SIBA’s Chair as, by the time that you read this, I will have completed my maximum three year term of office and the Board will have elected a new Chair. It therefore seems appropriate to reflect on the last three years which, for me, seem to have passed extremely quickly. My first thought is that this is the fourth consecutive quarterly column that I have written with the uncertainty of not knowing when our industry will stop being adversely affected by Government enforced lockdown? Today, as I write this on the eve of pubs being permitted to serve indoors again, we still do not have a definate date for all restrictions to be lifted, and my iPad has just flashed a message saying that the Health Secretary “cannot rule out” further local lockdowns! I sincerely hope that when you read this, we will know for sure what is happening and that all brewers will be able to look forward with optimism for their businesses. During my term of office SIBA has changed immensely – not all my doing I hasten to add! I’d like to think that SIBA is better positioned than it was to meet the challenges we all face as we move out of lockdown into a new and somewhat different world. Firstly, we have a newly refreshed and younger Board – around half of the Board have been elected within the last 12 months and most of the remainder have joined the Board within the last three years. Whilst it could be argued that the Board has lost much experience, my personal view is that this change was overdue, and I sincerely hope that my new Board colleagues will get involved in helping SIBA become even more relevant to our members in


the coming months. I know that we have some good new intellect on the Board who will not be afraid to challenge the status quo! Secondly, we have a much more focussed and lean management team under the leadership of James Calder. James is due to present his new five year strategy to our AGM on 9th June and will set out for members the key areas that he and the team will be focussing on as we brewers try to navigate the difficult waters ahead. In my view, SIBA needs to strive to constantly become more relevant to our members and James will set out how he proposes to achieve this along with SIBA’s new priorities for the years ahead. It has been an experience I wouldn’t have wanted to miss. I hope that I have made a difference and that I leave SIBA in a better place. The last three years have, to some extent, been over-shadowed by a bitter division within our industry about reform of Small Breweries’ Relief. The Government mishandling of this in their announcement last summer has not helped. We do not yet know when the Treasury will announce the outcome of its Technical Consultation – let us hope that when it does come it will show some sense and that SIBA’s lobbying on behalf of members who would be adversely affected has been effective. Independent brewers desperately need to move on - united to face the many other challenges ahead. Let us also hope that the Government Alcohol Duty review produces some positive news about tax on beer which is disgracefully high compared to other equivalent alcoholic drinks and to other countries.

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

Our sector continues to be threatened by the behaviour of larger global and national drinks companies with their market distorting behaviour. In addition, the constant sniping of the anti-alcohol lobby and the ongoing spectre of new legislation which could disproportionately impact on smaller brewers such as Deposit Return Schemes and labelling requirements are of continuing concern. SIBA is the only body able to represent smaller independent brewers and I hope that James and his team can persuade some of the brewers who have historically eschewed SIBA membership to come on board. It is perhaps fashionable for some to assert that SIBA is not relevant to them, yet I strongly believe that the only way of effectively influencing Government over the issues we all face is for the industry to come together to form one more powerful voice. That is where you, our existing membership can help! If we all strive to recruit one new member SIBA’s voice will be much more powerful. I have mostly enjoyed my three year term of office – there have been some difficult challenges but overall, it has been an experience I wouldn’t have wanted to miss. I hope that I have made a difference and that I leave SIBA in a better place. I wish my successor Roy Allkin good fortune and I will continue to support SIBA as a Board member representing the North East region. Cheers

Ian Fozard Chairman SIBA

SIBA news

Roy Allkin of Boss Brewing elected new SIBA National Chair as Ian Fozard steps down at end of three year term SIBA has named its new National Chair, Roy Allkin of Boss Brewing in Swansea, after outgoing Chair Ian Fozard of Roosters Brewery in Harrogate stepped down by rotation at the end of his three year term. Ian Fozard was thanked for his outstanding contribution to the organisation over his term and presented with a commemorative Silver Tankard at SIBA’s Board meeting last month, where Roy Allkin was named the new Chair and Richard Naisby, of Milton Brewery in Cambridge, the new Vice Chair. James Calder, SIBA’s Chief Executive, said: “On behalf of everyone at SIBA I would like to thank Ian for the huge contribution he has made to SIBA through his tireless work and dedication to the organisation and its members over the last three years. His expertise and business savvy has been invaluable and has helped to guide the organisation through some of the toughest times in recent memory for the independent brewing sector. “I would also like to warmly welcome our incoming Chair Roy Allkin and Vice Chair, Richard Naisby, who I look forward to working closely with in the future as we guide the organisation towards the betterment of SIBA Members and the broader independent brewing industry.” Ian Fozard said: "I've had an interesting and challenging three years as SIBA Chair during which time the organisation has seen many

changes. There are still many challenges ahead for British Independent brewing and Roy and Richard have my full support in facing up to them. I wish them every success." SIBA’s new Chair Roy Allkin is the cofounder and owner of Boss Brewing Company Ltd, he studied History for his first-class Honours Degree before going on to achieve a Masters Degree with distinction in Business. Roy holds CMI Level 4 Award in Management and Leadership. There’s a lot of work to be done to ensure a more prosperous future for every brewer in the UK, but myself, and Richard as my vice, are relishing the challenge

“It’s a great honour to be elected to lead SIBA at this very testing time for the industry and for the country as a whole. There’s a lot of work to be done to ensure a more prosperous future for every brewer in the UK, but myself, and Richard as my vice, are relishing the challenge,” said Roy Allkin, New SIBA National Chair

Utilising his extensive experience in business development strategy, directing operations and systemisation and sees a pivotal role for SIBA in raising standards in the industry and promoting the highest degree of professionalism possible.

Joining Roy in leading the organisation is SIBA’s new Vice Chair Richard Naisby, who currently sits on SIBA’s Executive Board and founded Milton Brewery in Cambridge in 1999 and the associated pub operating company, Individual Pubs, in 2002.

As a commercial brewer, Roy has been active for over five years, and was an avid home brewer for many years prior to this. Roy was trained as a commercial brewer at Brewlab, BrewSchool and PBC. He is also a qualified cellar install and maintenance engineer.

Ian Fozard will return to his role as Chair of the North East region and will also now join the SIBA Executive as an Elected Director, consulting on the day-to-day running of the organisation in support of the SIBA Chief Executive and SIBA Senior Management Team.

Result of the SIBA tender for supply to the newly formed Ei/Stonegate Group Following the communication sent to SIBA Members via the Toolbox on the 1st March, outlining our plans to submit a tender for the supply of beer to the newly merged Ei/Stonegate pub estate, we must inform you that SIBA has been unsuccessful in our tender and Stonegate has decided to move forwards with the Beer Company from August. Over the last three months, SIBA has been in discussions with the Stonegate procurement team in an attempt to agree future supply terms. Price is always a huge factor in competitive tenders and our firm stance of maintaining current payment levels for SIBA Brewers was a factor. SIBA’s bid for the business focussed on the diverse and high-quality range of beers available from SIBA Member breweries and aimed to give you as supplying brewers more control, more opportunities for access, and the ability to supply both cask and keg beer at a price that was fair to all parties. If you currently supply beer to legacy Ei pubs as part of the Stonegate Group then from around August onwards this will not be able to continue via Beerflex and we will be in touch with full details of how the handover/transition period will take place. if you have any questions please email the SIBA HQ Team via office@siba.co.uk

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


SIBA news SIBA Business Awards 2021 – The Winners in full Covid Brewery Initiative Award Cloudwater Brew Co Highly Commended: Signature Brew Covid Supplier Initiative Award Charles Faram Highly Commended: Crisp Malt, Saxon Packaging Marketing Implementation Signature Brew Highly Commended: North Brewing Co

Congratulations to all the SIBA Business Awards 2021 winners! The SIBA Business Awards 2021 were held digitally for the first time this year during lockdown, and awarded the very best businesses from across the beer and brewing industry. The awards highlighted businesses who have not just survived but excelled across a range of awards categories - during what has been quite possibly one of the toughest 12 months the brewing, beer and pubs sector has ever seen. This year’s big winners were Signature Brew who were named Brewery Business of the Year 2021 for the second time, having also won in 2017 - and Charles Faram, who were named SIBA Supplier Associate of the Year 2021. Signature Brew’s Co-Founder Tom Bott accepted the award via an online awards ceremony which was broadcast over YouTube Live, and he had this to say on their win: “We’re incredibly humbled and thrilled to have won SIBA’s Brewery Business Of The Year Award for a second time. The last 12 months have been exceptionally turbulent and difficult for everyone in the industry, and we couldn’t be prouder to work in a sector as resilient and innovative as the craft beer community. We’d like to say a huge thank you to our amazing team and our drinkers for their continued support. We can’t wait to see everyone for a pint very soon.” The SIBA Business Awards are judged by a panel of independent beer industry experts, managed by SIBA. The awards cover everything from brewery marketing, design and innovation, to efforts to make businesses more eco-friendly or impactful. This year two additional categories were added to highlight the amazing work done by breweries and suppliers businesses in the face of incredible pressure from Covid.

Green Business Hobsons Brewing Co Best Individual Design North Brewing Co – Springwell Pils Best Concept Design

The craft beer retailing, restaurant and bar categories highlight the fantastic work being done to promote British independent craft beer, and include businesses from across the UK.

Anspach & Hobday – Oktoberfest range Highly Commended: Good Chemistry

Neil Walker, SIBA’s Chair of Judges, said: “This has been an incredibly difficult 12 months for our industry but these awards show the resilience of the British brewing industry and the amazing work that is being done by businesses across the UK. This was a very tough year to judge and in fact we have awarded more Highly Commended awards in 2021 than ever before, as it was so difficult to separate an incredibly impressive pack of finalists.

Northern Monk

“Huge congratulations to all of this year’s winners, but in particular our Brewery Business of the Year Signature Brew - who gave jobs to out of work musicians when venues were forced to close and tackled loneliness and isolation with their lo-fi beer campaign – and of course our Supplier Associate of the Year Charles Faram - A company who have won the award many times over the years thanks to a passionate commitment to supporting independent brewing across the UK. This year they showed how much brewers and this industry mean to them with their support through a critical period for struggling businesses.” This year’s SIBA Business Awards judges were beer writer and author Pete Brown, magazine Editor and freelance journalist Robyn Black, CAMRA’s Senior Campaigns Manager and former Councillor Ellie Hudspith, supporter of independent brewing businesses Elliot Colburn MP, Independent Brewer magazine Editor Caroline Nodder, SIBA’s Head of Public Affairs Barry Watts, and SIBA’s Head of Comms & Marketing Neil Walker, who chaired the judging.

Business Innovation Commercial Achievement Big Drop Brewing Co UK's Best Independent Craft Beer Retailer - Multiple Real Drinks UK’s Best Independent Craft Beer Retailer – Single A Hoppy Place, Windsor UK’s Best Independent Craft Beer Restaurant Hood, Streatham UK’s Best Independent Craft Brewery Taproom 40FT, Dalston UK’s Best Independent Craft Beer Bar or Pub – City Dead Crafty Beer Co, Liverpool UK’s Best Independent Craft Beer Bar or Pub – Rural The Royal Barn, Kirkby Lonsdale Supplier Associate of the Year (Brewer nominated) Charles Faram Brewery Business of the Year Signature Brew

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


SIBA news

SIBA teams up with industry bodies to launch Cask is Back campaign With cask beer sales hit hard by the last year’s lockdowns, SIBA was delighted to join with other key industry bodies in launching a new campaign under the banner of "Cask is BACK, so back CASK". A campaign, which launched in Spring, is calling on beer drinkers to back British brewing and pubs and opt for a pint of fresh cask beer from a local independent brewery as pubs begin to fully re-open. Sales of hand-pulled cask beer, which can only be sold in pubs, have been hit hard by Coronavirus restrictions – with sales of this fresh British beer down 70% over the last 12 months – but this campaign is seeking to reverse those fortunes and has the backing of brewers, beer drinkers and publicans alike. The 'Cask is BACK, so back CASK' campaign was launched by SIBA alongside the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), and Cask Marque – who are championing Britain’s National drink, which can only be enjoyed down the pub. SIBA’s Chief Executive James Calder said: "Cask beer and pubs go hand-in-hand and are an important part of our National identity. Because cask beer can only be enjoyed in the pub it’s the drink millions of beer lovers across the UK have missed most during lockdown. Whether you're a real ale enthusiast or sometimes beer drinker, we're asking everyone to support their local independent breweries and opt for delicious local cask beer. For publicans, those pubs that do cask and do it well will reap the rewards so we’re encouraging all in the pub trade to prioritise cask and ensure that it is in


tip-top condition. The message is simple - cask is back, so back cask!" The Chief Executive of CAMRA, Tom Stainer, said: “What makes the Great British pub so unique is delicious, fresh cask beer. It’s a drink you can only enjoy in the pub and which millions of people across the UK have not been able to enjoy for much of the last 12 months. So as pubs re-open I’d like to invite you to join me in making our first pint down the pub a fresh cask beer from a local brewery, you’ll not only get a great tasting beer, but you’ll be supporting local independent breweries and our struggling pub industry.” Steven Alton, CEO of the BII, said: “Cask ale is a unique attribute to UK pubs and a key point of difference to many BII members, who run professional independent, drink-led venues in our local towns, high streets and communities. Our pubs need ongoing support to recover their businesses and support fantastic local brewers that make our pubs so special. “The BII continues to support members through this critical re-opening and long road to recovery of their pubs, as well as the key supply chain businesses that help make the Great British pub part of our nation’s heritage.” “We have all missed the pub and for a lot of us a pint of Cask Ale will complete our rehabilitation. Serving great cask ale I am sure will get more people back into the British pub,” added Paul Nunny, Cask Marque Director. During lockdown some five Million pints of cask beer from small independent breweries had to be poured away, with the brewers who made it left to foot the bill. Those same breweries

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

have been ramping production as pubs re-open, so by buying a pint of cask beer you’re not only supporting your local pub, but helping out small independent breweries too. #CaskIsBack Pumpclip crowners available via Colorscan with no minimum order SIBA has worked with supplier associate members Colorscan to create some new 'Cask is Back, so back Cask' pump clip crowners. These can be ordered for just 20p with no minimum order quantity and are supplied with self-adhesive tabs. The pumpclip crowners can be ordered via sales@colorscan.biz or over the phone on to 01283 511127. Cask is Back is a cross-industry campaign and you do not need to be a SIBA Member brewery to order.

Campaign posters are also available through your local CAMRA branch.

Celebrate the return of live cask beer with an independent pint at your local!

SIBA news SIBA followed up on its successful BeerX Online event with a virtual AGM & Members’ Conference on the 8th June, in association with Napthens Solicitors who join SIBA as Headline Sponsors. With many trade event spaces still closed, SIBA took the decision to host the first ever fully virtual AGM & Members’ Conference - including online voting on resolutions and a live broadcast featuring keynote talks from Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality and Henok Fentie, Head Brewer of Omnipollo in Sweden.

SIBA AGM & Members’ Conference 2021 held virtually for first time in the association’s history

We hope you enjoyed BeerX Online 2021!

Thank you to all our members who for signed up for BeerX Online - we hope you found the event useful and managed to tune-in for all of the sessions you hoped to.




We had a total of 828 people registered as BeerX Online Delegates and the event received 3,930 views in total, as people dipped in and out of different seminars and talks over the three days between March 16th and 18th. From SIBA’s point of view it was great to engage with so many brewers and beer industry professionals from across the UK, and feedback on the event has been overwhelmingly positive.

Also speaking was outgoing SIBA Chairman Ian Fozard of Roosters Brewery, SIBA CEO James Calder and Jamie Allison, Partner at Napthens Solicitors, who partnered with SIBA to deliver the conference. Ian Fozard said: “This year’s virtual AGM and Members' Conference was a first in the history of the association and we were delighted to be able to host the same engaging debates and exciting keynote talks as our usual in-person AGM and Conference, which usually takes place as part of our BeerX event in Liverpool.

“I would also like to thank Napthens Solicitors who as well as being longtime supporters of SIBA and independent brewers with their free legal helpline for brewers and other bespoke services, partnered with us on the Members’ Conference as our Headline Sponsor. With their backing and expertise, we were able to put on an engaging, modern and fully virtual event.” Jamie Allison, Partner at Napthens Solicitors, spoke on behalf of the firm at SIBA’s Conference, and welcomed the partnership with the trade association, “Napthens has a proud history of working with SIBA and its members and we’re delighted to be sponsoring the Members’ Conference.” The SIBA AGM & Members’ Conference was open only to SIBA Member Breweries and Supplier Associate Members and took place from 10.00am until 01.00pm on Tuesday 8th June. For further information visit www.siba. co.uk/agm-members-conference-2021/

Attend BeerX UK 2022 (in-person) for free! If you attended BeerX Online as a delegate then we would love to welcome you along to our full in-person BeerX UK event next year, free-of-charge, as a SIBA Brewing Member. The event sees around 2,000 attendees from across the beer and brewing industry come together for industry-leading talks and seminars, a full trade-only beer competition and festival, as well as the UK's biggest brewing trade show - featuring supplier companies from across the UK and overseas showing off the very best equipment and services. The 2022 event is pencilled to take place once again at the Exhibition Centre Liverpool, an amazing purpose-built event space close to the Albert Docks and within short walk of the city centre - and all of the pubs, bars, restaurants

and hotels that come with it. BeerX UK really is a must-attend event for any beer and brewing industry professional. If you are not already a member we would love to invite you to join SIBA as a Brewing Member and claim your free ticket (Nonmember tickets were £30 + booking fee in 2020). Find out more about joining SIBA at www.siba.co.uk/about-siba/sibamembership/brewing-members/

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


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SIBA news Taproom of the year 40FT

Portman Group issues first category guidance on CBD The Portman Group has released new guidance on the naming, packaging and promotion of alcohol products containing CBD. If you currently produce or are planning to produce a beer containing CBD then it is essential you read the guidance. The guidance is designed to help you comply with the Portman Group Code should you choose to produce a CBDinfused product. The law on the use of CBD in food and drink products is complex and the Portman Group has made it clear that the release of this guidance does not imply that the inclusion of CBD in alcoholic drinks is legally permitted, and that the onus is on you as a producer to seek legal advice before placing products containing CBD on the market. Find out more and download the guidance at www.portmangroup. org.uk/leading-the-way-on-cbdportman-group-issues-first-categoryguidance-on-cbd/

SIBA survey finds tap yards taking the place of pub gardens Independent brewery ‘tap yards’ were far busier than usual in early Spring as pubs remained unable to re-open indoors until May 17th.

SIBA figures show that around 80% of the beer produced by small independent breweries is sold into pubs, so with pubs closed sales were decimated during the last 12 months.

A survey by SIBA showed the outdoor spaces at brewery taprooms across the UK have beaten expectations and traded strongly since outdoor hospitality was allowed to resume across the UK.

For Wimbledon Brewery in South London, the pandemic was an opportunity to invest in their taproom and grow their local following, “During lockdown we invested in making our tap a more attractive venue. The response from the local community has been overwhelming. People like to drink beer at the point of production and long may it continue,” said Wimbledon Brewery’s Mark Gordon.

The survey found that on average brewery taprooms were around 73% busier over the first few weeks of outdoor opening compared to the same period in 2019, and that 74% of breweries with space available had chosen to open outdoors – much higher than the one third of pubs which opened outdoors only. SIBA applauds independent breweries for ‘grasping the opportunity’ to recoup some of the losses incurred over the last year, but its small change compared to the financial damage caused by Covid lockdown. “It has been wonderful to see so many brewery ‘tap yards’ busy over recent weeks, but a few weeks of healthy trade does not make up for what has been lost. Independent breweries in the UK have racked up on average of around £30,000 of debt during lockdown and have been left-out of the Government’s support for the hospitality industry. In Scotland a brewers support fund helped out struggling small brewers, but in the rest of the UK breweries have not been so lucky. These survey shows many are now taking advantage of pent up demand for socialising and to experience something a bit different, ” said James Calder, SIBA Chief Executive.

Dan Hearn from Loddon Brewery in Reading said: “We don't yet know if it's a post-Covid bounce, but our tapyard has been packed since the day we re-opened. Despite increasing our capacity to 230, we have been fully booked every weekend - often days in advance - and we're turning people away. After such an appalling year, it's been wonderful to see the tapyard so busy.” Leigh-on-Sea brewery on the South-East coast say they survived the pandemic by selling beer in cans to their local customers, and it’s those same customers who are now flocking to their taproom: “Over the past months our loyal customers have kept us alive by using our home delivery service. They’re now enthusiastically doing the same by supporting our Taproom. It’s not always comfortable and is obviously weather dependent - but we’re trying to get across to them how grateful we are for their continued custom.”

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


The view from Westminster

DRS is coming! Deposit Return Schemes are coming and small brewers need to be ready! In this article, SIBA Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Barry Watts, explores the forthcoming Deposit Return Schemes and the impact on small brewers…

Barry Watts SIBA Head of Public Affairs and Policy


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

The view from Westminster Over the next decade or so, governments across the UK have ambitious plans to introduce measures which aim to tackle climate change. With the COP26 conference taking place later this year never has there been more focus on sustainability. We know that there are some leading the way and all brewers want to play their part. SIBA, as your trade association, intends to help you at every step along this path and environmental impact is a key part of our future strategy. But simultaneously, where Government go too far, or introduce things which don’t make sense or threaten your businesses, we will push back in your interests. One immediate aspect that our governments are focusing on is the packaging we use for our beer, and they intend to introduce Deposit Return Schemes (DRS) as a form of producer responsibility to increase recycling rates and reduce littering. In Scotland DRS is being introduced next year (although this could be delayed) and a separate scheme is due to be rolled out in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (NI) in 2024. This means that if you sell beer in Scotland – even if it’s through a wholesaler or online – you need to be aware and start to prepare now. The vast majority of SIBA members’ beer is usually packaged into reusable and sustainable casks and kegs, with about 20% normally placed into cans and bottles – although during the Covid pandemic small pack has become for many the only means of making any money. While this is a tiny number of containers compared to the UK total – small breweries account for about 1.4% of the 7.7 billion cans

and 5.5 billion bottles sold every year – DRS will have a significant and disproportionate impact on small brewers. So how will DRS work? If you’re a customer, it’s pretty straight forward – you pay a small deposit which is refunded when you return the empty to the retailer or to a reverse vending machine. These empties are collected, broken down and sold to be recycled with the aim to increase recycling rates up to 90% and similar schemes have been introduced in around 40 different countries worldwide. But if you’re a brewer, it’s a bit more complex In Scotland they are introducing an “all in” scheme which includes plastic, glass, steel and aluminium cans of up to 3 litres. It doesn’t include reusable containers like growlers but will include crowlers if you use them. We don’t know the full details of the England, Wales and NI scheme yet as there’s an ongoing consultation as I write, but they are also looking at an “all in” scheme. Each container in scope will carry a 20p deposit. These deposits go round in a big circle with a brewer charging the retailer 20p and then the retailer charging the customer 20p. When these empty containers have been returned to the retailer, they need to be collected so they can be recycled. In Scotland brewers have a choice to fulfil this responsibility themselves or to do it through a Scheme Administrator (SA), that will collect and manage this, reimburse retailers for deposits, pay a handling fee and meet the annual collection targets. Given the additional burdens it is likely that most brewers will opt to join the SA (unless you only sell on a market stall and a couple of shops) and Circularity Scotland has been appointed for this in Scotland. In the rest of the UK there will be a Deposit Management Organisation and you’ll be required to join it if you sell small pack in England, Wales and NI. Obviously, there’s a cost to managing this process; sending out vans to pick up empty containers and monitoring returns is not cheap. Therefore, brewers will have to pay a charge to cover this. In Scotland there’s an annual administration fee of £360 (it's free if your turnover is below £85,000) and a producer fee per container.

