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ISSUE 108 S P R I N G 2 0 1 8


BEER X 2018





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As I write this I have just returned from BeerX 2018 in our new Liverpool home and am still buzzing from the atmosphere and great feedback from all the attendees I met there. The move was necessary as we outgrew our Sheffield venue, which had served us incredibly well over the years, and which we were obviously very sad to leave. However, Liverpool has allowed us to grow and to bring all the elements of the show together in one room for the first time. This, for me, meant a much greater interaction between brewers, suppliers, exhibitors and speakers as well as enabling us all to network together in the central hub of the arena where all the finalists’ beers were on tap for us to try. We bring you all the highlights from Liverpool’s first BeerX on pages 58-61 in this issue, along with the full roll of honour for not only the National Beer Competitions (on pages 70-77) but also our SIBA Business Awards (on pages 68-69). There is no doubt speaking to many of you at BeerX that there are some key challenges facing SIBA’s brewing members, which are putting pressure on finances and leading many to look at ways to broaden their income streams. So for this issue, we have featured a Business Profile on Westerham Brewery, which is leading the way in this move to diversify after relocating to a new site and creating a purpose built retail operation which sees the brewery partnering with other local businesses to form a community retail hub. Find out more on pages 40-47.

Society of Independent Brewers PO Box 136, Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4 5WW Tel: 01765 640 441 Email:

Elsewhere, we stick with the theme of exploring new opportunities for growth when we pick up from Pete Brown’s BeerX keynote speech with a broader look at his views on the wider market, and where brewers might look for future growth, in our Big Interview on pages 30-37. Pete outlines a number of very welcome reasons to be cheerful as he looks to address some of the more gloomy industry predictions. Also fresh from an appearance at one of our seminars at BeerX, Boss Brewing’s Sarah John is our Meet the Brewer subject this issue as she discusses her beer journey with us. Her recent rebrand with striking comic book style imagery, has already proved profitable only weeks in, and shows how important your brand can be (see pages 21-27 for more). In this issue we have also made a change to how we cover news from you, our brewing members, with a new combined Brewing Members’ News section on pages 83-91 replacing the rotating regional news pages. This gives all of you the chance to share what you’re doing when you’re doing it, rather than having to wait for an annual slot in the Journal – so keep those press releases, updates, news and views coming in to me at Happy reading!



Editor: Caroline Nodder ( 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 ( Studio Manager: Jon Hardy ( Printed by: Advertising Manager: Claire Rooney ( Printwize, 9 Stepfield, Witham, Managing Director: Dan Rooney ( Essex CM8 3BN

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.




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2018 ISSUE 108






PAGES 64-65

PAGES 70-77

NEWS 8-15 19 68-69 70-77 83-91 93-105











All the news from SIBA HQ

The latest on SIBA’s core strategy

The winners from this year’s event


The winning beers from the national finals at BeerX


The latest from our brewing members around the UK


News and views from SIBA’s Supplier Associate Members


We met Sarah John from Boss Brewing

Pete Brown talk to us about his view of the market


Westerham’s Robert Wicks talks about his growing retail operation






Advice on law, marketing, digital and finance

The low-down from this year’s show


The motions and outcomes from the day



Highlights from the last 12 months

















Mike Benner on working together

Our regular political update

Beer writer Matt Curtis on the rise of brewpubs

Brewlab’s Dr Keith Thomas on Kombucha


The key findings of this year’s members’ survey

Croxsons and Napthens

Listing of our key sponsors

Introducing two of SIBA’s regional representatives





DIFFERENCE! SIBA research shows that 69% of people prefer beer from I hope that you were able to join us at BeerX in Liverpool. What independent brewers. This is a startling statistic which justifies a great event it was! Congratulations to all our winners in the our new vision as ‘the voice of British independent brewing’ and National Independent Beer Awards and Business Awards. It was sets out why all brewers should support the Assured Independent British Craft Brewer campaign. a stunning display of excellence and dynamism, the qualities which define our sector. While the exhibition Like me, Pete has a positive outlook on the question of market overcrowding. and the seminars and debates were great, I don’t deny that there are a lot of brewers for me, the highlight was the opportunity SIBA RESEARCH SHOWS and this brings unprecedented pressures to talk to so many members in an informal onto our member businesses, but Pete THAT 69% OF PEOPLE reminded us of the trends in the market setting over a few, best of British, beers. PREFER BEER FROM such as the on-going switch to the offThe collaborative spirit of craft brewing is trade, the export opportunity (the UK INDEPENDENT BREWERS. alive and well despite the challenges each imports far more beer than it exports and of our member businesses face. this must change), that 66% of the onOur AGM debates highlighted that some members have concerns about SIBA’s direction and our place in the World and this gives me and the elected directors on the SIBA Board, as the representative decision-makers of the Society, much to think about in ensuring we do the right thing for our broad church of members, facing up to issues and acting on them. I was delighted to hear Pete Brown’s presentation to the AGM, details of which feature elsewhere in this issue of the Journal as part of our Big Interview with him (see pages 30-37). He, like everyone in the room, knows the challenges today’s craft brewers face, but equally he set out the reasons (other than the beer!) craft brewers have to be cheerful about the opportunities up for grabs in a crowded beer market where craft remains king (it’s the top trend in UK drinks for the fifth year running).

trade market is not occupied by pubs, the positive growth in brewery tap rooms and the need to ensure beer reaches out to all demographics, not least women; 25% of US beer drinkers are women. All our members should be considering what these trends mean for their business going forwards. He also dispelled the myth that the term ‘craft beer’ is meaningless. It’s not. For many consumers it is closely associated with independence, genuine provenance and small scale. That’s you. Let’s push on and continue to work together in our trade association to differentiate our beers from big beer, build market access and give beer drinkers what they want.


You can download Pete’s full presentation from the SIBA Toolbox.





Signature Brew named SIBA Brewery Business of the Year 2018 The UK’s top craft beer and brewing businesses were revealed at BeerX during the SIBA Business Awards 2018, with East London’s Signature Brew taking the coveted top spot and being named SIBA Brewery Business of the Year 2018. Signature Brew, who’s tagline is ‘Brewing with Music’, specialises in collaboration beers with musical artists, and impressed judges across a range of awards categories, winning the Marketing Implementation category as well as the Brewery Business of the Year award. Judges said the brewery stood out for its ‘fresh ideas, keen business acumen and genuinely unique approach to running a brewing business’. Signature Brew was the majority favourite, with judges commenting on its ‘innovation’,

‘uniqueness’ and ‘business growth’ as key indicators of an already flourishing brewery on its way to greatness. Signature’s Tom Bott said: “This is just huge recognition that our idea for what we wanted the brewery to be was a good one! For people to recognise our vision to get quality craft beer into independent music venues and spread our message is amazing and we’re thrilled it struck a chord with judges.” The awards were presented by Radio 2 broadcaster and resident foodie Nigel Barden. SIBA’s CEO Mike Benner said: “The quality and quantity of entries this year was simply

staggering and to be named a winner in the awards represents a huge achievement for these breweries – they really are the best of the best in terms of passion, innovation and excellence in the independent craft brewing industry. I would particularly like to congratulate Signature Brew on being voted brewery business of the year, they have clearly proved themselves to the judges and are destined for even bigger and better things in the future I’m sure.”

You can find the full list of winners and photos from the night on pages 68-69 in this issue.

John Keeling of Fuller’s awarded SIBA’s Lifetime Achievement Award

Fuller’s Brewery’s John Keeling was awarded SIBA’s ‘Silver Tankard’ Lifetime Achievement Award at BeerX in Liverpool. The former Head Brewer and now Global Ambassador at the much-loved Chiswick brewery was presented with the award by Buster Grant, Chairman of SIBA, who said: “John Keeling’s commitment and passion for quality beer is evident to anyone that

meets him, and his work for one of the UK’s most iconic brewers over the last 40 years has seen him dust off the brewing records and revive historic recipes as well as looking to the future, inviting some of Britain’s finest independent brewers to join him at the mash tun. A fervent defender of the lunchtime pint, the winner of this year’s lifetime achievement award is not only an extremely worthy recipient, but someone we’d recommend you grab a beer with.” The prestigious award, which is not presented every year and only goes to those deemed truly worthy, has in the past gone to beer and brewing legends such as beer author Roger Protz, and George Philliskirk, former Director of the Beer Academy, who both won in 2015.

This year’s winner John Keeling has earned a place for himself as one of the most respected and trusted voices in brewing in the UK, helping Fuller’s to continue to innovate and experiment with new beer styles, formats and flavours – something which has helped cement Fuller’s popularity with beer enthusiasts and casual drinkers alike. John Keeling said: “I’ve dedicated my life to brewing great beer – and I’ve loved every second of it – so being recognised for doing something you enjoy is a double delight. I’d like to think that in some small way I’ve helped and inspired a number of the craft brewers who are producing such interesting beers today. It’s over 40 years since I first set foot in a brewery and some 37 years since I joined Fuller’s. Reg Drury, the legendary former Fuller’s Head Brewer, was instrumental in my success and I hope, and am confident, that I have passed the same degree of knowledge and passion on to Georgina Young and the next generation of brewers at Fuller’s.”

SIBA welcomes the formation of UKHospitality Commenting on the merger of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and the British Hospitality Association (BHA) to form UKHospitality, SIBA’s CEO Mike Benner, said: “The proposed merger of these two bodies to create UKHospitality will create an immensely powerful voice for the hospitality sector. UK craft beer plays an important role in the hospitality sector and we know retailers that offer it to consumers are often more profitable businesses. Congratulations and best wishes to Kate Nicholls on becoming CEO of UKHospitality. We look forward to continuing to work with her and the new team.”




SIBA moves forward with code of practice for offensive beer marketing Following a recent Board meeting, SIBA is moving forward with plans to create a marketing ‘Code of Practice’ for its members. SIBA members and a panel of experts discussed the issues around offensive marketing and the best way to develop the code during an industry discussion on “Marketing beer responsibly – Sexism, discrimination and branding in the beer industry” at this year’s BeerX conference in March. SIBA has stated there is ‘no place in the beer industry for sexist or offensive marketing’, with staff members already screening all competition entries at their UK wide Independent Beer Awards for offensive labelling – this project aims to formalise that approach and give further guidance to breweries. Jaega Wise, SIBA South East Elected Director and Head Brewer at Wild Card Brewery, said: “Members might wish to consider all their current branding, even

where long standing, and make plans to change any which might be considered inappropriate by today’s consumers. Ideally members take action sooner rather than later so that they do not face the costs and adverse publicity of having to withdraw or change a brand at short notice.” Carolyn Uphill, SIBA Non-Executive Director, said: “This discussion and the resulting Marketing Code of Practice is an opportunity for SIBA and SIBA Members to lead the Industry in moving away from any past discriminatory materials in branding and labelling.” SIBA has said it would like to see an industry wide approach, with all in the alcohol industry working together to tackle this problem, and has been engaging fully with the Portman Group as part of its industry wide discussions. John Timothy, Chief Executive of the Portman Group, said: “This is timely as we have been discussing issues around offence with SIBA and other stakeholders

Jaega Wise, SIBA South East Elected Director and Head Brewer at Wild Card Brewery

as part of wider preparations for a full review of the Portman Group Code of Practice later this year. Any additional guidance to ensure alcohol marketing is responsible is to be welcomed and we look forward to continuing discussions.”

SIBA’s Mike Benner comments on Q4 beer sale figures from BBPA In response to the Q4 beer figures from the BBPA, which showed a small rise in overall beer sales, SIBA Chief Executive Mike Benner said: “The 0.7% increase in overall beer sales is good news for the craft beer sector. Bottles and cans continue to be strong and these figures are a timely reminder to our members who are considering canning and bottling. "But the continued on-trade decrease in sales is difficult news for craft brewers who rely on cask ales as their primary product. The headline rate of beer duty and business rates on pubs remain two critical issues for the on-trade which SIBA will be campaigning hard on over the course of 2018.” Mike Benner went on to say: “Recognising the contribution the Treasury made back in November to helping the sector keep ticking over, SIBA commissioned a one off beer to toast the Chancellor, HMT and MPs who campaigned for a beer duty freeze.”


SIBA congratulates the Brewers Association (US) on securing the ‘Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act’ Mike Benner, SIBA’s Chief Executive, welcomed the success the US Brewers Association has had with lobbying for tax reform. He said: “SIBA would like to congratulate the Brewers Association for their achievement in securing tax relief for America's independent craft brewers. The positive effects of Small Brewers Relief are still evident in the UK some 15 years after it was enacted and it is excellent to see the government, on both sides of the Atlantic, supporting independent craft brewers.”





SIBA names LemonTop as Supplier Associate of the Year This year’s SIBA supplier of the year award, a member-voted accolade, was awarded at BeerX this year to design team LemonTop Creative. The award was received by directors Andy Mogg and Owen Smith, on behalf of the whole LemonTop team. Meanwhile back at the LemonTop office in Darlington the remaining team celebrated their success and were proud to represent the North East in this National event. SIBA’s Neil Walker said: "LemonTop Creative are worthy winners of this member voted award and I'd like to congratulate them on cementing themselves as one of the best-loved designers amongst brewers in the UK. Andy and the team's enthusiasm, professionalism and talent is clear to see and has clearly been a hit with SIBA member breweries." Andy Mogg, a Director at LemonTop, has been involved in the brewing industry since 2008 when he started a beer blog. This has helped him and the LemonTop team see the industry not only as beer drinkers but also as part of the processes, trials and tribulations for those involved in the industry whether they are brewers, publicans or suppliers. Cheryl Ford, Director at Quantock Brewery, said: “LemonTop Creative were the clear winners in this member voted category, with brewers who have worked with LemonTop full of praise for the work they do. The guys at LemonTop are, first and foremost, beer fans and great supporters of the industry. Friendly, easy to work with and quick to respond to queries, the work LemonTop create, from labels to websites and everything in between, is top class!”

Cask Ale Week 2018 launches with new look for 10th anniversary To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Cask Ale Week 2018 has been launched with a new look. The new logo for the ‘Week’ incorporates the shape of the cask end and a pump handle and is being made available to all breweries generating activity for the Week. “It’s a stronger identity,” says Frances Brace, promoter of Cask Ale Week, “with good standout, whether used in black and white or colour. It should look good on any materials being produced by breweries for their beer festivals, tutored tastings, tap takeovers, brewery open days and suchlike.”

Cask Ale Week runs from 20 – 30 September this year. Cask Marque director Paul Nunny, who runs the Week, said: “Brewers are warmly invited to take part in Cask Ale Week. Organise something special for 20th to 30th September – and brand it up with a Cask Ale Week logo. You can download them from the website”

He added: “Most importantly we use Cask Ale Week to promote your brewery and your beers. Make sure to let us know your plans by signing up on the Cask Ale Week website:”

Are you using the Independent Craft Brewer logo? We're going to be featuring breweries using the Assured Independent British Craft Brewer logo on the SIBA website, on Social Media and in upcoming press activity, so make sure if you've started using the logo on your bottles, cans, or pumpclips you submit your artwork showing the logo on the SIBA website or through the Brewing in Brief emails – scroll down to the bottom of the email for the link to submit.

For more information contact Neil Walker at



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Mental Health

The Benevolent helps anyone who works in the UK pub and brewing sector which means the production, bottling, selling, marketing, serving, or any job involving alcoholic drinks brands in the on-trade or off-trade.

In response to an increasing number of requests for support associated with a range of mental health and wellbeing issues, the charity has expanded the support that they offer to include a 100% confidential telephone helpline and email service. The service is available 7 days per week between 8am and 8pm, and is manned by professional counsellors who can advise you on any difficulty that you may currently be facing.

What types of support are available? The charity is here to provide practical, emotional, and financial help to members of the trade, as well as specialist support with mental health issues. Each case is considered on an individual basis and the services are 100% confidential. In practical terms they can support with ongoing or one-off payments to help you through financial hardship, debt advice and counselling, and funding towards specific domestic appliances or adaptations to the home to accommodate your needs if you are ill, disabled or in old age.

To find out more about The Benevolent’s work: • Visit • Call 0800 915 4610 • Email

June 15th is Beer Day Britain 2018 This year’s Beer Day Britain, on June 15th, is fast approaching, so don’t forget to get planning for the event. This year it is on a Friday so the beer celebrations are extended into a long weekend called ‘Say Cheers To Beer’ to take advantage of Father’s Day being on Sunday June 17th. Without brewers making beer Beer Day Britain would not be possible! For the event in 2018, several SIBA members including Brewster’s and Fourpure have already committed to brewing special beers. In previous years in addition to brewing celebration beers, breweries have also hosted events in their taprooms, arranged Meet The Brewer evenings in pubs and been very active on social media.

If any SIBA members are planning to participate in Beer Day Britain please let Jane Peyton know by emailing Go to for more information.

BeerX becomes part of the Beviale Family network expand its worldwide network in beverage production, so that it is now represented in the UK as well as in Russia, China, Italy, India and Brazil.

SIBA’s BeerX, Britain’s largest trade fair for all aspects of beer and brewing, is now an official partner of the Beviale Family. After five successful events in Sheffield, BeerX took place in Liverpool for the first time on 14 and 15 March this year. The aim of the new partnership is to network existing successful events with one another and to work together to develop the respective target markets. This marketing collaboration enables the Beviale Family to

as equals and are looking forward to a successful partnership on this basis!”

The UK is the second-largest beer producer in Europe, where only Germany brews more beer. Moreover, according to market research company Statista (2016), the UK has 2,250 breweries, the largest number in Europe, followed by Germany with 1,408. SIBA represents the interests of the growing number of independent brewers in Britain and is therefore the ideal partner.

Nick Stafford, Operations Director SIBA, added: “SIBA is delighted to be partnering with the Beviale Family and becoming part of their global network of industry-leading beer and brewing trade events. British independent craft beer continues to be in huge demand and brewers are increasingly looking to international export to grow their business – our partnership with Beviale Family helps open opportunities for our British brewing members thinking on a global scale.”

“We have been working successfully with SIBA for some time now in conjunction with BrauBeviale,” explains Andrea Kalrait, Exhibition Director BrauBeviale and international product manager for the Beviale Family. “This is why we are very pleased that we managed to get SIBA on board as a partner for the Beviale Family. The independent brewers of Britain are a perfect match for us. We work together

Beviale Family events: Craft Beer China: 16 – 18 May 2018 Craft Drinks India: 4 – 5 July 2018 BrauBeviale: 13 – 15 November 2018 Beviale Moscow: Spring 2019 Craft Beer Italy: 27 – 28 March 2019 Feira Brasileira da Cerveja: 1st half of 2019




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SIBA comments on moves to introduce a deposit scheme for plastic, aluminium and glass drinks containers Commenting on the recent Government announcement on the introduction of a deposit scheme for plastic, aluminium and glass drinks containers, James Calder, SIBA’s Head of Public Affairs & Comms, said: “Small brewers are conscious of their environmental impact and moves to encourage recycling, and reduce waste and pollution are welcome. But SIBA members, as relatively small businesses when compared to international mega brewers are disproportionately burdened by added costs, so any deposit scheme needs to be appropriately targeted and mitigated to ensure this undue burden is minimised. SIBA member brewers urgently need the details of this consultation to examine who will bear the brunt of new infrastructure, regulation or costs.”

Positive results for Pizza and Pasta show The European Pizza and Pasta Show, a B2B event organised by IPR Events, has reported a rise in both visitors and exhibitors for its second year.

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The event, which took place on 15-16 November at Olympia London, hosted around 140 companies showing over 600 food and beverage brands to 4,771 pre-registered industry buyers and experts. IPR put on the event in partnership with PAPA, the Pizza, Pasta and Italian Food Association, and marked the association’s 40th year. The show was opened by Rt Hon George Eustice, Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). This year, the event featured a showcase of 30 leading craft beer, gin and cider producers, organised by SIBA and Food and Drinks Wales. “Although limited in size, the Craft Beer Experience Theatre was a popular stand for visitors, with some of the best craft beer experts sharing their knowledge with the industry,” the organiser commented.

The 2018 European Pizza and Pasta Show will be held on the 14-15 November at Olympia National Hall.

If you sell your beers to large multiples directly, then familiarising yourself with the code could help you, and your business. Examples of unfair practice caught by the adjudicators office have saved suppliers thousands of pounds. The office and the code cover issues relating to payment and invoicing, over-ordering, promotions, wastage and marketing. groceries-code-adjudicator

Industry campaign evolves in response to urgent beer duty threat Following a strategic review of the major issues facing the beer and pub sector over the next few years, the cross-industry consumer campaign, There’s A Beer For That, is evolving into a new campaign with a revised emphasis to address one of the trade’s most urgent threats. The new campaign will consist of consumer and trade facing initiatives that highlight the many positive aspects of beer and pubs, and raise awareness of the threats facing our traditional British way of life as a result of planned year on year beer duty increases. It will galvanise beer drinkers, pub-goers and industry staff in record numbers, to protect their way of life and lobby their MP. The industry will continue to work together and fund the programme, following the successful model created by ‘There’s A Beer For That’. The campaign’s singular mission will be to stop the devastating impact of high beer duty because, despite a tax freeze in the most recent Autumn budget, the level

remains prohibitively high. There are fears that unless action is taken now, year on year increases could make the traditional beer with family and friends in a local pub only affordable for a privileged few, leading to lower sales, more pub closures and loss of jobs. There are 900,000 people who rely on the industry for work, 46% of which are young people. Nationally, the sector adds nearly £23 billion to the economy, paying £13 billion in taxation. Following a period of four years in which the Chancellor either cut or froze beer duty, the return to a retail prices index-linked rise in last March’s Budget was disappointing and existing levels of taxation are not sustainable.


Announcing the change in direction, David Cunningham, Programme Director of There’s A Beer For That, said: “It is right that we react to the changing issues and threats the industry faces and, having reviewed the campaign objectives in the context of the historic and future planned duty increases that have devastated the beer and pub industry, we must turn our attention to addressing these threats.”

Final details of the scope and funding of the new project will be announced imminently. SIBA JOURNAL SPRING 2018


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The View from Westminster

In every issue of the Journal James Calder updates you on some of the things that SIBA has been doing in Westminster (and beyond) on your behalf.


bit different, and a bit of fun. A good way to frame our industry and to get attention. It’s probably the most refreshing bit of lobbying the Chancellor has ever had delivered to him (sorry).

Deposit return schemes for drinks containers One big announcement over this period has been that the Government wants to introduce a deposit and return scheme for drinks containers including glass bottles and cans, not just plastic. Details are still a little bit sparse as Michael Gove and DEFRA, the department responsible, are currently deciding how they’d like the policy to work and will be consulting on it soon.

Beer in Westminster As a bit of a campaigning stunt, In January I delivered cases of a special one-off SIBA beer to important people in Westminster, including the Chancellor. The purpose of this beer was to remind him, his Ministers, officials and MPs how critical the beer duty freeze in the November Budget was to us. It also served as a reminder of the importance of Small Breweries' Relief to our industry. I’ve had positive feedback from HM Treasury on both the quality of the beer and the message written on the side, so I’m going to chalk that up as a win. There are many ways to deliver a campaign message, but when it comes to the stuffy, turgid, old fashioned ways most Westminster campaigns do it, to do it on the side of a bottle of great British craft beer (brewed by Roosters, big thanks) is a

Whilst most SIBA members are conscious of sustainability, and want to reduce waste, if Government got this wrong could be hugely damaging for small brewers. More brewers are bottling and canning a higher share of their beer than ever before and this policy has the potential to threaten that growing bit of the market. That’s why I’m going to be making sure your voice is heard. In fact, I’ve been engaging with the Department on this issue before the announcement was even made; right back to its early stages six months ago. However, if you have particular views on the proposed scheme for reverse vending machines, or any element of the policy, then please get in touch with me. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Building local links with MPs One thing I’m really passionate about is getting politicians into breweries. It’s a bit weird, I know, but stick with me. A big part of my job is speaking to policymakers in the halls and corridors of the House of Commons. But there is no substitute for getting an MP involved with mashing in, pulling a pint and hearing direct from you about the issues you face. So part of my job is making that happen, too. Last year, before I even worked for SIBA we know at least 120 SIBA members had their MP


James Calder with Julian Smith MP.

visit their brewery. Of those that didn’t have a visit, 75% of SIBA members would like to do more. That’s music to my ears. Since we sent out the Brewers in the Community report to every MP who has a SIBA member in their patch, I’ve been inundated with requests to get brewers and MPs together. I think there is a big piece of work here to better co-ordinate how this lobbying at a local level goes. A lot of members tell me they're not sure about SIBA’s policy position on this or that, where to get information from or even how to go about contacting their MP. That’s why in the next few months we’re going to be rolling out ‘Guides to engaging with your MP’ as well as quick, 30 second policy briefs on loads of different issues to bring you up to speed and give you the facts you need. Not just for meeting with your MP, but because you have a right to know where SIBA stands. I’m also not going to stop lobbying on your behalf, but the more voices we have, singing together, the stronger we are.

James Calder is SIBA’s Head of Public Affairs and Communications. He’s an avid home brewer with a background in lobbying on tax legislation with big accountancy firms. He lives in London. He can be contacted at 07934 850250 or @jmcalder101 on twitter.



















‘Four Pillars of Activity’ Update To view a video Board Update with SIBA’s Chief Executive Mike Benner, please visit ‘Reports & Updates’ in the Toolbox

Access to Market (ATM) • Work on ATM continues to focus on information gathering in the first year of the four pillars. It is essential that our future activities and campaigns are based on solid evidence and considered policy. •T  he final report from Francis Patton (Executive Committee Chairman) on the impact of the Market Rent Only Option and the alignment of our commercial activity with the four pillars is complete and was presented to this meeting. •T  he final report has absorbed a report produced for SIBA on ATM by CGA Strategy, which, while it delivered some useful insight, made it clear that there is a need for more data related to ‘craft beer’ to establish SIBA as the authority on British craft brewed beer. •S  IBA Policy Committee had a meeting scheduled for 28th March (after this Journal went to print) which was due to focus on the findings of the research work so far and would: - review and disseminate the findings - identify any gaps for further research - consider which aspects are useful for SIBA policy development - consider which aspects help inform the proposed SIBA Code of Practice to consider how the market has changed with regards to the beer tie.  he Members’ Survey has been completed •T with over 350 useable returns.  embers’ costs benchmarking project is in •M the final stages of development and is set for launch shortly. The project will encourage members to provide data on their production costs based on a single format. The resulting report will enable members to benchmark their costs against other businesses. It will be provided free of charge to participating members and available for a fee to others. It aims to provide members with valuable data to help ensure their businesses are efficient and their pricing strategies are sustainable. It will provide SIBA with valuable data to support campaigning activities such as reform of SBR.

Taxation This pillar focuses on Excise Duty and Small Brewers’ Relief. Excise Duty •S  IBA campaigned hard in the run-up to the

Budget calling for at least a freeze on beer duty and reform of pub business rates. • We worked closely, and successfully, with other stakeholders as part of the One Voice coalition including CAMRA, the BBPA and ALMR. • The Budget announced a freeze in beer duty and the extension of the current £1,000 discount on pub business rates for a further year. This followed an increase in the March Budget and the threat of a return to a beer duty escalator. • We did not succeed in securing Government commitment to a root and branch review of pub business rates and this remains a campaigning objective. • We played an active role in briefing MPs for a major parliamentary debate ahead of the Budget which no doubt had a positive impact on the outcome. • We met Treasury officials before the Budget to brief them on our views and policies. • Our pre-Budget activity was followed by a meeting with the Treasury Minister, Andrew Jones and his officials. At this meeting we discussed the impact of the duty freeze, cider duty, SBR and the prospects for positive changes to beer duty structure post-exit from the EU. This included the possibility of a reduced rate of duty applicable to on-trade or large pack beer to encourage sociable drinking in pubs. The meeting was very positive with a good recognition and understanding of the role small brewers play in an industry dominated by big producers and retailers. • There’s a Beer for That (SIBA is a founding member of the supporting Britain’s Beer Alliance) announced in February that its activities would be focused on excise duty campaigning from 2018.

Small Brewers’ Relief • SIBA’s new policy on SBR was agreed at the October Board meeting and communicated to members with a request for comments. We received around a dozen comments, which were largely negative or sought clarity over the model. Each has been followed up individually. • The new policy has also been presented at regional meetings without any significant dissent. • Minister Andrew Jones MP responded to points raised by MPs in the pre-Budget parliamentary debate by calling for the industry to present a joint view on reform of


SBR - an industry joint position is regarded as necessary for reform to be considered. • In line with SIBA’s policy that reform should be actively pursued via collaborative endeavour and in response to the calls from the Minister and MPs, SIBA entered renewed talks with the Small Brewers’ Duty Reform Coalition, the BBPA and CAMRA in December. Three meetings have been held since and the process is ongoing.

The Assured Independent British Craft Brewer campaign The strategy in 2018 is focusing on: - Brewer engagement with the campaign. - Retailer engagement with the campaign. -R  aising consumer awareness of the campaign. -H  ow the Assured campaign will be enhanced by the requirement of FSQ. -M  embership Survey initial analysis suggests that 85% of members are aware of the ‘Assured’ campaign. -P  rovenance is becoming a more important attribute of member businesses. Evidence of place of production and sourcing of ingredients is a great way to challenge bigger breweries masquerading as craft beer producers. The SIBA Assured campaign is on the verge of partnering with a major IT web portal provider to help SIBA members prove to the world they are the real thing!

Product Excellence - We aim to keep the enrolment of members into the FSQ as easy and inexpensive as possible. There will be a focus on communicating to members the value of exhibiting compliance to customers. -A  s FSQ Edition II is now in place. Members’ Health and Safety tools are under development. -T  he employer-led brewing apprenticeship standard project continues to progress well with SIBA’s support as a trade association. -W  e have partnered with the IBD to deliver a training programme on the FSQ with a discount for SIBA members Please note this information is taken from the Board Update, which was produced after February’s Board meeting. For more up to date information, please read SIBA’s regular Toolbox alerts






Sarah John was completely new to working in the beer sector when she and her partner decided to take the leap from brewing at home in their garage on a 100l kit to launching their own commercial brewery in 2015. But her background in sales stood her in good stead, and she entered the industry with a very clear business plan and ambitious five year goals. Boss Brewing has since smashed many of those five year targets in just two years and is well on its way to exceeding all its financial targets, as well as winning multiple awards for the quality of its beers. The business recently expanded to a new much larger site in the centre of Swansea and already has two of the bars in what it hopes will be a five-bar retail chain within the next couple of years. Diversification is at the heart of the successful model Sarah has built, so despite the current uncertainty and pessimism in some areas of what is now a highly competitive market, Sarah is incredibly positive about the future. The SIBA Journal’s Editor Caroline Nodder caught up with Sarah a few days after her appearance on stage at BeerX, where she joined a panel discussion and shared her experience of building a strong brewing brand…

BREWER'S CV: Sarah John, Joint Owner, Bo ss Brewing Co, Swansea, Wales

2010 – 2014 – Homebrewer (us ing 100l kit in garage while working in sales) 2013 – 2015 – Pre-launch tra ining including: - G uardian Masterclass ‘How to set up a micro-brewery’ - Brew-School brewing course - Brewlab advanced brewing course 2015 – present – Post-launch on-going training including: -  IBD Beer Sommelier course (ye t to graduate) 2015 – present – Joint Owner, Boss Brewing Co, Swansea





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WE KNEW WE WANTED SOMETHING DISTINCTIVE, SOMETHING THAT IN A COMPETITIVE MARKET WOULD MAKE US STAND OUT AND THAT NO ONE ELSE WAS DOING. BUT WE ALSO WANTED TO TIE THAT IN WITH OUR ETHOS. Not uncommon to the sector, Boss Brewing was born of a desire to make a home brewing passion into a commercial enterprise, but the dream was underpinned in this case by some clear and ambitious business goals from the very beginning. When I catch up with Sarah John, one half of Boss Brewing’s lead partnership, during the busy runup to the Easter weekend, it becomes clear that even before the launch of the brewery in 2015 she had already carefully chosen the elements that would make her business successful in such a competitive market.

“We went away to Scotland just before we launched,” says Sarah. “And we were talking about it and trying lots of different beers and we decided we’d go for it. We then did a Guardian Masterclass about how to set up a micro-brewery and the message we got from it actually was ‘don’t do it’! But we are both quite determined so we thought to ourselves, ‘well we have to do it now!’ The challenge was on!

She explains: “My partner Roy and I set the business up in April 2015, so we are 50/50 business partners in it. I think like lots of people we were home brewers, with a 100l kit in our garage, and we used to love experimenting with beers, and trying different recipes out. So it had always been a passion of ours. He had another business venture at the time, which he still has now, and I was working in sales and we just wanted to do something together and have our own little enterprise.”

They attended courses with Brew-School, Brewlab and PBC, and then divided up the ongoing skills, with Sarah going down the beer quality route with a Beer Sommelier course and Roy concentrating on the technical brewing side. They also met, and learnt from, some of the nearby Swansea brewers.

Although they shared a love of great beer, Sarah realised it was not enough for them to settle for a small lifestyle operation, and that they both wanted a business that was set up from the start to grow, with multiple income streams.

“We hadn’t worked in the industry before so this was the first time for both of us. “But we did quite a few training courses then before we launched. We wanted some credentials behind us. It’s one thing experimenting at home but we wanted to know what we were doing, so we did a lot of training.”

“We have got Gower and Mumbles near us so we got to know them at events and saw what they were up to,” says Sarah. “That helped us with ideas, seeing what everyone else was up to. It is quite a collaborative industry, which is nice.” But right from the start – maybe unusually – the pair had big plans. “We always wanted it to be a big business, we didn’t want it to be a small lifestyle


business, we wanted it to grow and to go places,” she adds. “We wanted to have our own bars - we have two bars now - and we wanted to do export and get some big contracts in place for that, so we were very ambitious from the start. And we are already making quite a few inroads into what we planned as our five year goals. We wanted to have five bars within five years – we have two already - we wanted to turnover £500K - and we got to that after the second year – we wanted to get into the major supermarkets and do a lot of wholesale – those were the goals we had.” The drive, for Sarah, was to diversify as much as possible, not to rely on just one income stream, and in particular to enter the retail market quickly, as a way of controlling the price she sold her beers at locally. “I came at it very much from a sales perspective. We knew we wanted to make it a successful and profitable business and a growing business, so it was not just about making beer for us, from the start we wanted to diversify. We knew it wasn’t going to be enough just selling beer to pubs, we wanted our own outlets, we wanted to work with supermarkets and we wanted to export, so for us it was always about diversifying and having a lot of channels. And the great thing about having your own bars is that you are retailing beer at your own price so it was an important part of our strategy and also great at raising awareness and getting our name out there.”

Continued on page 25



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So with the business up and running from a small site on an industrial estate on the outskirts of the Welsh city, Boss Brewing’s first foray into retail was not the usual tap room – the original site was not right for one – instead, in typically confident style, they went straight into the independent retail market with a stand-alone bar in 2016. This was followed earlier this year with their second bar site, as part of a larger scheme to relocate the now rapidly growing brewery. “We opened the first bar in August 2016 in Swansea city centre, called Copper, which is an independent bar that does guest beers as well and is a coffee shop during the day,” explains Sarah. “Then we expanded the brewery at the start of this year to a much larger site – about 10 times the floor space of the old site which now has a tap room as well on site. So we launched a bar there – it is right opposite the Liberty Stadium as well so whereas before we were on the outskirts of town it has put us right in the centre. It is in an old listed building that used to be a cinema during the first World War and is right in the centre of town so it makes a real statement for us and is great for marketing.” And to tick another of their key five year goals off the list, Sarah has singlehandedly tracked down many of the key supermarket buyers and sold in Boss Brewing’s beers to the larger retailers herself. A bold move, some might think, but one Sarah says her background in sales made her a natural for. “We work with Asda, Morrison’s and Co-op and we’re going into Tesco in May this year,” she says. “I think it is just about being tenacious to be honest with you! I tracked down the beer buyers and just bombarded them until they listened to me. That’s what I am comfortable doing I suppose, finding the right people and talking to them about what we do. I think

a lot of people believe it is going to be too difficult to get in to the supermarkets so they don’t even bother trying and because they don’t bother, there are then less people actually doing what I’m doing. Everyone is so busy knocking on the doors of the pubs because they think that is the easy way in, whereas with the supermarkets people think it is a bit bold to do that, so you do stand out if you are the one to put yourself forward.” But of course Sarah’s sales pitches have only worked because of the quality of the beers Boss Brewing has produced, something that she has never lost focus on, despite her ambitious growth plans for the overall business. “We wanted a good range – we do everything from stout, which has won over 15 awards now, an IPA, a Pale Ale, lagers. Our ethos really is about having craft beers, but accessible ones, so we think about it like a scale. If you had classic real ale on the left and then the weird and wonderful beers on the far right, we are centre right. So it is craft beer, unique products, but also accessible. We use the phrase ‘repeat drinkability’ because there are lots of brewers out there doing crazy beers that some people just aren’t comfortable drinking. We wanted to do good flavoursome beers but that are easily accessible – maybe to people who are new to craft beer for example. It is all about balance, so none of our beers are crazily hopped, it is about good flavours working together. The feedback from the wholesalers is that is quite a unique space and there are not a lot of people doing that. Most people are either doing very traditional old fashioned beers or crazy beers, so the ground we are in is fairly unique and that has helped us too.” But of course that focus on accessibility has not stopped Sarah from experimenting with special and seasonal beers, and she is currently looking at getting in on the trend for barrel-aging.