This fee hasn’t yet been set but early work has suggested it could be 2.8-3.8p per can and bottle – a significant amount which if applied to the whole of the UK beer industry equates to an annual cost of £200m, or a 6% increase in beer duty. You’ll also have to provide information such as barcodes/ EAN numbers, unique ID and data capture markers and SKUs. Those reverse vending machines normally require barcodes and anti-fraud measures will probably lead to common identifiers. This will inevitably mean you’ll need a separate label (and SKU) for small pack sold in Scotland. In the rest of the UK, labelling will be mandatory. Brewery webshops If you sell beer via your website, then you’ll have to make changes to the webshop to charge the deposits. You’ll also have to provide a takeback service – the option to have the empties collected from the place they were delivered. This means that a brewer in Somerset who sells beer online into Scotland will have to register and pay the fees, charge the deposit and offer this takeback service. Pubs, taprooms and brewery shops For those operating a taproom or a pub there will be a closed-loop system if the items are consumed on the premises. If you also offer takeaway you’ll have to charge deposits and operate a return point – either manually over the counter or by hosting a reverse vending machine. You’ll get a handling fee for these costs and there is an opportunity to apply for an exemption. SIBA concerns If you’ve read all the way to here, you can understand that DRS is rather complex and costly. SIBA is concerned that DRS will impose significant costs, reduce the choice and availability of independent craft beer and create uncertainty for businesses. We’re working to raise these concerns with politicians, Ministers and officials and push for more proportionate costs for small brewers, safeguards on the rules and impact, and assurances on how the separate schemes will work together. You can read our recent submission to the Government at: https://committees. parliament.uk/writtenevidence/23465/ pdf/ and on the challenges for small brewers and you can watch my recent BeerX presentation to learn more here: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=KvqqekKvs8E&t=14534s 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 | Summer 2021


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Comment: Katie Mather

Sexism in Beer Following an outpouring online from people working in the beer sector worldwide who have suffered abuse and discrimination within the industry, Katie Mather asks what we can do to be better…

"When something shocking happens, your sense of self-preservation tells you to turn away. This primeval flight response has often been how the beer industry has dealt with accusations of sexism in the past — debate and denial raging against speakers of this unpalatable truth. The beer industry is not special, or especially good. Just like every other industry, it has problems to face, solutions to find and a better future to build. During the week of the 10th May 2021, a production manager from Notch Brewing in Salem, Massachusetts called Brienne Allan began sharing stories of sexual assault, sexism, racism, homophobia, harassment and abuse sent to her, mostly anonymously, via her Instagram account. Every single story was from the brewing industry, mostly from the US but occasionally widening to the UK and Europe. In a piece for Good Beer Hunting by Kate Bernot about the outpouring, Allan is quoted as saying: “People felt so comfortable to tell me whatever they wanted because they saw how anonymous it was. They’re like, ‘This is my trauma and I don’t really give a **** who knows about it now.’” In solidarity, and to raise awareness of similar problems within the beer industry in the UK, Edinburgh-based writer Siobhan Buchanan launched her own touchpoint via Instagram for people to anonymously share stories. This issue was no longer an “American” problem — if you had ever somehow believed it was. Voices were coming forward daily to talk about sexism in their workplaces, ranging from mistreatment and harassment to unfair dismissals. The result? Conversations on Radio 4’s Women’s Hour, thinkpieces like this one, and a few dismissals in extreme cases of assault and harassment over the Atlantic. But already the industry seems to be attempting to move on, and allowing it to do so without a clear vision of how we can all do better for our industry starting now, I know that nothing will change. Nobody will be better supported as a result. The outrage we felt over the past few weeks should not be allowed to burn itself out.

What Now?

What I found shocking about these shared anonymous stories was the sheer volume of them — and how many times I checked myself and thought, ah, yes. I have experienced this too, and brushed it off (or was told to brush it off), believing that this was just the way things were. That I had chosen to work within and around the beer world, and that to do so I would need to “loosen up”, change how I reacted to unwanted comments or advances, become more amenable. Quieten down. We want our industry to be a safe and supportive place for everyone to work in. The sad truth is that there is unacceptable behaviour being allowed to continue unchecked. This is not acceptable. I know that so many of you will agree. We want our industry to be a safe and supportive place for everyone to work in. The sad truth is that there is unacceptable behaviour being allowed to continue unchecked, either through a lack of confidence in knowing how to deal with such matters, or through ignorance, or even through acceptance. So how can we start to make a difference and create a supportive beer industry we’re all proud to be a part of ? Helen Smith, founder of Burum Collective, is at this moment pulling together an industryspecific meeting for individuals within the drinks industry to discuss how to move forward with purpose. The aim for the Common Ground Conference is to learn from where we are at, and to take our industry into the future mindfully and with the collective skills and preparedness to make it a better place to work for everyone within it.

cyclical nature of the issue — it resurfaces, we share our outrage, it’s swept under the carpet as other stories break, we carry on as before. “Unfortunately, there are always instances of pushback when people stand up for their rights...where groups of individuals say “hey, what about us? We’re also having a difficult time.” And these groups don’t see that if we demand better treatment for some people, things improve for us all.” So how can we do better? Simply put: it’s about accountability. “We all have platforms and power and we can use that to help someone else,” Helen says. “There’s a wealth of information on the internet we can all easily access to help us to draw up policies and guidelines for our businesses to make sure these issues are taken seriously and that our teams are protected.” Put your intentions down in writing and then live by them, be held accountable to them. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes — do what you feel is right and be prepared to make changes based on advice and guidance from consultants and perhaps more importantly, feedback from your own teams and your customers too. And know that while making these changes can feel difficult and can be met by some negativity and resistance, you are doing the right thing by your team, the industry as a whole, and for yourself."

For more information about the Common Ground Conference, visit Burumcollective.com Katie is a writer based in the Ribble Valley, and associate editor of Pellicle magazine. She also runs Corto, a craft beer, natural wine and natural cider bar in Clitheroe.

“We’re at a point now where we need to be more serious about it,” she says, echoing many, many voices expressing exhaustion at the www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Summer 2021


SIBA membership update

SIBA Membership: Delivering for Brewers in difficult times

SIBA has responded to the changing environment (sometimes changing daily it feels...) and built on the existing benefits of being a SIBA Member – including Government lobbying, beer awards, compliance advice and much more – with new weekly advice emails, surveying, and promotional opportunities such as the Digital Beer Awards. Below you will find a brief summary of some of the ways in which SIBA is Delivering for Brewers, but if you have any questions or would like to know more about joining SIBA then email our membership team at membership@siba.co.uk

Our weekly emails continue to be incredibly important tool in keeping members updated on the latest Coronavirus measures, support and guidance, as well as how you can engage with important campaigns such as the fight to reverse the Government's proposals on SBR. In addition to this, every quarter SIBA Members receive a copy of SIBA Independent Brewer magazine through the post. Featuring industry news and guest articles from some of the UK’s best beer writers, as well as interviews, meet the brewer and business profiles, Independent Brewer is your portal to the wider world of independent brewing. GOVERNMENT LOBBYING: BREWERS’ VOICES ARE BEING HEARD SIBA continues to lobby on behalf of members on a variety of big issues such as Small Breweries’ Relief, Covid support, business rates and the Alcohol Duty Review - meeting politicians and policy makers to make sure brewers’ voices are heard. Our work with Government is backed up by pro-active press activity, industry and consumer campaigning, ensuring that the issues that matter are top of the news agenda and at the top of MPs inboxes.

NEW! SALSA + BEER: £100 DISCOUNT FOR SIBA MEMBERS SIBA Members now receive a £100 discount on the ‘SALSA Plus Beer’ audit. Applicable to new applications made after 1st November 2020. For more information visit www.salsafood.co.uk or email info@salsafood.co.uk


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


Our external press strategy has also gone up a notch on behalf of members, making sure that independent breweries and the pressure you are under is at the top of the national news agenda. If you would like to see a selection of recent press featuring SIBA members or get advice on how you can attract local press coverage, email press@siba.co.uk LEGAL HELPLINE: FREE ADVICE FROM EXPERIENCED SOLICITORS As with all manufacturing industries, breweries are unfortunately open to a variety of legal issues. To help protect your brewing business SIBA has partnered with Napthens solicitors to ensure members receive the best advice from a firm with a wealth of experience. All members are eligible for one hour’s free legal advice.

COMPLIANCE: FOOD SAFETY AND QUALITY ASSURANCE FROM PROFESSIONAL BREWING BUSINESSES Recognised as a minimum standard by a number of leading companies within the Industry, the SIBA Food Safety Quality Audit continues to be adopted by a number of Brewing Members who do not hold an alternative accreditation. To assist brewers in becoming compliant, tools such as HACCP, Traceability and Health & Safety are made available to all Brewing Members via the Toolbox.

SIBA membership update



PRACTICAL GUIDE TO LABELLING & MORE As part of SIBA’s ongoing Delivering for Brewers initiative we have launched various new business tools, guides and opportunities for members. Our comprehensive labelling guide Version 6 was updated in April 2021. The labelling guide advises on what is and isn’t needed on your bottle, can, cask and keg labels – including allergen advice, ABV, alcohol consumption advice and much more. This guide and all future ‘Delivering for Brewers’ items are free of charge to SIBA Members.

SIBA’s ‘Assured Independent British Craft Brewer’ seal can only be used by Full SIBA member breweries like you who are independent, relatively small, and brewing quality beer. The seal is a unique USP in a crowded beer market and resonates with consumers, with more than half saying they would be more likely to buy a beer which carries the seal. In partnership with the Partnering with Croxons who have now sold over 1 million of the unique SIBA Assured Independent printed crowns which are exclusive for SIBA members. To place an order and have your bottles amongst the million of others proudly showing the Assured Independent Craft seal please do so here https://www.croxsons.com/our-products/siba/

REGIONAL MEETINGS: CLASSIFIED ADS Our Classified Ads section on the website allows members the opportunity to advertise products and services and also gives members the chance to search for products and services they may require. For example, brewing equipment for sale can be listed here, job vacancies can be posted or members can look for Supplier Associate Member promotions. Just select the ‘Classifieds’ tab on our website for more information or go to www.siba.co.uk/classifieds

SIBA’s eight regions usually host Regional Meetings throughout the year which allow SIBA members the opportunity to network with other brewers and suppliers, as well as speak to members of the SIBA Senior Management Team regarding anything to do with SIBA Nationally. Due to Coronavirus we are now helping to facilitate these meetings via Zoom. Regional meetings are a great place to network, ask questions and raise any ideas or concerns you may have regarding regional operations, SIBA nationally, or brewing itself.

If you have any questions on any of the above please email membership@siba.co.uk

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


Beers on Tap

Beers on tap!

The SIBA Team could not WAIT to get back to their local pubs and taprooms in April and May as the industry finally began to reopen and the draught beers began to flow once more. We have of course all been enjoying a variety of genuine independent UK craft beers in small pack at home during lockdown and have mentioned a selection of them here on our former ‘Desk Beers’ pages over the last few issues of the magazine. However, nothing can beat a sip of your favourite craft beer in a sunny pub garden or taproom yard, or inside in a buzzing bar or bottle shop. So in honour of these first steps to a full re-opening of the craft beer retail scene, here we bring you a selection of the beers SIBA Staff have enjoyed when they were first allowed ‘out out’ at last (some of us even found enough time between sips to take a photo of the momentous occasion)…


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

Golden State & YPA – Rooster’s Brewing Co (Californian Pale Ale, 4.3% ABV ) (Yorkshire Pale Ale, 4.1% ABV )

Picked by Ian, SIBA’s outgoing National Chair “My first post lockdown "in pub" pint was actually in our [Rooster’s] Brewery Taproom - it was a pint of our current limited edition Golden State - our California Pale Ale. And my first proper pub pint was in my local - the Half Moon Knaresborough - where I savoured their best-selling beer, a pint of Rooster's YPA - aka Yorkshire Pale Ale! It's particularly good to be back inside as we have suffered an Arctic spring in Yorkshire this year.”

Level Up – Elusive Brewing (American Red, 5% ABV)

Picked by James, SIBA’s Chief Executive “The first pint I had back in the pub was an Elusive Brewing Level Up, at the Charlton House Green Goddess pop-up. Charlton House, up until the week before, was being used as a vaccination centre. Once they’d done the priority groups in my area, they shut it down and converted it into this pop-up pub. There was some poetry about that. It was excellent!”

Beers on Tap

Five Points Best – The Five Points Brewing Company (Best Bitter, 4.1% ABV)

Picked by Barry, SIBA’s Head of Public Affairs & Policy “What better place to enjoy my first pint of cask after lockdown that the actual brewery tap! I chose a pint of Five Points Best at the brewery’s Tap Yard in the heart of Hackney, and the weather held out for me and everything. The beer remains one of my favourite session beers. A classic singlehopped Best Bitter, brewed with different British grown varieties. #CaskIsBack.”

Thoroughbred IPA – Hambleton Brewery (Pale Ale, 5% ABV)

Chosen by Sara, SIBA’s Company Secretary “I enjoyed a pint of Thoroughbred IPA at the Aldwark Arms, in Aldwark near York. It’s lovely being out in the sun drinking a real pint of cask beer again! Cans and bottles have been great through lockdown – but nothing quite beats a well kept cask beer!”

Hair of the Dog – Pennine Brewing Co (Dark Blonde, 3.9% ABV)

Chosen by Jenna, SIBA’s Operations Administratorr “I enjoyed a pint of Pennine Hair of the Dog at my parents’ local – The Nags Head in Pickhill. It’s a lovely refreshing dark blonde, brewed locally. What a relief to be back at the pub, drinking some delicious cask beer!”

Grandstand Bitter – Twickenham Brewery (Bitter 3.8% ABV)

Chosen by Neil, SIBA’s Head of Comms & Marketing “The best pint of cask I've had since pubs re-opening was a pint of Twickenham Brewery Grandstand Bitter. It’s hoppy and incredibly flavoursome and complex for just 3.8%. A perfect cask beer and in sparkling condition from The Mute Swan in Hampton Court.”

Orange Crush – Kent Brewery (Orange Pale Ale, 4.5% ABV)

Chosen by Caroline, Editor of SIBA’s Independent Brewer magazine “I joined the exodus from London during lockdown and was absolutely delighted that in my new house in Sussex I had the Engine Room Brewery Tap & Bar right on my doorstep. Needless to say I headed straight down to their quirky cellar bar once it re-opened in May and celebrated my first indoor bar experience in far too long with a pint of Orange Crush from Kent Brewery, just over the county border. A great balance of sweet and bitter orangey flavours means I may not have stopped at just the one…”

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


Business profile: Deya Brewing

Deya Brewing Deya Brewing is very much a family affair, with founder Theo Freyne joined at the helm by his parents Aidan and Reg [Regine]. Back in 2015 when the business was launched, Theo, fresh from completing his Masters in Brewing and Distilling, had a vision to bring American-style hoppy beers to Cheltenham, along with a taproom that would serve as a unique destination for the local community. The beers hit their mark, and alongside the stunning branding, which is created by inhouse artist Tom Hobson, Deya has expertly carved out its niche in the local market and beyond. Both the beers and the artwork are now synonymous with the brewery. And with a newly expanded taproom operation and a thriving webshop, Deya has weathered the challenges of the last 12 months and come out the other side with a healthy business on the cusp of further expansion. A new canning line and increased capacity are on the cards, but Theo is maintaining the razor-like focus on the hoppy styles he produces that is the essence of what Deya is all about. Caroline Nodder from Independent Brewer spoke to Theo at the start of June to find out more about his journey so far, some of the challenges he has faced, and his plans for the future…


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

Business profile: Deya Brewing Brewery Basics

Name: Deya Brewing Founded: 2015 Location: Cheltenham, Gloucestershire Owners: Theo, Aidan & Regine Freyne Annual production: 10,000hl Brewing team: 12 Staff: 29 Core beers: Steady Rolling Man (Pale Ale 5.2% ABV), Into the Haze (IPA 6.2% ABV) & Tappy Pils (Pilsner 4.4% ABV) Production split (cask, keg & small pack): 60% keg, 40% can (pre-Covid) and target now 50/50

How did you come to launch Deya and how has the business developed since then? “I started off as a home brewer and quickly developed the idea of starting a brewery. I did an undergraduate degree at Edinburgh University and then the following year I did the Masters in Brewing & Distilling, so I basically went straight from Uni, to the Masters course, to launching the brewery. I went to Heriot Watt in 2014 and did the Masters there. I got some internships at some different breweries after that, and then launched in 2015. Deya is very American brewery influenced, and focused on hoppy beers – so hoppy pales, hoppy IPAs. I did a three month internship at Odell Brewing in Colorado. So I had some firsthand insight into that and I'd done the Masters by then, so I had a decent technical background as well. I was very American influenced anyway and by spending time there that cemented my interest and that influence on me, and I felt I was ready to launch the company then.”

What is the ethos behind your beers? “The key thing for us on launching was fresh beers. So we had short dates on the beers. It’s about freshness, clarity of flavour and aroma, so the beers are all very clean, very fresh. We make a lot of intense beers, but they should still be balanced and easy drinking even though obviously some of the hoppy beers are very, very intense styles. But there's a freshness and cleanliness, even though they're very intense styles.”

You have very striking branding, who comes up with the design and how important is it to your business? “It's very much fundamental to what we do as a business. Tom Hobson is our artist, and he's a full time employee, so he’s our in-house artist

and that's his full time job. I met Tom before launching the brewery. And since then we've worked together on everything. So I'll come up with the names and the sort of design concepts, but it's very much him, he leads it and he does all the designs. He's fundamental to our brewery and fundamental to the brand aesthetic. We've developed that together, but obviously, he's the artist. We had that from the start. We knew how important that was. I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted but then since then I've learned to let Tom really run with it and not stifle him in any way. Because then there is the creative sort of force behind it, even though I'm giving him the direction. He's brilliant. I mean, it's hard to understate how important he is to the business. In some ways, it's as important for it to stand out as it is to be good, if you know what I mean, obviously, you want it to be fantastic, and I do think his work is fantastic. But the fact that people recognise it as ours is really, really important to us.”

I think to stand out, you just have to have real clarity on what you're doing, what you're about, and then let the customer know in a very clear and concise way so that there can't be any confusion.

How do you stand out in an increasingly crowded market? “I think for us, we are known for what we do. So we're known for juicy, hoppy styles. And it's very clear what we're about. For our consumer, there's no confusion about what we do and what we're about. We're known for hoppy beers. We're known for the big bold cans and our 500ml cans. We just try to make it as clear and simple for people to understand exactly what we're about, and what we do. I think to stand out, you just have to have real clarity on what you're doing, what you're about, and then let the customer know in a very clear and concise way so that there can't be any confusion. I think it certainly is an increasingly crowded market. So I do think standing for something is really important. If you're known for hoppy beers, or you’re known for pilsners, or you're known for mixed fermentation beers, it really gives the customer something to latch on to. I think that's the key from my experience.” Continued on page 27

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


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Business profile: Deya Brewing

How have the events of the last year affected your business? "So we had a weird situation where we'd actually just expanded and moved into new space. The pandemic hit as we got into the new space, so we had a lot of potential production volume. But obviously overnight we went from 60% keg to 0% keg. We already had a very strong online audience. So we were in a very fortunate position where we could roll that out, and retail a lot of our volume online, and then through bottle shops and stuff like that. The whole business changed. It was very challenging. But ultimately, we were fortunate to be in a strong financial position, or strong business position, where we had that captive audience online. And we could just switch to that. But that's not withstanding the sort of challenges that we faced on many levels. It's been odd, very hard and very challenging. But we do feel very fortunate that we had that route to market there that we could focus on. Because of the volumes we then had to package we did have to change our canning line, which was quite difficult during a pandemic. Our previous canning line, the throughput was not sufficient enough for the volumes we were doing. So there were logistical challenges like that. It's just been a really odd, odd year, but we've survived. We managed to move most of our volume into packaged to be honest. We wouldn't have been much down on where we would have been under normal circumstances - maybe like 80%. But the thing for us now is getting the structures in place here to allow us to increase capacity because we've got the brew kit and we're sort of at capacity now. We've just ordered more fermentation vessels, but it's more about getting the structures in place here and staffing and things like that would be more what’s holding us back production wise than demand.”

It was very obvious that, during the pandemic, people were extremely supportive of small breweries, which is pretty heartening.

Longer term how do you think the pandemic will affect the small brewing community in the UK overall? “It's so multifaceted. I think for us, individually, and hopefully not selfishly, we're in a strong position to kick on. We didn't open our taproom last year, we didn't think it was the right thing to do. So we've opened it this year, and that's obviously been really positive. I think the staffing issues in the industry at the moment are obviously significant. A lot of people are having issues getting staff, and the

hospitality industry is not very well supported by the government or local councils, etc. So I think it's difficult. Some people are really, really struggling and some people are able to thrive in this situation. It's very multifaceted and very difficult to give a straight answer on it. I guess that the industry won't be the same ever again, but I hope it can get into a really strong position again, or maybe where it wasn't strong before maybe this will prompt the industry to change. Maybe for the better. It was very obvious that, during the pandemic, people were extremely supportive of small breweries, which is pretty heartening. Even when people are suffering and struggling, there's still that good sentiment and goodwill there. So I think that's a massive positive and I think craft beer is lucky to have such a strong brand following from loads of people and that loads people are interested in craft beer. So it's now the responsibility of the industry and the breweries to make good on that and really cement that.”

Are there any positives you have taken from your experience over the last year? “Absolutely, there are loads. Obviously online sales were very strong, which is great for us as a business, although we sort of knew that beforehand. The pandemic created a sort of false economy, so to speak, that allowed for that to really thrive. We've always focussed on direct to consumer sales, through the taproom and online, so that was always our model. The market forces of the pandemic allowed for that to come into effect. So we actually saw what it was like to have the model that we wanted from the start. But it was short term. So now, we're back out in all the bottle shops - we were in the bottle shops during the pandemic, but we can really facilitate those bottle shops now. We don't plan to go into the supermarkets. Our plan is to service those independents and our taproom and grow our volume but keep the structure we have now in terms of our sales distribution.”

What key challenges are you facing right now as an independent brewery in the UK market? “There are lots of challenges. We re-opened the taproom, which has been fantastic. But obviously it's still under restrictions. We had never opened it under Covid restrictions before so that was a massive challenge for us getting it off the ground. We didn’t open it before because I think fundamentally it just didn’t feel right to open the space. We're a production facility and we had to sort of protect that – our main business is making beers and canning beers and sending them out to trade. And that's what we had to protect. It just didn't feel safe, having people on site, when our taproom is basically in the middle of the brewery. And then also there was the safety of our staff. We just weren't ready to do it. But then this year, obviously, we were chomping at the bit to get going because we had kept on all the taproom staff - our taproom manager and assistant managers were helping out in the warehouse and packing boxes during the pandemic. But we were ready to go this year. We're also a growing business. So there are inherent challenges the whole time, in terms of growing and retaining what we're about as a company, and growing in the right way. My challenge is making sure we're growing in a way that is in keeping with what we are as a company. Then the market is changing quite a lot as well. You know, if we go into another lockdown, our whole production schedule would change. So it's about trying to have stability, but then also be flexible. And that can change as you get bigger. I think that is one of the benefits of being small, that you can change so quickly. So you need to be organised, you need to have your schedule set out, you need to have your supplies in order, etc, etc. You can't just do things on a whim. You need to get the right balance between being organised and structured, but then also having that flexibility.” Continued on page 29

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



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Business profile: Deya Brewing

Has Brexit affected your business? “We do a bit of export, but export has never been that big for us. Last year I think export was about 4% of our business. A fair amount of that has been for events, so when we get invited to festivals in Europe, we'll send beers abroad for those events. We held off on exporting for the first few months after Brexit to try and let things die down. But we've noticed quite a lot of different things. Either goods coming in which have been delayed or pallets going abroad which have been delayed. And I know, speaking to other breweries who rely more on export, that they've really suffered because of Brexit. So there’s no doubt Brexit has had a negative effect on our business. I think it's probably the same for pretty much every business.”