“We do do experimental beers as well. Our core range will always be accessible but at the moment we’ve got a peanut butter pale ale coming out, and we did a golden ale with maple syrup. We do a lot of stouts, they are kind of our thing, but this year we are also looking to do some more barrelaging, and we are talking to a local gin distillery about aging a beer in gin barrels – maybe a rye beer or a wheat beer.” Business-wise the focus for 2018 is exports – Boss Brewing already does a bit of export with France and Canada but Sarah has got her eye on more markets this year. And as usual, she has done all the ground work for export herself. “I do all the research myself on different markets and get in touch with distributors in those countries. That is what I have been spending the first part of this year doing, getting those deals in place. We want to go to a lot more countries this year. We are quite lucky though in Wales as well that the Welsh Assembly do trade development visits so they take us to different countries, and although I tend to get in touch and arrange meetings myself while we are out there, it is still great that you have the clout of the Welsh Assembly behind you as that really helps. We went to Ireland with them recently and we’re going to Sweden in May.” One thing Sarah’s work getting her beers into other countries also flagged up to her was that the original branding that Boss launched with just wasn’t giving them the stand-out they needed. So a project started last year to re-launch the beers and website with a whole new look. Sarah explains: “Our new branding has been a year in the making – we have been working with LemonTop on it. We were getting feedback, especially from some of the export companies, that our story was great but the branding wasn’t quite doing it. And it came to the fore last year when there was a lot of talk about how much packaging makes a difference. Especially on a crowded shelf. So we knew we wanted something distinctive, something

Continued on page 27 WWW.SIBA.CO.UK




that in a competitive market would make us stand out and that no one else was doing. But we also wanted to tie that in with our ethos. And ever since we started we have used the term ‘like a boss’ on our marketing and we are all about having fun, and not taking it too seriously. Beer is a social drink and you should be having fun with it – there are a few brewers out there who are a bit too serious about it! So we are really against beer snobbery. Beer is for everyone. “We came up with a comic book feel that got across that sense of fun but was really unusual and that no one else was doing with unusual colours – black and white with big bold splashes of colour a bit like the Sin City look. And the story was really important to us too so all the characters are based on actual people at the brewery.” The opportunity for the new branding is significant given Boss Brewing’s shift from cask to keg and small packaged beers, with 95% of the beers going into cask at launch compared to just 15% now. And the results, somewhat surprisingly, have been immediate. “We launched the new branding six weeks ago and it has made a massive difference already – we have got new wholesalers off the back of it, and with export people have contacted us and are starting to take notice, and the feedback we are getting is that this is really different and really makes us stand out. So even in just six weeks we have seen more sales.” The new website, which was part of the re-branding project, will launch in the next few weeks, and include for the first time pages promoting some of the other arms of the company. “We are doing contract brewing now as well,” says Sarah. “We talk to hotels about having their own beer, and we have also done some work with some other brewers, brewing for them. And we are speaking to a couple of national restaurant chains too.

PEOPLE LIKE A STORY, AND THEY LIKE THE FACT IT IS A WOMAN IN THE INDUSTRY. IT HAS GOT US PRESS COVERAGE, IT HAS GOT US OPPORTUNITIES AND A FOOT IN THE DOOR. We just got our first contract for bottling as well - we installed our own bottling kit at the new site. It is about sweating your assets I think! Another element that will be on the website is a mobile bar that we have added to the business. It was something we did informally before but now we have structured it as another arm to the company and we will do events, festivals, weddings.” I ask Sarah about the recent discussions at BeerX over how to tackle sexism in beer marketing. She see the issue as being broader than just marketing but also points to some positives with being a female brewery owner within a still maledominated market. “In some respects it has helped being a female owner because there are less of us. It has actually been quite a positive thing in terms of publicity, being asked to speak at events, and things. People like a story, and they like the fact it is a woman in the industry. It has got us press coverage, it has got us opportunities and a foot in the door,” she says, although there has been a downside as well. “It’s not just about sexism in beer marketing for me – I do still get asked at events when we are running tap takeovers and that kind of thing if I am just a sales girl. People still ask what I know about beer and whether I drink beer myself. If I was a bit less confident I might question whether I belonged in this industry, but for me it has just made me more determined really. I tell them actually I own the company!”


And this determination and positive drive has helped the brewery significantly grow despite the challenges of the current market. “Some people are quite scared about how much competition there is, and saying it can’t continue,” Sarah says. “But I was looking at my figures at the end of quarter one and we are still massively up on where we were the year before. So even though there is more competition out there, as long as you are confident in what you’re doing and are ticking all the boxes and diversifying your sales it is still a really exciting industry to be a part of.” Along the way, Sarah does say she has learned a lot, not least the importance of recruiting and nurturing talent within her team. “The biggest learning curve was being able to delegate and let go. It was my business, so at the beginning I wanted to do everything myself and I was a bit of a control freak. But we’ve got a really good team now, and once I started letting other people do things and come up with ideas it actually got a lot easier. You can achieve a lot more. So not being afraid to delegate is one of the big lessons I guess. Your people make the business, and that is something I appreciate more than ever.” Finally I ask about where Sarah gets her inspiration, who she admires or looks up to in the sector, and she stays true to her Welsh roots. “It has to be Tiny Rebel for us, being in Wales,” she says. “They are three years older than us and just look at what they have achieved! They are going from strength to strength. That is an inspiration for us and it is where we want to be.” And at this rate, in another three years I’m betting Boss Brewing will be snapping at those Tiny Rebel heels!



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How this tried and tested US model could be set to make fresh waves within the British beer industry Within the United States the brewpub has become a mainstay of modern American beer culture. Of the 6,266 breweries in the United States, as reported by the American Brewers Association, 2,252 of these are recognised as brewpubs – that’s greater than the total amount of breweries within the United Kingdom. Many US brewpubs operate on what feels like a very similar model and ethos. The layout will often be airy, yet cosy, with comfortable booth seating adjacent to a line of heavy barstools, should you wish to belly up to the bar. The beer list will often feel familiar from brewpub to brewpub, with American style IPA and Pale Ale commonly joined by styles such as Amber Ale, Kölsch and Irish-inspired Dry Stout. And you can guarantee that your brewpub will always offer table service, with a food offering that will more than rival the beer on tap, all of which makes the classic American brewpub feel far more like a restaurant than a bar or brewery. It’s the presence of a brewery itself though, that gives a brewpub its point of difference – the ability to draw in a consumer in a market with an overwhelming amount of choice when it comes to deciding where to eat and drink. Drinking brewery fresh beer at the source still has a pull on consumers that other venues cannot replicate.

But, in a market of over 2,000 brewpubs, simply having a brewery is no longer enough. That point of difference needs to be extra special, such as you might find in Atlanta’s Wrecking Bar, with its Victorian style late 20th century interior, stunning menu and a few curveballs on the beer list, including a Gose and a Belgian-style Dubbel. On the West Coast, San Diego’s Pizza Port chain supplements its staple offering of beer and pizza with almost German-inspired beer hall style seating arrangement, along with a large collection of classic arcade games at each of its sites. Despite the boom of the brewpub in the US, it’s not quite something that’s become as established a model here in the UK. This could be set to change however, as an increasing amount of brewing businesses look to find that same point of difference that has been so successful on the other side of the pond. Brewpubs are far from a new concept in the UK, however. Chains such as Zerodegrees were founded in the early 2000s when public interest in microbreweries was on the rise. Yet despite a few examples like this, the brewpub idea didn’t quite take off here in the UK in the same way as it did in the US. There may be change in the air though – the US beer industry has had a great deal of influence on the modern British beer scene and as entrepreneurial breweries continue to expand, so too will they look to what has worked well in America for inspiration.


Much of BrewDog’s success can be attributed to this influence, so it should come as no surprise that it’s latest plans include opening a brewpub in London’s Tower Hill. Not only will it be the largest of the Scottish brewery’s retail sites, but it will be the first to feature on site brewing outside of its production facility in Ellon, Aberdeenshire. BrewDog isn’t the only brewery with its sights set on a brewpub in the capital either. In its recent crowdfunder, Leeds-based brewery Northern Monk also revealed ambitious plans for a similar brewpub model within London. I would be incredibly surprised if these were the only two breweries to plough this particular furrow over the next 12 months. The combination of the margin boost provided by “own premise” retail, with the point of difference an on-site brewery adds to a traditional pub environment, means it’s likely that the brewpub model could soon become a much larger fixture within the modern British brewing industry.

Matthew Curtis is a freelance beer writer, the founder and editor of Total Ales – - and the Silver Award winner at the 2015 British Guild of Beer Writers Awards in the Best Online Beer Communicator category. You can follow him on Twitter @TotalCurtis






INTERVIEW PETE BROWN, BEER WRITER Pete Brown is arguably the best known beer writer of his generation. He has managed to span that most difficult of divides and combine writing with technical insight that commands the respect of the beer industry, with a consumer flair that has captured, translated and intensified the recent resurgence of the British public’s love for beer. It is no surprise to learn that his background lies in beer marketing, having trodden the brand boards back in the 1990s for Stella Artois (when it was still cool) before embarking on a career as an author and journalist, commentating on one of the most exciting eras in our brewing history. Yet despite this glorious journey, it was not without trepidation that he took to the stage at this year’s BeerX in Liverpool to give the keynote address to a room full of SIBA’s most vocal brewing members fresh from a particularly lively AGM debate. His headline message – ‘Reasons to be Cheerful’ – might at first have seemed at odds with the concerns many in the sector have at the moment over rising costs and an ever more competitive market. But his presentation was not only timely but challenging – presenting opportunities, rather than threats. Caroline Nodder, the SIBA Journal’s Editor, tracked him down afterwards to find out a bit more…




What is your take on the state of the current UK beer market? “I think you have two almost opposite stories overlaying on each other at the moment. I think if you look at it from a consumer point of view and a general broader point of view I still think there has never been a better time to be around beer. It is just fantastic. Every year there are new records in terms of numbers of new breweries opening, beer styles expanding, new bars opening – and some people are making a real success out of it. And then at the same time when I am at an event talking to brewers, I get this real sense of doom and gloom, that things are not going well. And I have real trouble reconciling the two. And I guess the problem is that the market is fantastic, the market is very dynamic, but it is oversupplied with brewers. And some people are going to struggle to keep up.”

There is a lot of doom and gloom out there among brewers at the moment, do you think all of that is justified? “Some people are genuinely struggling, and I don’t want to downplay that or be blind to that. But it used to be that 10 years ago we were out there going ‘please

take beer seriously’ and ‘why is no-one aware that beer is so good, why aren’t restaurants stocking it?’. And you knew where you were with that, what your mission was, what your target was, you knew what you had to do, which was to engage more people and get them interested in beer. But now that craft beer has been the leading trend in the food and drink industry for five years, it is a question of what do we do now, where do we go from here? Surely if it is this successful it cannot continue to be this successful? And I think there is a bit of human nature that comes into play, and you get a bit paranoid and start to wonder where the threat is going to come from. And what I said at BeerX in my speech was that I had seen it before, when I was at Stella Artois, and they started to try and model some of the threats that might come along. And by the end of that exercise they were convinced the brand was going down the tubes there and then – they managed to whip themselves up into a panic. And eventually it did fade, but not for the reasons they came up with in the room that day and not until a good few years later. We do have this natural tendency to feel uncomfortable when we are on the top and everything is going well.”

So do you think there are too many breweries in the UK market? “I do go back and forth on that. I think there are too many brewers chasing the same parts of the market. I don’t necessarily think there are too many brewers overall. This is where I brought in my pie charts at BeerX during my speech which I had worked out using the British Beer and Pub Association figures. All you hear about is brewers trying to get pumps on bars in pubco estates, but that is only 25% of the market. So everyone is chasing that 25% of the pub market, but it is really only 11% of the on-trade market and in turn if you add in the off-trade it is actually only 4% of the whole market. So if everyone is going for that same 4% then there are definitely too many people chasing it. It is interesting to start to look at other routes to market in other places, and if you flip to the optimistic picture then I am seeing craft beer in places where I have never seen it before. And it would be a really interesting intellectual exercise to say ‘ok I am going to build a successful craft beer business selling it everywhere other than pubs’. It would be a very interesting way to look at things differently and prioritise other routes to market. For example, tap rooms are where the big

Continued on page 33 WWW.SIBA.CO.UK





l u f r e che



1 2 3




• Only because you’re in an incredibly exciting sector of the market • Which they may well help grow • And people still prefer to buy from independents



Source: BBPA






• Craft is not meaningless – it means many things to many people • Cask ale is craft, if you want it to be • It’s part of a much broader mood and movement that is here to stay

growth is in the US market now. Every new brewery in the US opens a tap room. But then I think about events, festivals, I think about places like Wholefoods. Restaurants – OK I may be in the North London bubble where I live – but it is now unusual to encounter a new restaurant that doesn’t have a decent range of interesting craft beers on its menu. We have a new community theatre opening up the road from us and I have just had an email from them asking if I can give them a hand with what local craft beers they should be stocking on the bar. There are all those different kinds of places. And I look at the volume owned by the big brewers and I don’t think the major brands of lager have responded in the right way. They have cut themselves off from the market, they have tried to react to being commoditised by trying to make themselves come across as very premium, and I think perhaps that has made them seem very aloof and standoffish to the consumer. That is not what beer is. So I think there is a lot more fat in those brands that craft brewers can still steal.”




• But it’s still growing strongly • Potentially lucrative routes to market still haven’t yet been fully developed • Redefine the market!



You also suggested in your speech that the big brewers could be beneficial by growing the overall market… “Yes I gave the example of the bar I went to at the O2 Arena which stocked Camden Hells. If AB INbev hadn’t bought Camden Hells, the alternative would not be that some local independent beer would be in there. These are venues with multi-million pound deals that are only going to deal with one huge player, but if that huge player happens to have an interesting beer then people will try it at the O2 Arena, and then see it again in a pub and try it again, and then see a similar beer from a local brewer next to it and try that and that will be an independent brewer’s beer. So I do believe that it brings new people into the market.”

Are independent brewers missing a trick by all making a similar style of overhopped beer? “I have been predicting a revival in maltbased beers for about five years now but



27% Source: BBPA

it just doesn’t seem to happen. I have seen some really great brown ales from the likes of Five Points and they might not be trendy among the millennials but every time I open a craft beer article in the Guardian the comments are all about how craft beers are over-hopped so I do think 'well here’s a brown ale that’s perfectly balanced, here’s an amazing porter, get out there and try some different styles!' But then again I have also walked into a new craft beer bar and seen a range of 20 pumps and thought - 'wow this is fantastic!’ Then I have looked at the pumps and taken away the strong IPAs and everything over 8% because I want a couple of pints, and I am left with one or two beers I can choose from. That’s just not right! It is the same as walking into a mainstream pub and seeing they have six big lager brands on. We are in danger of jumping from one monotony of choice to another.”

How do you see Brexit affecting the market? “When you look at it from a global point of

Continued on page 35 WWW.SIBA.CO.UK



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view, if you travel around and ask people in different countries what the best beer producing countries are then it's Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic and the UK. But if you look at the UK, we are importing twice as much beer as we export. That doesn’t make any sense at all. A good example of that is that most people I speak to have no idea why Carlsberg bought London Fields because of its tarnished reputation, but it is perfectly obvious. It is a brand called London Fields, and it has all this distribution in Asia. They picked that up for a bargain and are going to make a killing from it! There are ways that small brewers can get out there too. If I was brewing, especially if I had a good story and name, I’d be looking at export in a big way.”

What is your view on the current debate over inherent sexism in the marketing of beer? “I liken this to the issue of racism. If you were out when you were a kid and one of your mates made a racist remark then everyone shuffled their feet in an embarrassed silence. But now if someone made a racist remark you’d call them out on it. I think the same is now happening with sexism. In the past in this industry

I have witnessed appallingly sexist behaviour that has made women feel uncomfortable and then not felt I was in a position to be able to call people out on it, which is something I regret. I now feel we are in a place where we can call people out on it and would call people out on it as and when it happens. Which is a really good thing. And my point in my speech also was that it is good for business to support sex equality. If you look at, for example, the Spanish market, it has 40% of beer drunk by women and in the UK it is 15%. So what is the difference? The main difference is that Spain serves it in smaller measures and has never advertised it to men using sexist imagery and names.”

Do you support calls for the reform of Small Breweries Relief? “I think it is strange that this issue has polarised people. It was never perfect. And if you think about it sensibly it just needs more of a sliding scale – I don’t understand why it doesn’t work the same way that income tax does. So whatever size you are you get a certain amount of relief on your first 5,000hl, then a lower rate up to 10,000hl then you don’t get anything after that. I do agree that it should be protecting

the smallest brewers, but I think the problems come when you do get someone who wants to grow and employ more people and they hit this point where it doesn’t make sense financially. I remember when Thornbridge did it and went over the 5000hl and were then going to have to get to about 15,000hl to make the same money. The way it is at the moment stifles growth and I would be surprised if anyone in the industry wanted that, so reform, yes. But then the idea of reducing the relief for the smallest brewers I don’t see how anyone in beer can support that.”

Who is doing great things in beer right now? “For me it is about experimentation but with a skill and sense of care behind it. And I do still think that every single beer produced by Thornbridge just absolutely nails it. In terms of quality they are streets ahead. Siren I really love. And then some of the experiments with sours where people are understanding those sours and not just making the most extreme sours they can – so the Origins range by Fyne Ales which have that elegance and sophistication as well as the boldness of flavour.”

Continued on page 37 WWW.SIBA.CO.UK



Craft beer




GB consumers now say they typically drink craft beer when out-of-home, according to CGA

13million UK adults who say they have drunk craft beer in the last three months, according to Mintel

The Many meanings of craft





beer 38

38 Use of high quality ingredients

More care and time taken in production

Produced in small volumes

High level of human input

Not being owned by a large company Source: MINTEL

Is ‘craft’ a meaningless term? “It is a useful, although imperfect, term. Whenever you do any survey, no-one can agree on a single definition of what ‘craft’ actually means, but there is always common ground. They always say small scale, they always say independent, they quite often say traditional. So yes you can’t sum it up in a sentence, but what I learnt in marketing day one is that you don’t think about things from your point of view, you have to think about things from the consumer point of view. And if you decide craft is meaningless then good luck to you, but you are ignoring a lot of consumers who do think it is a useful term and do think it has meaning.”

How do you see the UK beer market changing over time? “Craft is pushing out to a much broader audience and I think we’ll start to see a lot more diversity in beer styles. I am convinced the likes of Meantime Pale Ale or Camden Town Pale will become a default on every single bar, and you’ll just

have your craft pale ale font instead of one of your unnecessary big lager fonts. We have got this thing now where we have a second generation of craft drinkers coming through. I’d say my generation was the first generation of craft drinkers, and as we age we take those habits with us, and the new generation have come in with their New England IPA. They have always had craft beer around so they needed to take it on and create a craft beer for them. I don't like New England IPA because I am not supposed to. That is the point.”

Who do you most admire in the beer world? “The guys at Magic Rock are up there, they are a company that is staying right at the forefront of the conversation, growing strongly and reaching new markets. And Garrett Oliver has for me been a constant inspiration. In an age of rock star brewers and mad scientist brewers I’ve always thought of him as an artist. And it’s not just the beers he creates: it’s the way he speaks about flavour. He elevates beer, puts it in the same class as wine not out


of defensiveness, but as someone who loves both. Also, in a wider business sense, Jamie Hawksworth of Pivovar. He just doesn’t comprehend the concept of ‘impossible’.”