How do you see the retail side of your business developing? “We've always had a taproom, our on-site retail arm. And then outside of that, that's our only physical space, then we have the webshop and then it’s into bottle shops and pubs and independents. It's not in the immediate future to have any more retail sites, we very much see ourselves as a production space. But we will not rule out adding to our potential direct to consumer model - just not in the immediate future, certainly we won’t be opening one in the next 18 months, that's for sure. We open the taproom Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and we have

just moved into Wednesdays as well. It's a big space. Probably inside around 1,500 square foot, and we've got a lot of outside space as well. We run tap takeovers, events, loads of different stuff - it's a really busy space.”

How are you as a business reacting to the recent outpouring of stories about sexism and misogynism in the craft brewing sector? “It's been really shocking seeing everything, and almost more shocking that some of it is not that surprising. I think there are a lot of issues, and it runs very deep and it's a massive point of introspection for the industry. I think for us as a company, you know, we're a small company, but we're growing, and we are really looking inwards at how we can improve what we're about as a company. My Mum [Reg Freyne] is our director and head of HR. And she's got a serious job on her hands to make sure that we really set the right culture here, where we're inclusive to everyone and really make it part of our company culture, and our sort of value ethos, that we are practising what we preach. It's not good enough just to be good people. You’ve actually got to be proactive, and it's been a huge part of the conversations we've been having in the company in the last few months. It's scary. And it's very worrying. And we want to be an excellent company in lots of different ways, and certainly company culture and values, and who we are, is a massive part of that. When you're a growing company, it's

not an excuse, but there can be oversights. We don't want to make those mistakes, so we're trying to be proactive to make sure we don't make those mistakes. The key thing here is that I am the owner of the company. So I might think everyone is fine, but there's someone in the warehouse or someone in packaging. Do we have the right structure in place so that if they do have issues, they can address those issues, and we can address those issues? We're also getting third party advice on how we can improve and get better. We've got 29 employees. Two or three years ago, we were probably 12 employees, we’ve grown massively. So it's a family company, and the family ethos is there, but we have to be so clear, and structured about how that is put across to the employees. And it is going to take a lot of work from us. It's exciting as well to have our eyes opened to how worrying some of their fears can really be. So my Mum is very much leading that for us, which is pretty good, because you've got a director who's a woman, and is very proactive about staff welfare, etc. And there are people within the brewery who have come to me and said, you know, we should do this, or do that. People within the company are actively engaged in it. It is a moment of real introspection and no one's perfect, right? We're learning. We're learning the best way forward and we're trying to be the best company we can be.” Continued on page 31

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


Business profile: Deya Brewing

How important is sustainability to your business?

How does Deya contribute to its local community?

“Massively important, and we've gone pretty deep on sustainability. Last year, we had a full carbon audit done on the whole company. We're now off-setting our whole CO2 output – we’ve invested in peat restoration projects local to the brewery. We've made a host of different changes to how we do stuff to become more sustainable. We put details on our cans with a QR code that takes you to the sustainability page on our website. So for our core beers you know exactly how CO2 it took to create that beer. We track our carbon emissions each month with a portal that we have which measures sustainability, we have someone in the company who's responsible for our sustainability. So for a small company, we've done a lot. We take it seriously. But we can always get better. We can always improve what we do. We went all in on it. But I think that's the only way of doing it. In terms of materials, too, we've changed a lot. All our clothing now is sustainable material. Plastics, we've decreased the amount of plastics we’re using, and if we can change for an alternative option which is more sustainable, then we'll do that. We have monthly sustainability newsletters and discussions about our recycling streams and how we can get better. We've allowed our customers to buy in to that as well. We offer on our website and through our taproom that you can offset your can of beer for 1p per can. We pay around £20k 20 a year in carbon credits to offset our production and we allow customers to buy into that not only emotionally but they can buy in to it also financially. There's so much more we can do. But it's a good start.”

“I think we do a lot. The taproom here is very community facing, it's a massive space that people can enjoy. Recently, we did a beer with Cheltenham Town Football Club, which has been really fun to do. We're have raised money in the past for a local charity called National Star, a college for people with disabilities and learning disabilities. And we have a member of the college that comes in every Wednesday and is starting to work here. So that's pretty exciting for us to facilitate that. I think we have created a community hub here, and then we're interested in helping and supporting local companies and local businesses.”

Are there any current trends in the beer world that particularly excite you?

doing the taproom model. We are near enough to Bristol, which has breweries that were doing that. But we provided that taproom fresh beers in cans and kegs, hoppy beers - we provided that to our local market when I wasn't there. I'm very proud of that.”

What plans do you have for the business for the rest of 2021/22? “We're looking to purchase a new canning line, which will be a significant investment. We're working out the best time to financially commit to that, so we're looking to put in a rotary canning line at some point in the next 12 months. We think on the site that we are on now we can get up to 20,000hl. So we can essentially double in size, but we plan to do that over a number of years.”

What is your all-time favourite beer?

“I think some of the newer UK breweries who are just nailing classic styles are really exciting. Traditional styles - good lagers and good English style beers. I'm not as excited about the pastry stouts and the fruited sours as I am about just well-made continental style lagers or best bitters or whatever it is. I get more excited about the traditional styles of beer.”

What are you proudest of during your time at Deya? “I think the culture that we've created in the company and what we have provided to our local market in terms of our taproom and something that Cheltenham can be proud of. There were other brewers in the local market, but no one was doing what we're doing. So no one was doing keg beer. No one was doing cans. No one was doing hoppy beers. No one was

“I think as a purely drinking beer it would have to be Augustiner Helles.”

Who do you most admire in the craft beer market at the moment and why? “Newbarns, Beat Brewery, Boxcar, and Saint Mars of the Desert as well. They're just doing stuff in a niche in their own way. It's just very well thought out and they are very technical brewers and they really know what they're doing – they’re not simplifying things. They're very clear on what they're about, and they're making fantastic beer. They're not trying to be attention grabbing. They're just making really, really good stuff.”

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


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Brewer's viewpoint: Ryan Grace

How to drive forward in the face of adversity Ryan Grace, the Communications Manager at West Berkshire Brewery, looks back at a year when small independent brewers have got knocked down, but they’ve got up again, and come back fighting…

“The last year, 2020 (and the first half of 2021) was a time for our industry the likes of which we’ve not seen in our lifetimes. The challenges were widespread, and adversely set the vast majority of brewing and hospitality businesses unforetold challenges. Like many others, here at West Berkshire Brewery we made use of the Government’s Furlough Scheme, falling to a skeleton crew of only eight members of staff in March 2020. Days went by, with the team remaining positive, and never taking no for an answer. Opportunities were out there, and we made the best out of them with the resources we had. Having lost 85% of our business overnight as lockdown struck, we didn’t rest on our laurels, and by June we had the full team back, and working hard to save our brewery. We improved our online shop, radically shifted our operations to ensure efficiency, and set the sky as the limit.

of Fridge Pack Machines in the country, enabling us to produce multipacks ready for the off-trade. Of course, this industry was simultaneously booming, whilst the on-trade was shut. The pandemic also gave us a chance to sit back and consider our sustainability. Other than setting ourselves new goals to strive towards, we partnered with Pak Tech to reduce our single-use plastic output. We now clip all beer cans with 100% recycled plastic holders, that can in-turn be recycled once at a consumer’s home. Having lost 85% of our business overnight as lockdown struck, we didn’t rest on our laurels, and by June we had the full team back, and working hard to save our brewery.

Noticing that the rise in home-consumption had led to a huge rise in the growth of many small brewers around the country, whom each shared in our can-do attitude, we vastly expanded our Co-pack and Brew services, to bring small brewers into West Berkshire Brewery to scale their craft using our professional equipment and help them ensure their growth continues. We shifted to a schedule of packaging 24 hours a day, 5 days a week to facilitate this extra demand; exceeding 79 million cans/bottles per year.

And last but not least, from the skeleton crew that remained in March 2020, and the 57 full-time employees that were on our books in total at the time, we’re now operating with almost 80 members of staff, as of May 2021. To this day we’re still recruiting, as continued growth both in terms of contract brewing clients and an increase in our packaging functionality has driven further opportunities for some of the industry’s best talent to come aboard.

This helped us identify new gaps in our technology, and we invested in packaging facilities, including one of only a handful

With a larger base of employees, we sought new initiatives to empower staff at all levels. Thus the WBB Beer Cup 2021 was born – a

chance for our team of both prospective and veteran Brewers to learn from one another, with the prize being to have influenced our Seasonal Beer range of 2022 (and a holiday to the legendary breweries on the Continent, of course!). This has given our team the opportunity to collaborate on exciting brews, encouraging all levels of experience to take part. From the initial mash, to naming and branding the final beers, we’re creating a holistic environment at WBB, in which development is paramount. The winning brews will be crowned and celebrated at an event later in the year, and our teams will put their learnings into practice every day thereafter. It is these opportunities that in hindsight allow us to consider how far we’ve come since March 2020. We’ve been knocked down. But it’s the fight-back that shows your true metal. At the end of it all? We made 85% of the sales of 2019 anyway, which we’re proud of, as the same proportion of our usual trade was closed for much of the year. Our online shop hit sales over twenty times higher than the previous period during the first lockdown, and it remains above the levels seen prior to the pandemic. Our resolution for you is to remain positive, think with agility, and remember – it’s all for the love of beer.” * That’s a lie, I’m not.

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


Meet the Retailer: Real Drinks

Meet the Retailer:

Real Drinks

Issue 6

Back to Reality

Cover Story


Summer 2021

Nick Dolan has been a champion for independent small brewers for over 16 years through his business Real Drinks (formerly Real Ale) which he founded with the intention of showcasing the range of beers available from the UK’s craft brewing community. Growing the business from its foundation in 2005 with one independent bottle shop, Nick and his business partner Zeph now have three shops, each with its own taproom, and continue to seek out new and interesting small producers to showcase. But Real Drinks is not just an independent retail operation in the traditional sense. As a supplier to the large supermarkets, and in fact the largest category supplier of beers and ciders to Marks and Spencers, Nick is able to act as an incubator for

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

small independent brands seeking to grow their distribution into the larger off-trade environment. He will often seek out new small breweries and artisan producers, promote them on a small scale in his bottle shops, hosting events like meet the brewer nights to introduce them to his customers, and if things go well, help them grow their business into supermarkets. With touchpoints at every level of the craft beer sector this places him in a unique position to understand both consumer and retail trends and continually offer his customers something new and different. Caroline Nodder from Independent Brewer spoke to Nick last month for our first ever Meet the Retailer feature…

Meet the Retailer: Real Drinks How did you come to launch Real Drinks and how has the business developed since then?

Business Basics

Name: Real Drinks Founded: 2005 Location: Head office in St. Margaret’s, Twickenham Owners: Nick Dolan & Zeph King Number of retail sites: Three (Twickenham, Maida Vale & Notting Hill) Staff: 25-30 Product categories and sales mix: 80% Beer, 20% made up of range of categories including wine, spirits, seltzers and pre-mix cocktails.

“I founded the business back in 2005. And the reason for that was to basically give small micro-breweries a place on the high street. I started the business stocking 10 or 12 different breweries with all the beers from the breweries bottle conditioned beers and we've grown over time to have three stores and we've also got our office which is based in St. Margaret's down the road from our Twickenham store. We were called Real Ale back in 2005 when I founded the business because it was the descriptor that everyone knew. And I was shocked to find that Real Ale Ltd had not been incorporated and that realale.com, that we still own as a web address, had not been used. And basically, as the business has grown over the last 16 years, we have developed beyond just serving and selling real ales. We started off with bottle condition beers back in 2005, we now offer in our retail stores a huge range of beer. But we also do offer more traditional off-licence products with wines and spirits as well. We are also growing other drink categories like seltzers, pre-mix cocktails, etc. But beer is at the core, effectively. I grew up in South West London. I've got dual citizenship, my mum's Canadian, my dad's English. And I was actually working out in Canada 18 years ago, and one of my best friend's dads has a farm in North Norfolk. And to cut a long story short, I helped him open up a beer shop on his farm when farming was in really dire straits, to diversify the farm. That's been a great success. It's called the Real Ale Shop. And off the back of that, I decided to open up my own beer shop down in South West London. The concept was to sell bottle-condition beer, so it was to sell beers that you could find when you went on holiday and found a new and interesting local brewery, and it was about giving them an avenue to the public in a built up area. We've grown

over the last 16 years to have three stores. And as the craft beer scene has developed we have ridden this wave of new and interesting beers and styles that have come to the forefront. The ethos of the business is still the same - to give new and interesting producers an avenue to market - and we really pride ourselves on that.”

What do you do differently at Real Drinks? “It's important to understand that our business has two major aspects to it, which really mesh well together. We have our retail side of the business, we have our three stores, but we also have what we call our wholesale side of the business. Early on in our growth, we actually got approached by Marks and Spencers to help them launch a range of bottle-condition beers. So we actually supply Marks and Spencers and another couple of supermarkets with beers. Specifically Marks and Spencers we are their biggest category supplier of beers and ciders. So what we do is we help brewers grow. We foster them through our retail stores, and where they want to start going out into the wider market into the larger off-trade market, we can help them go into supermarkets or other retailers to help their ambitions or growth. We help brewers grow. We foster them through our retail stores, and where they want to start going out into the wider market into the larger off-trade market, we can help them go into supermarkets or other retailers to help their ambitions or growth. Everyone has different ambitions of growth so we can tailor things to fit their needs. So for our stores, we're never going to compete with a supermarket purely on a price point but where we can compete is the limited edition beers that we might have in, the small producers, the new to market, the real kind of tip of the spear of the beer industry. And we can have lots of different new interesting styles and try new stuff and help brewers have a voice on the high street. From day one we have done a lot of meet the brewer events. So we have brewers that come into our stores and can meet with our customers and do tastings and do talks. We have found that extremely powerful. And that helps really build brands in our small scale retail stores, which has been really, really good. With the pandemic it’s obviously made it very difficult to do anything like that, but as things go back to normal, we will definitely be reintroducing that part of our business.” Continued on page 37

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





              

Meet the Retailer: Real Drinks Describe your business as it was at the start of the pandemic and how it has changed since? “It's been challenging, but we are very, very blessed to be operating in the off-trade at this moment in time. The off-trade has obviously kept trading through the whole process. And we have made it one of our company missions to support brewers in any way we can. We have been trying to buy as much beer as we can from smaller guys and people who are struggling to try and keep the wolf from the door. For our stores, we had to close for about a month and a half, I think, when the government decided that we weren't a central service, then they changed their mind. We then started to open up our stores. In the past, we've run national websites, we used to run the CAMRA beer club many years ago, so we had the infrastructure in the background to turn our website on quite quickly. So when the pandemic hit and everything locked down, we turned that on and we saw a 2000% growth in that overnight. That was mainly facilitating our customers around our three stores, but national sales as well. I was out in my own car doing deliveries as well as many of the staff who were doing deliveries to facilitate the high demand. And after that initial wave, we then started to open up our stores. Our stores are effectively retail units, but they are taprooms as well. Obviously we couldn't do on-sales. So we had to reconfigure our stores back to more of a traditional off-licence setup. And we've seen very good sales through the period. It's been with challenges, but we have seen decent sales because obviously all the pubs unfortunately have been closed. They're all hopefully opening back up now and I'm really hoping the on-trade will bounce back and the hospitality sector will bounce back. But it's going to be, I think, some tough yards still ahead. We do feel that dynamic has changed. Before the pandemic I think it was something like 49% on-trade to 51% off-trade, and I think there would have been a quite seismic shift now and that the off-trade will be a significantly higher percentage than on-trade in the market going forward. We've seen a trend towards people treating themselves a little bit more being slightly more adventurous with the styles or the ABV of products they might try and starting to play around with the different beers that we have to offer, which is really encouraging. I think there's actually been a blossoming of beer knowledge.”

Longer term, how do you think the pandemic will affect retailers like yourself? “I think there are a few factors, which we can't ignore. There's the factor of the cost that people will be able to buy products at in supermarkets, which will be cheaper than pubs. People always ask me, ‘how do you survive on the high street?’ Well, the way that we believe we have to survive and will survive going forward, is we have to offer not just really great products, we have to offer a good experience and good customer

service. We can offer different products, we can offer more unique products, and we can offer a service and understanding and talk to people about the product. And people want the experience and the understanding and the product knowledge and that holds a high position in the value chain. The dynamic between the off-trade and on-trade has moved more towards the off-trade. So I think brewers are going to have to accept that and find solutions for avenues to get into the off-trade more. Have the right kind of package and have the beers in the right packaging format, etc, etc. But the pubs are not dead by any means. And the pub industry will bounce back. And we just really hope it comes back as strong as before.”

What do you think is the key to a successful online operation? “It is a challenge. For us the entire online experience was really focused on our customer base, our current customer base around our three stores. Ensuring that we were facilitating the customer base that we had spent the last 14 and a half years building up prior to the pandemic. So it was really focused on localised marketing, although we do obviously do national

marketing. During the pandemic we hired a social media manager and that's paid huge dividends to us in upping our game in all areas of our social media.”

How do your taprooms operate within your business model? “Initially when I started the shop in 2005 it wasn’t a taproom. But as the beer industry has actually developed, we thought it would be really a great thing to incorporate a taproom. We went through a kind of a rebranding, maybe seven or eight years ago, just freshening up the look of our stores and the retail environment. And we decided that we would want to get a licence for on-trade as well as the off-trade we already had and bring keg and cask in. We found that has really added to the ambience of all of our stores really making them more of a community hub than they were previously. It’s a really nice blend in that we get people coming in for a couple of pints here and there, and still have customers coming in to do their weekly beer shop. And that's worked very well.” Continued on page 39

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


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Meet the Retailer: Real Drinks

What do you see as the key challenges currently for a business like yours? “To be honest with you, with Brexit and the pandemic combined it has been an interesting last 18 months. We have made some gains. We have changed ways of working throughout the whole business. We obviously have our retail stores but half the business is based in an office. None of those people have been in the office for the last 12 or 13 months, so we've had to adapt to different ways of working through the whole business. And the more flexible ways of working we're definitely going to take forward We won't lose any of those. We're going to take all the positive things that we've managed to do, the new ways of working and new initiatives and take all those into how we operate when things get back to what everyone is calling the norm, whatever the norm is! We will take all the lessons we've learned and fold those in. The last 18 months has been about making sure we survive and making sure we're here at the back end of this whole pandemic being over. And as Brexit works its way through, being able to work our way through any effects that come from that which we may not have seen as of yet. The pandemic could have masked a number of different things that are still yet to come down the line. So we're optimistic but we’re tentative and we don’t want to get too ahead of ourselves and just make sure that we are staying solid.”

Have you seen any change in the product mix you are selling since the pandemic began? “We’ve definitely seen people being more adventurous and we’ve seen a move to low and no as well. It's absolutely brilliant, brewers are producing some absolutely amazing, good quality, lower alcohol - not just low and no but lower ABV – beers. I really love my hops. And there are a lot of pale ales out there, or session

IPAs and session pale ales even, which are between 3% and 4% and absolutely delicious. We've seen people moving more to lower alcohol, because, you know, we are a nation of drinkers. And during the pandemic, obviously, people have been drinking quite a bit, which is great, but they've been drinking responsibly. And so they've been buying some lower alcohol stuff and no alcohol stuff, but then they've also traded up to try some Imperial Porters or Imperial Stouts and trying some lovely sour beers on the market, we have seen quite a big range of purchasing across lots of different styles. We've also seen definitely, lagers coming back and high quality British lagers. So people have been really shopping around a lot of the different categories that we offer.”

How have you kept in touch with regular customers over the last year? “We have run a couple virtual events. But to be completely honest with you, it's been quite busy with people actually being able to come in to our shops. Because of the pandemic, there had been a portion of our customers that basically were self-isolating, shielding, and they wanted a service that could deliver beers the next day, to their door. So we got to know the customers who were shielding so we could leave it on their doorstep, make sure that we moved well away before they opened their door, and they'd leave it out overnight so that they know there's no risk of infection from us to them on any of the cardboard or any of the products. We've had other customers who we turn up to the door and are like, ‘oh my god, you're the fourth emergency service here, bringing me my booze on a Friday afternoon’ after their 1,000th Zoom meeting of the week! It’s just been a blend of many different things. For some people we'd be their only social interaction - the only people that they have coming to their door that they could talk to."

How do you, as an independent retailer, work with the large supermarkets? “We work with supermarkets, but we're also 100% independent. Our three stores are completely independent. How we pick products is around, do we like the taste of something? It's not about price it’s about flavour. So is the flavour good? We like to blind taste things. And then we look at the branding and the price after that, but really it's about flavour for our stores. And we are always trying to look for something new and interesting and kind of push the boundaries, so that we offer our customers new and exciting products all the time, as well as having a core range that they can rely on and know is of great quality. But then obviously, because we do have this other side of business, we like to see ourselves as a middle kind of accelerator for brewers. So they can come into our stores and start selling products and often they have just started. And then as they grow, we're here to help them grow in any way, shape, or form. They can get to the point of going through supplying lots of independent stores, and start to venture out to get into the supermarket game, which obviously is about volume, increasing the quality, and we're then able to help them with that. We have a whole technical team in the business and we can go and help brewers ensure that they have the right practices in place to take those next steps. It's about supporting. We have a business that we truly believed from day one was about giving small micro-breweries an independent place on the high street. And that's what we're about. But we can also then help them at the appropriate time get into the right supermarket for them.” Continued on page 41

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


Meet the Retailer: Real Drinks

You recently won an award for Best Independent Retailer at the SIBA Business Awards. What did that mean to you and the team? “It was absolutely brilliant to be recognised by you guys, we really, really appreciate it. We're an Associate Member of SIBA and we live and breathe beer, so it's been very nice to be recognised by our peers, that we are a good retailer. We've been in the market for the last 16 years, quite a long time now in comparison to some of our compatriots, and there's a lot of hard work that goes on behind the scenes.

We have a really good group of people working in the business at the moment. And they're the people who actually make the business, it's not me.

the market, they help us move the business forward on a daily basis by finding new and interesting things. We are very grateful for the award, but it's really not for me, it's really for the staff who have made the business what it is.”

What are you proudest of during your time at Real Drinks? “I suppose that we're here today. And that we're moving forward, and the future looks very positive. I suppose I'm proudest of the staff that we have. Because I know it sounds really corny, but I know what it's like to run a one man band, I had a shop with three or four people in working part time for me. One guy who actually still works in the business and has been in the business from the beginning. And there's only so much you can do as one person. But the business has accelerated, we've had growth every single year, and I'm very proud of that, and very proud of the people who've actually made that happen.”

What is your all-time favourite beer? I founded the business back in 2005, but that business would not be what it is today without all the staff that we have. We have a really good group of people working in the business at the moment. And they're the people who actually make the business, it's not me. It's the people living and breathing and working in the business that do it. I'm here talking about many different areas in our business, the guys and girls who are buying the different beers and finding the new and interesting beers in

“I feel there are so many different categories within beer, that I like different things at different times. So if I was going round to a friend’s house and going to have dessert like a chocolate cake or something I would take a Boone Creek. But if I was going down to my local pub in St. Margaret's, the Crown, I'd probably go for a pint of Citra. But I go through phases of drinking different styles, and every week or two, probably, I change to a new style.”