If you could drink any beer anywhere in the world what would it be and where? “I’d probably be drinking in Oregon. Two years ago I was invited over to a food festival there and Portland is just amazing. Then you go to the coast and Cannon Beach is one of the nicest places ever to drink a beer at sunset. So it would be either a really classic West Coast IPA like a Sierra Nevada Torpedo or something like that, or it would be a Trappist ale. My final beer would be a St Bernardus Abt 12 – those beers can’t be touched by anything new that’s come along.”



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TURNING ON THE TAP Robert Wicks was part of what he terms the ‘second wave’ of small independent brewers to enter the UK market when he founded Westerham Brewery in Kent in 2004. With 14 years now under his belt, he has overseen a transformation of the business since its early days and more recently a move to a new site. Westerham continues to compete in an increasingly crowded marketplace through Robert’s innovative strategy of diversifying his income streams and building a locally-rooted retail arm on the new site in partnership with other small artisan businesses. Local is still very much at the heart of what Westerham does, although brewers nationwide could certainly learn a thing or two from this market-leading strategy. The SIBA Journal’s Editor Caroline Nodder caught up with Robert the morning after he had hosted 140 beer enthusiasts at a brewery tasting led by best-selling beer writer Pete Brown….





Tell me a bit about your background and the background to the business. “I worked in the City as an investment banker for 16 years, and decided I didn’t like the way the ethics of that were going. I had always had an interest in home brewing – I brewed my first beer at the age of eight! - so I ended up getting out and starting a brewery.”

What were your aspirations for the business, did you have a certain size or demographic in mind? “Yes and no! We didn’t have a demographic in mind really, we have a certain demographic in the area we live in that is more middle aged, because of the cost of housing where we are. But being in proximity to London we actually have quite a lot of our business in the London market. About half of our business is north of the M25, but we are only about 250m from the M25 in our new location. So we are only just outside the orbital. So the aspiration for the business was to do 5,000hl. We have in the recent past done quite a lot more than that, but we cut it right back with the move (to a new site) and are now building it back up again. We had a very big contract that we lost after the takeover of one of the major pubcos and that was extremely painful so we were very cautious about getting back into a contract like that again. It is all to do with the issue with duty once you get the wrong side of 5,000hl, if you lose it at the wrong time of the year it really hurts you.”

How would you describe your brewing ethos? “We have a core range of what we would call the classic beers, which are the cask conditioned beers, but they are quite hoppy.

They are unashamedly made with Kent hops – I think that is the critical thing for us, we are a craft brewery in Kent so why wouldn’t we want to use Kent hops? That has been an important part of our ethos right from the very beginning. Right from the start we set out our business plan that we would go no further than 30 miles from the brewery – other than if somebody asked for our beer for a beer festival or whatever – but our general strategy was to go no further than 30 miles from the brewery, which is the definition of local according to the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England. Our business ethos since then hasn’t really changed, we set out to produce a local product for a local market. The other part of the ethos is that back in the 1890’s there were two breweries in Westerham for a town of only 2,500 people…not because the locals liked a drink…but because of the water. So we really major on the fact that the local water is a critical part of the beer.”

You have diversified into other income streams. Tell me a bit more about how and why you did that? “We have been trying to do this more and more since about 2006. We had a small shop site at the old brewery and we wanted to expand that with the support of the National Trust, they were right behind us, but it started kicking off with the neighbours. So we started discussions about moving to the new site nine, nearly 10 years ago. It took four years to get planning permission because we are in the metropolitan green belt and also in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The site is actually part of the Squerryes Estate, a big landowner round here. We started building in March 2016, and it took us nine months to build, then three to four months to fit it out. We stopped production at the old site in January last year, and by the end of

Continued on page 43 WWW.SIBA.CO.UK



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March we were up and running in the new brewery with quite a lot of new equipment. The shop was designed as part of the new building and we got some grant funding from the Rural Development Programme through Seven Oaks District Council. They have supported a lot of what we do. About 40% of the development cost of the shop was paid for through that. Our retail has since gone from 9% to 25% in one year, and the Squerreys Estate, which owns about 13% of the shop, sell their sparkling wine through there too, using our staff obviously, we also sell local gin which is about 10% of sales – so it is a co-operative partnership arrangement. Squerreys also have a tasting room in the same building which they actually used the same architect to design and they use that for tastings of their sparkling wines, so people can come through the brewery tap room and into the tasting room, and we share the toilet facilities. It is very much a partnership. The plan was for a first year turnover of £125K, and we have done more like £250K.”

Where are you investing at the moment? “We are now planning to expand the tap room by incorporating part of our upstairs offices, which to be frank are far too big! We are going to put a mezzanine in part of the brewery site too that is a bit cold and we want to make a bit more welcoming. It is going to have a glass wall two meters high on one side, and then upstairs will be glass on three sides, we’ll be able to put bands and things up there for events in the summer, and you’ll be able to look down over the brewery. We have had over 200 here at events since we moved to the new site, although to be honest we are not getting the huge numbers we used to get at the old site because there you could only come to the brewery 12 times over the year – we could only hold 12 events – but here you can come to the brewery 13 times a month. So we are doing 12 times the number of openings we used to. Every Friday night we have a pizza van here, which pays us 10% of ex-VAT turnover as a sort of rent, and we put out beer festival seating along the whole front of the building on our terrace which gets the evening sun, and quite regularly last summer we ran out of seating. Apparently we were selling more pizzas than the local Pizza Express!”

How is Westerham different to other brewers in the sector? “We are different in that we focus on Kent hops rather than using a lot of American hops so we have focused on getting great flavour from local hops. We also have a great ethical basis to the business in terms of our impact on the environment and our view on localism. So those are the aspects that make us different to one or two others. We also have our own bore hole, the water is very important to our beer as I mentioned, and we resuscitated an old brewery that had closed in 1965 and brew several heritage beers that are remakes of beers from that brewery. Those are tremendously popular and have won a lot of awards. You might say those are old fashioned beers but there is a silent majority who want to drink good traditional cask beers. And those beers are not boring! We pack a lot of flavour into them. We actually did a collaborative brew in 2015 called American Bulldog with Doug Odell at Odell Brewing in Fort Collins in the US and he said he was influenced by his experience of drinking beer in the UK. The story behind American Bulldog was that it was the 50th anniversary of Winston Churchill’s death and he lived in Westerham and was half English and half American, so we did a beer using hops that were either English or half English and half American. That collaboration inspired our Gold Rush beer, which uses six American hops. And it was not restrained in any way, it had a big smack of bitterness to it, but it was still balanced. So many of the craft beers we taste now are not balanced, and they are not enjoyable. They may be shocking in terms of the flavour but you get two thirds of the way down and you can’t drink any more. We want beers that are sessionable. We also have a reputation now for doing lager. We went over to the Czech Republic and visited nine breweries there and asked them what is the essence of a great pilsner. Bohemian Rhapsody is our Czechstyle pilsner and in its first year it won the SIBA South region awards in bottle and keg. The essence is that the carbonation is natural – it is the difference between cava and champagne. We now have other breweries coming to us asking how we do it and I really think craft lager is the growth area. My blind aunt could make an IPA but it really takes skill to make a lager!”

Continued on page 45 WWW.SIBA.CO.UK









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Can you describe the challenges you’ve faced with expanding the business?

So are you supportive of the Coalition’s plan to reform the duty system?

“Overspending on a new build project this big was an issue. There is also a lot of health and safety involved, a lot of legal stuff involved. A refurbishment is a lot easier than a new build and it has been pretty painful – we won’t be doing it again I can tell you that!”

“No. I don’t support that because I think that would damage the 83% of SIBA Members who operate below that threshold. I am much keener on flattening the shape of the curve and spreading the benefit.”

Are there any mistakes you’ve made that you have learned from? “I think in the new building we realised we had ended up with offices that were too big and we hadn’t realised how cold the brewery would be in the winter. So we would have made more of the tap room and shop initially and possibly even a smaller brewery! We probably should have been more aggressive on the retail space. But then we had so many problems with planning permission, the application eventually ended up on the desk of the Secretary of State. We needed to declare special circumstances to build and when you do that you need to take it to the highest level.”

What is your view on the debate around reforming the beer duty system? “Having been through the ceiling and suffered the pain of going through that I do think the cap that comes at 5,000hl is problematic. In terms of numbers I used to sit on the SIBA Council and worked on the duty panel. Between 5,000hl and 10,000hl there is a 50% increase in rate of duty per hl percent in the rate of duty you pay and that is simply unsustainable. You have to be able to punch through that level of production very rapidly because there are virtually no economies of scale for a brewery doing between 5,000hl and 10,000hl. You can’t buy malt or hops any cheaper, you probably don’t have the money to invest in the capacity of your brewhouse, so unless you have a lot of money behind you – like some of the London breweries which have a few £million to spend - you are not going to be able to play in that sandpit very easily.”

Do you see any other barriers to your growth at the moment? “There is too much competition and people are using their beer duty reduction – the SBR – in order to discount. I hear stories – and I think it is much worse in the South West – of brewers selling three firkins for £99. You can’t make it for that. There is some real pain at the moment. We see people with unsustainable pricing that simply cannot go on. The international brewers are also able to use the excess profits they make in Europe – a third to a half of the profit on a pint for us in the UK goes in duty whereas in Germany they pay a 10th – and they come and invest that profit in the UK market so we can’t compete. If the Government does one thing after Brexit it should be to change their policy on the alcohol industry. It shouldn’t be treated as a massive revenue earner, they are destroying our drinks industry by making us uncompetitive. They succeeded in making the Scotch Whisky industry very competitive because they froze duty on it for 10 years! You have to look at being internationally competitive and we simply cannot compete with the taxation system we have.”

How do you see the structure of the brewing sector changing over the next few years? “I hope that the big wholesalers will start to adopt more craft beer. We are definitely focusing our efforts on the hospitality sector (restaurants and hotels) but we are quite different in that in 2013 we got a grant from the Government from the Technology Strategy Board to develop the process of removing gluten from beer. And we converted our whole bottled beer range to gluten-free, and that is what has driven the growth in our bottled beer. So we are trying

Continued on page 47 WWW.SIBA.CO.UK



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to get a lot more of our beer in to retailers by them using it as a gluten free option – 13% of consumers now avoid gluten either as a lifestyle choice or for medical reasons and that is three times as many people than are vegetarian.”

What beer styles currently excite you? “We will probably be doing some more barrel-aged beers, we will be doing some more exclusive beers. I am interested in international styles of beer from around the world, so we quite regularly do a range of international style beers for our monthly specials. We might be doing an Italian Doppio Malto or a Japanese pale ale using Japanese hops or an American pale ale. We will be moving into cans as well – we own a stake in South East Bottling which is a contract packaging business we own with two other breweries – and we have put in a new canning line and will be canning there. I think 440ml cans are the way forward. A 330ml is mean, quite frankly!”

Where do you see yourself and the brewery being in 10 years’ time? “Retired I hope! My son is actually working in the business at the moment, but I have no idea if he will want to take it on. He runs the cellar at the moment and is also involved in production planning. I am not sure of he’ll want to be involved in the business going forward though so we will have to see. In terms of selling out, you can never say never, if someone comes along and they offer the right amount of money and are keen to protect the brand and keep it going forward then maybe yes. But the takeover style I find most objectionable is where a big brewer takes over a smaller one just to get hold of their brands and then shuts the brewery down and transports the product to a different location.”

Who do you most admire in the sector and why? “Fourpure. Dan (Daniel Lowe - Fourpure’s CEO) was down here last night at the tasting and he regularly comes to the tap room. They have deep pockets, they have invested a lot of money and they deserve to do well. I have also always respected what Meantime has done – of course they have now sold out, but I think they had a very successful business model and focused on what they did best. I also really respect Ossett Brewery, I like their beers and their approach to retailing. In fact I take my hat off to Jamie Lawson (Owner) who is a fantastic bar, restaurant and pub operator. Surrey Hills make very good beer locally as well, I will happily drink their beer when I am out and about. I also respect the guys at Brewpub & Kitchen, a great retail concept and I think they do what they do very well.”






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Samantha Faud of Napthens


DO I NEED A PREMISES LICENCE? Brewery tours are used by many brewers as a way of increasing customer loyalty, raising product awareness and generating additional income. In this article, leisure and licensing solicitor Samantha Faud of Napthens, looks at a fairly common enquiry through SIBA’s Legal Helpline, as to whether or not a Premises Licence (a permission to sell alcohol) is required if a brewery is “giving alcohol away” as part of their tour. The Licensing Act 2003 is the main piece of legislation surrounding the sale of alcohol and regulates when permissions are required, and the starting point is that if you are genuinely giving alcohol away for free then there is no sale and you will not require a permission. That starting point has led to many brewers taking the view that if they say they are charging for a tour and giving the beer away for free, no permission is required. However, the position is not that simple: a Court would not simply accept the label that a brewer gave to an arrangement and would look behind that label to decide for itself what the position was. If the giving away of alcohol is linked to a sale then it is likely that such an arrangement would be deemed to be an unauthorised licensable activity. The position has not yet been properly tested by the courts and there are two main schools of thought. Some argue that because a customer who undertook the tour and did not drink any beer would be charged the same as a customer who undertook the tour and did drink beer, then the beer must be

free. Others argue that the only people that get the free beer are people who undertake a brewery tour (you would not give free beer to a stranger who just walked in off the street), so the only people that receive beer are people that make a payment, therefore the provision of beer must be linked to a sale. The penalties for selling alcohol without the required permission are severe: an unlimited fine and / or up to 6 months in prison per offence, so there is a significant risk in getting this wrong. Temporary Event Notices (temporary permissions to carry on licensable activities) may assist if brewery tours are infrequent, but there are limits on the amount you can use each year so this is not a solution if brewery tours are a frequent offering. The likelihood is that in almost all situations involving paid for brewery tours where beer is provided, the beer is part of what the customer is paying for, so sales of alcohol are taking place and a permission is required.

For advice on this topic or on legal issues affecting your business please contact the SIBA Legal Helpline: 0845 6710277 North West law firm Napthens LLP is a SIBA supplier associate and gold standard sponsor. The firm has a team of specialists looking after the legal requirements of clients in the leisure and licensed trade sector, with clients including Daniel Thwaites plc and Sceptre Leisure Ltd. Napthens manages 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, debt recovery and employment law. Any enquiry through the helpline will receive up to 1 hour of free legal expertise (if further work is require, you’ll be advised of the appropriate charging structure) Full details of the helpline can be found on the SIBA Members Toolbox.







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ONLINE MARKETING Online marketing tips for the year ahead

Ed Davies

As we look towards the summer season, now is the perfect time to make sure your online presence is in order. Here, online expert Ed Davies looks at a few of the key areas to consider…

It's actually quite straight forward to get rid of duplicate/old Facebook accounts: • verify your page • report other pages as duplicates

Freshen up your Google Listing Google's been busy giving us even more features in their free listings. Given this is often the first impression people get of your business, it's worth taking a coffee-break to turn it around. The biggest change is that you can now have your menu natively in the listing, instead of just a link. Update your photos, reply to those reviews (first impressions count!) and take the time to add your shop or brewery tap’s special hours for the year ahead for certain events, add those under Special Hours so they show up when people find you on Google.

Make a note of key dates Do you ever find that you've left it too late to plan and promote an event? This simple 'hack' will save you a lot of headaches. Research key dates that you want to do something special for (eg seasonal beer launches, brewery events etc) Put these in your phone and add two reminder alarms: • One alarm 2 months in advance • One alarm 4 weeks in advance Sitting down for an hour now and doing this will save you a lot of frustration, giving you plenty of notice to get ready and start promoting early for each key event.

Set aside a budget You may not have heard, but one of the latest Facebook updates (Facebook Zero) is going to be restricting how far your posts go for free. There are multiple reasons for this - but the end result is you should allocate budget to boost your posts (or run full adverts) at key times throughout the year.

• use 'suggest edits' to report pages as duplicates of yours.

Update your social media headers Chances are you've had a nice Christmas-related one, followed by a spring-time one, so now’s the time to think about summer. Look ahead at what events/promotions you want to promote and consider how you could incorporate those into your header. Bonus tip: Use free graphic design site Canva to make your headers work harder for you. It gives you a template with the right dimensions, great looking text options and takes only a minute or two to create a fantastic header.

Check who has access This one always surprises me - the number of pages which have admins that you can't remember on them. Anyone who's an admin on your page can kick you off (if you fall out). Make sure that only key people have that level of access, drop everyone else down to editor if they need to post for you, or moderator if you want them just to be able to respond to messages and comments on your posts.

Update your Instagram Hashtags One of my favourite tips for you if you're using Instagram: Take the time to work out the best 20 hashtags for your business that you're going to use in most posts. Save them in your note app on your phone, so each time you post you can copy and paste your top 20 hashtags. Then use the remaining 10 tags tailored to the content of your post (eg hashtags relevant to a particular event or product). If you haven't done this, now is the time. If you've done this before, have another look and make sure you're still using the best performing hashtags.

Check for duplicates

Ed Davies is a digital consultant who works within the licensed retail sector. For more information go to or head on over to his free Facebook group, At The Bar (






TAKING BACK CONTROL In this issue, James Sleight from Geoffrey Martin & Co looks at the importance of credit control… What is credit control and why is it so important? Put simply, credit control is the practice of making sure your customers don’t take too long to pay you. This is really important for the cashflow of your business. With most businesses you have to pay out for a large proportion of your costs e.g. (wages and rent) before you are paid for the products you have made. Businesses therefore need working capital i.e. (cash reserves) to bridge this gap. The longer it takes to get paid by a customer the more working capital you will require to keep your business afloat. Credit control is therefore a fundamental aspect of your business in particular if, like most businesses, you have limited cash resources. Clear communication with your customers is imperative. Ensure they know before you commit to supplying them what your terms of business and payment terms are. Some businesses ensure their customers acknowledge this by signing a purchase order. These terms are further re-instated when you send the invoice to your customers. ‘Payment terms’ should be clearly set out on the invoice, including the number of days that you will allow them before they send payment and how they can make payment. In an ideal world you would ask for immediate payment, however your customers are also managing their own working capital issues and typically most businesses allow 30 or even 60 days. The terms that you can dictate will depend upon how strong your customer relationship is, the demand for your product and what your competitors are offering. It goes without saying, the longer you allow customers to pay, the larger the impact on your cashflow and the more working capital your business will need. If your customers take longer to pay than your terms state, then you will need to chase payment. This is called credit control. This is really important, if you don’t chase the customer will have no incentive to pay. He who shouts loudest often gets paid first! How can you build an effective credit control system? This should ideally start before you have supplied goods and services to a new customer, by checking their creditworthiness. Whilst not practical for lots of customers with low value orders, for customers who may be purchasing a high value order, you can get an online credit rating about them or ask for credit references from other suppliers. You may insist on payment before delivery of goods and services, but most businesses will allow some form of delay before payment is necessary. Decide on a policy of how many days credit you will offer. Whilst industry practice may dictate this calculate how much reserves you hold. There is no point offering 60 day terms if your business only has sufficient working capital to last 30 days. Again make sure it’s clear on your invoices. There is legislation to protect business from late payments called the ‘Late payment of commercial debts (Interest) Act 1998. This entitles on a day rate for all business to charge interest of 8% plus the current BoE interest rate for late payments. If you are concerned about late payments it is worth stating on your invoice that you will seek to collect under this legislation if payment is late. This can be a useful deterrent. Other ways to encourage timely payment include offering discounts for swift payment, however think about the impact of this as it will reduce your profit margins.

If the payment date has arrived and you haven’t received funds, then you must take action. Often an e-mail or quick call to remind your customer will do the trick. However, if you have trouble getting James Sleight, Geoffrey Martin & Co hold of the customer or they seem unlikely to pay, you may need to be more persistent, which can be time exhaustive. If you’re a small company, you may not have specialist credit control staff or as is often the case in small businesses, those in charge of sales often do the payment chasing as well. This is sometimes not ideal and creates a conflict of interest within your organisation as they do not want to upset the customer. If this is the case, get someone else in the organisation to do the chasing or think about using a third party credit controller or virtual PA. If you have further trouble collecting the payment, for example, if you are unable to contact the customer directly, then think about employing a debt collection agency. They will charge a fee, typically around 10%, but it will leave you to concentrate on running your business rather than spending time chasing debtors. Make sure that any agents you appoint are registered with the Financial Conduct Authority. The Credit Services Association has a list of reputable debt collection agencies. Whilst an uncomfortable decision, if you become aware that debts are not being paid in time and your customer is avoiding you then ensure that no further orders are processed until the issue is resolved. Legal action is the last resort but it can be expensive so make sure that the cost of legal action will not be more than the debt is worth. For debts with a fixed amount you can always file a claim online in courts for any amount up to £100,000. There is a filing fee which ranges between 0 and 4.5%. If however; the debt is over £5,000 and disputed or unquantified you are always recommended to seek legal advice on how best to proceed. Tips for building an effective credit control system: • Get references for new customers • Use an online credit rating service or ask for trade references • Set out clear payment terms on your invoices • Make sure the invoice is accurate • Send the invoice to the right person (especially in big firms) it can’t be paid if it isn’t received • Establish a diary system to chase late payers - find a firm to help you with this if it’s uncomfortable • Chase debts through the legal system if necessary but be prepared to write off debts that are costing more to collect than they are worth • For more information, refer to The Credit Services Association and court claims information on the website.

James Sleight is a Partner at Geoffrey Martin & Co, a Supplier Associate Member of SIBA. Geoffrey Martin & Co provides practical advice concerning growth, financial issues, exit and contingency planning, to a business’s directors, owners, investors and financiers at all stages of its life cycle. We work with companies, individuals, partnerships, and lenders across the whole of the UK, with experience in many sectors including Bars, Restaurants, Media & Marketing, and Technology. For a free, informal chat about any aspects of your business including financing, please call our Leeds team on 0113 244 5141.







ON SOCIAL MEDIA WIN! Inapub’s Digital Services Manager Matt Jones takes a look at how to run successful competitions through your social media feeds… Competitions on Social Media can be a great way for breweries to increase engagement and gain followers on the platforms they use. These can be used to inform customers of the brewing process, let them know about seasonal products or get involved with trending topics, all of which can gain extra sales. Here are a number of ways you can use the different platforms to run competitions. Facebook competitions for breweries are likely the most popular and widely used. The easiest way of running these is to ask a question which people can answer in the comments. Be sure to list your terms and conditions on your website. Selecting your question should be linked into your products or the things that are trending e.g. news stories or national days. Here are some ideas to try: •Q  uestions based around the news will always trend, getting you higher reach. E.g. Which month did Prince Harry get engaged in? Answer below to win a case of beer (links into the Royal Wedding trend). •Q  uestions which drive people to your website for information, specifically your shop if possible. If your beer is named after something local then ask a question about that. Then comments hints with a link to shop.  ational days always trend on Social Media. Ask a •N competition question based around that. Link your product to that day in some way, and it will help you get better reach.  easonal questions will also gain reach. For instance •S running up to Christmas: Tell us what you want for Xmas? Comment below for your chance to win. •A  sk a question where followers have to guess the answer. It can be something as simple as we are thinking of a number between 1 and 1000. First person to get the right answer gets a free brewery tour.  ote for your choice by liking or commenting. Entrants •V make a choice and interact to vote for that choice. E.g. Comment for Beer A. Like for Beer B. There are some types of competition you may have seen, but should definitely avoid on Facebook. ‘Like & Share’ Competitions are common, but are specifically against Facebook regulations. If reported you may have you page removed temporarily, indefinitely or forever. Similarly any competition which specifically states you have to share to another’s page is against these guidelines. You can run a

Matt Jones. Inapub's Digital Services Manager

competition whereby you ask followers to ‘like’, ‘comment’ or ‘like & comment’. If you are using Instagram you can run similar competitions to the above, by asking a question in a post, but there are several other things you can try. Here a few ideas of Instagram competitions:  reate your own Hashtag and ask customers to add it to •C their posts to enter. You can search these out and then pick a winner at random. •R  un a selfie competition. Ask customers to post a picture of them enjoying a beer or having it on the bar. Pick a winner at Random. •A  sk customers to Caption your pictures. Post a picture of something (usually funny) and ask customers to caption the post. Pick your winner at random or pick the best answer. •R  un a story on your Instagram Story where you ask a questions and ask for emails or messages to enter. Twitter has more ways you can run a competition. The platform is much more concerned with brevity so theses competition will have to be posted about several times to get the best reach. But this can be very effective at getting you more sales •R  etweet this post to win. Asking people to share on Twitter is completely fine. So ask people to do it to enter. If locals retweet then you can reach more locals. •L  ike this post to be in with a chance to win. Take any ideas you have for Facebook liking, or come up with new ones and use them on Twitter. •U  se our Hashtag. Ask customers to tweet your chosen Hashtag. You can add on more conditions such as pictures or just keep it simple. If you link it to their content in your brewery then you can showcase more about you and your beer. For all of these competitions, be clear on closing dates, how to take part and make sure you have Terms & Conditions listed somewhere easily accessible. These are all ways in which you can run competitions in your brewery. They will all help you build up your audience and hopefully sell more of your beer. If you use a mix of different competitions across the different platforms you use, it will bring your more sales.

Inapub is the leading supplier of digital marketing solutions for Britain’s pub and beer trade, offering news, advice, training and website services. If you’d like to know more about how Inapub can help grow your business, email or visit




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TIME FOR TEA By Dr Keith Thomas of Brewlab, Sunderland

Steeping grains is not the only mash process available to the modern brewer. A mash of tea is an increasingly popular alternative. We are not thinking here of the morning tea break brew but Kombucha, a complex fermentation of tea with a long and extensive history.

These issues aside what are the production requirements? Firstly, there is no grain mashing required – although a malt Kombucha would be worth considering. In simple terms the ferment develops on a sweetened mash of tea – green, black or flavoured. Around 5-8% of sugar is added as substrate and when cooled the brew is inoculated with a SCOBY starter to provide the mix of microbes to conduct the fermentation. The SCOBY microbes are sensitive to metals so glass or plastic vessels and materials are preferable.

Perhaps the most interesting feature of Kombucha is the SKOBY microbiology which is a variable mix of microbes including Saccharomyces, Brettanomyces/ Dekkera, Candida, Torulospora or Kloeckera yeasts plus Acetobacter, Gluconobacter and Lactobacilli along with unspecified other microbes. In effect a sour beer delight. The whole mixture is held together by the secretion of a cellulosic slime which is surprisingly tough and also visually disconcerting – particularly if it develops in the neck of a bottle. Such slimes are not uncommon in brewing and occasionally seen in the lees of casks returned from trade. Using these as the basis of a SKOBY might be an interesting investigation.

For many years Kombucha has been the providence of back shelves in health food shops or almost furtive circulation of the mother plant between home producers. Today it is one of the options brewers could well consider as a diversification to broaden their product range and a good compliment to the increasingly popular sour beers. Kombucha has plenty of advantages as an addition to your beer list. It is simple and cheap to make and is based on a commonly accepted beverage. It is low in alcohol - although not necessarily alcohol free and has a wealth of health claims. It also has a dedicated following and, for the committed, is a drink to imbibe daily rather than as a binge on a Friday night. There are drawbacks, not least possible appearance problems. The active ingredient, named SCOBY, is a slimy, cellulosic mass of tissue which floats in the ferment looking very like a distressed or deceased jellyfish. As with all fermentations there is the need to keep the microorganisms active and prevent them dying out and finally the need to check that the final product is suitable for sale as a food product. Fortunately, Kombucha is an acidic ferment so providing inherent protection against food poisoning pathogens and, like beer, can be said to have an assumption of a safe food. To satisfy legislative requirements it is necessary to ensure that the alcohol levels are below that which would initiate Revenue and Customs declaration – 0.05%, and also that there are no mycotoxins arising from unwanted fungal contaminants.

Kombucha - Example scoby community

This mix is a community of yeast and bacteria which together produce the range of flavours characteristic of Kombucha. Predominant in this are acids with up to 8 grams per litre of acetic so providing its dominant vinegar flavour. The sugars though are not completely fermented so leaving a balancing sweetness. Depending on the time of fermentation this balance can be controlled to taste and for commercial production this would need defining carefully as suitable for the brand. It would also be advisable to stabilize the Kombucha by filtration or pasteurisation to prevent changes after packaging and to avoid alcohol levels rising above tolerance limits or bottles over gassing. Ethanol levels in Kombucha can reach 0.05% as some Saccharomyces yeast may be present so an accurate check is needed to be sure any final product can be termed “alcohol free”. If levels are above 0.05% and below 1.2% it needs to be labelled “low alcohol”. Ethanol levels result from a dynamic where production is balanced by oxidation and metabolism to produce acetic acid and will depend on microbial activity and diversity.


Kombucha - Small batch production showing surface scoby

Kombusha is not highly regarded by everyone so may not be an immediate resell to many outlets. Part of its reputation is based on purported health benefits from some of the metabolites produced particularly acids such as gluconic and glucuronic but also antioxidants. These benefits include antimicrobial action, protection against pollution and cancer and antioxidant effects. No definitive study has, however, demonstrated effectiveness in humans with most research being laboratory based albeit with encouraging results on tissues. Time may allow opportunities to obtain more definitive data but for now it is perhaps best sold on its flavour and low alcohol character. That said if Kombucha were to be of interest to your portfolio it may be relevant to introduce a Kombucha diet to brewery staff as part of their company health plan.






The decision to move BeerX to Liverpool has been met very positively by SIBA Members and the trade alike and with the event behind us we think we can safely say it was a huge success – a fantastic custom event space, impressive trade show, great attendance and lots of exciting events happening in BeerX and around the city. Overall Delegate numbers were very similar to those in Sheffield at well over 2,000, but importantly in terms of the number of breweries represented at BeerX we saw numbers significantly increase, with 35% more breweries attending or sending employees to BeerX. SIBA’s move to make BeerX a trade only event this year gave a focus to the event and allowed everything to happen all under one roof, something which Exhibitors and Delegates alike seemed to prefer. To gain some more in-depth feedback we have sent Delegate Attendees and Trade Exhibitors feedback surveys and will



be using these to further streamline the event for next year – BeerX is your trade show and we want to make it as useful and valuable as possible. In a slight change to last year’s event we enlisted the presenting prowess of Radio 2’s Nigel Barden for the Business Awards on Wednesday night and the flagship Independent Beer Awards on the Thursday night. A move which helped further professionalise the awards and create a genuine buzz in the room, we think Nigel did a fantastic job and want to thank him again! Of course, a huge congratulations also goes out to all of the winners at BeerX, of which there were many – with the National Beer Awards, Business Awards and Regional Keg Awards all taking place in Liverpool. In fact it’s been a big year for SIBA competitions in general, with almost 3,000 different beers entered into the SIBA Independent Beer Awards across the UK over the last 12 months – making winning at the National Finals

something to be truly proud of. The business awards were also our biggest ever, seeing a huge 60% growth in entries in 2018 compared to last year, making the judging process even tougher and the wins even more hard-fought. It was also fantastic to see all of the events taking place in Liverpool in support of BeerX, from Tap Takeovers and Meet the Brewer events, to Beer Launches and unofficial afterparties, it was great to see BeerX being embraced by the Liverpool independent craft beer scene and member breweries making the most of their time. Lastly, we’d like to say a huge thanks to everyone that helps make BeerX happen, including but not limited to our fantastic cellar team, beer awards volunteers, bar staff, our dedicated staff team, our amazing event organisers Lucy and Nicola, and of course all of the Trade Show Exhibitors and Delegate attendees – it couldn’t happen without you!


Wolf Brewery, North Brewing Co and Tring named best in the UK at SIBA Independent Beer Awards 2018

“One of our original founders was a royal lancer and this beer is his creation - it’s proved so popular we’ve been brewing it ever since! We just think it’s a great barley wine and it’s nice to know that we’re doing the right things after all these years of brewing it.




The SIBA Independent Beer Awards at BeerX are the trade association’s National finals and in order to earn a place at the competition brewers must first win at their regional competition – making these overall Champions very much the ‘best of the best’ when it comes to British independent craft beer.” Sam reed, Tring Brewery

alcoholic nose and incredibly complex flavour profile.’ It’s fitting that in the keg competition it was a hazy, aromatic, American style IPA that took the top spot at BeerX the final competition before the new awards categories come into play for the Regional Beer Awards during 2018, culminating in the National Finals next year. See page 61 for more details.


“This award means so much to the whole team, who have been hustling hard and constantly growing the business and making great beer. This beer started life as a trial brew before our brewer Seb even joined us full time. He’s still constantly improving it, and now with this beer we think we’ve nailed that combination of drinkability and a modern, full flavour.” John Gyngell, North Brewing Co






“A lot of blood sweat and tears goes into that beer so it means a huge amount to win. It means the world to the family. We were aiming for a smooth, dark session beer that is accessible but with huge flavour - something I think we achieved!” Georgina Edwards, Wolf Brewery


Judged by brewers and industry experts and organised by SIBA at our flagship BeerX event in Liverpool, the awards run across a huge range of beer style categories in cask, craft keg, bottle and can.

The Champion Cask beer is Sirius Dog Star from Wolf brewery and is described as being a ‘uniquely flavoured red ale, lightly hopped with American Galena and Cluster hops, a smooth beer with a soft fruity finish’, it was Transmission from North Brewing Co that took home the top gong in the Craft Keg competition with their ‘hugely drinkable Beer with a light body and dry finish’, in the bottle and can competition (known as ‘smallpack’ by those in the trade) it was Death or Glory from Tring Brewery, A ‘rich, sweet barley wine with a heady,


Wolf Brewery and North Brewing Co have taken home Overall Champion Gold in the Cask and Keg Awards at the SIBA Independent Beer Awards 2018, with Tring Brewery being named the best bottled or canned beer.



SIBA Chairman Buster Grant, a brewer himself at Brecon Brewing in Wales, congratulated the winners on their huge achievement: “Making it to the finals is an achievement in itself, winning your style category is something to be even more proud of, and then going on to be named the Overall Champion Gold against such tough competition really is something truly special. These are the three best beers from independent craft brewers across cask, keg, bottle and can – beers which I would encourage both beer drinkers and publicans across the UK to seek out while they still can, as demand for these beers is surely about to go through the roof!”

For the full list of our 2018 winners go to pages 70-77 in this issue!

Speaker Presentations now on Toolbox!

Got to Toolbox at to download all the 2018 SIBA BeerX presentations and AGM documents.




Beyond the Pales: How SIBA has evolved the

categories for the 2018 Independent Beer Awards It’s a bold move for an organisation whose beer competitions last year included 3,000 different beers across cask, keg, bottle and can, but the change better aligns the awards with the way people are drinking beer in 2018. “The British beer market is unrecognisable from ten years ago, with thousands of independent British brewers now producing some of the most exciting, full-flavoured beers I’ve ever tasted – in a range of styles greater than we have ever seen before. Whilst British bitters and traditional porters remain hugely popular, and an important part of our brewing heritage, it’s important for us to recognise the diversity of styles now being brewed in the UK – from hazy, aromatic American style New England IPAs to wild and spontaneously fermented sour beers in the style of the Belgian Lambic brewers.” Guy Sheppard, SIBA Competitions Chair The SIBA Independent Beer Awards start afresh with the first Regional Awards with the SIBA South West competition this month (April), after culminating at BeerX in March with the National Finals at

Liverpool, where somewhat aptly it was a bold, aromatic, hazy IPA that took the overall Gold in the Keg competition. “The UK beer scene continues to shift dramatically, with new styles, flavours and the range of diversity changing almost daily. Transmission winning Overall Gold in the Keg competition is the perfect example of this shift. Introducing the new categories will be welcomed by all UK Breweries, who have helped to create the most vibrant and fast paced beer scene in the world.” John Gyngell, North Brewing Co The SIBA Independent Beer Awards take place in eight regions around the UK; Scotland, North East, North West, Midlands, East of England, Wales & West, South East, and South West, with the latter being the first of the 2018 competitions to take place at the Maltings Beer Festival in Newton Abbot, Devon from the 19th – 21st April. Following that the next competitions will be Wales & West on the 11th May at Ludlow Castle, before the London and the South East competition in Tonbridge on the 6th July.

London brewers in particular have made a name for themselves in recent years for hazy, aromatic IPAs and sour, Belgian style brews. Tom Bott of Signature Brew is the South East region Chair and helped create these new categories with other experts on SIBA’s Competitions Committee, he thinks the move reflects the changes to the UK beer scene in recent years, "SIBA competitions are an important part of many independent brewer’s calendars, they offer the opportunity to benchmark your beers alongside your peers and if you're lucky enough to win, the recognition you receive makes all the hard work worthwhile. Because of this importance it's crucial the competition categories reflect the fantastic diversity in brewing styles we've seen develop over the past few years. Here in London we've seen the number of breweries triple since Signature Brew started in 2011 and with that has come a swathe of bright, innovative brewers all keen to make their mark with ever bolder recipes. I'm pleased to see SIBA is taking the right steps to start recognising the vibrancy in brewing styles coming from all over the UK." Tom Bott, Signature Brew.