Who do you most admire in the craft beer retail market at the moment and why? “There are a lot of independent stores who are doing some really good stuff. There's not one particular one I could pull out of the herd, but when I opened the store back in 2005 there was maybe one other craft beer store in London, which then about three weeks after we opened, they closed. And now, there's maybe 50 or 60 different specialist craft beer stores in London. And that tells the story that there's not one person who's doing it really well, there's a whole bunch of people doing a really good job of promoting the beer category, which I think is really great.”

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


Supplier viewpoint: Crisp Malt

Malts from the past for beers of the present Crisp Malt takes a look at how using heritage ingredients from the past can help product distinctive modern beers for today’s consumer more interested that ever before in the provenance of what they eat and drink… More and more people like to know what goes into their food and drink. There is much interest in ingredients, provenance, sustainability, craft. Hence the proliferation of foods containing ‘ancient grains’. Hence the opportunity for beers containing ‘heritage malts’. These malts are from historic barleys, which had been preserved in a specialist seed bank. A few years ago, our collaborating partners used a handful of seeds for propagation. Fast forward to now and there is enough grain for each variety to take its turn in the traditional floor maltings at Crisp. “Grains of heritage barleys that have been floor malted are different from other malts,” says Crisp technical director, Dr David Griggs. “Biting into them, you get subtly different flavours and character. Brewers use them to add real depth of flavour to their beers.

"Many brewers who start off by trying heritage malts for historic beer styles end up loving them so much that they include them in other beers where they are looking for stand-out flavour.”


“Over and above the intrinsic benefits of hand turned, floor malted malts, there are also the benefits of historic authenticity. Brewers looking to faithfully reproduce beer styles from the past base their recipes on heritage malts for credibility – and the story. “Interestingly though, many brewers who start off by trying heritage malts for historic beer styles end up loving them so much that they include them in other beers where they are looking for stand-out flavour.” Crisp produces four different Heritage Malts, hand turned on their historic floor maltings– and there are likely to be others in the future. “Forgive the wait for any future additions,” he says, “but they take years to develop. Not every heritage barley we trial is going to reach our exacting standards for malt.”

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

Supplier viewpoint: Crisp Malt

Chevallier was the main malting barley grown in Britain, loved by maltsters and used by brewers across the nation. Fast forward to the 21st century. Chevallier and thousands of other older cereals have disappeared from the fields, superseded by modern varieties with better yields. All that remains of the older cereals are seeds carefully preserved in seed-banks. Crisp worked with the John Innes Centre and Morley Research Centre to propagate the Chevallier barley. Again, so fine were the grains, so good the malt, and so successful the brewing that the maltsters knew they were on to something. Chevallier will never again be the go-to ingredient for 100% of brewers as it once would have been in its heyday. But it will be a rare treat for brewers looking for that superspecial ingredient – and a rare treat for drinkers looking for that super-special beer. Haná Haná holds a legacy as being the first ever lager-beer grain. It famously made up in the mash of the first ever golden pilsner lager created by Josef Groll in the nineteenth century.

image Matthew Curtis

No.19 Maris Otter What is No.19? In times gone-by, all maltings were floor maltings. Not many have survived. Crisp has one of just 3 floor maltings in the country. The company used to have numerous floor maltings, out of which, number 19 survived the ravages of the last century. “The branding of our floor malted Maris Otter as No 19 is a way of doffing our caps to our malting history, at the same time as referencing Maris Otter’s great triumph-over-adversity story,” says David. Most modern barley varieties are superseded within 5 or 6 years. Maris Otter was the go-to variety in the 60s and 70s; nearly fell into extinction in the 90s; was rescued, re-selected and revived; and is now 56 years old.

Its survival is largely attributable to demand from a handful of brewers who kept faith in the specialist ingredient while everyone else was heading mainstream. “The flourishing of craft brewing has massively boosted interest in this extraordinary barley variety and the amazing base malt it creates,” he says. Maris Otter accounts for less than 10% of the malt used by brewers in the UK, but is the key ingredient in a disproportionate number of award-winning beers. It is widely celebrated for the characterful, flavoursome beer it produces. Brewers cite its consistent performance in the mash tun as a compelling reason for its use not just in Britain but among craft brewers across the world. Chevallier This wonderful heritage malt is rich and biscuity, with its own unique aroma and flavour. For nearly 100 years after being first selected,

The subsequent global success of the pilsner beer style spawned the planting of Haná barley in many countries around the world. The original 19th century Haná is internationally recognised as the classic genetic progenitor of modern top-quality brewing barleys. Crisp began work on Haná in 2014. A few Haná seeds were planted. Grains from that tiny crop were sown the next year. A small crop provided enough grain to malt on a lab scale. The results were promising. So subsequent generations of seeds were sown until there were sufficient to harvest and process on the company’s 1870s floor maltings. “We hope Josef Groll would have been proud of his legacy – not just the beer, but also of the trigger for the revival of Haná malt,” says David. Newest Arrival Plumage Archer Plumage Archer is Crisp’s newest arrival! Contact Crisp for further details.

Crisp Malt is a British malting company that supplies the highest quality English, Scottish and Organic malts to award-winning breweries and distilleries For more information go to www.crispmalt.com

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


Business profile: Vault City Brewing

Vault City Brewing There are not many people that can say they’ve housed an HMRC registered excise warehouse in the spare bedroom of their small two-bed flat, but then nothing about the story of Vault City Brewing founder Steven Smith-Hay is exactly typical. Steven and his partner Adele, along with former brewer Jonathan Horn, founded the brewery in 2018. But for several years before that, Steven, then working as an IT consultant, had been brewing on a semi-industrial basis from his own flat, with brew kit in the cellar and beer taps in his kitchen. The domestic operation had taken off to such an extent that the flat was approved as a brewery. His spare room became an HMRC approved warehouse, storing the beer he produced, and his local BrewDog bar allowed him to launch with a very successful tap takeover, showcasing the modern sour beers that were the focus of his venture. It was clear from the start that his beers were popular enough for him to make the move into the industry


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

full time, and Steven left the IT world and, via a short stint in rented space in Dundee, he launched Vault City in 2018, eventually moving it to its current permanent site in the Portobello area of Edinburgh. Vault City has stayed true to its roots in sour beers, with a mission to make the category more accessible to a wider range of beer drinkers. With sours still considered niche, Steve has sought to introduce fruit flavours and accents that create more sessionable beers than the category has historically offered. And with a bar on the way, and plans in progress for a ‘secret garden’ inspired 250 person taproom on the brewery site – potentially with a waterfall - Steven is keen to give consumers the new and exciting beer experiences they are increasingly seeking out. Independent Brewer’s Editor Caroline Nodder caught up with him last month as the Scottish market was beginning to re-open…

Business profile: Vault City Brewing Brewery Basics

Name: Vault City Brewing Founded: 2018 Location: Portobello, Edinburgh Owners: Steven Smith-Hay and Adele Wilkie Annual production: 3,000hl Brewing team: 8 full time Staff: 9 in total Core beers: Raspberry Sour (4.5% ABV) and Tropical Sour (5.2% ABV) Production split (cask, keg & small pack): 70% small pack 30% keg (pre-Covid predominantly keg)

How did you come to launch Vault City and how has the business developed since then? “I was an obsessed homebrewer. I actually brewed more in 2017 than I have since unfortunately. Which is quite a funny thing to say now that we're producing a lot more. We had the homebrew kit set up in my kitchen. I had a cellar underneath that I used for a huge fermentation project - long term barrel-aged stuff in the styles we are producing now but also clean beers as well. It got to the stage where I put a draught system in the house and managed to pretend to my better half and co-founder it was about renovating the kitchen, but the reality was I wanted some beer taps installed. Always having dreamt of starting a brewery it was then a case of what can we do? Can I get my flat to being a registered brewery? Yes I can. So we started to look at what equipment we could put in. I think maybe calling it basic is the wrong word, but it got the job done. We got the kit from Brew Builder - a 400l kit. And we were actually limited to 400 litres by the electrical cable that came into the house, because I was advised by an electrician that we were close to melting it! We had specialists getting the wiring done, the cellar was turned into an even bigger fermentation space and the spare room was turned into an HMRC registered excise free warehouse. We had a sign on the bedroom door saying ‘you're entering an excise warehouse’. So it was all a bit mad, but we brewed our first beer, an elderflower sour, and the whole piece was trying to do something that hadn't really been done in the UK before by being a dedicated modern sour fruit-forward brewery. There are others that we absolutely look up to and that were there before, but we saw in the market that what I was making wasn't being made on a commercial scale really. But that, of course, comes with its uncertainties, because you could have opened up an IPA brewery and you know there's a proven market there for it. So starting in the flat was a great way to start with low risk and test the market. And it was almost immediately that we realised we literally couldn't produce it fast enough. There weren’t enough fermenters, there wasn't enough space, there weren't enough brew days - I couldn't brew every other day in a small two bedroom flat in Murrayfield! We couldn’t sell direct as we didn’t have a premises licence for the house so we self-distributed around Scotland. You're only talking about maybe like two or three kegs and 30 cases of beer, so we had a lot of bottle shops who we knew through being big into drinking beer and we just dropped in a few samples and away you go. The local BrewDog bar for us was Lothian Road and that was actually one of our first customers. And before we knew it, they were inviting us in for a tap takeover. If I put myself back in my homebrewer shoes, it was crazy to think that we were taking over taps in one of my favourite bars. I think we still hold the record of the only beer to outsell Punk IPA

in that bar on a given night. So it went really well. Then the opportunity came up to move into a small rented space at 71 Brewing up in Dundee. We took the opportunity to purchase a couple of 40hl fermenters from Malrex. So fairly quick expansion there, but the mantra that we've always had is that it’s like taking your kid to buy shoes that are two sizes too big so they can grow into them. Our fermenters were a few sizes too big. It worked really well, and we actually released our first beer from there in November 2019. And then quickly placed an order for two more fermenters after it looked like we needed a bit more capacity - export seemed to take off in quite a big way. Selling a lot of beer to Italy, Spain and we've done quite a bit since then so we’re in up to 30 odd export markets. It's just a real shame to see a lot of it drop off due to Brexit and Covid - predominantly Brexit.” It got to the stage where I put a draught system in the house and managed to pretend to my better half and co-founder it was about renovating the kitchen, but the reality was I wanted some beer taps installed.

How has the last year affected your business? “We bought the new fermenters, filled them up, so we had four fermenters of beer ready and then Covid hit. So that was a big change, we had to completely change the business model and go from sending beer out to distributors up and down the country to looking to work a lot more closely with our customers, be that trade or direct to consumer. We managed to spin up the webshop pretty quickly. And at that stage, it was just myself and the marketing manager Andy Gibson, so there were two of us and on the second weekend that we had the webshop open we had over 700 orders, which weren't even in bottle yet. We had a manual bottling machine. So it was all systems go, and I was taking the early shift at 3am till 2pm and Andy would then come in at 3pm till 2am. It was a bit crazy. But we did it. Then it looked like the business was doing alright and Tesco approached us about having a look at entering into the world of supermarkets. We approached that very cautiously, but that prompted the move to our own location and to get back to Edinburgh with the new site in Portobello. We took the keys in October last year, and we brewed our first beer here in December.” Continued on page 47

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


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Business profile: Vault City Brewing

What would you say your ethos is at Vault City? “Traditionally sours would be the end point of your beer journey, so to speak. So maybe you'd start with being a lager drinker and then maybe you’d see something like Punk IPA and start drinking IPAs, then you’d move on to pales, and maybe move on to stouts. And for most people, you'd only really ever get to sours if you're at the end of that beer journey and really explored absolutely everything, and sours are the final frontier. But for us, it's all about accessibility, and approachability. So the sours that we make, we use flavours that you're probably quite familiar with. Some of our most well-loved beers, like the Skies series that use Scottish fruit - we've done it with strawberries, raspberries, cherries - paired up with hibiscus and vanilla. So it creates this really creamy, almost strawberry sweetness. We are championing modern sour beer and we find that once people do try it, it’s less than one in 10 don’t go back for a second drink. Because it's something completely different. And it's really accessible. This is not sours as they have been in the past, like some of the beers I love to drink - hugely complex farmhouse ales, and Belgian gueuzes and lambics. That's not what we're about. You can either dive right into it and go through the complexities of the mixed fermentation based beer that we produce. Or you can take a drink and go ‘that tastes like strawberry lemonade, I like it!’”

How do you see consumer tastes evolving? “I think there are so many great breweries in the UK making so many great beers, so many great traditional styles, so many great more modern styles. I think people really are looking for new

experiences. Having the ability to explore even when not being able to leave your front door, I think things get stripped away from you, and you want to look at exploring different things. With the webshop launching and being such a new brewery, at the start of Covid it meant that when we did release beers, there was a bit of excitement around it.

People are getting more adventurous and people are trying new experiences. And we're trying to reflect that in some of the projects we've got coming up. Like the new Haymarket bar, that’s going to be one of the smallest bars in the UK

We've heard a couple of dozen times and had some lovely comments from people saying ‘your Sour Sunday releases actually helped me get through the deepest, darkest times of the pandemic’. And you can't get a much better compliment than that. So I think people are getting more adventurous and people are trying new experiences. And we're trying to reflect that in some of the projects we've got coming up. Like the new Haymarket bar, that’s going to be one of the smallest bars in the UK, it’s just over 20sqm including the toilet! But it’s there to give people a taste of what we are all about. It is the kind of place where you’d go and sample beer in a third, or even smaller measures, and try a whole bunch of different styles. It's all about exploring, exploring the styles that we make, and the experiences that we provide - we're also

putting in a 250 person capacity taproom into our Portobello brewery. It's got a downstairs bar with a tree trunk in the middle of it. And if you go upstairs, you're into this kind of beautiful forest/secret garden type thing, with swings and firepits, and possibly a waterfall - although nobody can tell me how to get a waterfall into an industrial estate!”

How is the Scottish craft beer market developing? “So the beer scene in Edinburgh is exploding, it's incredible. A couple of people that I know have breweries that are moving to the area, still to come, and people that are already in the area - Newbarns for example - they're making exceptional beer. They're making the kind of stuff that I was making when I was home brewing in the flat, table beer, pales, IPAs, and they're just doing an absolute stand up job of it. I've got their beers almost constantly on tap in the house and don't want to admit how many kegs I go through! Then you've got the kind of the more longer term breweries, although they’re still so young - people like Bellfield and Stewart - the quality of beer coming out of Edinburgh is outstanding. Then of course, in Glasgow, you've got the likes of Overtone and Acid and loads more. It's just, they really seem to be championing super modern craft here in Scotland. I think once things have opened up a little bit more and things get a little bit more back to normal, we'll be a force to be reckoned with - up there with your Manchester's, your London's, and people will actually want to come to Edinburgh for a craft beer holiday.” Continued on page 49

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


Business profile: Vault City Brewing Supporting independents has been a key plank of your strategy. Tell me a bit more about that. “I mean, how could we not be supportive of people who've been so supportive of us? The craft beer scene in the UK is changing. We've accepted that, we've seen that we couldn't take another Covid with the kind of operating costs now that we have our own premises. We've gone from two staff members to eight plus part timers in a year. With that comes cost and with cost comes risk. So we've looked at the Tesco piece and saw that as a great way to support the day-to-day running of the business and essentially keep the lights on if there was to be another major global event. But it was the independents who are the ones that got us to where we are. So the independents in Scotland, for example, these are the ones that we delivered to every week and would champion our beer and shout about it. And they are the ones that really took us to the forefront. That really helped us make a lot of noise about what it is that we're looking to do and what it is that we're looking to achieve. And I think ultimately, at the end of the day, we're having to tread quite a careful line in a modern climate where if you go to America, then you'll go to a grocery aisle full of craft beer. If you go in the UK, you'll see a couple of shelves a year ago, and maybe a couple of bays now. So it's moving in that direction. But we wanted to make sure that we continue to support the independents. And one of the biggest things we did was to take a big chunk out of our margin on the session sour range, and we've significantly dropped the price margin to try and get them down from, you know, between £4 and £4.50 on the shelf to £3.30 to £3.50. Breweries need independents, and independent bottle shops and bars need breweries. And we're not going to turn around and leave them in the dust. It's not what we're about.”

Longer term how do you think the pandemic will affect the small brewing community in the UK overall? “It's difficult to tell really. It has changed consumer habits. So I think what we'll see coming out of it is obviously people come back to the pub, and go out for drinks a lot more. But I think the big piece, the real question mark for everyone really is will people drink from home more? Because I've got a lot of friends and family who weren't the type to have a glass of wine in on a Friday night, or Saturday night, but they’re now buying in craft beers direct from breweries and drinking in their house. That's a tangible change. But I do think overall

coming out of Covid the whole industry will see a boost. I think people appreciate that you don’t know what you've got till it's gone. People appreciate the time spent with friends and family. And for me, certainly, a lot of that is centred around the pub. I don't see people wanting to stop that. But I think consumer habits may well have changed long term in regards to getting used to ordering direct from breweries. In the last year, people went to seek out a variety of beer from one brewery to get an idea of them. I think everyone's seen a significant increase to online sales. Whether that will continue, nobody knows.”

There has been a recent outpouring of stories on social media, starting in the US, of sexism and misogyny within the beer sector. Do you think the UK brewing community is inclusive enough or can more be done to make it so? “We did actually put a post out last week on that topic. One of our distributors was named in the stories. And we then asked them about the allegations and we didn't get a satisfactory response. So we dropped them. That was our biggest export customer that we took off. We take it very seriously. We've got a female co-founder and Adele has worked in bars and been in the industry and the stuff that I've heard from her is just appalling. It's a challenge. And it's a real thing. And I think it's that whole piece of by being silent on the matter, you're not going

to help things. So we've been pretty vocal about it. And I think that there needs to be a significant amount of change, because we've got a part to play in making sure that it’s about beer at the end of the day, there shouldn’t be any ‘-isms’ attached to it. There needs to be a significant amount of change, because we've got a part to play in making sure that it’s about beer at the end of the day, there shouldn’t be any ‘-isms’ attached to it. It's a great product that's designed to give people great times. It's a great product that's designed to give people great times. And if we can do anything to help make that as inclusive a space as possible then we'll do it. We showed all the staff the story and the allegations made, and showed the response and sat down all of us and had a chat about it. And we decided that it didn't gel with the morals and values of Vault City so that was an easy decision for us to then just walk away. Whether it's true or not, we don't know, but it was more the response to the allegations that led me to an unfortunate and difficult decision to walk away.” Continued on page 51

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


Business profile: Vault City Brewing

How important is your environmental impact to the business? “I hate waste. I hate plastic that is one way disposable. Even if it's 99% recyclable, then we're still creating a problem that's going to exist for a long time. So I think as an industry, we need to come up with a better way of getting beer around the country in kegs. Because we're all sending these daft disposable kegs up and down the country when we could in theory club together and have something a little bit more sensible. A sustainable, reusable package. I think something has to be done there. And I think it's not talked about enough. The amount of waste that we create as a relatively small brewery is staggering. You know, we recycle as much as we can, but it's still scary to see how much waste is produced. And I think, you know, we all need to take personal accountability for what we do. We've taken the accountability, but we've not made any steps to address it. So that's something that’s high on my priorities to look at. To ensure that we're not causing any harm, which is kind of what the whole Vault mantra is – to do no harm.”

You distribute to a significant number of countries outside the UK, has Brexit affected this channel? “Well, I can tell you the numbers. We went from a peak of £100,000 a month down to £12,000. So significant. And we're lucky that that was balanced by an increase in demand in the UK, so we weathered that storm. But, you know, that's a significant chunk. It's not like we're not pushing it or anything. I think we're now exported to 30 countries, we are maybe in

12 to 15 on a regular basis, but you can never really tell if it was the pandemic or leaving the EU that was the cause. But we've had horror stories of beer taking six, seven weeks to get to France and beer being stuck in customs. And for us, that's less of a concern. If you look at a hoppy brewery if you've got cans sat in a non-coldstore for seven weeks then they're not going to show up in peak condition to whatever market it is that you're trying to get to. It's just staggering to me that we decided to push forward with statistically significant change in our economic standing during the middle of a pandemic. We are seeing a recovery to a degree but I'm not forecasting for pre-Brexit levels for the next two years. We're exploring other options, it's actually easier to get beer to the rest of the world at the moment than it is to get it into Europe.” Opening the Portobello brewery was huge - I still sometimes walk into the brewery and go ‘this was in the kitchen two years ago’.

What is your proudest achievement so far at Vault City? “I think opening the Portobello brewery was huge - I still sometimes walk into the brewery and go ‘this was in the kitchen two years ago’. Also having such a great team around us and having such an interesting product that didn't really exist a couple of years ago. It was also quite a proud moment walking into my local Tesco where I've done my weekly shop for the last five years and walking down the alcohol

aisle there’s two beers that came out of the Portobello brewery.”

What plans do you have for the business for the rest of 2021 and beyond? “Well I mean two weeks ago we didn't have a Haymarket bar planned – I was driving into work and saw a big ‘for sale’ or ‘to let’ sign and thought ‘what if we turn it into a bar?’ It is such a moving piece, but the taproom for us is the next big milestone. We're working with a really talented design agency Studio So and they've done a really good job for us. It is going to be a sort of a Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory for adults. That's going to be exceptional. And then going forward from there, I think it's all about trying to champion this new style of beer that we believe shouldn't be a niche nerdy product, basically trying to be accessible. We're also moving to a four-day working week, across the year. We've got a great ethos, and we've got great staff and we're trying to keep people as happy as possible. We do actually have a £500 a year hobby fund as well, where we pay towards someone’s hobby. The reason it's a hobby fund not just a pay rise, is it has to be on something that you enjoy, not just a new couch or kitchen, because it's over and above your paycheck. We’re trying to champion real wages for everyone in the industry. And we've set a minimum living wage of 1.1, which is 10% more than what the living wage is. We don't just want our staff to live - we want them to go enjoy themselves.”

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



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Business advice: Legal

It’s time for a restart H&S check-up In this article, Head of Napthens Health and Safety, Chris Walker, explains the importance of getting back to basics on health and safety since the pandemic… Over the past few weeks I’ve been getting out and about more and enjoying life including outdoor hospitality following the easing of lockdown restrictions in England.

As employees return (potentially from furlough) to meet rising demand for your products and services, and as new employees join your business and adapt to new ways of doing things – what have you done to remind But viewing the situation as a health and safety them of or educate them in the basic health and safety controls that were previously in specialist, unfortunately what I’ve seen has place and ensure their personal safety isn’t shown yet again, that in managing the risks compromised by lapses in their memories of from one hazard, other issues and risks are created which otherwise wouldn’t have existed. the safe ways to do things? Those returning to work after any period I’ve seen fire exits blocked by reorganised shopping aisles and queuing areas across busy of absence and employees that are new to your business need to be inducted, informed car parks forcing passers-by to walk in the and trained on the hazards and controls road – both easily rectified, but a reminder of in your business. Without this they are at how easy it is to get distracted and lose focus on the significant hazards in our businesses in a significantly increased risk of workplace the pursuit of managing newly identified ones! accidents and injuries. What I’m really keen to raise awareness of is the need to ensure the health and safety basics in your breweries, bars, pubs and restaurants are covered. It’s great that we’re getting back to business and the road ahead looks positive, but there are plenty of key health and safety issues that haven’t gone away in the hospitality sector. The impact of dealing with the recent crisis doesn’t excuse employers and other duty holders from the responsibilities they’ve always had. Managing health and safety in your business to ensure risks are suitably managed remains your responsibility. Adapting to COVID-secure working is no excuse for letting previously well-established health and safety standards slip. If we take things right back to basics, as a business owner you have a legal duty to ensure that the people who work for you, access your premises and use your services are kept safe. This includes maintaining your premises in a condition which doesn’t create safety risks, implementing safe systems of working and maintaining work equipment so that it can be used without creating additional risks. I’m going to ask you to give your business a restart health and safety check-up!