British Dark Beers (up to 4.4%)

Speciality Categories – Light Beers

British Dark Beers (4.5 to 6.4%)

Speciality Categories – Medium to Dark Beers

British Bitter (up to 4.4%) British Premium Bitter (4.5% to 6.4%) Session IPA (up to 4.3%) Premium Pale Ales (4.4% to 5.4%) IPA (5.5% to 6.4%) Imperial IPA (6.5% and over) Session Lager & Pilsners (up to 4.4%)

Standard Mild & Brown Ales (up to 4.4% abv) Porters, Stouts, Old Ales, Strong Milds & Strong Brown Ales (typically 4.5% to 6.4% abv) Standard Bitters & Pale Ales (up to 3.9%) Best Bitters & Pale Ales (5.0% to 6.4%) Premium Bitters & Pale Ales (4.5% to 4.9%)

Premium Lager & Pilsners (4.5 to 6.4%)

Standard Lager & Pilsners (up to 4.4%)

Speciality Light Beers

Premium Lager & Pilsners (4.4% to 5.9%)

Speciality Medium to Dark Beers

Strong Bitters & Pale Ales (5.0% to 6.4%)



In response to the changing beer market SIBA has this year torn up the rule book and introduced brand new categories for the Independent Beer Awards. The new categories include various strength bands for increasingly popular India Pale Ales, or IPAs as they are more commonly known, as well as a Sour and Spontaneously Fermented beer more commonly associated with Belgian brewers but which is becoming much more common in the UK.

Premium Strong Beers (6.5% and over)

Strong Beers (6.5% and over)













C.E.M. COSTRUZIONI ENOLOGICHE MILANO Milano, via Asiago 26, Italy Phone +39 02 25 71 51 39 | Fax +39 02 25 71 704 Email | Web



Motion 1 The SIBA Board asks this AGM to agree and adopt the following vision statement for SIBA: ‘To deliver the future of British beer AS THE voice of British INDEPENDENT brewing’ Details: This vision replaces SIBA's current vision 'to deliver the future of British beer and become the voice of British brewing' and aligns our vision statement with the four pillars strategy and our membership policy, thereby ensuring that in all our activities we are clearly representative of our members as independent brewers. Proposed: Buster Grant – Brecon Brewing Ltd – Chairman Seconded: Ian Fozard – Rooster’s Brewery Ltd – Vice-Chairman Outcome: MOTION CARRIED

Motion 2 The SIBA Board proposes to the membership the following changes to the Members Charter as directed by Rule 2.35. The Board proposes the amendment of Clause 2 (changes in blue): SIBA is recognised by its members as the campaigning, political and representative voice of the British independent quality craft brewing industry. A full brewing member is defined by the following guidelines: A. The brewer is independent. If brewing under 60k HL a year in accordance with Excise Notice 226, Section 8 - Small Brewery Beer. If brewing over 60k HL a year and

not connected to any other brewery in accordance with Corporation Tax Act 2010, Section 1122. For clarity, a brewery that has control/ influence (in accordance with Section 8 of Excise Notice 226 or the Corporation Tax Act 2010, Section 1122) over another brewery / breweries may become a SIBA full brewing member, when Total Production of the connected breweries is under the volume defined below i.e. the ‘Topco’ is the SIBA member. B. The Brewery is British. The brewery, and its registered office, are permanently established in the UK. A minimum of 75% of the brewery’s beer production must be brewed in the UK. For SIBA’s purposes the definition of UK includes the Channel Islands and Isle of Man. C. Total production does not exceed 1% of the total UK Beer Sales. A brewery brewing under 1% of the UK Beer Sales (according to the BBPA Statistical Handbook, updated on annual basis on each October 1st following publication) is not considered as dominant in the UK beer market. Quality brewing is defined in SIBA’s Food Safety & Quality Standard.* Details: These changes to the Members’ Charter reflect the will of the membership as expressed to the Board throughout its Membership Criteria Review. The Board’s decisions following this review were communicated to the membership on 28th February. This enables SIBA’s membership criteria to be aligned with the SIBA’s Assured Independent British Craft Brewer scheme and its proposed new vision and

clear focus on independence. Membership applications are currently and will continue to be approved by the Board of Directors. Prior to every decision, the Board consults the appropriate Regional membership as under Clause 4 of Appendix 6 of the Members’ Handbook (‘Membership Processing’). The Members’ Charter henceforth is to be used as a set of Guidelines for both the Regional membership and the Board in determining applications, but Clause 2 requires amendment to enable this. The current Rules (Rule 2.35) state the membership is required to ratify amendments to the Members’ Charter by a simple majority. The Board wishes to continue with the long-standing principle of the regional membership determining the appropriateness of members, but to make Guidelines available to assist deliberations. The Board, however, remains the final arbiter in every application decision. Proposed: Buster Grant – Brecon Brewing Ltd – Chairman Seconded: Ian Fozard – Rooster’s Brewery Ltd – Vice-Chairman Outcome: MOTION DEFEATED

Special Resolution To enable remote electronic voting on AGM Motions Proposed: Buster Grant – Brecon Brewing Ltd – Chairman Seconded: Ian Fozard – Rooster’s Brewery Ltd – Vice-Chairman Outcome: RESOLUTION PASSED

To download all the papers from the 2018 SIBA AGM go to Toolbox at WWW.SIBA.CO.UK




SIBA Annual Report Highlights Overview The launch of SIBA’s first ever strategic plan in 2015 set a road map for the Society for the following three years. The objective of the annual report is to summarise the many projects and activities we have carried out in the last 12 months to give members a clear view of the work we have been doing on their behalf. Faced with a clear need to balance the positive opportunities for craft brewers stemming from the growing consumer interest in and demand for genuine British craft beer, the supporting 2020 vision was agreed in March 2017 to provide a more focused approach to our campaigns and activities and unite members behind a common purpose. SIBA’s 2020 vision: SIBA’s 2020 vision is of a sustainable marketplace for Britain’s independent craft brewing businesses where access to market is driven by consumer demand and not restricted by barriers to growth and access and where they can compete to make a fair and sustainable profit. To deliver the 2020 vision we are focusing our attention on four pillars of activity:

 Increasing access to market - building routes to market and promoting ethical pricing  Taxation - beer and pubs – focus on retention and sustainability of SBR  Promotion - The Assured British Independent Craft Brewer campaign  Product excellence – led by the SIBA FSQ Certificate Performance against the strategic plan is carefully monitored by the Senior Management Team, the Executive Committee and finally the Board. We keep members up-to-date with this process through regular reports at regional meetings, a detailed written and video update report and impact assessment provided to all members three times a year following Board meetings. Other updates and notices are issued via the Toolbox as necessary with announcements and point of interest via Brewing in Brief. Our aim is to be accountable and transparent in delivering genuine impact on issues which matter to our members. This report covers the period from March 2017March 2018, although financial aspects are aligned with our financial year to the end of September 2017.

Our Performance Highlights 2017-18 Financial Key impacts – SIBA reserves and strong financial position helps protect the Society D  espite a challenging market place our financial position is sound and we report a modest surplus for 2016-17. W  e continue to maintain a healthy balance sheet providing protection for the Society W  e set an investment budget for the year 2016-17, but still managed, through careful cost control, to deliver a small surplus W  e have effectively managed financial risk guided by a sound financial procedures manual and careful risk management processes








Key impacts – strong representation of independent brewers gives us a strong voice in parliament and the industry / 470 SIBA members have now enrolled in the Food Safety & Quality standard or alternative accreditation, showing commitment to quality and compliance / BeerX is the only national industry event for independent brewers and a highlight of the industry calendar O  ur representation of the independent brewing sector remains between 8085% of eligible production volumes with around 830 members. This gives us a powerful and credible voice. B  rewing membership is stable with 832 members in March 2018. In the last 12 months since the introduction of the four pillars we have focused our resources on supporting existing members rather than recruiting new ones. O  ur Supplier Associate membership is stable despite increasing the subscription fees significantly towards funds for campaigning and providing improved member access to suppliers.

The booking process was simple and easy. The tools available from SIBA were very helpful. Graeme Hall (auditor) was pleasant and helpful. The audit was good for the business in terms of making us drill down into each and every process, a valuable exercise.

We have over 320 highly valued Supplier Associate members.  Following an eighteen month review and consultation process of our membership criteria the Board has introduced new criteria guidelines to align our membership with the four pillars and ensure we are more inclusive of independent brewers who share our values and principles W  e continued to implement and promote the SIBA Food Safety Certificate Standard as the hub of our activity on quality, food safety, excellence and compliance and replaced the long-standing Manual of Good Brewing Practice with the FSQ

W  e successfully and on target, enrolled all Beerflex members in to the FSQ by 1st September 2017 W  e ran an even bigger and the most popular BeerX so far with an exciting programme of seminars and activities in March 2017. Over 2,000 people attended BeerX 2017, with a 69% increase in SIBA members with approximately 300 breweries represented. B  eerX is now a key highlight of the brewing calendar and moves to Liverpool for 2018 after five years in Sheffield.

I am a fan of these initiatives, as it gives us a benchmark on what others are doing, and hopefully drives improvement in our business. In relation to the process, we found Rachel Evans to be very helpful, and had a very pleasant manner in the way she asked probing questions. My only request would be that your HACCP tool had the flexibility to add a section on local risks e.g. we are on a flood plain, and we take various preventative measures during the winter months to minimise risk/disruption, and there was nowhere to capture these types of risk. Broughton Ales


We are working towards solutions for the recommendations made by Don Jeffrey. It was refreshing to meet an auditor with such vast and valuable knowledge and experience specific to the brewing industry and many of his comments and suggestions were extremely helpful. Please pass on our thanks to him for sharing his expertise and advice. Allendale brewery

FSQ Case Studies

Was a bit nerve wracking, but very useful, and Mark Tetlow was frankly superb, and a wealth of information. He helped a great deal with getting us up to speed, and I think he will have enabled us to get our food safety standards to a much higher level. Furthermore he provided a deal of additional information to help us out. I have had other audits where it has felt a lot more like a test, however with Mark it was much more about helping us get to the standards needed. All in all, a very useful experience.

May I take this opportunity to say that Don Jeffries was absolutely amazing as an Auditor. We have never undertaken an Audit & were unsure as to what to expect. Don was hugely knowledgeable & helpful. He guided us through the whole process. We understand more about what is required, have a few areas in which we need to improve. In a strange way – we enjoyed every minute of it & left the Audit with greater knowledge & understanding. He’s a top man! Consett Ale Works Brewery






The British Beer Report 2018 Strong results in a challenging market Firstly, I’d like to thank all our members who took the time away from the mash tun to fill in the survey. It is a record year with 519 responses in total. This outstanding result underlines SIBA as the voice of British independent brewing and the survey provides unique insights into the UK craft brewing scene. Despite ongoing intense competition and a difficult trading environment for SIBA members in 2017 our annual members’ survey paints a broadly positive picture. There is evidence that, after years of decline, the UK beer market has stabilised, but this stability is fragile and growth has shifted clearly from the on trade to the off-trade1. Estimates of overall production volumes for SIBA members are up by 1.7% against an increase in the total UK beer market of only 0.7%. Around 80% of SIBA member beer goes into the on-trade which overall, has seen a decline of 2.4%. Within this environment, our survey shows that SIBA’s independent British craft brewers continue to perform well2. It is interesting to see an indication that our smaller level 1 members have seen overall volume growth of 22.5% as more smaller members join our ranks and local brewers continue to eat into the local pubs and bars market. The broadly positive picture continues with the indication that 63% of member businesses expect their turnover to increase in 2018, with one in three expecting increases over 10%. Britain’s thirsty army of craft beer drinkers were able to enjoy 506 million pints of the finest genuine craft brewed beer last year. That’s around 2.8 million hectolitres, around 6.5% of the total UK beer market. The results suggest that our members continue to move their businesses forwards positively and enthusiastically, despite the challenges of competition, increasing costs and low wholesale prices. Those businesses who recognise the power of their brand, understand their costs, know their market, continue to innovate, look at all formats, make the most of new opportunities in craft beer bars and casual dining and understand the need for various sales channels at different prices are cutting through to growth and leading the sector.

Craft keg, cans and bottles on the rise It is clear that our members are not resting on their laurels faced with very real challenges in the marketplace. More brewers are moving into craft keg with 44% now brewing some beer for keg dispense. 1 2


Likewise the majority of respondents now bottle or can 20% of their beer. This is a clear indicator of our members seeking out new opportunities across the formats. Not so long ago cask ale represented well over 80% of production. It is now 69%. Cask remains the main product for most members, however, and is by far the biggest format for our smaller level one members. It’s also great to hear of innovations with more brewers introducing low-strength and gluten-free beers as well as a shift towards lager styles. UK craft brewers continue to lead the way in beer innovation.

More access is required The survey suggests that, in an intensely competitive market, members are moving to secure their own direct access with their own pub or on-site retail facilities. For many small brewers, this is providing a direct and reliable route to market of great importance. Over 50% of member beer still heads into the local free trade. Only 13% goes into controlled/tied pubs, a situation which must change if we are to create a sustainable future. Britain’s drinkers seek out genuine local craft beer regardless of who operates the pub they walk into and the continued lack of access represents a fundamental market failure. Local craft beer drives footfall into pubs, yet too many operators are still failing to provide enough access and remain focused on high volume ‘big beer’ brands. Members are increasingly seeking out new opportunities in export – one in five brewers are now exporting their beers – and in hospitality – around 4% of member beer is served in restaurants and hotels. There is a massive opportunity for growth in this area.

Embedded in communities Like local pubs, local brewers are part of the fabric of local communities. 84% of members regard their relationship with the community as important and members have raised many thousands for local charities. More and more members are setting up on site shops, bars, brewery taps and visitor centres providing choice and new settings for customers to enjoy their beer.

Jobs and Training Members are also optimistic about employment with 63% expecting to recruit in the next year. That should translate to over 800 new jobs in SIBA member businesses. One in four jobs in independent breweries are now held by women. More also needs to be done on frontline brewing roles, with SIBA members indicating only around 6.5% of brewers in their business are women. Beer is for all people, and for all occasions and the sector needs to continue




to change to reflect that. The impact of SIBA businesses on local employment is important, with over a third of employees living in the same town or village as their brewery and a further 30% within five miles of the brewery gates. It is heartening to see than almost 80% of surveyed members are interested in increasing quality training for their employees to ensure that our industry continues to focus on excellence and quality. Written by Prof. Ignazio Cabras Newcastle Business School University of Northu mbria in Newca Commissioned stle and publish ed by SIBA February 2018

Investment in the future Our members continue to invest, with most having made capital investments in 2017 and the importance of Small Breweries’ Relief and a fair deal on beer duty cannot be overstated. 83% of member businesses regard SBR at current levels as extremely important with a further 5% seeing it as very important and a further 8% as important. Finally, the defence of Small Breweries’ Relief, is not unexpectedly, seen as a very important part of SIBA membership alongside our political lobbying, an area in which we have invested significantly in 2017 helping to secure a freeze in beer duty and action on pub business rates in the November Budget. SIBA’s Beerflex remains an important benefit for many brewers bringing access where it does not otherwise exist for most members, but provides less than 5% of sales of the entire membership. In conclusion, the survey reflects the optimism and dynamism of our membership as our member businesses face up to the headwinds of unprecedented competition and restricted market access as big beer continues to dominate. It highlights more than ever the need for SIBA and its four pillars strategy. Only through working together with common cause to create more sales will we build a sustainable future through increased access to market, fair taxation supported by our Assured Independent British Craft Brewer’ seal and quality standards. Finally, thank you to Professor Ignazio Cabras and his team at the Newcastle Business School at the University of Northumbria in Newcastle. Our collaboration on the project has borne fruit for the last four years and hugely improved the validity and robustness of the results.


British Beer and Pub Association annual beer barometer December 2017. Shows UK total beer market at the end of 2017 as +0.7% with on-trade -2.4% and off-trade +3.6% The survey production outcomes are estimates and must be treated with some caution. Actual production volumes will not be available until later in the year



Key Findings from SIBA’s British Beer Report 2018 Continuing to improve our survey to build for the future:

O  ur methodology now applied for four consecutive years E  ight key themes on member breweries, production, beers, employment, business activity, investments & future plans, contribution to local community and society, and SIBA membership 5  19 responses to the survey 3  58 valid responses – around 43% of SIBA membership. S  trong statistical reliability

Breweries and Beer Production:

S  IBA Membership now stands at 831 brewing members O  ver 227 million pints produced by respondents is estimated to translate to 506m pints by SIBA members1, or about 2.87 million hl in 2017  Beer production shows a 1.7% increase in 2017 compared to 2016, confirming the positive trends registered in the past few years  Nearly half of respondents brew less than 1,000hl  Keg proportion of production continued to grow in 2017, and it is expected to increase further in 2018  Cask production is now 69% of total production  44% of members are now selling some craft beer in keg, from 37% in 2016 and 27% in 2015  Majority of respondents brew more than 20% of production as bottled or canned beer  Average beer strength is 4.2% ABV – session beers are still leaders  Golden ales are the most produced beer style – 90.5% of respondents brew at least one, while 80.4% brew stout/ porter  One in three surveyed breweries now brewing craft keg and lager-style beer on regular basis.  Production of gluten-free and lowalcohol beers is on the rise among members  Most respondent brewers produce between four and six regular brands  91% of respondents brew seasonal beers


6  3% of brewers expect to recruit at least one new employee in the next 12 months  Estimated 820 new jobs to be created by members next year  On average 5.6 full-time and 1.9 parttime staff are employed by members  One in four employees among surveyed breweries are women  Three in four jobs are full-time  Surveyed breweries indicate 843 employees working as brewers, of whom 54 are women  Good spread of ages in employment – nearly half are aged 24-45, with 37% aged below 34 and 17% aged over 55  Investing in young people - more than one in ten employees are aged 16-24, confirming proportions obtained in previous three surveys  Strong impact on local employment – over a third of employees live in the same town or village as their brewery with a further 30% living within five miles  Survey indicates a steady increase of both full-time and part-time jobs for the period 2012-17


6  3% of respondents expect their turnover to increase in 2018  One out of three forecast over 10% growth in annual turnover in 2018, while nearly one in five expect a decline in annual turnover in the same period  Respondents took on 67 pubs in 2017, 34 of which were bought  51% of production is supplied to free-trade pubs, with 13% going to controlled pubs  69% of beer is sold within 40 miles of the brewery  One in five respondent brewers now exports their beers  57% of brewers approached are interested in exporting their beers  Half of surveyed breweries rented containers to deliver their production in 2017


M  ost breweries made capital investments in 2017


 1% invested more than £50K in 1 2017, with nearly one in ten investing more than £100K  Bulk of investments were in buying plant or equipment to enable expansion, modernising equipment and to purchase or expand transport fleet  Duty savings and Small Breweries’ Relief continue to be mainly used for more capacity and new equipment  Only 11% of respondents used duty benefits to discount beers  Training remains very important to members – 80% intend to invest in staff training in the future and three in four are interested in a SIBA-led training scheme  Small Breweries’ Relief at current levels is essential to the future – 83% say it is ‘extremely important ‘to their business, 5% ‘very important’ and a further 8% consider it ‘important’

Impact on local community:

M  ost breweries run a shop and a tap bar on site, one in seven have a visitor centre; 10% of surveyed breweries operate a shop, a tap bar and a visitor centre at the same time, a larger percentage compared to previous surveys  84% consider their relationship with the local community as ‘important’ or ‘extremely important’: only 7% consider this relationship ‘not important’  More than one in four breweries donated or raised more than £1,000 for charities in 2017

SIBA Membership

M  ajority of members indicate SIBA’s campaign in defence of Small Breweries’ Relief as an extremely important activity  Political lobbying by SIBA on behalf of small breweries is also considered very important.  Organisation of beer festivals and competitions are considered valued initiatives by members  Results support SIBA’s Four Pillars on activity that focuses on increasing access to market, taxation, promotion of our members beers and product excellence.





GO FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH IN 2018 The SIBA Business & Industry Awards seek to congratulate excellence in the brewing industry across a variety of categories, from pump clip, can and bottle design, to efforts taken by brewers to make their businesses more successful, innovative or eco-friendly. The independent craft beer categories within the Industry section of the awards seek to highlight the amazing work being done by pubs, bars, restaurants, retailers and other businesses to promote independent craft beer across the UK. This year we also partnered with Inapub to encourage a wider range of pubs and bars to enter the awards, something which has helped increase entry numbers significantly. With a 60% increase in entries compared to last year, the SIBA Business Awards 2018 have been the strongest ever, with hundreds of fantastic entries battling it out to be crowned overall winners. The awards were presented at BeerX by Radio 2’s Nigel Barden, with Signature Brew taking the coveted ‘Brewery Business of the Year’ top spot.


the Judge

The Business Awards are judged by a panel of industry experts and SIBA representatives from our Communications team, who study all of the entries in detail before a final judging day takes place. This year the judges were:

• Neil Walker, PR & Marketing Manager SIBA (Chair) • Tony Jerome, Membership & Marketing Director SIBA • Robyn Black, Editor Inapub • Matt Eley, Freelance Beer Writer • Ellie Hudspith, Public Affairs Manager CAMRA

Judges Comments on this Year’s Winners BREWERY BUSINESS OF THE YEAR SIGNATURE BREW

Signature Brew were the majority favourite, with judges commenting on their ‘innovation’, ‘uniqueness’ and ‘business growth’ as key indicators of an already flourishing brewery on its way to greatness.

brewing great beer isn’t enough in 2018 – you need to be able to get it into the hands of the people that will connect with it. Signature Brews laser focus on the music industry and genuine love that scene shine through in their bold marketing campaign, targeting music artists and fans alike with their mobile beer bar – pulled behind tour buses throughout 2017 – and promotion and protection of independent music venues across the UK. Judges were impressed by the authenticity of the approach and the professionalism of the execution – something that they believed would be a huge hit with Signature Brews target market of music lovers and gig-goers.



At a time when all breweries are beginning to consider their impact on their local and global environment, Farr Brew stood out to judges for their commitment to local ingredients and zero waste.

North Brewing Co’s innovative approach to growing their export operations not only impressed judges, but was something they thought other brewers could learn from. Brewing collaboration beers with established breweries in 11 different export targets allowed them to create demand for their own beers in markets across the globe, allowing a relatively new brewery like North to rapidly grow their export operations in a short space of time. Judges commented that this targeted approach was not only innovative but also effective, and something which breweries of all sizes could consider.

Choosing the Brewery Business of the Year is never an easy task, and with over 160 entries across a diverse range of categories, 2018 was particularly tough. Signature Brew impressed judges across a range of awards categories and stood out for their fresh ideas, keen business acumen and genuinely unique approach to running a brewing business.

Every ingredient that enters the brewery is carefully considered, from the hops sourced from their growing collective of over 250 local people, to the honey used in their porter – sourced from hives just 200 metres from the brewery. This thought process also extends to what leaves the brewery, with efforts to reduce packaging wherever possible and achieving a near 0% wastage rate of used raw materials such as spent grain and hops. Farr Brews considerate approach impressed judges and showed real engagement with their local environment and community.

MARKETING IMPLEMENTATION SIGNATURE BREW – WINNER The standard of entries in the Marketing Implementation category shows that simply



COMMERCIAL ACHIEVEMENT FOURPURE - WINNER Fourpure’s rapid growth has seen them establish themselves as one of the key players in the flourishing London beer market. Judges were particularly impressed by their growth

over the last 12 months and vision for the next 12 – doubling both their output and staff were just some of the numbers that judges found hard to ignore! With growth across all areas of their business Fourpure were the unanimous winner with judges in this hard-fought category.

BEST INDIVIDUAL DESIGN LOCH LOMOND - DR PEPPERCORN – WINNER In one of the Business Awards most hotly contested categories, Loch Lomond stood out with a design that is not only attractive and unique, but which gave a sense of both the brewery brand itself and the beer contained within. Judges were in complete agreement that the bold design, which uses real images from Loch Lomond, would stand out on shelves and have a ‘buy me’ appeal, whilst still being beautiful to look at.

BEST CONCEPT DESIGN LEIGH BREWERY - WINNER The design of Leigh Brewery’s brand - from the simple, elegant cockle-shell logo used to fantastic effect on their keg fonts, to the pumpclips which evoke local landmarks – has a real sense of place and judges felt it would be hugely popular with beer drinkers, particularly in local pubs around the area. Judges also commented that the designs were a perfect example of how traditional yet timeless branding can be carried off to great effect, and how great design can really help create the story of a brewery brand.


SUPPLIER ASSOCIATE OF THE YEAR LEMON TOP CREATIVE - WINNER Lemon Top Creative were the clear winners in this Member Voted category, with brewers who have worked with Lemon Top full of praise for the work they do. This comment, which is typical of the praise brewers gave said ‘The guys at Lemon Top are, first and foremost beer fans and great supporters of the industry. Friendly, easy to work with and quick to respond to queries, the work Lemon Top create, from labels to websites and everything in between, is top class!’.

UK'S BEST INDEPENDENT CRAFT BEER RETAILER - MULTIPLE PIVOVAR (‘TAP’) - HIGHLY COMMENDED Judges commented that Pivovars innovative approach to beer retailing is refreshing and exciting to see, and their fantastic independent craft beer bars, many of which are alongside train stations across the UK, are perfect for takeout sales of cans and bottles – something very important in modern beer retailing and which has certainly contributed to their growth. With such a unique business Pivovar are difficult to pigeon-hole and have carved out their own niche in the UK, offering independent beer from British brewers alongside their own brewed beer, and self-imported beers from across Europe and the US.

WAITROSE – WINNER Waitrose efforts not only to improve their range of craft beers, but their real commitment to offering local brews in their nationwide stores was highlighted by judges as hugely beneficial to relatively small independent brewers. This, combined with their educational and inviting articles on craft beer in their dedicated drinks magazine, and their instore promotions – including beer and food matching and ‘meet the brewer’ sessions – made them a worthy winner of this prestigious award.

UK'S BEST INDEPENDENT CRAFT BEER RETAILER - SINGLE HOP BURNS & BLACK - WINNER As craft beer hits the mainstream consumers can get access to great beer from across the world on every high street in the UK, but Hop Burns & Black highlight perfectly why specialist beer retailers will always have an important place in the British beer world. Their fantastic range of British and international craft beers and their commitment to spreading the word about independent craft beer really set them apart for judges. Whether it is commissioning beer journalists to write articles for their website, running instore tastings and beer matching evenings, or organising their own beer events and festivals, Hop Burns & Black proved themselves to judges to be totally unique in a highly competitive category.

UK'S BEST INDEPENDENT CRAFT BEER RESTAURANT CAEBHAR [PRONOUNCED KEYAVA], ISLE OF TIREE- WINNER The combination of fantastic locally sourced produce, restaurant grown vegetables and herbs, and on-site brewed independent craft beer is one which the judges found irresistible at this unique restaurant. With delicious seasonal food, and undisturbed views of the coast and far ranging green fields, judges were taken aback by Caebhar, the restaurant and home of Bun Dubh brewery, on the beautiful Scottish island of the Isle of Tiree.


BEST INDEPENDENT CRAFT BEER PROMOTION - ON-TRADE WETHERSPOONS CRAFT BEER & REAL ALE - WINNER J D Wetherspoon’s commitment to sourcing locally brewed beer for their famous real ale festival, as well as offering long-term routes to market for independent brewers, and their efforts to help educate and promote customers to the joys of independent craft beer made them a hit with judges in this category. Despite the size of their pub business, the company allow local pub managers to make their own decisions on the beer they stock, with a heavy emphasis on promoting quality, local craft beers. Their promotion of local brews is approachable, engaging, and most importantly, working!

BEST INDEPENDENT CRAFT BEER PROMOTION - OFF-TRADE - NOT AWARDED WIGAN CENTRAL, LANCASHIRE - WINNER This converted railway arch has a clear focus on local, independent craft beer and as well as having lots of original ideas judges got a real sense that beer was absolutely central to their offer. From the prominent 'beer library' featuring over 200 UK and international craft beers, to the fantastic cask and keg range of local beers, Wigan Central was the pub judges most wanted to order another pint in.

THE COVE, DEVON - WINNER The Cove proves that you don’t need to be in a city centre to do craft beer well and make a success of it. Their craft keg range is well chosen, exciting and eclectic - featuring the UK's most popular craft beer brewers alongside smaller local producers and regional favourites. Judges liked how the Cove struck a balance between modern beers and a welcoming, approachable environment that would appeal to all - a perfect example of how great beer is all about creating a great atmosphere.



NATIONAL BEER COMPETITIONS SIBA's Independent Beer Awards are the UK's biggest independent craft beer competition - featuring cask, craft keg, and small pack (bottle and canned) beers. Having won their regional competitions, the breweries featured here are the winners of our National competition which took place at BeerX, where beers from across the UK go head to head to be crowned the overall Champion across a wide variety of styles.

naTIonal beer competitions cask



GOLD: Wolf Brewery / Sirius Dog Star 4.4%

Sponsored by: Close Brothers Brewery Rentals Presented to: Georgina Edwards Presented by: James Lewis (Close Brothers Brewery Rentals)


SILVER: Oakham Ales / Green Devil IPA 6.0%


BRONZE: Bedlam Brewery Ltd / Porter 5.0%


GOLD: Wolf Brewery / Sirius Dog Star 4.4%

Sponsored by: Murphy & Sons Ltd Presented to: Georgina Edwards Presented by: Frances Maud (Murphy & Sons Ltd)



SILVER: Langham Brewery / Triple XXX 4.4% BRONZE: Jaw Brew / Fathom 4.0%



GOLD: Wye Valley Brewery / The Hopfather 3.9%

Sponsored by: Close Brothers Brewery Rentals Presented to: Abbie Gadd Presented by: Theo Godwin (Close Brothers Brewery Rentals)


SILVER: Purity Brewing Company / Bunny Hop 3.5% BRONZE: Lacons Brewery / Encore 3.8%



GOLD: Grain Brewery / Redwood 4.3%

Sponsored by: Napthens LLP Presented to: Phil Halls Presented by: Malcolm Ireland (Napthens LLP)



GOLD: Hooded Ram Brewing Company / Liberty East Coast Pale 4.8% G

Sponsored by: Thomas Fawcett & Sons Presented to: Rob Storey Presented by: Buster Grant (Proxy)


SILVER: Dark Star Brewing Co Ltd / American Pale Ale 4.7% BRONZE: The Backyard Brewhouse / Gold 4.5%


GOLD: Big Smoke Brew Co / The Judge DIPA 8.5%

Sponsored by: Crisp Malting Group Presented to: Nick Blake Presented by: Colin Johnston (Crisp Malting Group)



GOLD: Oakham Ales / Green Devil IPA 6.0%

Sponsored by: Charles Faram & Co Ltd Presented to: Nigel Wattam Presented by: Will Wood (Charles Faram & Co Ltd)


SILVER: Rooster’s Brewery Ltd / Baby-Faced Assassin 6.1% BRONZE: Cairngorm Brewery / Wildcat 5.1%


SILVER: The Loose Cannon Brewing Co ltd / Double IPA 7.5% BRONZE: Brecon Brewing / Mind Bleach 10.0%

SILVER: Brew York Ltd / Keras 4.1% BRONZE: Ludlow Brewing Company / Blonde 4.0%

GOLD: Bedlam Brewery Ltd / Porter 5.0%

Sponsored by: SPAsoft Ltd Presented to: Carolyn Uphill (Proxy) Presented by: Nigel Hoppitt (SPAsoft Ltd)


SILVER: Northern Monkey Brew Co / Underdog 6.0% BRONZE: Windswept Brewing Co / Wolf 6.0%






GOLD: Dancing Duck / Wot the Duck? Duck a l’orange 6.4% G

Sponsored by: Rankin Brothers & Sons Presented to: Harvey Gould Presented by: Jim Rankin (Rankin Brothers & Sons)


SILVER: Loch Lomond Brewery / Out of Range 5.9% BRONZE: Green Jack Brewing Co. Ltd. / Orange Wheat 4.2%


GOLD: Orkney Brewery/ Dark Island Reserve 10.0% G

Sponsored by: Pentair Food & Beverage Solutions Presented to: Craig Steven Presented by: Mike Cholerton (Pentair Food & Beverage Solutions)


SILVER: Blue Monkey Brewery / Chocolate Amaretto Guerrilla 4.9% BRONZE: Mantle Brewery / Dark Heart 5.2%

naTIonal beer competitions KEG



GOLD: North Brewing / Transmission 6.9%

Sponsored by: Kegstar Presented to: John Gygnell and Sarah Hardy Presented by: Christian Barden (Kegstar)



SILVER: Neckstamper Brewing / Elbow Crooker Session IPA BRONZE: Orkney Brewery / Dragonhead 4.0%





GOLD: Orkney Brewery / Dragonhead 4.0%

Sponsored by: Keg Logistics UK Ltd Presented to: Craig Steven Presented by: Nicola Smith (Keg Logistics UK Ltd)


GOLD: Neckstamper Brewing / Elbow Crooker

Session IPA 4.0%

Sponsored by: Premier Systems Ltd Presented to: Adam Jefferies Presented by: Nigel Gardner (Premier Systems Ltd)


SILVER: Brass Castle Brewery / Misfit 4.3% BRONZE: Bewdley Brewery / Worcestershire Way 3.6%

GOLD: Gloucester Brewery / American Pale Ale 6.4%

Sponsored by: Muntons Plc Presented to: Hugh Joslyn Presented by: Ben Mortiboys (Muntons Plc)


SILVER: Arundel Brewery Ltd / Uptown New England IPA BRONZE: Quantock Brewery / Titanium 5.1%



GOLD: Ilkley Brewery / Alpha Beta 4.5%

Sponsored by: Close Brothers Brewery Rentals Presented to: Tony Di Sora Presented by: Jacy Dickerson (Close Brothers Brewery Rentals)




SILVER: Gloucester Brewery / Session IPA 4.5% BRONZE: Harviestoun Brewery / Broken Dial 4.5%


GOLD: North Brewing / Transmission 6.9%

Sponsored by: Brewers Select Ltd Presented to: John Gygnell and Sarah Hardy Presented by: Daniel Unwin (Brewers Select Ltd)


SILVER: Grain Brewery / Lignum Vitae 6.5% BRONZE: Sambrooks Brewery / Russian Imperial Stout







GOLD: Geipel Brewing / Aloha from Bala 4.4%

Sponsored by: Kegstar Presented to: Erik Geupel Presented by: Christian Barden (Kegstar)


SILVER: Adnams / Dry Hopped lager 4.2% BRONZE: Whitstable Brewery Co Ltd / Kentish Lager



GOLD: Greyhound Brewery / Rainbow Eyes 5.2%

Sponsored by: Schafer Container Systems Presented to: John Uphill (Proxy) Presented by: Michael Hickman (Schafer Container Systems)


SILVER: Grain Brewery / Slate 6.0% BRONZE: Cheddar Ales Ltd / Velvet Bottom


GOLD: Otter Brewery / Tarka 4.8%

Sponsored by: Festival Glass Ltd Presented to: Patrick McCaig Presented by: Kelsey Cheesbrough (Festival Glass Ltd)


SILVER: Knops Beer Company / Cold Fury 5.2% BRONZE: Hogs Back Brewery / Hogstar 4.5%

KEG CHAMPION SPECIALITY LIGHT BEERS GOLD: Windsor and Eton Brewery / Uprising’s White Riot 5.3% G

Sponsored by: Brewfitt Ltd Presented to: Paddy Johnson Presented by: Kevin McKenzie (Brewfitt Ltd)


SILVER: Merchant City Brewing / American Pale Ale BRONZE: Barngates Brewery / Weiss 4.8%




GOLD: RedWillow / Restless 8.5%

Sponsored by: Rastal GmbH & Co KG Presented to: Tegwyn Farrall Presented by: Nick Crossley (Rastal GmbH & Co KG)


SILVER: Brentwood Brewing Co, Elephant School /


BRONZE: Purity Brewing Company / Saddle Black

Mallowphant 4.8%





naTIonal beer competitions

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GOLD: Tring Brewery / Death or Glory Ale 7.2%

Sponsored by: Croxsons Presented to: Sam Reed (L) and Scott Thompson (R) Presented by: Tim Croxson (Croxsons)


SILVER: Gun Brewery / Imperial Whisky Stout


GOLD: Wolf Brewery / Sirius Dog Star 4.4%

Presented to: Georgina Edwards Presented by: Buster Grant (Proxy)


SILVER: Brampton Brewery / Impy Dark 4.3% BRONZE: Inner Bay Brewery / Jasper 3.9%



BRONZE: Wily Fox Brewery / Karma Citra



GOLD: Wily Fox Brewery / Karma Citra 4.3%

Sponsored by: Norriq Ltd Presented to: Dave Goodwin Presented by: David Ashmore (Norriq Ltd)


SILVER: Loch Lomond Brewery / Southern Summit 4.0% BRONZE: Ashover Brewery / Littlemoor Citra 4.1%





naTIonal beer competitions

small pack


GOLD: Thornbridge Brewery / AM:PM 4.5%


Sponsored by: Vigo Ltd Presented to: Dominic Driscoll Presented by: Andy Pegman (Vigo Ltd)

SILVER: Tring Brewery / Pale Four 4.6% BRONZE: Rooster’s Brewery Ltd / Twenty-Four Seven (24/7) 4.7%



GOLD: Tring Brewery / Death or Glory Ale 7.2%

Sponsored by: Beatson Clark Ltd Presented to: Sam Reed (L) and Scott Thompson (R) Presented by: Chris Palmer (Beatson Clark Ltd)



SILVER: Knops Beer Company / Black Cork 6.5% BRONZE: Geipel Brewing / Zoiglator Bock 6.7%



GOLD: Windsor and Eton / Uprising’s Treason 5.8%

Sponsored by: Russell Scanlan Presented to: Paddy Johnson Presented by: Buster Grant (Proxy)


SILVER: Maxim Brewery / Maximus 6.0% BRONZE: Loch Lomond Brewery / Bravehop Amber



GOLD: Stewart Brewing / Franz 4.0%

Sponsored by: Vale Labels Ltd Presented to: Carolyn Uphill (Proxy) Presented by: Buster Grant (Proxy)


SILVER: Charnwood Brewery / Liska 4.0% BRONZE: The Norfolk Brewhouse / DewHopper lager




GOLD: Calvors Brewery/Premium Pilsner 5.0%

Sponsored by: Saxon Packaging Presented to: John Uphill (Proxy) Presented by: Adam Futter (Saxon Packaging)



GOLD: Flack Manor Brewery Ltd /

Romsey Gold 4.5%

Sponsored by: Anton Paar Ltd Presented to: Terry Baker Presented by: Adrian Knowles (Anton Paar Ltd)



SILVER: Harviestoun / Schiehallion 4.8% BRONZE: Whitstable Brewery Co Ltd / Whitstable Pilsner 4.9%


SILVER: Salopian Brewery / lemon dream 4.5% BRONZE: Lymestone Brewery / Cherry Stone 5.2%


GOLD: Black Sheep Brewery / Glug M’Glug 6.2%

Sponsored by: Zoedale plc Presented to: Carolyn Uphill (Proxy) Presented by: Tim Guest (Zoedale plc)


SILVER: Loch Lomond Brewery / SilkieStout 5.0% BRONZE: Ashover Brewery / Milk Stout 6.0%


GOLD: Gun Brewery / Imperial Whisky Stout 7.4%

Sponsored by: Cask Brewing Systems Inc. Presented to: Tony Smallpeice (L) and Mark Berry (R) Presented by: Buster Grant (Proxy)


SILVER: Windswept Brewing co / Bear 10.5% BRONZE: Purple Moose Brewery Ltd / Chocolate Moose






TO PROTECT & SERVE Croxsons offer a complete range of packaging and closures, including glass containers, closures to match, as well as decoration, all from a single source. The message underlining their brand is A Family of Packaging - a statement that goes beyond just reflecting their heritage, it also signifies the complete range of packaging they offer. In this article the leading glass packaging supplier explains why, despite market pressures and other influences such as financial incentives, being able to provide their customers with quality fit-for-purpose packaging, ultimately delivers value and helps protect the industry.