Has the prolonged shut down or slow down in your business created additional risks that you’ve not considered? Has the prolonged shut down or slow down in your business created additional risks that you’ve not considered? For instance, has the risk of legionella in your water systems been properly managed while usage of the premises you occupy has been reduced? Have legally required maintenance, inspections and tests of equipment and systems in your business been

interrupted by lockdown restrictions? Your forklift trucks, gas installations and pressure systems still need to have had their statutory examinations, your fire system still needs to have been maintained and the condition of your premises and work equipment closely checked for deterioration before increasing occupancy or reoccupying takes place. Have training arrangements and required training refreshers all been kept up to date? For instance, have all of your trained first aiders, forklift operators and fire marshals had the necessary refresher training - or has the pandemic interrupted this? Of course, as with all matters affecting the health and safety of persons connected with your business activities, it’s not just the potentially devastating effects on an individual that will concern you. Fines resulting from prosecutions for health and safety breaches quickly run into the tens of thousands of pounds for the simplest of breaches and can go far beyond that level, into the millions, if more serious harm is risked. So, let’s get back to business - but let’s do it safely - protecting you, your people and your business. Napthens Health and Safety is a trading name of ATG Health and Safety Consultants Limited. ATG Health and Safety Consultants Limited is a limited company incorporated in England and Wales with registered company number 5172986. It is a business providing Health and Safety consultancy which is not regulated by the SRA.

For advice on this topic or on legal issues affecting your business, please contact SIBA Legal Helpline on 0845 6710277 North West Law firm LLP is a SIBA supplier associated and Gold Standard Sponsor. The firm has a team of specialists looking after legal requirements of clients in the leisure and licenced trade sector, with clients including Daniel Thwaites Plc and Titanic Brewery. Napthens manage the SIBA Legal Helpline which offers legal advice and guidance on a wide range of legal issues affecting your business, including: General commercial, intellectual property, corporate finance, dispute resolution and litigation, commercial property, licensing, employment law and HR advice. Any enquiry through the helpline will receive up to 1 hour of free legal expertise (if further work is required, you’ll be advised of the appropriate charging structure). Full details of the helpline can be found on the SIBA Members Toolbox.

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


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Business advice: Consumer insight

Lockdown legacies Katy Moses, the MD at insight specialist KAM Media, looks at how changes in consumer behaviour during lockdown could be here to stay…

One of the bonuses of lockdown #27 or whatever we’ve come out of, is that I decided to treat myself and Mr Katy to a restaurant meal kit, once a week. I’ve really enjoyed the deliveries I’ve had so far (Cote, Pasta Evangelists, Pizza pilgrims, Hakkasan, the list goes on.) And as time ticks on a new habit has been formed in the Moses household, Friday night is ‘meal kit night’. I don’t see that changing any time soon and I’m not alone. Recent research we carried out, in partnership with Slerp, found that an impressive 11.5 million UK adults (22%) have ordered a ‘cook at home’ meal box in the last 12 months, with an even larger proportion (40%) intending to purchase in the future. As for beer, half of that proportion (11%) had ordered beer delivery from pubs or restaurants, a further 13% intend to going forward. But the rise and rise in ‘at-home’ hospitality isn’t the only legacy to come out of our endless lockdowns… A catalyst for experimenting In fact during lockdown many of us tried to replicate our visits to pubs, bars and restaurants. And there are many things which people have really enjoyed about staying in vs going out; a more relaxed environment, cooking our own food and trying new food and drink are among the top things, according to our recent research with Zonal. Low and no alcohol is a great example of consumers trying new things at home; 23% tried a low and no brand during lockdown and 98% say they will continue to drink those brands. Lockdown has in fact been an amazing catalyst for consumers experimenting, trying new things and new brands, and just shaking up people’s eating and drinking habits. What does this mean for beer? Many people’s regular ‘repertoire of brands’ have been shaken up. Many have spent a little more on new brands as they haven’t been paying ontrade prices. They are more open to switching up their repertoire right now.

A summer of socialising at home People have also been investing a lot in ‘at home’ entertainment, with a 167% increase in spending on TV subscription services, such as Disney+ and a 143% increase in spend on video. Interestingly, the highest increases in spend here has been from the 18-34-year-olds, which is a core consumer base for many pubs, bars and restaurants. It suggests, therefore, that lockdown has forged new social habits amongst these age groups and created new social occasions which will now compete alongside traditional hospitality venues for consumer time and spend. We’re likely to see more at home drinking occasions despite the re-opening of hospitality. In fact, 36% said they will have friends/family over to their homes more often vs pre-pandemic. 41% of UK adults said they are planning on having picnics with friends and family, 31% are planning garden parties and 39% will invite friends and family for BBQs. (Just so as to re-assure any operators reading this, 60% intend to visit a pub or restaurant too!) Think experiential not just functional Our research suggests that the next phase of ‘at home’ solutions will need to move from a purely functional transaction to an experiential one. The opportunity is to not just deliver products to consumers, Amazon have pretty much nailed that! Operators are now thinking beyond the food and offering complete ‘solutions’ for different occasions including beautiful, sustainable branded packaging, drink pairings and even tableware and playlists! Many don’t yet offer alcohol with their nationwide ‘dine at home’ solutions, but it’s likely to come.

What consumers want is ‘occasion-based solutions.’ In retail they call this a ‘missionled approach’ rather than ‘category led’. People are ultimately lazy- if you can figure out why, when and with whom they will be consuming, then you can start to think about providing a total solution for them. Are there opportunities for to work with hospitality operators on this? Is your DTC offer occasion- and experience-led’? If consumers are ordering for a BBQ or garden party, can they order what they need from you? Another example- more than 1-in-5 consumers say they prefer to buy a gift experience rather than a physical product for a friend. 21% say they would send an ‘alcohol tasting experience’ as a gift. There’s also been a rise in subscriptions across the board. How do you turn a beer into a gift experience? Many have done it. The opportunity is there. The year of staycations 16.2 million people intend to stay in a selfcatering holiday rental this summer. Selfcatering options are bouncing back much faster than hotels. 1-in-4 of these tourists would order ‘BBQ kits’ and ‘picnic hampers’ whole on holiday. 1-in-10 are interested in cases of wine and take-away kegs of beer. Local breweries should even be thinking about ‘brewery tours’ for visiting tourists. There could be an opportunity to tie in with holiday rental companies and offer welcome boxes and taster kits. Lockdowns may well be behind us (for now) but their legacy lives on. Many consumer habits will not just bounce back because the world is re-opening. Those who recognise the changes, and explore and embrace them as potential opportunities will be the ones who come out fighting.

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. Find out more at www.kam-media.co.uk.

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



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

Business advice: Trade marks

Why unregistered trade marks could see trouble brewing for beer brands Chris Baume, trade mark attorney at leading European intellectual property law firm, Potter Clarkson, looks at how brewers can protect their brand in an increasingly crowded market…

Brand value is clearly highly prized in the brewing sector – between 2009 and 2019, the number of UK trade mark applications filed covering “beer” (trade mark class 32) increased by some 530%. Despite this, many brewing businesses are still not registering their marks and, instead, rely on their use of a trade mark to generate rights in the UK. As the market becomes increasingly crowded, competition between rival brands will inevitably result in more disputes as those with registered rights flex their litigious muscles. Conversely, those with unregistered trade marks could be exposed if a conflict with a third party arises. Here, we cover the issues for consideration and practical steps beer brand owners can take to protect themselves. Determining unregistered rights A key benefit of a registered trade mark is the ability to simply produce the certificate as evidence of the existence of a right and to show when the right was established. By contrast, an unregistered right in the UK requires its owner to demonstrate that: 1. Use of a sign has generated a goodwill attributable to the business in the UK; 2. Another business has made a misrepresentation to consumers and the misrepresentation has led to confusion; and 3. Misrepresentation has resulted, or could result, in damage to the goodwill. Those three elements of ‘passing off ’ are cumulative and must be satisfied by filing supporting evidence. Often, a significant amount of evidence is required to demonstrate each of the three elements of ‘passing off ’ to bring a successful claim. The law on passing off is complicated, claims can be difficult to prove and, as the burden of proving passing off rests with the trade mark owner, taking action can be expensive. Looking at the 85 trade mark cases involving conflicting goods in class 32 during the past decade, the overwhelming majority have relied on passing off as a ground for opposition1. However, most of them were unsuccessful in showing evidence of passing off.

Scope of protection Registered trade marks provide much stronger protection than goodwill because they give a business a legal monopoly over a trade mark, which means no one else can use the same or similar trade mark in relation to the registered goods and services in the country it is registered. Maintenance of a registered trade mark, by renewing it when required and keeping it in use, means a trade mark registration can last in perpetuity (much like the very first UK registered trade mark; the Bass Red Triangle, registered in 1876). Goodwill, however, does not necessarily give a business the same exclusivity over a third party’s use of a sign. Passing off allows a business to stop another trader from using the same name where this causes confusion, but this might be geographically limited and the scope of the right granted may be limited by the context of the goodwill and the third party’s use or other circumstances. What should brewing brands do? Registration might not always be feasible because, for example, an application could be blocked by a similar existing trade mark. If the business can only rely on passing off, we recommend keeping a record of the following types of information and documents to demonstrate the business’ trading history in relation to the trade mark, which will help in evidencing goodwill: • Ownership of the business and any changes to that ownership • Customer lists • Invoices • Sales figures/volume • Area of trade

• Photographs of products and labels • Press coverage • Promotional/advertising campaigns • Awards • Customer feedback or comments that might indicate confusion However, gathering this evidence can be time consuming. Consequently, the cost of proving that a business has an enforceable unregistered right under the law of passing off will almost always be significantly more than the cost of acquiring a registered trade mark. Commercial realities Unlike registered trade marks, goodwill cannot exist independently of the business, nor can it be sold, purchased, or transferred separately. When a business is transferred, the purchaser will usually acquire all tangible assets, such as equipment, stock, premises, and staff, etc., but may also want the acquired business to continue trading, which will involve the transfer of intangible assets, including the business’ goodwill. Calculations for the value of a business’ goodwill are complex and require specialist financial advice – those with unregistered rights may not realise the full value of their brand assets. The bottom-line commercial reality is clear if a trade mark is available and registrable it is always recommended to register it rather than rely solely on goodwill and passing off. By obtaining registration of a business’ valuable trade marks, you will save time, stress and expense, as well as enhance the value of the business should you ever wish to sell.

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. As a full-service intellectual property law firm with expertise in patents, trade marks, designs, litigation, licensing and consultancy, the firm can provide specialist support in all areas of IP. Find out more at www.potterclarkson.com.

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


Business advice: Intellectural Property

Influencers and brands: Promoting alcohol on social media Amy Ralston from law firm Stephens Scown looks at the regulations you must consider when promoting your products online…

What are the rules around promoting alcohol on social media, and what are the risks to brands and influencers if they get it wrong? There are advertising rules that brands and influencers must comply with when promoting and advertising alcohol on social media platforms – and these rules extend to influencers promoting the products on behalf of the brand and/or company. Rules for promoting alcohol on social media Section 18 of the UK Code of NonBroadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (CAP Code) contains the rules regarding alcohol. As of today’s date, there are 17 rules in this section, including but not limited to the prohibition of linking alcohol with: • Unwise drinking styles; • Boredom/loneliness; • Sexual success; • Enhancing popularity and/or confidence; • Anti-social behaviour; • Appealing to children; and/or • Depiction of someone who is or appears to be under 25. When a brand asks an influencer to promote its alcoholic products online, it must be sure to have a comprehensive influencer contract in place, which requires the influencer to comply with the CAP Code. Especially, the rules which relate to the promotion of alcohol on social media.

What brands should be aware of The brand should carefully consider whether the influencer themselves are an appropriate choice to endorse and/or promote the alcoholic product. Brands have been deemed to breach the CAP Code when using influencers to promote alcohol on social media for appearing under the age of 25 – even if the influencers themselves are 25 years old. This is why creating a proper influencer due diligence process into the brand’s marketing strategy is key, as well as ensuring that the brand has the right controls over the content, the timeline and access to the follower engagement statistics.

It is important that brands are prepared and properly protecting themselves before it can exploit the benefits of using influencers to promote and/or endorse their products on social media – especially when it comes to regulated products It is recommended that any “gifted” alcoholic products are accompanied with information regarding the promotion of alcohol on social media and the do’s and don’ts to lessen the risk of the brand hitting the headlines for failing to comply

with the ASA rules or the Consumer Market Authority guidance on social media endorsements. The influencer marketing industry is growing rapidly, and it is important that brands are prepared and properly protecting themselves before it can exploit the benefits of using influencers to promote and/or endorse their products on social media – especially when it comes to regulated products – alcohol is not the only regulated product out there. The risk with promoting alcohol on social media Ultimately, the risk for brands is damage to their brand reputation – an ASA ruling can create adverse publicity, media refusal, the removal of pay-per click ads, disqualification from industry awards, landing a place on the ASA’s “wall of shame”, etc. The risk for influencers is also damage to their reputation – one slip up could see you being refused brand deals and/or cause you to lose brand deals. The content itself may also be removed for being in breach of the rules and/or the social media platform’s terms and conditions. We understand the ins and outs of influencer marketing and can ensure that you can go into the process with your eyes open – understanding the risks and how best to minimise reputational damage. We can provide guidance on all aspects of influencer marketing, including drafting bespoke influencer contracts and provide training to your marketing team.

Amy Ralston is a solicitor in the Intellectual Property, Information Technology and Data Protection team. She specialises in influencer marketing, brand endorsement and the regulation of the same. To discuss any issues raised in this article, please call 01392 210700 or email influencers@stephens-scown.co.uk.

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


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Business advice: Tax

Brewing craft beer with the support of R&D Tax Credits Iain Colquhoun, National Sales Director at Legal Rooms, offers an overview of how the R&D Tax Credits scheme could mean you’re due a tax rebate…

Like other food and beverage producers, brewers often depend on innovation to survive. A new approach, a new design and new equipment are often needed, and for these to be successful it is essential to resolve scientific or technological uncertainties – will this concept work? Will it work efficiently? Will it introduce something new and unknown? Such approaches will require a degree of research and development which introduces R&D Tax Credits to those who do. At Legal Rooms, we have seen an industry determined to adapt and change through continued resilience, overcoming whatever challenges are thrown their way, whilst at the same time demonstrating a strong empathy toward each other, their customers, and the environment. Seeking to be ever more inclusive, appealing to a more diverse customer base, developing new recipes, bold flavours, and innovative and sustainable techniques. All of which, and more, are focus areas encouraged by the UK government as part of their long-standing R&D Tax incentives. What is R&D? R&D Tax Credits are designed to encourage innovation and increase spending on R&D activities for limited companies operating in the UK. They are one of the UK government’s top incentives for encouraging investment in research and development and allows company’s R&D expenditure to be recovered either as a reduction in Corporation Tax or a cash repayment. R&D Tax incentives have the potential to be used to great advantage by many independent brewers, regardless of the stage they are at, as they seek to continue raising the profile of their beers. Appealing to many more consumers, with ever more educated and adventurous palates, helping independent brewers become much more celebrated across the UK and abroad.

Most recently Legal Rooms Engagement Manager for North Scotland, Graeme Stewart, gave an insight to R&D during Regional Members’ meetings: “These meetings were a great introduction to the membership whereby those who took part could ask various questions to how R&D can benefit their business on an annual basis. It's incredible how many companies are unaware of this incentive and the benefits it brings to their business, many of a brewer’s existing day-to-day activities will align with R&D.” R&D Tax incentives have traditionally only been accessible to large breweries, however Legal Rooms have spent many hours developing an approach which makes access to these important incentives fairer for all, whether large corporation, small independent, or new start-up. Our carefully selected cadre of PhD qualified technical experts, highly experienced agriculture and brewing specialists, and qualified accountants would be able uncover each and every aspect of eligibility in your business, from developing your own techniques for different beer styles, to trying different grains, yeasts, adjuncts, flavour combinations and dietary substitutes, whilst maintaining high product quality, drinking experience, and general terroir. What areas of brewing might count as R&D? • Developing new processes or products that involve experimentation. • Enhancing existing processes or products. • Integrating or scaling up bespoke systems or equipment. • Using unconventional ingredients that require specific treatment. • Eliminating artificial preservatives additives/allergens/etc. • Changing the alcohol content of a product.

Are you performing R&D? For many businesses, an R&D project is rarely embarked on formally. The most common chain of events is an initial observation, a desire to improve on that observation, followed by a series of attempts to achieve that improvement. This often leads a business to believe that they are not performing R&D, when in fact they are, regardless of achieving the improvement, or whether another business has achieved something similar. Taking on activities where the end-result is not known from the outset, where a series of iterative steps need to be taken, opens up the business to financial risk. There is a good chance you are already performing R&D and could be entitled to a tax rebate. This is risk in terms of staff costs, spending time investigating and trialling improvements, as well as in consumables costs on ingredients, and development aids used up in attempting the improvements. HMRC recognise that it is in taking these risks that a business moves with the times and survives for the long term. So, whether you are developing bold new flavours, gluten free, vegan friendly, lowcalorie, or even non-alcoholic beers with all the mouthfeel and flavour of their alcoholic counterparts or seeking efficiencies in your processes to offer a more sustainable approach, such as reducing the amount of water utilised or the amount of energy consumed per pint brewed, etc, there is a good chance you are already performing R&D and could be entitled to a tax rebate.

As SIBA Supplier Associate members, Legal Rooms is here to support fellow members, to help identify where R&D aligns within your business. Contact Legal Rooms today for a free R&D Tax Credit consultation. Find out more at www.legalrooms.co.uk.

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


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Comment: Technical focus

Managing the mouth What do we mean by ‘aftertaste’ or ‘mouthfeel’ when it comes to tasting beer, and what qualities produce certain lingering flavours? Brewlab’s Keith Thomas takes a look…

What’s in your mouth as you taste a beer? Beer of course, and with all of its delicious components. What’s in your mouth after you’ve tasted a beer? Well, there’s clearly something since we can normally taste a beer for a good while afterwards. Generally, this would be termed mouthfeel but also body or aftertaste or even “harmony”. Not only does this contribute to our appreciation of a beer but also, and critically, to its drinkability. As we all know appreciating a beer can be a prolonged experience lasting perhaps up to 30 or more minutes after the last swallow. This is partly due to lingering bitterness but also the physical impacts of viscosity providing a smooth coating and, in contrast, aggressive polyphenols causing astringency. As with aroma and taste it is the brewer’s target to keep these in suitable balance according to the style or brand specification. Styles differ, of course, with dry IPA’s being the opposite of smooth, and milk stouts showing smoothness or barley wines with a rich, solid body. However, there are common faults which can override any style’s mouthfeel. An excessive astringency may result from over-sparging with untreated liquor extracting too many polyphenols. In contrast excessive residual sugars or glycerol from fermentation may give a beer that thick and syrupy finish. The major features contributing to a solid mouthfeel and palate fullness are original gravity – in effect the strength of the beer, its viscosity, total nitrogen - in effect the protein content and ß-glucan – a carbohydrate extract from the malt. In technical terms body incorporates features of compactness or fullness and richness or according to the ISO rather pompous definition “mixed experience derived from mouth sensations that relate to the physical or chemical properties of a stimulus”.

Full specification is available at https:// docplayer.org/74244898-Din-en-isonormen-bis-dezember-2013.html if you wish to read the full detail but particular features include carbonation, astringent, drying, smooth, full, watery and mouth coating. Residual dextrin sugars are particularly important contributors to mouthfeel and experiments with spiked beers indicate that fullness increases with addition of dextrin polymers of between 16 and 88 glucose molecules without giving slimy or oversweet sensations. Selecting dextrins of this specificity is difficult on a production basis but may be helped if advanced enzyme mixtures are used.

Overall, this implies that stronger beers have a more solid mouthfeel as is generally observed. Malt varieties will contribute differently to this as will different brewing practices. More highly modified malts will have lower levels of protein while a stepped temperature mash will digest more ß-glucan and protein and so be lighter in body, particularly if a vigorous boil removes more protein. As competent brewers we should be able to control our ingredient selection and processing to achieve a target mouthfeel suitable for the style. This is perhaps most easily managed with a cereal cooker.

In the absence of a temperature-controlled mash though we would need to ensure a suitable selection of ingredients and that careful control of sparging produces enough residual sugars to provide body but with limited polyphenols to prevent harsh astringency. The clue here is a suitable pH of the sparge liquor to match that for the mash. A particularly difficult challenge for mouthfeel is in producing low alcohol beers which, depending on their means of production, can have low palate fullness if produced by evaporative techniques or a high palate fullness from excess residual sugars if produced by controlled fermentation. In the former case thermal evaporation tends to produce low palate fullness and limited aroma – an incomplete beer. With controlled fermentation sweetness and wortiness dominate. In this case the balance between alcohol and body is inverted and is a clear reason for low alcohol beers to be tasted as atypical. Analysis of low alcohol beers indicates that the balance between a too thin and a too thick palate fullness depends on the proportions of low, middle and high molecular mass components – proteins, polyphenols and polysaccharides. Proteins are mostly low mass, protein-polyphenol complexes are middle mass and cell wall polysaccharides high mass. Management of your malt choice and mashing programme can control these with maltsters increasingly active in providing suitable varieties to fit requirements. Larger scale production has options of blending evaporative and fermentationcontrolled production to achieve a mid-ground or adding iso maltose as an adjustment for an ideal harmony. On a small scale, harmony is as much a product of experience and skill – attributes and characteristics increasingly prevalent in the craft brewing industry.

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


Brewery news

New Cumbrian brewery, Lakes Brew Co, emerges from tough times After being made redundant at the beginning of lockdown restrictions 12 months ago, an award-winning team of four has reunited as Lakes Brew Co. Co-founders Matt Clarke, Michelle Gay, Steve Ricketts and Paul Sheldon, formerly employed by Hawkshead Brewery at Staveley, will be focusing on the local and thriving independent beer scene. Michelle said they were looking forward to developing a progressive and sociably innovative brewery in line with their own

ethos and attitudes: “This opportunity has come out of adversity. What most people would regard as a disaster - when we lost our jobs - means we can now build something fresh and new.” The new brewery will be in the heart of Kendal on Mintsfeet Industrial Estate, housing a bespoke designed 16hl SSV brew kit, MicroCan CL5 canning line and a proposed pop up tap room, providing fresh off the line beer to the craft beer scene in the Lake District.

Brewer Matt will be creating a range of modern beer styles, focusing on freshness and quality. Keen to use innovative ingredients including new hop varieties and yeast strains, Matt, said he is looking forward to working alongside likeminded artisanal businesses in the Lake District’s food and drink scene and collaborating with other Cumbrian businesses. For further information go to www.lakesbrewco.com

Wold Top Brewery launches a range of limited edition beers The team at Wold Top Brewery has launched a range of limited edition beers for people to enjoy at home. Each month, Wold Top brews a different Viking inspired beer that is available exclusively online and as part of its monthly bottled beer subscription offer. The third of the Wold Newton based brewery's limited edition bottlings in the 2021 Vikings series is Thor. "Thor's deep amber colour is reminiscent of the red hues in the God of Thunder's hair and beard. It's a delicious balance of biscuity crystal malts and Mystic and Minstrel hops with notes of orange," said Brewery Manager, Alex Balchin. "Our first two Viking beers, Odin and Freyja were very popular, so we're hopeful that people looking for something different to enjoy at home will want to try Thor and the forthcoming limited edition beers. Hopefully, people will also be able to enjoy the Viking beers in pubs before too long." Brewery Manager and Wold Top Director, Alex Balchin with the first three Viking inspired beers


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

Thor (4.5% ABV) is gluten free and suitable for vegans. To find out more go to www.woldtopbrewery.co.uk

Brewery news

Craft alcohol-free returns to draught with Big Drop Alcohol-free brewer, Big Drop, launched two of its most popular 0.5% ABV beers on draught - in kegs - to coincide with UK pubs and bars reopening in April.

unparalleled as the only AF beer to have twice won ‘World Best’ at the World Beer Awards (2017 and 2020), not to mention a Master from the Global Beer Masters.

Big Drop’s Citra IPA was already being poured on draught pre-pandemic in venues such as Brewhouse & Kitchen and the Barworks group. Now it is also kegging its Pine Trail Pale Ale in the same 30L format to support the return of on-trade drinking. Pine Trail is

In terms of availability, Big Drop has around 90% of the UK covered via wholesalers such as Matthew Clark, EeBria, Nectar & Pigs Ears. This nationwide distribution was one of the reasons for it winning the Commercial Achievement category at this

year’s SIBA Business Awards. Rob Fink, founder and CEO of Big Drop, said: “When we say we’re dedicated to pushing the boundaries of alcohol-free beer, that includes the physical and geographical ones too. We’re as excited as anyone for the on-trade to finally open up again and we’ll be there for venues who want to add a decent AF option to their repertoire.” Find out more at www.bigdropbrew.com

Big Drop launches ‘the big explorer’ mixed 8-pack, available exclusively in Waitrose Alcohol-free brewer, Big Drop, has announced the launch of The Big Explorer Pack, a new mixed 8-pack of 330ml cans, which is available exclusively in Waitrose. A collaborative idea between the brewer and the retailer, the pack will feature an impressive collection of Big Drop’s bestselling beers, many of which will be listed with the retailer for the first time. The pack will also include Coba Maya Cerveza: a brand new 0.5% lager. As well as being a welcome addition to Waitrose’s beer range for fans of craft brew, the pack is an opportunity for the uninitiated to take a deep dive into the world of alcohol-free beer, and to discover the myriad of award-winning varieties that Big Drop has to offer. The pack follows the success of Big Drop’s previous listings with Waitrose - Galactic Milk Stout and Paradiso Citra IPA - which first hit the retailer’s shelves last year. Retailing at £12, The Big Explorer Pack will be available to purchase in 220 Waitrose stores. The new launch comes at an exciting time for Big Drop, who have a busy summer full of collaborations and releases in store. The beers in the pack are: Coba Maya Cerveza (new) A retail first available exclusively at Waitrose, this brand new beer delivers classic summer refreshment. It’s a crisp, clean, lawnmower style lager which pours the colour of straw in sunlight. With a balanced malt punch on the palate and a gentle spicy, herbal aroma of German noble hops, serve with a slice of lime to enjoy the summer in full cerveza style.

Poolside DDH IPA Previously a limited-edition beer, the Poolside DDH IPA proved so popular that Big Drop decided to bring it back for the summer, exclusively at Waitrose. A classic hop-fest that fuses tropical flavours to recreate the intensity of a double IPA, this brew is the ultimate summer thirst quencher. The fantastic blend of US hops combine to give pineapple, citrus, pine and stone fruit aromas underpinned by a pine and herby flavour – topped off with an unapologetic slap of mango. Pine Trail Pale Ale A new listing for Waitrose, the Pine Trail Pale Ale is one of Big Drop’s best-selling beers, and the only alcohol-free beer to ever scoop two top prizes at the World Beer Awards (2017 & 2020).. A delight for the senses, it delivers on all levels. Rosy floral aromas are immediate on pour, with a light and limey citrus bite on the palate and a balanced but obvious bitterness to finish. Uptime Lager Another first-time listing for Waitrose, Big Drop’s Uptime Craft Lager is easy drinking and full-flavoured, but elegant, too. A goldmedalist at the European Beer Challenge, the vegan-friendly brew has light herbal and floral hop aromas, a hint of caramel with peppered spiciness on the palate and a touch of orange at the end. Paradiso Citra IPA Voted the UK’s best Speciality IPA at last year’s World Beer Awards - beating 6% ABV beers into second and third place - the Paradiso Citra IPA radiates citrus fruit from first pour to final sip. The bright, sharp twist of bitterness on the end makes it incredibly morish.

Galactic Milk Stout Big Drop’s first-ever brew - and one of its most decorated with gold medals at the International Beer Challenge, the World Beer Awards and the US Open Beer Championship, to name a few the Galactic Milk Stout is rich, unctuous and an absolutely decadent treat of a beer. Think honeycomb covered in chocolate. Double Strike Sour Gluten-free and vegan-friendly, the Double Strike Sour is a tastebud-tickling brew with a clean white grape aroma, hints of fresh white bread and almost lemon curd-like sourness. It’s a great gateway into the world of sour beers, and - with its mouthwatering properties — it’s an excellent aperitif. Woodcutter Brown Ale Another multi award-winner, the Woodcutter Brown Ale is malt-focused with a toasty aroma and soft grassy notes thanks to the light use of hops. The palate is malty with a touch of fruit and caramel. Perfectly paired with something hearty like a good beef stew. Rob Fink, Co-Founder of Big Drop, comments: “We’re so excited to be working with Waitrose to launch our new Big Explorer pack. Both our Galactic Milk Stout and Paradiso Citra IPA beers have proved exceedingly popular with Waitrose customers since hitting the shelves last year, and we’re confident this pack will also go down a storm. It’s the perfect purchase for consumers looking to discover the many different styles of alcohol-free beer on offer, and the fact that it features two exclusive beers is an added bonus!”

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




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

Brewery news

Docks Beers releases its first sour Docks Beers has released its first ever sour beer and the Docks team is urging people who've never drunk this style of beer before, to try this one. ‘Fruits of Labour’ is a 5.5% ABV triple berried sour, made with blackberries, blackcurrants and black peppercorns. Sharam Shadam, Director of Docks Beers, explains why the brewery wanted to release a sour. “Sours are one of my favourite beer styles. They have an intentionally acidic, tart, or sour taste and I’ve always been fascinated by the science that goes into producing one. We wanted our first sour to be accessible, so we have crammed it full of

fruit flavours to balance the sourness. If you’re new to drinking sours, I think that Fruits of Labour is an ideal first beer to try. It will open your eyes to the world of sour beer. We are so pleased with the results that it has whet our appetite for making more sours and we look forward to exploring different styles and flavours later in the year.” Mike Richards, Director and Head Brewer at Docks Beers, describes it as a “punchy fruity sour beer, rich with sweet, sour, tart and spicy flavours. It’s ideal for the warmer months to come. Fruits of Labour is definitely the first of many more sours for us!” Find out more at www.docksbeers.com

Salcombe Brewery Co backs the Devon economy with major investment Salcombe Brewery Co has announced that, following a major investment in its brewing and packaging facilities at a new additional site, it is ideally placed to meet the growing market for its awardwinning beers.

site complements our existing brewery at Estuary View and will house our own bottling, canning and kegging lines. We have also tripled our brewing capacity and introduced new cardboard packaging across the board to replace plastic.”

As the hospitality sector re-opens, its investment will support the launch of its first canned products, its first lager and its increasing partnerships with leading South West hospitality venues.

John explains: “In addition to the packaging and fermenting capabilities at the new site, we are also moving our cask and keg storage together with our distribution activities from our brewhouse at Estuary View. This will enable the brewhouse, tap room and shop to offer a broader range of experiences to our visiting customers. The expansion means we will be able to support the local community through increased employment and to open

Salcombe Brewery Co Chairman, John Tiner, comments: “While the last year has been incredibly challenging for our industry, we have taken the opportunity presented by the lull in trade to open a second site. This

up new markets, both locally and further afield, for our Heritage and Discovery range of beers.” Sam Beaman, Head Brewer, comments: “The new facilities will present fantastic opportunities for the brew team to both increase volumes of existing beers and to introduce new products within our Discovery range. The lighter cans, which also lend themselves to product innovation, will enable us to propel our online offerings and seek new distribution channels.” For more information go to www.salcombebrewery.com

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


Brewery news

Purity beers are now suitable for vegans As of 12th April and the opening of pub gardens nationwide, all beer, including cask, leaving Purity Brewing Company’s Warwickshire farm location has been suitable for vegans.

2019. It was only last January we relaunched Bunny Hop as a Gluten Free Vegan Hazy Pale in cask to offer an alternative to Isinglass fined traditional cask and meet a demand from cask consumers.”

Since 2005 and the launch of Pure UBU and Pure Gold, Purity has set about widening the appeal of modern-day cask beer and over more recent years, Purity has noticed an exponential growth in veganism across the UK.

Since the relaunch of Bunny Hop in January 2020, Purity’s journey hasn’t stopped there, during summer of 2020 Head Brewer Flo Vialan took steps to ensure all bottled product was vegan friendly to complement the full range of vegan friendly keg and canned beers.

Paul Brazier, Head of Marketing, said: “The UK has seen a growing trend of healthconscious consumers, looking for healthier alternatives to their regular products they would normally purchase. Here at Purity, we’ve seen a growing demand for Gluten Free, organic and vegan beers which led us to launch a Gluten Free speciality range in

Flo explains: “Our keg, can and most recently bottle products are all vegan friendly, unfiltered and brewed without the use of Isinglass finings. This got us thinking, as a business built on accessibility of modern-day beer, we wanted to ensure everyone could enjoy our full range, including cask.” In early lockdown, Purity set about addressing

this. Following some initial trials and research into credible alternatives, they found a way to remove this animal bi-product from their brewing process. Flo added: “After a number of trials back in 2020 and the early part of this year, I am pleased to announce that we have successfully removed Isinglass entirely from our cask beer range. Essentially, we have switched to a vegan-friendly fining agent Super F. This will ensure all of our cask beer will continue to have the same appearance they have had since Purity was founded back in 2005.” To assist customers serving the newly fined cask beer, Purity has taken a step to include some additional information on their cask, alongside a letter with every delivery. For more information go to www.puritybrewing.com

Purity Brewing Company appoints new MD Purity Brewing Company has announced the appointment of Andy Maddock as Managing Director. Andy’s appointment comes at a critical time for Purity, who tragically lost Co-Founder James Minkin to Pancreatic Cancer back in June 2020. With a first-class background across brewing and brand Andy’s most recent senior positions include European Agile Transformation Director and Trading Director National Groups & Festivals with Heineken UK, following two years between 2014-2016 as Managing Director of Caledonian Brewery in Edinburgh. Bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge of the industry with him Andy’s first priority will be focusing on re-establishing the growth trajectory Purity had enjoyed pre-Covid. Paul Halsey said of the appointment: “I’m really very excited about Andy joining us in the critical stage of our journey. He will massively upweight our focus on sales and marketing and more importantly enable myself to share more responsibility within my role.”


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

Brewery news

Ossett owner Jamie Lawson (left) with Nadir Zairi, Ossett Brewery MD launch the new look brews.

Ossett promotes three brewpub champions into new look core range Yorkshire’s progressive Ossett Brewing Company has taken in three ‘shining star’ beers from its brewpubs to relaunch under the mothership brand. The fast-growing trio of White Rat, Black Voodoo and Butterley will now all be brewed at the main brewery site under the Ossett banner while retaining their own distinctive new look. Sales of the hoppy pale ale, White Rat (4.0% ABV) - originally brewed at the Rat Brewery housed underneath the Rat and Ratchet pub in Huddersfield - have soared in recent times, gathering a cult-like following. To keep up with current demand for this excellent beer, White Rat has been successfully brewed at Ossett over than the past three years. Now, Fernandes’ Black Voodoo-renamed

Voodoo (5.0% ABV) chocolate orange stout and Riverhead’s Butterley (3.8% ABV) Yorkshire bitter, have joined White Rat from their respective homes in Wakefield at Fernandes Brewery Tap & Bierkeller and in Marsden, Huddersfield at the Riverhead Brewery Tap to increase production. Owner Jamie Lawson has stated that the brews will be faithfully replicated at the main brewery. He said: “These shining stars of our microbreweries enjoy an ever-growing fan base, but increasing production in their home breweries was not possible. It was time to firmly place them under the Ossett portfolio. “Demand for White Rat is now pretty much on par with our leading brew, Yorkshire Blonde, which is quite incredible. As true White Rat fans know, we have brewed it

successfully at Ossett for over three years. So I can assure any doubting diehard fans that the beer remains as brewed previously. If anyone says differently, well, that’s fantasy, just fake news. “I can also reassure Black Voodoo and Butterley fans that the character of the brews will remain untouched. We have simply tweaked the design but certainly not the beer. The creative new branding is presented in a more clean and modern way, allowing the trio to sit alongside the ever so popular Ossett core range, Yorkshire Blonde, Silver King and Excelsius.” For more information go to www.ossett-brewery.co.uk

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



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

Brewery news

Arran Brewery puts its Loch Earn Brewery Hotel and Visitor Centre on the market The Arran Brewery Loch Earn Brewery Hotel and Visitor Centre is up for sale. The site, on the banks of Loch Earn, features 10 moorings, three piers, fishing, a brewery with the potential to brew 3,500 litres per day, a cider shack producing batches of 1,000 litres of cider as well as a hotel with three bars, three restaurant areas, a coffee shop and 39 bedrooms. Managing Director Gerald Michaluk said: “It is with a heavy heart we are having to put the property on the market. We have not recovered from a small fire, following which the insurance company has still not settled our claim in full. This has lead to a lack of funds while the property needs around £600,000 spent on it to bring it up to spec. Unfortunately we simply don’t have that kind of money, given the current downturn in the brewing industry, to put into the building. As such we have put the site on the market for offers over £775,000 but a new owner would need to have around

£1,500,000 to acquire the site and to realise its full potential.” The brewery acquired the site in 2013 and purchased and installed a secondary brewery in the outbuildings which is currently in need of commissioning. Plans are to build a further three buildings and open both a whisky shop and a local produce shop. The brewery reports having tried to form a joint venture with several parties on the site but in the end none of these proposals have come to fruition. Arran recently acquired Flying Firkin, a wholesale beer distributor in the North of England, and is in the process of acquiring a 16,500sqft warehouse facility for this company, clearly broadening its focus to include the South. The property is being marketed by Christie’s as the sole agent. For more information go to www.arranbrewery.co.uk

Bluestone Brewing Co undertakes a brand refresh for 2021 With last year’s lockdown forcing the Bluestone Brewing Co team to take time out from the day-to-day hustle and bustle of brewery life, they have had time to consider what the future looks like for Bluestone Brewing Co. After seven years in business, the team decided it was time for some “new clothes”. Not so much a rebrand, but a fresh look and feel for the brewery and its beers and one that borrows from its past. The brewery remains the same, with the same people, same bottle, cask and keg beers packed with flavour, the same values and green credentials, but Bluestone has refreshed its logo, labels and merchandise with a versatile and responsive design that enables it to bring new beers and ideas to market much faster, allowing its brewers to get creative. The new look is inspired by Turing Patterns, which are a “Spatially periodic pattern even from a random or almost uniform initial condition”. These are found all around us in the beautiful natural environment that the brewery is so lucky to be situated in and even in the brewing process itself. These patterns will change and morph in many colourful and exciting new ways as Bluestone adds new beers to its collection and refreshes the existing favourites. A signature element of the branding that has always helped the brewery stand out from the crowd has been colour. Whilst the aim was for a more generic, versatile design, for the new look, the team wanted to retain the playful, vibrant feel of the old, so they have worked hard at replicating the existing colours, for the core range of beers, making them easy to recognise and maintaining their colourful personalities. The new look also enables Bluestone to be much more spontaneous, wild, and playful with the colours and design of new beers. For more information go to www.bluestonebrewing.co.uk www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Summer 2021


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Brewery news

McColl's Brewery announces appointment of new Head Brewer McColl's Brewery has appointed Simon Whittington as the new Head Brewer for the County Durham-based craft brewery. Simon joins McColl's after a short spell as Head Brewer at Durham Brewery, with the majority of his career prior to this at Camerons Brewery in Hartlepool. He started as a lab technician at Camerons, before moving into production and packaging, and then leading the development of nanobrewery Tooth & Claw Brewing. He joins McColl's with a wealth of quality control and assurance knowledge, which has been at the heart of plans for McColl's to improve on everything it does. The plan is to break down the current core and seasonal ranges and dive into the technical side of each beer. Once this work is completed, the brewery will have an amazing base to then start releasing more specials and pushing boundaries. Simon says of his new role: "With QA at the forefront, we are looking at the way we brew and ferment depending on the final packaging

method. We're focusing on water, grist bills, hop usage and yeasts, not only as raw ingredients but how we use and process them. There are lots of controls and background stuff that has already been identified and once in place will elevate our beer to the next level. We're fortunate to have really good equipment and a shared passion for beer, now it's time to work on the amazing foundations that Danny has laid and get stuck into the nitty-gritty." Danny McColl, Co-owner at McColl's Brewery, said: "It's been a long time thinking, but with the appointment of Simon as our Head Brewer it genuinely marks a significant point in McColl's Brewery development. Alongside other substantial process and equipment investments (less sexy than fresh, wacky beers or collab shout outs) Simon is here to strip the brewery back to basics and build foundations of quality and consistency to ensure bloody tasty beer is what people get from us. The next few months will see significant development in our current beers, elevating their character and profiles and

nailing the best means of packaging and dispense. No more jack of all trades, more pitch-perfect precision." McColl's Brewery is also proud to announce that it has now reached the £2,000 mark in the 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. For more information go to www.mccollsbrewery.co.uk

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


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Brewery news

Powderkeg launches brand new look Multi-award winning Powderkeg Beer is coming out of lockdown with a stunning re-brand. Having picked up a 3-star Great Taste Award, a national SIBA Gold, Food & Drink Devon ‘Drink Of The Year’ and a gold at the European Beer Challenge over the past 12 months, Powderkeg is brewing at the top of its game. Widely admired in its home county of Devon, Powderkeg is now ready to take its ‘FreeThinking Beer’ to the next level with a fresh new look. The Exeter-based brewers are self-confessed freedom-loving beer obsessives, carving their own path with curiosity, creativity and defiance. They look beyond established ideas and opinions to revolutionise a style, creating something fresh, interesting and always outstanding. In Cut Loose, they re-imagine a classic German-style Pilsner by pepping it up with New Zealand hops; it’s a great example of how moving past traditional techniques can elevate a beer beyond expectations. The beers are also Gluten-Free and Vegan.

Here’s what founder and head brewer John Magill had to say: “We take influences from craft beer and classic European brewing to create flavour-packed sessionable beers that excite craft aficionados and the casual drinker alike. The PK team have spent many years honing our skills, giving us the expert brewing knowledge to break the rules with a bit of style; making beers that really satisfy our curiosity, creativity and thirst.” Working with Catling Creative and renowned Illustrator Jem Panufunik, Powderkeg has brought its brand to life with some eye-popping new artwork. The intricate illustrations tell the stories of the individual beers above the bold new logo, mouth-watering tasting notes and clear product information. The new designs are aimed at grabbing the attention of beer lovers on shelves, taps and in fridges everywhere this summer. For more information go to www.powderkegbeer.co.uk

Moon Gazer Ale launches new ale and new cans A brewery in North Norfolk turned lockdown into an opportunity by launching a new strong bottle-conditioned ale. Moon Gazer Ale, in Hindringham, launched the new Moon Gazer Bob’s Tale Barley Wine style beer thanks in part to its brewing tanks sitting idle while the pubs were closed during lockdown, as the brewery’s co-founder Rachel Holliday explained: “We have always wanted to launch a strong ale and create a contemporary twist on an old beer style – particularly Barley Wine. However, the challenge was always having time to allow the beer to sit and mature in tank, which can take several months. Typically, all our tanks are full producing our core range of cask ales for pubs and we just never seem to fit it into the busy brewing schedule.” That all changed when the lockdown hit hard late in 2020 and the team at Moon Gazer Ale could see that the tanks would be sitting empty for weeks if not months. It was too good an opportunity to miss, so the team set about creating Bob’s Tale Barley Wine, which at 8.8% ABV is the strongest beer the micro-brewery has ever created. It was also an opportunity to create a beer in memory of Colin Bobbitt, Rachel’s Dad, who had sadly passed away just before the first lockdown.

“Dad was a true fan of real ale and very likely the inspiration that brought me to starting a brewery nearly 10 years ago. Before Dad died, we were lucky enough to brew a special beer with him, creating a beer similar to his favourites ‘Fullers 1845’ and ‘Oakham Bishop’s Farewell’ – the result was a cask beer at 4.8% ABV, which was really well received in the pubs as well as by Dad.” The team took that original brew and planned the bottle version to be much stronger – taking the same recipe but super charging it into a Barley Wine. “We hope all beer drinkers will enjoy discovering Bob’s Tale and that it may be the beginning for a series of premium and heritage Moon Gazer ales,” added Rachel. The brewery has also ventured into its first 440ml canned ale – a collaboration brew with fellow Norfolk brewery Smartmouth Brewing. The twist, however, is that Smartmouth are based in Norfolk, USA. The Pondhopper IPA, as the name suggests, links the two brewers across the ‘pond’ and uses a combination of UK and USA hops. Find out more at www.moongazerale.co.uk

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


Brewery news

Yorkshire Wolds businesses collaborate to create unique beer Sibling businesses from the Yorkshire coast have collaborated to launch a second barrel-aged beer. The teams at Wold Top Brewery and sister company Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery have launched Barrel Wave, a limited edition beer that has been matured for eight months in casks that latterly held Filey Bay whisky from Yorkshire's first single malt whisky distillery. Of the collaboration, Wold Top's Brewery Manager, Alex Balchin said: "Rather than brewing an original beer (as we did with our first barrel-aged beer, Swell), for this bottling we've taken one of our most popular and well known beers, Scarborough Fair IPA, and aged

it in Spirit of Yorkshire whisky casks for eight months. "Over that time, the beer has matured and developed and has taken on the flavours of the casks. The result is a beautifully rounded, smooth, full bodied beer where hints of soft citrus fruits and hoppy bitter notes marry with the light, creamy, vanilla flavours of the Filey Bay whisky. At 9.1% ABV it's not a beer for every day. Much like a good dram of whisky, it's one to savour and sip!" Barrel Wave is Gluten Free and suitable for Vegans. For more information go to www.woldtopbrewery.co.uk

Brewery rescued from the brink launches ‘back to the pub’ campaign Skinner’s Brewery, producer of iconic Cornish beers including Betty Stogs, Porthleven and Lushington’s, has launched a summer campaign to encourage the public to head back to their local pub and support the recovery of hospitality businesses as they emerge from lockdown.

way to enjoy a scone, announcing: “We’re officially launching our #SkinnersFirst campaign this week. We all know that Jam First is an unshakable belief here in Cornwall. However, a new mantra is now taking hold as beer lovers are finally able to enjoy the inside of a pub again; Skinner’s First!”

The fiercely independent brewery, which is known for its tonguein-cheek approach and love of Cornish folklore, has picked up the baton for the long-standing Devon/Cornwall dispute over the correct

Artist Stevie Gee, the creator of the Porthleven pale ale brand and designer for the likes of Adidas, Vans, Patagonia and Stella McCartney, has updated the original artwork to show a surfer riding a wave, balancing a scone (jam first, of course!) and a pint of Skinner’s beer. Following an extremely tough year in the sector – which amounted to a perfect storm for Skinner’s and led to fears of closure – the Trurobased brewery underwent a successful Crowdfunding campaign back in March, hitting their survival target of £100,000 in just four days. Brewery co-owner Steve Skinner said: “During that incredible Crowdfunder campaign, we were emphatically reminded what Skinner’s means to Cornwall. We’re a brewery with heart and soul people wanted to hold on to that!” Steve, who owns the company alongside his wife Elaine, continued: “The Skinner’s First campaign is our call for everyone to support their wonderful neighbourhood pubs, and make their first pint from cask or keg a Skinner’s beer as we continue our recovery.” Elaine added: “Successive lockdowns have reminded us all how important it is to support local communities and businesses. By asking your landlord or landlady for Skinner’s you’ll be doing just that – helping to keep the Cornish food and drink industry alive for the future.” Sadly Skinner’s has had to put the re-opening of its own brewery tap, The Old Ale House, on hold until June 21st. It is hoped that alongside The Old Ale House, Skinner’s all-new Tap Yard Bar & Café will now also open in June. Made possible by an additional £50,000 raised on top of the survival fund during the Crowdfunding campaign, this exciting new venture will turn the brewery itself into a food and drink destination and help breathe life back into the post-pandemic city. To get involved with the campaign, the brewery is asking beer lovers to share their pints of Skinner’s back in the pub on social media using the hashtag #SkinnerFirst. For more information go www.skinnersbrewery.com


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

Brewery news

A new look for Cornish Crown Brewery Cornish Crown Brewery has invested in a major equipment overhaul and relaunched with a new look to keep pace with the rapidly evolving market for craft beer. The microbrewery, which overlooks St Michael’s Mount, was launched in 2012 initially to supply brewery tap The Crown - an award-winning real ale pub in Penzance. It has grown to become one of the South West’s most iconic small breweries, supplying independent pubs, bottle shops and food stores, and epitomising the quality and innovation of contemporary Cornish brewing. Founder Josh Dunkley recently revealed a rebrand for the brewery, a revamped website for online sales, and an ecofriendly service for doorstep deliveries in

West Cornwall; he has already had to hire two new employees to help him keep up with demand. Josh explained: “Pre-Covid we were still producing quite a lot of cask beer for pubs. It was a shrinking market, accelerated by the effects of the pandemic. Our response has been to completely overhaul our business, taking it in a new and exciting direction.” Josh has invested in cutting-edge equipment for seamless production of small batch, hop forward beers which he will mainly be selling in can; Premium Pilsner, Citra Boom Pale Ale, and Cornish IPA are amongst the core range, which will regularly be supplemented by limited edition, seasonal releases. Josh added: “We now have a filtration system to produce clear and crisp lagers; a hop gun to deliver optimum infusion for hop-forward IPAs; and a canning machine which allows us to be seriously agile in creating an everevolving range of beers.” While Cornish Crown is still producing cask and kegged beers for pubs across the South West, canned lagers and IPAs will be the new focus, with sales through the relaunched website delivered promptly across the UK. Meanwhile, Josh has bought an electric van for local deliveries, enabling Cornish Crown to make ecofriendly doorstep drops around West

Cornwall from his base at Badger’s Cross. Josh said: “Local customers can also order online for ease, and delivery over a certain amount is free within the immediate area. Our customers are embracing the opportunity to drink a great range of beer made locally in small batches, with carbon-neutral delivery to their doors.” Brewery tap The Crown remains a warm and welcoming home for local beer lovers; Josh and his wife Michelle have been able to retain the character and atmosphere of the pub while adhering strictly to Covid-19 measures. Is has been a year of adaptation for Josh, who says: “Like a lot of businesses, the pandemic brought forward and intensified changes we would’ve made over a period of several years. I have other exciting plans - like opening a Visitor’s Centre and hosting regular pop-up food events at the brewery – and hope to kick-start those projects later this year.” The brewery’s current offering can be view and purchased via the website, where new releases and seasonal specials will appear – keep an eye on social media for news of freshly-brewed batches. Find out more at www.cornishcrown.co.uk

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



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

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Brewery news

Gloucester Brewery announces major expansion Gloucester Brewery has leased a new 2,500sqft dockside warehouse in order to expand its brewing capacity and open a new taproom and shop.

ambitious plans for the building. The brewery will be launching a Crowdfunding campaign later this year to help fund the next stage of its development.

It has leased the large Warehouse 4 which fronts onto the canal basin as an addition to its existing site at Fox’s Kiln which adjoins the new building.

“Crowdfunding will enable us to help the brewery to realise the full potential of this incredible space and take the business to the next level,” Jared said.

Plans have been drawn up to create a new selfservice bar and taproom, large brewery shop and extra brewing space which will triple its current beer production.

This major project comes on the back of 18 months of strong growth for the brewery despite the pandemic. It now counts Gloucester Rugby chairman Martin St. Quinton and the club’s Chief Executive Lance Bradley among its shareholders who have helped the business go from strength to strength.

Managing Director Jared Brown said: “We are unbelievably excited to get our hands on this fantastic new warehouse space with its stunning waterside location. This new site will enable us not only to increase our brewing capacity but also create a fantastic new visitor attraction for the city. “It is a challenging project for us as we want to ensure this old building can meet all of our standards around sustainability as part of our bid to be carbon neutral by the end of next year, but we’re determined to redevelop this site with the environment in mind.” The new taproom and shop are due to open this summer as part of the first phase of

In December 2019, the business rebranded to promote and underpin its sustainable earthconscious brewing values. It also brought its entire canning operation in house and is now producing upwards of 500,000 pints of beer a year. Last year, the brewery also created the Fox’s Kiln Distillery spirits line with more than 5,000 bottles of gin sold and a new vodka range released last month. “Despite such overwhelmingly challenging

circumstances during the pandemic, the brewery has strived not only to keep going but to continually move forward,” Jared said. “It has not been easy, and I wanted to thank our hard-working staff and our shareholders for their support throughout the last year and of course our loyal customers. We didn’t give up on our vision and dreams despite the pandemic and as we gradually come out of what we hope is the last lockdown, we are excited about realising them with this new site.” The brewery has leased the historic warehouse from the Canal and River Trust. “We are so pleased we have been able to make this deal happen with Canal and River Trust. I started the brewery in 2011 at Gloucester Docks and the business has continued to invest in the area over the last 10 years with the development of Tank bar and over at Fox’s Kiln. This new project cements our commit to the waterside area of the city, and we can’t wait to get started,” Jared added. Anyone who would like to express an early interest in the Crowdfunding project can email invest@gloucesterbrewery.co.uk. For more information go to www.gloucesterbrewery.co.uk

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


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

Brewery news

New craft beer and pizza bar opens at Stewart Brewing Stewart Brewing, based in Loanhead of the outskirts of Edinburgh, has opened a new brewery bar and pizza kitchen. The brewery previously had a small marquee bar where locals could enjoy a glass of brewery fresh beer and occasionally hosted pop-up food vendors, however over lockdown the brewery took the opportunity to give the space a massive makeover. Stewart’s Customer Experience Manager, Sarah Stirton, said: ‘We have been building

our plans to revamp our bar for a while and when lockdown happened it seemed right to take advantage of that time. We have been working on the area for over a year, the plans keep evolving are we worked on the project, and we are very excited about what we have built. The previous marquee bar has had a complete makeover and a kitchen has been added including an impressive 800kg pizza oven. The brewery will be serving

freshly cooked Neapolitan style pizzas made by their very our chef, Ram. The bar’s drinks range has also been expanded to include something for everyone including wines, spirits, and soft drink selections. Not forgetting the outdoor space which has been turned into a beer garden fully equipped for the Scottish weather with a covered area with heaters.” Find out more at www.stewartbrewing.co.uk.

Five Points Brewing Company smashes crowdfunding target The Five Points Brewing Company, based in Hackney, East London, has reached its current crowdfunding target and then some, as the independent brewery seeks investment to build a new brewery and taproom in the heart of Hackney. Five Points hit its initial target of £350,000 within seven days, and continued overfunding until Thursday 20th May. Investors receive shares in the company as well as a range of discounts and unique investor experiences. The move allows Five Points to merge its separate production and warehousing sites into one new flagship headquarters in Mare Street, Hackney. Due to launch in September, the new indoor taproom will host visitor tours and guided beer tastings, include a mezzanine viewing gallery, and will have a large outdoor area for open-air hospitality. The outdoor Taproom is currently open on a pop-up basis, as the hospitality industry re-opens from lockdown.

Greg Hobbs (left) + Ed Mason (right)

Ed Mason, Co-Founder and Managing Director of The Five Points Brewing Company, said: “Covid-19 has been incredibly challenging for the hospitality and brewing industry, and forced all of us to examine our business models and what we do. Here at Five Points we are doubling down on our East London location, building a brand new combined brewery and distribution centre and, excitingly, creating what will be Hackney’s largest on-site brewery taproom, just a stone’s throw from London Fields and Bethnal Green.” Find out more at www.fivepointsbrewing.co.uk. www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Summer 2021


Gold members

New podcasts and videos March saw the launch of our brand-new video and podcast series for 2021. The series covers everything from hop talk to the latest from brewers, growers and suppliers to the brewing industry. We’ve already loaded a feature on our own Paul Corbett and Jon Stringer discussing how the business has grown over the past 30 years, including some funny stories of Paul's early days at Faram's. There’s Darren Gamache of Amarillo® fame, regular Brewery Resource Roadshow updates from our supplier partners, focuses on UK and International brewers, and processes in the hop grower’s year. They’re a good watch, but if you haven’t got time for that, stick your headphones on and listen while you work. Available on YouTube and wherever you download your podcasts from. Just check out our news page for links www.wellhopped.com

What are T45 pellets?

Type 45 pellets are by no means a new invention. To explain the difference, we should begin with how Type 90 pellets are made. Whole hops are chopped into a fine powder, homogenised (mixed) to ensure consistency within the batch and then pressed through a die. These pellets will have had some material removed (leaf and stem) and the moisture content may be slightly lower than the whole hops before processing, so the 90 in Type 90 or T90 stands for 90%. Originally processors would expect 90% of the weight of the whole hops returned as pellets.

Lupulin enriched

New format T45 Jester® and Olicana® We have been busy here at Charles Faram. As well as the breeding and selection of new varieties in the Hop Development Programme, we have been looking at new (and sometimes old) methods of delivering even more potency to your brews. Jester® is our flagship hop and the obvious choice to start the ball rolling with this new format. This was closely followed by sister, Olicana®. Looking at other products on the market we have had a number of trials scheduled over the last year, it was all very exciting. Some may be aware of what Jester® and Olicana® T45s are from our newsletter and others not, so please allow us to enlighten those that haven’t heard of these before.

Today the process is more efficient and the return is higher than that but the name for the process has remained the same. Type 45 pellets differ from Type 90 in that the whole hops are frozen at -20°C, then chopped. When frozen, the lupulin becomes less sticky and it is possible to separate some plant material from the lupulin by sieving. Approximately half of this plant material is discarded and the remainder is then recombined with the lupulin and pressed through a similar die to Type 90. In reality, the amount of plant material used can be varied so these pellets are often standardised to an alpha value, so they may not be 45% of the original weight but more likely 50-80%. These pellets are lupulin enriched pellets.

Cleaner, juicy, less funky

So, what was the goal of this project? There are some obvious advantages to Type 45 pellets. The product weight is reduced so shipping is less costly. When dry hopping in the fermentation or conditioning vessel, beer losses are significantly reduced. There are also some less obvious advantages; potentially a cleaner aroma and flavour profile, and the ability to increase dry hopping rates with more juicy characteristics and less funkiness.


When they arrived at Charles Faram UK headquarters in Newland these T45 pellets caused a huge stir in the office. We have been conducting sensory analysis to compare the same beer but made with conventional Jester® T90 pellets. Brewery trials are underway and we’re compiling a variety of comparisons and feedback. We would be delighted for you to try them too! Please get in touch with the Charles Faram team to find out more.

If you are a Faram’s customer and not receiving the newsletter called Faram’s latest updates, resources and news please get in touch.

Check out the Faram website or get in touch with the sales team for an up to date picture of all the products available. Whether its hops, malt, dried yeast, finings, kegs, sensory training kits, bottle tops or closures they are very keen to hear from you.


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

Gold members

Keeping it Local & Saving the Planet We all love the great flavours of hops grown in the USA, Slovenia and New Zealand. What’s not to like? Many will say that the introduction of new varieties from these regions have pushed forward the beer brand considerably over the last few years. Many prefer them to British hops.

in the UK are in decline whilst the acreages in the USA, New Zealand and Germany are still rising? Discussing this with brewers it seems very simple; for many, the flavours and aroma in their increasingly successful beers cannot be achieved by using traditional British varieties.

So, would it matter at all if we didn’t grow hops here in the UK?

Whilst traditional Great British bitters and milds have been at the forefront of beer sales in the UK for many years they are now being surpassed by the Pale Ales, IPA’s and in particular NEIPA’s which require the flavours and aromas that, for some brewers, currently only come from hops from other parts of the world.

As a brewer in the UK would it matter to you? If we think about it logically there are many reasons to buy locally grown hops. ✔ British hops used in the UK travel fewer miles from farm to brewery so have a lower carbon footprint than most imported hops. Some hops travel for weeks in refrigerated containers, from the USA and New Zealand in particular. ✔ British hops are produced to some of the highest pesticide residue standards in the world: much fewer active ingredients are approved for use in the UK compared to the biggest hop growing areas of Germany or the USA. ✔ Britain’s hop breeding programmes are the envy of the world; our gene bank of disease resistant males and aphid resistant females are much sought after by farmers in other countries. ✔ Britain has some of the most robust food assurance and traceability systems in the world. ✔ By choosing British Hops you support the local economy; everyone from the farmer, to those who work on the farms, to those who service the tractors and the picking machines. ✔ You play your part in protecting our environment as much of Britain’s food is produced in a sustainable way that enhances the countryside. Seems pretty straightforward doesn’t it? I am sure that we all want hops to travel less miles on the way to the brewery, we all want to reduce our carbon footprint, we all want to support the local economy, don’t we? So why do we find that our local hop acres here

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There is no doubt that if the same sort of flavours were available in hops grown locally then many brewers would prefer to use them. We have to bear in mind that British hop breeding efforts in the past have been 100% focussed on producing Fuggles and Goldings types such as Challenger, Target, Pilgrim, First Gold, Progress, all renowned for having that delightfully delicate traditional British hop character and quality. It takes years to develop new hop varieties. Rest assured that Charles Faram is already well on the way thanks to local plant expert Peter Glendinning. Way back in 2008 we embarked on a partnership project to develop new UK varieties with more intense, fruity characteristics. There were fears that the mild, maritime UK climate may not be able to grow hops with these flavours but the initial findings had been good and we were very keen to find out more. So here we are 12 years on from those initial forays and the varieties coming off the Charles Faram Hop Development Programme (Jester®, Olicana®, Godiva™, Mystic™ and now Harlequin™) have far more flavour and aroma than we would have ever imagined. What’s even more exciting is that there is more to come. Every year the intensity increases by another 5-10%, so who knows what might be achievable? What is for certain is that we are going to push on with developments as quickly as possible. If we all want sustainability and locally grown produce it has got to be the right thing to do.

One of the huge benefits highlighted in the new selections this year is that the growers on some farms are reporting using 20% less fertiliser and pesticide. This is a fantastic side effect that we never envisaged and is a benefit we are thrilled about. To take this even further we are now trialling some of the Charles Faram varieties under organic production to see how far we can go. Having strong, aromatic, disease resistant varieties available is going to reduce our reliance on pesticides and be a mainstay in our programme going forward. We know that some brewers are not going to get all the flavours they need from British varieties just yet but a great way to help push the programme forward would be to try some of the Charles Faram varieties. Jester® is becoming a firm favourite with brewers with its resinous, blackcurrant and citrus, grapefruit character. If you are looking for more of a tropical character of mango and passion fruit you could try Olicana®. Godiva™ is different with its white grape, tangerine, spice and some say gooseberry aroma. For subtle floral, apricot and lime notes look at Archer®. The latest two varieties are the ones to keep an eye on from future harvests namely Mystic™ and Harlequin™ both of which are getting rave reviews. A beer using Harlequin™ is already winning awards. How about brewing a special or using some Charles Faram British grown hops in a small brew of a core beer to compare flavour? By doing this you help us to finance more research and development which is bound to produce some even more magnificent home-grown local hops in the future. Thank you to the growing number of brewers already using British hops and Charles Faram varieties, your support is very much appreciated. We hope this article inspires you to keep it local whenever you can so we can all do our bit to help in saving the planet! Paul Corbett Managing Director Charles Faram & Co Ltd


01905 830734

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


Gold members Key points which can be taken away from this article:

How to Bottle Condition Beer


There are many points during the brewing and packaging process where variability can cause inconsistency in the final product.


These variables can be explained by looking at methods, equipment, ingredients and yeast handling.


Within a small budget, improvements can be made by making the process more consistent, improving storage conditions and refining hygiene techniques.


A standard base beer can be transformed in terms of flavour attributes and carbonation by the addition of a different secondary yeast strain.

Unlike filtered or pasteurised small pack products, bottle conditioned beers contain a small amount of yeast which consumes sugars and residual oxygen to give carbonation and flavour development. This can be a great choice for a brewer who wants to produce small pack beers in-house which will have a long shelf life. The secondary fermentation taking place within the bottle is similar to that which takes place in cask-conditioned beers, however, the process requires a higher level of control to keep yeast sediment to a minimum and cannot rely on fining agents once in the bottle. There are various methods to produce bottle conditioned beer, all with their own pros and cons, but it is important to remember that cleanliness should always be a principal consideration throughout every step of the process.

However, the addition of the latter is not advised due to the higher chance of introducing beer-spoiling microorganisms into the process. Consider fermentable extracts supplemented with dextrins to increase mouthfeel or sugar syrups with high fermentability to produce ‘drier’ beers.

The bottle-conditioning of beer can seem like a rather simple procedure, but a lack of process control can lead to variability in batch-to-batch quality. Here we look at the process in detail and the choices you can make along the way.

Secondly, you need to consider the source of your yeast which will perform the secondary fermentation in the bottle. Again, there are many process options to choose from.

Primary Fermented Beer

Flowchart options 1 and 2 indicate some yeast has remained in suspension from the primary fermentation and is transferred to the bottle. It is important to remember that the point of allowing living yeast into the bottles is that as well as converting sugar to ethanol and CO2, they will prevent beer oxidation and increase shelf life.

There are different methods for bottle conditioning, but all involve a certain amount of beer clarification, so you may want to consider the use of a bright/racking tank.

Flowchart highlighting process options

A note about clearing your beer: the final clarification step can be achieved using filtration and centrifugation, but it can also be achieved to a high standard with flocculant yeast, finings and the use of a bright/racking tank (or casks depending on what you have available).

With this in mind, you need to think about the viability and health of the yeast so it can perform as you would wish under stresses such as rising alcohol concentration, nutrient depletion and rising pressure. The strain used in the primary fermentation may not be the best for the job. And if it is, it needs to be at its best/most healthy. After primary fermentation, the yeast has undergone many stressful transitions before entering the stationary phase of its life cycle which can be inferred from gravity measurements remaining the same consecutively at the end of fermentation. In contrast to pitching yeast into freshly prepared and aerated wort, the conditions of the beer in the bottle are austere in nature due to having fewer nutrients, less oxygen, possibly sub-optimum temperatures and the presence of ethanol. At the end of fermentation, yeast can often be inhibited by alcohol (and carbon dioxide) which means issues can especially arise with the use of primary yeast in bottle conditioning. A better option could be to use the Kräusening method where the foamy top of a fermenting beer is mixed with beer that has finished fermenting. However, be aware this will also contain fermentable sugars from the wort and may cause issues with colloidal haze due to the wort not being stabilised but would adhere to German Reinheitsgebot purity laws (depending on the ingredients in the primary fermentation).

The flowchart shows the basic options when considering the lead up to secondary fermentation in the bottle. Firstly, fermentable sugars need to be available. The sugars required for secondary fermentation can come from two sources: 1. The primary fermentation can be halted before completion via chilling leaving residual fermentable extracts (see flowchart option 1) 2. The primary fermentation can be allowed to ferment out completely and is then primed with fermentable sugar (see flowchart option 2 and 3) The first option can be difficult to control accurately, especially in larger-scale operations. The sugar addition immediately before packaging also has the advantage of making the calculation for secondary fermentation easier. When thinking about sugar dosing calculations, three factors need to be considered; final carbonation level, CO2 already in the beer and if there are any fermentable sugars in the primary fermented beer. To check for residual sugars an attenuation limit test can be conducted. This is simply an aerated sample of the beer which is over pitched with yeast, kept at a temperature of 20-25°C and ideally mixed from time to time. The final gravity of this sample is the theoretical limit achievable in secondary fermentation. Even flat beer contains some CO2, specialised equipment can be used to measure this but as a rough guide, the beer which has been fermented at 20°C will have a concentration of around 0.75 volumes (1.5 g/L) (Note: CO2 solubility increases as the temperature of the liquid decreases). The final carbonation level can depend on the style of beer you are producing. A range of 2.5-4 volumes (5-8 g/L) describes everything from usual beer styles up to some higher carbonated Belgian styles. As well as wanting to get this carbonation level right for the style of beer, you will also want to avoid ‘gushing’ (sudden and uncontrollable foam generation upon opening) or even bursting before opening. Sugar preparations are available in various forms, such as syrups and granulated sugars.


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

Alternatively, the beer may be clarified completely, and a defined yeast cell count added at bottling (see flowchart option 3). This step removes unwanted solids whilst also providing an opportunity to use a different yeast strain for secondary fermentation. A dual yeast strain approach is useful as a means of introducing new yeast-derived flavours and there is the option to choose a strain which forms compact sediments and readily adhere to glass. To preserve high viability for as long as possible during secondary fermentation and subsequent preservation of the beer, preference should first be given to freshly propagated yeast (this could also include yeast from the Kräusen which has undergone a washing step), then rehydrated yeast and finally dried. Work by VanLandschoot et al., (2003) found that yeast propagated on a sucrose medium that was poor in nitrogen had the best secondary fermentation characteristics than yeast propagated on wort. And work by Wood et al., (1992) showed that holding yeast in water for a minimum of 3 hours (max. 24) before secondary fermentation also significantly promotes cell attachment to surfaces such as glass. Although very convenient to pitch into bottles directly, dried yeast’s viability can drop considerably as soon as 5 days into secondary fermentation which can lead to a stuck fermentation. Remember, yeast needs to be in good physical condition to perform well!

Gold members On average, for most beer styles, a newly bottled beer should contain a viable yeast count of around 10,000 – 100,000 cells/ml. Some Belgian styles can contain up to around 3,000,000 cells /ml. When selecting a yeast strain for secondary fermentation, you must consider: • Alcohol tolerance – ale yeasts are fine up to around 8% ABV, above that you may want to consider something like a champagne yeast. • Different strains produce different foam and bubble sizes which are related to CO2 generation • Flavour and aroma development capabilities • Sugar assimilation profile – could be different to that of your primary fermentation and could change the amount of CO2 produced • Adhesive properties – how well do you want it to settle and stick to the bottom of the bottle • Secondary metabolites - yeast cells produce some important sulphur components such as hydrogen sulphide (H2S) and sulphur dioxide (SO2). The former component is mostly unwanted, as it is responsible for a “rottenegg” smell, while some SO2 is desirable in beer as it acts as an antioxidant and stabilises the reactive carbonyl components that are responsible for off-flavours in mature beer. • How well it ages – issues can arise off-flavours such as acetaldehyde (apple) when yeast becomes “unhappy”. A decrease in yeast activity during conditioning results in delayed or stuck fermentations which alter flavour profiles.

For higher-alcohol style variants much longer storage times (6 months to 2 years) are claimed to be required although this will be more a matter of personal preference. During the conditioning period for a moderate strength beer (4–5% ABV), the CO2 concentration increases to around 3 volumes (6 g/L) and the total yeast count to 2 – 3,000,000 cells/ml. Also, the yeast has what is termed as a “reducing power” because aldehydes are reduced to alcohols which are less flavour active and therefore prolongs shelf-life. Once conditioning is complete, open a bottle to test the aroma and taste profile for yourself. Part and parcel of the bottling conditioning ethos are that it’s meant to differ from its keg/cask/filtered counterparts. Aged flavours do not have to be off-flavours so it could be worth including some descriptors of what the consumer may expect in their beer. This consumer education can also extend to what haze to expect. Does the pour require extra care to avoid the yeast in the bottom of the bottle entering the glass? Or would you like the consumer to mix the last few centimetres of beer in the bottle to rouse the yeast and pour it into the glass? You may want to do this based on beer style.

The yeast in the glass should only add a haze and not form large clumps. Yeast in suspension adds body and a smooth/silkiness to the mouthfeel as well as changing the IBU’s due to bitterness compounds interacting with yeast cell walls. Also, what shape glass would be best for your beer? If you think about classic Belgian style bottle conditioned beers, they’re often associated with large glasses to accommodate the foam which is produced. All these aspects add to the experience for the consumer and can make the pour a more theatrical event and the beer more interesting to drink. This helps to place bottle conditioned beers in the premium section of the market. Notes on shelf life: Medium strength beers (3.5-5% ABV) • Around 12 months shelf life • Flavour dips between 12-24 months • >2 years - can acquire a "wine" flavour

Spider plot analysis of the taste and aroma characteristics of bottle-conditioned beers using different priming solutions, temperatures and yeast strains (based on Marconi et al., 2016). The spider plot (or radar chart) above quantifies both aroma and taste profiles for bottle conditioned beers which used two different priming sugars, yeast strains and conditioning temperatures. These graphs enable a quick visualization of the differences you can achieve by changing these attributes. For example, yeast strain Y shows the highest score for fruity/estery aromas and yeast strain X shows the highest scores the citrus, cereal/grainy, malty, sweet aromas. Certainly, there are sugar, yeast and temperature combinations that would give even more variation than that presented in the spider plot here, but it is always yeast strain metabolism that is central to the significant differences (i.e. changing yeast strain generates the largest changes).


The conditioning phase is an important step in the process and should not be underestimated. This is the last part of the process which you have control over before the product goes out to trade. The specifics of times and temperatures will be beer style and yeast strain dependant, but the average will be between 2 – 4 weeks at 15 – 25oC to ensure all fermentable sugars are metabolised and the desired carbonation level has been reached (too cold; under carbonated, too hot; negatively impacts yeast).

Stronger beers (>6% ABV) • Very complex flavours • May take several months to develop final desired flavour • High ABV can help extend shelf life

Can conditioning

There is the opportunity to take the principles described above and apply them to can conditioning. This can require more investment, be that in a canning line or contract canners. The carbonation levels need to be considered with the utmost care so as not to make the cans bulge under too much pressure. Cans are also filled cold to avoid over foaming which will cause cold stress on the yeast and may extend the lag phase before secondary fermentation or lead to issues with stuck fermentations. Cans do also have the added benefit of being impenetrable to light and the double seam eliminates the ingress of oxygen (unlike some bottle caps over time).


From this article, you will have gathered that variation in small details can result in significant changes. Please do not let that put you off – when making a new bottle (or can) conditioned beer, write down as much information as you can. Too much information is better than too little! When the beers are how you like them, you will have a detailed protocol to follow for next time. Besides, as much as small details can cause you problems, they can also be exploited to your advantage. You could easily create a range of bottle-conditioned beers from a large batch of ‘base beer’ and split subsets with different priming sugars, yeast strains and conditioning temperatures. You may also want to keep a batch in your own store to taste at different time points and sell some vintage bottles (especially if they are higher in ABV).

If you have any questions or want to discuss the process further, please get in touch: Stephanie Brindley BSc (Hons), MRes, PhD stephanie.brindley@murphyandson.co.uk References: Boulton, C., 2013. Encyclopaedia of brewing. John Wiley & Sons. Boulton, C. and Quain, D., 2001. Brewing yeast and fermentation. John Wiley & Sons. Dekoninck, T.M., Mertens, T., Delvaux, F. and Delvaux, F.R., 2013. Influence of beer characteristics on yeast refermentation performance during bottle-conditioning of Belgian beers. Journal of the American Society of Brewing Chemists, 71(1), pp.23-34. Marconi, O., Rossi, S., Galgano, F., Sileoni, V. and Perretti, G., 2016. Influence of yeast strain, priming solution and temperature on beer bottle conditioning. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 96(12), pp.4106-4115. Vanderhaegen, B., Neven, H., Coghe, S., Verstrepen, K.J., Derdelinckx, G. and Verachtert, H., 2003. Bioflavouring and beer refermentation. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 62(2-3), pp.140-150. Van Landschoot, A., Vanbeneden, N., Vanderputten, D. and Derdelinckx, G., 2004. Effect of pitching yeast preparation on the refermentation of beer in bottles. Cerevisia, 29, pp.140-146. Wood, K.A., Quain, D.E. and Hinchliffe, E., 1992. The attachment of brewing yeast to glass. Journal of the Institute of Brewing, 98(4), pp.325-327.

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



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

Supplier news

Hop Market website launches to enable brewers to trade hops With the last 12 months being some of the most challenging in the history of brewing and hospitality, a new online hop exchange platform has been created to enable brewers to trade hops directly between themselves, safely and authentically. Hop Market supports the industry by allowing brewers to list their surplus hops to buy and sell on the platform easily and seamlessly between one another. Allowing the fair and transparent online exchange of hops between breweries via a simple, straightforward, online platform. Hop Market was set up by business owner Tom Veal, who has a passion for supporting businesses and helping them future proof and grow their online revenues. Tom’s ambition is to support the brewery community with a platform driven by the needs of the community itself and welcomes all ideas to improve it for the benefit of the community. Once brewers sign up and list their available hops for sale, hops will be available from

brewers all over the UK in various size packages and at various price points, meaning those in need can choose what suits them at any particular moment and not have to sign contracts or give commitments in these uncertain times. The flexibility offered by Hop Market will enable more innovation, allowing brewers to try out more recipes by ordering smaller amounts of the hops they may not have initially intended to try, or may not have tried before. Hops will be shipped quickly and directly, enabling brewers to make decisions more rapidly about their plans and brewing schedules. All purchases on Hop Market are protected by an escrow payment protection. Once an order is placed, the funds are held in escrow until the hops are received and checked for their quality and accuracy of listing, before releasing the funds to the seller. This ensures both the buyers and sellers are fully protected and able to use the platform with confidence. Find out more at www.hopmarket.co.uk

Brewing Services Ltd works with Drop Bear Beer Co to build its new dedicated alcohol-free brewery The team at Brewing Services Ltd has been working with Drop Bear since mid2020 to help develop its range of nonalcoholic beers and has now been given the task of planning the new brewery. Drop Bear Beer Co succeeded in securing a £1.8million equity investment to build the dedicated alcohol-free brewery. The development of its brewery will allow Drop Bear to increase production and market share and fuel the company’s drive to establish Drop Bear as a key national and international player in the burgeoning alcohol-free market. The new brewery will incorporate several novel modifications to the brewery design and brewing process to facilitate the production of non-alcoholic beers. David Smith, Managing

Director of Brewing Services, said: “We are currently working with architects to design and build the new purpose-built facility which will house a new brewhouse along with a canning line and keg beer facility. At the same time, we are discussing with various equipment suppliers the design of the brewing equipment required and process modifications we want to make to help produce this style of beer without the need of heavy dilution or de-alcoholising.” Founded in 2019 by Joelle Drummond and Sarah McNena, Drop Bear started producing their beers in 2020 using a contract brewer and packager. In early 2021 they launched an extremely successful equity investment campaign to raise funds to build their own dedicated alcohol-free brewery. Joelle Drummond, who

is Drop Bear’s sales and marketing director, said: “In less than two years and with a very humble personal investment, Sarah and I have transformed Drop Bear from just an idea into a multimillion-pound business with an international reputation. This new investment will help the company achieve its aim of opening only the second UK – and first Welsh - alcoholfree brewery.” The Drop Bear brewery will be located in South Wales, with a site currently under consideration and plans underway to get the brewery fully functional by the end of October 2021. Find out more at www.dropbearbeers.com or visit www.brewingservices.co.uk.

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


Sustainable brewing begins with Muntons We supply ultra-low carbon malt and can prove it. With our extensive data we can help you map your carbon impact for raw materials and tell your sustainability story. At Muntons we are: • Proud to manufacture malt that comes from 100% sustainable barley* • Charting an ambitious plan to be carbon neutral before 2050 • The first maltster to set a science-based target to reduce Green House Gas emissions by 45% from 2010 to 2025 • Thinking full circle. We convert our waste into products that are reusable within our supply chain

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

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Supplier news

Deal between UK-based Totally Natural Solutions and NZ Hops creates new additions to HopInspiration® range

A unique range of New Zealand premium hop oil extracts, offering an array of flavours and aromas, is now available to brewers of all sizes across the world thanks to an exclusive partnership between Totally Natural Solutions (TNS) and NZ Hops. TNS, a UK-headquartered provider of innovative, natural hop oil extracts, joined forces with NZ Hops, New Zealand’s leading supplier of premium

NZ-grown hops, to bring brand new hop varieties to the UK and global markets. In recent months, TNS has worked to deliver a sustainable and secure supply of dry hop extracts from premium NZ Hop varieties. NZ Hops is a cooperative of master growers based in Nelson, Tasman, which is renowned as New Zealand’s sunniest region. The area’s terroir helps create highly sought-after aromas and flavours in craft and traditional beers. The joint venture has allowed TNS to marry its patented clean label extraction technologies with NZ Hops to deliver unique soluble hop aroma and flavour. The new HopInspiration® Premium NZ hops range has been created to offer brewers hop varieties that have never existed as extracts before. New Zealand-grown hops are in high demand, providing a unique chemical composition that cannot be replicated anywhere else in the world, and they are therefore in scarce supply. Teaming up with TNS has allowed soluble NZ Hop Oils to be offered to brewers of all sizes. Using a completely natural, patented and proprietary oil extraction processes, TNS has retained the quality, aroma and flavour profiles of NZ Hops. The purest oils are extracted by TNS and can then replace pellets or whole hops as part of the brewing process. Find out more at www.totallynaturalsolutions.com

Mae Day Marketing helps Brook House Hops increase customer base by 50% Whilst some businesses have slowed right down, stopped trading - or worse - gone out of business during the pandemic, independent Brook House Hops has continued to grow. Brook House Hops started working with Mae Day Marketing, launched by experienced communications expert Judi-mae Alderton, in 2019 because they foresaw that her experience would be beneficial to them as a business. After an initial review and a marketing strategy was created, a monthly agreement was put in place which covered a diverse set of marketing activities intended to boost the profile of Brook

House Hops: bring in new fans and followers, increase online sales, improve website rankings, increase online engagement and capture the attention of the industry press. Within 6 weeks, eyes on social media content was up more than 3 fold and engagement across all social media networks was nearly 5 times what it had been before they started working together. Brook House Hops’ commercial success went from strength to strength, with new routes for customers to discover their portfolio of UK and international hops. As the pandemic effects kicked in, budgets were put under pressure but the benefits of marketing were really clear so activity continued,

maintaining the company ethos of supporting the industry by introducing some unique initiatives and lowering prices. By the beginning of 2021, Brook House Hops had increased their customer base by an incredible 50%, despite the impact of the pandemic, due to a dedication to sales and marketing activity and innovation. Mae Day Marketing owner Judi-mae says: “Brook House Hops were my first client and will always have a special place in my heart. Working with them was always exciting and we tried out so many new things with their brand, constantly achieving great results.” Find out more at www.maeday.co.uk

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


Supplier news

Breweries go digital: GEA InsightPartner Brewery delivers realtime process control For years, GEA has been accompanying breweries on their journey to digital transformation. This is why the company has recently developed the GEA InsightPartner Brewery software. This tool captures real-time process management data, monitors production performance and alerts users to deviations. If necessary, brewers can quickly take remedial action in order to optimise brewhouse efficiency over the long term. In the future, these capabilities will also extend to other process steps.

“Thanks to digitalisation, brewers have access to ever-increasing quantities of data. In order for this to benefit our customers in their day-to-day work, the information must be condensed into a clear and meaningful form,” explains Karlheinz Höhn, who heads service management for Beverage & Filling Technologies at GEA. In developing the tool and refining the software, GEA took into account not only its own process experience acquired through brewery projects around the globe but also the needs of and feedback received from Stralsund-based Störtebeker Braumanufaktur as well as other major breweries. As a result, GEA InsightPartner Brewery analyzes process data – for instance, on wort filtration,

Johnston Logistics UK’s new website helps frame ambitions for next era

turbidity, filtration time and efficiency – providing single values in addition to trends over time as well as variations across brands and batches. “Our long-term goal is to create an autopilot for breweries,” Karlheinz Höhn explains. “That would allow breweries to optimize processes at the touch of a button, just as dairy farmers are already able to do today with GEA OptiPartner. Until breweries are able to self-correct completely autonomously, process control through intelligible, realtime data analyses will remain crucial for quality, speed and plant availability. GEA InsightPartner Brewery represents a decisive step forward for our customers.” Find out more at www.gea.com

Leading logistics provider Johnston Logistics UK has unveiled a brand-new website as it heads onto the next page of its story. The growing company has unveiled a new online presence built to better represent its growing reputation as a provider of warehousing and logistics for leading brands and retailers. “When I look back at recent years, we’ve developed a lot; both as a business and as a team. We want to continue this journey and it’s important to have a website that better reflects both where we are and where we’re going,” says Rob McIndoe, Director of Johnston Logistics UK. With an increased focus on the company’s 40 years of experience and use of new technology, the website reflects the growth in Johnston Logistics UK’s reputation and was built by Full Mix Marketing who deliver all the logistics expert’s marketing. Through search engine optimisation (SEO) and content marketing, the B2B marketing agency report that the existing Johnston Logistics UK website has received a four-fold increase in impressions on leading search engines over the past 12 months. As well as investing in their digital marketing, the logistics experts have recently made a significant further investment in technology with a state-of-the-art Warehouse Management System (WMS). The new software has enhanced their efficiency and the ease with which they can integrate with their customers’ own systems and provide them with real-time information. “It’s been an unprecedented 12 months with the pandemic. Our team has worked exceptionally hard to support existing clients and a growing number of leading businesses. But it’s still been important to invest in our future and the website is one way we can show clients we’re always developing and looking to become even more supportive,” adds Rob McIndoe. For more information visit www.johnstonlogistics.co.uk.


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


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

Supplier news

Thielmann offers beer decanting service In these unprecedented times, with brewers facing unique challenges, Thielmann has been working hard to identify and minimise potential issues and help customers navigate this difficult situation. Thielmann offers the use of beer decanting units to help brewers to reduce costs by reclaiming taxes by carrying out secure and

complete emptying of your kegs. This service includes a safe emptying process of beer or residual liquids, collection of these liquids in accordance with local environmental laws, and the correct disposal of them, if required. Thielmann also offers a full keg servicing program tailor made for customers in the UK. Hygiene and maintenance is a topic most brewers will be thinking about at the moment,

and this can include getting your keg fleets properly cleaned, maintained and refurbished. The comprehensive keg services include: keg and cask maintenance, repairs, tagging services, cleaning, inspections, testing, customisation services and re-branding. For more information contact Thielmann at sales@thielmann.com

BFBi course: Brewery & Distilling HACCP Understanding Course – Level 2 BFBi is running a practical and interactive full day course where delegates will gain a sound knowledge of HACCP and the confidence to apply it within their business. Delegates are continuously assessed and a multiple choice test is undertaken. Successful delegates will gain a nationally recognised food industry qualification accredited by the IFST (Institute of Food Science and Technology). The course will cover a range of areas including but not limited to: • Developing a HACCP Plan • Preparation for HACCP • Hazard Analysis • Identifying and Managing Critical Control Points • Implementing and Maintaining HACCP • Course Assessment This course will take place on Thursday 23rd September 2021, to book your space please email accreditation@bfbi.org.uk or visit Eventbrite here: https://haccpbfbi.eventbrite.co.uk

DPD approves WBC’s PulpSafe range of eco transit packaging for Beer

SIBA supplier associate member WBC, the UK and Ireland’s leading wholesale packaging supplier to the beer sector, is excited to announce its best-selling Pulpsafe Beer range has been courier approved by one of the UK's leading couriers, DPD. Pulpsafe offers the trade a completely sustainable solution for shipping beer bottles and cans safely through the courier network. Made from water and recycled paper, card offcuts and recycled newspaper, Pulpsafe is plastic-free and 100% recyclable, compostable and biodegradable in standard home refuse. The range is also manufactured in the UK. Having undergone intensive testing by DPD with no breakages, WBC’s Pulpsafe range was 100% approved for use within the DPD network. DPD customers are advised to speak to their DPD rep about using Pulpsafe by WBC and parcels should be ‘H’ taped for best protection in transit. Andrew Wilson, WBC’s Managing Director, said: “Following rigorous testing throughout the DPD network over the last few months, we are delighted that DPD has now formally approved the Eco Pulpsafe range. Whilst this does not mean they will automatically insure consignments, we understand that this is something that can be agreed upon with individual DPD account managers. More and more national couriers are looking to carry drinks and approving packaging so this is a massive step forwards for the industry after years of confusion!” Pulpsafe, along with WBC’s full range of off-the-shelf protective packaging for bottles, is in stock now and available for next day delivery. Find out more and view the full range at www.wbc.co.uk/pulpsafe. www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Summer 2021


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Supplier news

Murphy & Son announces distribution agreement with Polykeg Murphy & Son has signed an agreement to distribute the full range of the new Polykeg Pro one-way kegs in the UK. The agreement represents a switch away from Key Keg to Polykeg for Murphy & Son. Brandon Critchell, Head of Sales & Marketing for Murphy & Son, commented: “Polykeg is a global leader in one-way kegs and we have been monitoring the rapid increase in demand for them over the past 18 months. One-way kegs are becoming more popular

with breweries in the UK and Murphy & Son always strives to offer our customers the best products and solution for their business. The new Polykeg Pro range which are just being launched have several unique features which make them technically superior, versatile, and very easy to use compared to other kegs. We believe they are the best on the market, and we are excited at the prospect of working with Polykeg.” Tony Hird, Managing Director of Polykeg UK, commented: “We are delighted to have been chosen by Murphy & Son as their

one-way keg supplier. They have been in the drinks business over 130 years and are very well respected within the brewing industry. Their focus is on quality and service, helping breweries of all sizes to improve and expand their businesses. One-way kegs fit well into their portfolio because they enable breweries to grow more rapidly without significant upfront investment.” Find out more at www.murphyandson. co.uk or by visiting www.polykeg.com.

Join the alcohol-free brewing revolution, thanks to Muntons’ new malt extract

Muntons, one of the country’s leading suppliers of brewing and distilling malts and malted ingredients, has officially launched its new Premium Alcohol Free Malt Extract. Originally revealed at this year’s SIBA BeerX Online, the alcohol-free liquid extract is now available to commercial brewers both in the UK and abroad. The maltster, which is based in Stowmarket and has sites in Bridlington, the USA and Thailand, has been developing the malt extract for two years, with the mindset of creating great tasting alcohol-free beer that is more accessible to all brewers. Versatile and easy to use, the extract is designed to give body, mouthfeel, and taste. Muntons’ latest innovation allows the brewer to include alcohol-free options in their range without the need to invest in expensive equipment. Made by Muntons’ signature process of combining the heating and modifying of the wort sugars, the typical characteristics of beer

are replicated. This then creates a malt extract with low sweetness and a mild fermentation aroma, which is an ideal versatile base that brewers can use to build on and create an alcohol-free version of their trademark brewing styles, ranging from hop forward IPAs to a hearty stout. Vanessa Makings, Marketing Manager at Muntons, said: “With a quarter of adults saying they’re semi-regular drinkers of no or low alcohol, we know that alcohol-free is no longer a niche market. Consumers expect more choices and therefore we want to remove barriers for breweries that want to add alcohol free to their range. Muntons Premium Alcohol Free Malt Extract makes the brewing of low or no alcohol beers simple and fuss-free, and we’re delighted to bring our product to fruition.”

Marmite Moments…

Famous for being one of the greenest maltsters in the country, Muntons’ Premium Alcohol Free Malt Extract is made from 100% sustainable malt, sourced from farms local to the maltings in Suffolk and Bridlington. To find out more or to request a sample of Muntons Premium Alcohol Free Malt Extract, email: hello@muntons.com.

Supplier Viewpoint

In this issue, Myles Pinfold from WPA Pinfold takes inspiration from love…and hate… I imagine all brewers must eat Marmite for breakfast every day; after all, it’s made from excess brewer’s yeast and comes from the brewing capital of Britain, Burton-on-Trent. With sustainability being on everyone’s agenda, what a fantastic message for the brewing industry to support its environmental credentials – maybe there’s an opportunity for individual brewers to create their own branded version of yeast extract too. Guinness did manage to put together a collaboration with Marmite some years back. Marmite has also become a lexicon for ‘love or hate’ and it’s interesting how a brand can have the confidence to build on a stance whereby a significant part of its potential consumer market actually hates it. This gets to the heart of what a brand is really about – by having the confidence in its product, even if it can’t please all the people all the time, Marmite has thrived for 120 years and built a place in consumers’ hearts (love or hate it…). Marmite’s endurance in the hearts and minds of its consumers should provide inspiration for all brand owners to truly stand up for what you believe in, to ignore the naysayers, focus groups and trend bombers, and follow your instincts. To find a place in the hearts of your future drinkers, you just need to find the right strings to pull. Understanding your place in the market and having a differentiating proposition and story to tell is key. Back to Marmite – I’m sure it doesn’t taste as Marmite as it used to… Myles Pinfold is founder and strategic director at WPA Pinfold. For more information go to www.wpa-drinks.co.uk. www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Summer 2021


Gold & Silver members

Gold members Brewers Select

Ken Steer Jones ksteerjones@brewersselect.co.uk

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

Silver members

Alfa Laval

Rebecca Halpin rebecca.halpin@alfalaval.com

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


Summer 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

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www.siba.co.uk | SIBA Independent Brewer | Summer 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 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

All General Enquiries contact office@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 Roy Allkin Boss Brewing

East east@siba.co.uk

Chair Richard Naisby Ian Rydings Marcus Beecher

Midlands midlands@siba.co.uk Chair Ken Munro Anneli Baxter

Milestone Brewery White Horse Brewery

North East northeast@siba.co.uk Chair Mark Anderson Double Maxim Beer Co Ian Fozard Rooster’s Brewery Ltd Ewen Gordon 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 Loch Leven Brewery Jamie Delap Fyne Ales Fiona MacEachern Loch Lomond Brewery South East southeast@siba.co.uk Chair Andy Hayward Thames Side Brewery Peter Hills Hackney Brewery Robert Wicks 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 Chair Roy Allkin


Milton Brewery Leigh on Sea Brewery Elgood & Sons Ltd

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

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Profile for SIBA, the Society of Independent Brewers

SIBA Independent Brewer Magazine Summer 2021  

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