Competitive industries like the glass industry and the wider packaging industry, have had to commoditise their product ranges. That is, to offer the prices customers demand to win or keep business. Alternative packaging formats have entered the market, often with added risk in performance and decline in product equity. As the market gets more competitive, with rivalling packaging formats, we ask Croxsons what is the formula for longevity?

streamlining their customer base into a specific category, often the larger brewers, as payback is likely to be quick.”

“With our wide-ranging customer base of brewers, the expectation of the bottle supplier now lies beyond the transactional. Technical guidance and assistance on mechanical matters are increasingly becoming part of the offering. From a purely business perspective, this investment in time and cost without a significant return on investment could be considered a fools errand,” says Tim Croxson. “And an argument in favour of why a number of suppliers focus on

Understanding the needs of, and collaborating with many brewers, has meant that Croxsons outlook hasn’t been blinkered by the promise of volume, but the virtue of service. And in an ever evolving industry, they say that this is the simple, traditional factor that has facilitated their durability in the industry.

“Fundamentally, however,” Croxson goes on to say, “that as a primary packaging supplier the responsibilities lie beyond the financial. The function of all in the packaging industry is to protect the product, safeguard the end user and deliver performance.”

This ethos is the foundation for many successful businesses, and this understanding breeds trust

with those in need of a reliable partner. “In our key industry, trust has no price, but is the most valuable asset we have. Therefore, to have such trust spread amongst a large number of brewers, and other glass users, will always end up demonstrating more success than restricting to the few. We need all sizes of customers to thrive,” added Croxson. “I believe in a ‘more than packaging’ approach, as outlined above. I believe that at Croxsons, our service based model has proved to consistently work, with 15%-20% year-on-year growth over the last 4 years. I believe that delivering value to clients, and not only ourselves, is how we protect our industry. Traditional values, yes, but during times of change it is this familiarity that determines longevity, rather than commodity,” he concluded.

For further information: Tel: +44(0) 20 8337 2945 Web: Email:





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

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



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

GOLD MEMBERS Below are some examples of the comments from SIBA members about the service the team provides:

Some of Napthens’ clients include

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

Napthens’ sector knowledge is excellent and they take a proactive approach to helping our business. No problem is too small and they are always available to discuss and advise on any issues that arise. They go to great lengths to understand their customers’ needs on an individual basis, leading to an excellent relationship. Patsy Slevin, Prospect Brewery

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

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




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SIBA brewers' news


Roosters celebrates its 25th anniversary

Roosters Brewery in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, is celebrating its 25th year with a series of special events and collaborations, and has produced a unique commemorative booklet which looks back over its history.

Founded in 1993, Roosters was initially a cask-only brewery, but now packages its beers in four formats (cask, keg, bottle and can), having invested in its own canning line in 2014, which also allows it to keg a selection of beers in-house. It aims to produce the highest quality, clean-drinking beers possible, whilst also continuing to experiment and innovate, as new beer styles evolve and customer curiosity grows. The booklet includes tributes from celebrities and other well-known beer aficionados who have a passion for Roosters’ beers and share their memories of how they first got to know the brewery.

The booklet can be downloaded through the brewery website at

Woodforde’s expands its team to support sales drive To support its drive to increase national and regional sales, Woodforde’s, the award-winning Norfolk-based brewer, has appointed Lee Rodgers as the new National Account Manager and Tania Wreathall as Business Development Manager reporting to Head of Sales, Mark Standen.

Lee Rodgers, who has over 18 years’ experience within the on-trade, will take on responsibilities for regional wholesale and national accounts. Tania Wreathall, who has been in the industry for 15 years, will be looking after existing Woodforde’s customers in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, as well as expanding the current account portfolio. Welcoming the two experienced team members, James Hughes, Woodforde’s CEO, said their appointment was a milestone towards the company’s plans for growth.

New appointments Tania Wreathall and Lee Rodgers

Five freetrade pubs win free beer for a year from Woodforde’s

Five lucky freetrade pubs have each won ‘Free Beer for a Year’ from Woodforde’s. One of the winners, Woodforde’s customer Roy Cole, has spent the last eight years running The Coachmakers Arms, a 17th century former coaching inn in Norwich. Roy said: “We always offer a wide range of Woodforde’s beers as they are very popular with our customers, the favourites being Wherry, Reedlighter, and Nelson’s Revenge - all of which we serve on draught. Winning free beer for a year has made my day – thank you Woodforde’s!” The five pubs each receive two firkins of Woodforde’s beer per month for 12 months. James Hughes, CEO at Woodforde’s, said: “This is the first time we have run a ‘Free Beer’ promotion for our freetrade customers and we are delighted with the results. It was a really good way to reward those pubs that promoted our beers over the busy festive season and our congratulations go to the five lucky winners. It’s great to be able to demonstrate how much we appreciate all the hard work and support our freetrade customers give Woodforde’s beers.”


Woodforde's Chief Executive, James Hughes, selects free beer for a year winners




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North Brewing Co Celebrates a month of major industry awards Leeds based brewery, North Brewing Co, has taken home five prizes at three major industry awards: SIBA’s own awards, Northern Restaurant & Bar and The Publican. It has been an incredible month for the brewery, as both the business and its directors won awards celebrating their operations, influence and incredible beer. The team at North Brewing Co are absolutely thrilled to have won the awards following only two years of operating. It began when they won ‘Best Brewing Pub Company’ for the second year running, alongside sister business North Bar, at the Morning Advertiser’s Publican Awards. This was then swiftly followed by winning ‘Business Innovation’ at the SIBA awards the following evening. The biggest honours

then came on Thursday the 15th of April as their IPA ‘Transmission’ won ‘Overall Champion of the SIBA Independent Keg Beer Awards’, after it was awarded gold within the ‘Keg Premium Strong Beers’ category. To top it all off, directors John Gyngell and Christian Townsley were listed in the NR&B Top Fifty, again for the second year running, which recognises the most important and influential individuals within the Northern hospitality industry. Earlier in the month the business also won ‘Best Yorkshire Exporter’ at Garbutt + Elliot’s inaugural Yorkshire Food Entrepreneurs Awards. The awards couldn’t have come at a better time as the brewery continues to grow and plans further expansion in 2018. This month the brewery will be exporting its first shipment to China and will gain a strong foothold in the fastest growing craft

beer market in the world. In June they will then be opening a tap room in Leeds city centre, following the success of its brewery tap room. As demand continues to soar, the brewery has taken on more operating space and is planning on investing further in its operations, to allow them to produce more beer to the uncompromising standard they’re known for. John Gyngell, Founder and Director of North Brewing Co, said: “We’re still in shock about winning these incredible awards over the last few weeks. It’s an absolute honour and we cannot thank the team enough for all their hard work. 2018 is already set to be a fantastic year but we’re already planning and looking for new and exciting ways to develop the business further in the years to come.”

Treboom Brewery win Locally Brewed Beer of the Year

Yorkshire-based Treboom Brewery has won Locally Brewed Beer of the Year in the Flavours of Herriot Country Awards. The final decisions were made, and the winners chosen, after a panel of independent and highly respected food and drink experts tasted their way across Richmondshire and Hambleton.

Treboom Brewery, in the village of Shiptonby-Beningbrough near York, won for their Strong Pale Ale, Hop Britannia. This 5% honey coloured beer is brewed with hops grown solely in the United Kingdom. John Lewis, head brewer and co-owner, said: “With the current fashion in brewing for American and Australian hops we wanted to support the declining British hop industry and show the power and might of UK grown hops.” Hop Britannia is richly hopped with Bramling Cross, Northdown and Pioneer hops, giving the beer a full bodied hoppy beer with hints of berry flavours and a touch of sweetness. The Judges said: "Choosing a winning beer from among the many produced by the four shortlisted breweries was a very difficult task - particularly when there was an abundance of different styles. Clearly


Herriot Country is blessed with a good deal of brewing talent. But after some painstaking deliberation, the winning beer was Hop Britannia from Treboom Brewery. This beer pours an attractive clear golden colour and has the kind of firm hop character you would expect from a pale ale. It is deliciously easy drinking.” Jane Blackman, co-owner, said: “It means a lot to us to win this award, we have grown from Shipton outwards across Yorkshire and have always been keen to supply local people and businesses. It's great that awards such as this exist to celebrate the quality and variety of products made on our doorstep.” Hop Britannia is available in bottle and as part of a range of core cask beers. It has also won a Guild of Fine Food Great Taste Award and a SIBA regional industry award.




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Castle Rock Brewery re-brands Elsie Mo Nottingham-based Castle Rock Brewery is to re-brand Elsie Mo, one of its longest-standing ales and its second biggest-selling core brew. After extensive discussion, the need for change was agreed in January and the new design presents a homage to the female pilots of World War II, and the war effort at large. First brewed in 1998, the name ‘Elsie Mo’ is derived from the predominant malt in the recipe – Low Colour Maris Otter,

or LCMO. After being inspired by the historical images of US aircraft nose art, the decision was made for the original pump clip to feature a character playing homage to a 1940’s pin-up. Managing director Colin Wilde said: “It is time to acknowledge that the sexualised presentation of Elsie Mo is not accepted by a culture that strives for, and celebrates, equality.” Female pilots who delivered aircraft to fighter squadrons during World War II are the inspiration for the new design.

Joule’s Brewery announces purchase of new site in Stone Joule’s Brewery has now acquired land adjacent to the Trent and Mersey canal as it passes through Stone town centre. The plot is known as Crown Wharf and was a part of the original Joule’s Brewery warehouse operation when the company exported Stone Ales from Liverpool docks around the world. Joule’s was the first English beer to be exported to the United States, ahead of its rival Bass. The site is currently utilised by Stone Town council as a parking facility and is adjacent to the town centre and has been acquired by Joule’s Brewery from the Canals and Rivers Trust. Joule’s has for some years been looking to have a flagship Taphouse in Stone which is where Francis Joules established the second of the Joule’s breweries in 1779, having moved from Salford. The company grew to occupy vast parts of Stone which became synonymous with Joules. Steve Nuttall, Director at Joule’s, said: “This acquisition provides us with an opportunity to embrace the Joule’s story and return the brand to Stone with some style. Our Joule’s boardroom will once again be located in Stone where the story all began. We also intend to establish a full Brewery Taphouse by the canal. This will be the first pub we have built from the ground up, it is daunting for a small company like ours and we know we need to be bold if we are to embody the spirit of Stone and embrace our brewing heritage, we simply cannot get this wrong, scary and exciting in equal measure and now we have bought the site there is no going back.”

Dartmoor Brewery launches online shop for craft ale fans Leading South West craft ale producer Dartmoor Brewery has launched a new online shop. The venture has been launched in response to demand from craft ale fans across the country, who have discovered Dartmoor Brewery ales as the Devon brewery increasingly markets its craft ales to a national audience. Dartmoor Brewery branded gifts, clothing and merchandise head up the product list, with the famous Jail Ale brand featuring on many of the products. Richard Smith, Managing Director of Dartmoor Brewery, said: “Our ales have always had a strong following in the South West, and we are now extending our coverage outside the region where the

appeal of craft ales is just as strong. We have a great range of branded merchandise, clothing and gifts, and we wanted to make it easier for fans of our beers to buy our merchandise, wherever they might be in the country.” The new online shop, which can be found at www.dartmoorbrewery., offers one-click shopping, low cost carriage, secure check-out and a choice of credit card, debit card and Paypal payment options. The casual clothing range, including rugby tops, polo shirts and bobble hats, has been modelled for


the new website by the brewery team themselves, reinforcing the friendly and approachable image of the brewery.



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York Brewery unveils new heptagonal beer badges York Brewery has re-branded its pump clips with a quirky, eye-catching rounded heptagon shape chosen to represent the seven ingredients of brewing; Water, Barley, Hops, Yeast, Knowledge, Passion, and Fortune. Sitting pretty on the bar, the unique shape of the pump clips and bold type style were designed to make York Brewery beers easily identifiable. Brand manager Neil Arden said: “The previous design served us well, but after six years they were looking a little tired and it was time for a new look. We’ve given the new pump clips a more modern feel, whilst keeping the design classic and clean.” Pete Law of HBA design which worked on the project said: “The aim was to highlight the authenticity of York Brewery as a traditional brewer of high quality cask ales whilst refreshing the brand to keep the brewery relevant in an ever-changing beer market. The assured style of the pump clips and bottle labels is a sign of a confident brewery which, having recently celebrated their 20-year anniversary is looking to the future.”

Three Cheers for Elite’s ‘Ruslinford Ale’!

The Elite Fish & Chip Company is kicking off its anniversary year with a specially brewed beer - inviting customers to enjoy a drop of Ruslinford Ale with their fish suppers.


Brewed by the Lincolnshire Brewing Company in Langworth, the beer celebrates 30 years since the family-run and award-winning fish and chip business opened its doors in Ruskington. Director Rachel Tweedale explains the name: “We are really excited to be bringing Ruslinford Ale to all three of our restaurants, where customers can enjoy a refreshing drink with their fish and chips.” Diners at all three of Elite’s restaurants can enjoy a bottle for just £3.90 while those wanting a taste of the beer at home can purchase them at The Crafty Bottle, the brewery’s shop on The Strait, Lincoln. Claire Brown, Director at the Lincolnshire Brewing Company, said: “We’re so pleased to have been able to be part of Elite’s anniversary year. The beer is light, hoppy and the perfect accompaniment to fish and chips. We hope everyone enjoys it, and with the specially commissioned label we think it will also be sought after by beer fans from all over!” September 2018 marks 30 years since the Tweedale family moved from Huddersfield and opened the first shop in the village of Ruskington near Sleaford. To mark the occasion the Elite is also embarking on a year-long celebration, and plans are already afoot to raise a £30,000 total to be split equally to three charities: the RAF Wings Appeal, the RNLI and Sleaford Dementia Support.







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Hook Norton to offer weddings in a castle! Looking for a unique venue for your wedding day? Look no further than Hook Norton pub The Castle at Edgehill, Warwickshire, a 17th Century pub with beautiful grounds and spectacular views overlooking the Warwickshire countryside.

Weddings at The Castle at Edgehill

The site, run by BII Licensee of the Year Mark Higgs, is the first of the brewery’s pubs to be fully licensed for Civil Ceremonies and Partnerships. As part of the Hook Norton Brewery estate the venue can offer further unique elements. The use of their iconic shire horses and dray as a wedding car or allowing the happy couple to brew their very own wedding beer! Operations Manager Gerard Winder said: “The Castle is a truly unique venue and the first of our pubs to have a licensee for weddings – Mark and his team will bring their usual outstanding level of service to this new area of their business and we wish them the best of success.”

Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery takes the reins at Kircabi Roasters Kirkby Lonsdale brewery has taken over a popular independent coffee shop and relocated it within its own premises. Kircabi Roasters, in Kirkby Lonsdale, is now based at Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery’s venue, The Royal Barn. Anthony Gatrell, owner of Kircabi Roasters, made the difficult decision to hand over the reins to owners of The Royal Barn and Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery, Stuart Taylor and James Law. Anthony said: “It’s mixed emotions for me as juggling the business with a full-time job and a young family hasn’t been easy. However, I’m very proud of the Kircabi brand and I didn’t want it to be the end of the road for the business. Kircabi will be a perfect fit for Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery. The Royal Barn is in a great location and is a complementary offering to their selection of craft beer.” The coffee will be roasted on-site at The Royal Barn and Kircabi Roasters’ gas-fired roaster will be located on the mezzanine overlooking the bar. The Royal Barn’s new offering will be marked with the special introduction of Kircabi Pale Ale (KPA) for the Taste Cumbria Food Festival next month. Stuart Taylor, co-owner of The Royal Barn and Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery, said: “We’re thrilled to be incorporating the Kircabi Roasters brand with Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery. We know the coffee is incredibly popular in and around the town and Anthony has done a fantastic job of introducing his quality coffee to Kirkby Lonsdale.” Co-owner James Law added: “This new offering complements our passion for craft beer and I’m sure will be popular with our daytime customers, as well as in the evening. Our ethos is centred upon quality, consistency and passion in everything we do, and we’ll certainly be continuing Kircabi Roasters’ same high standards for coffee.”

Eden Brewery celebrates first exports to the Far East Cumbrian brewery Eden, in Penrith, is celebrating after sending its first beer exports to the Far East, as it expands and explores new markets. Eden, which produces a full range of contemporary, experimental and traditional beers, sent its first consignments of beer to Japan and China this month and is exporting a combination of keg and bottled products. Managing director Jason Hill said the brewery had sent a consignment of its traditional English beers to a distributor based in Beijing, as well as a range of specially brewed fruit beers. In addition, the brewery has sent 180 kegs of its well-hopped, higher strength beers to the Ikon Europub chain in Japan. The export deals follow a number of visits to the countries as part of UK Trade and Industry supported missions to exhibit and explore potential business partnerships. Jason Hill said: “We have been developing our ties in China and Japan for a couple of years now, working hard to get to know the market and make connections with trading partners in those countries. What we’ve found is that there is a real and growing enthusiasm for the type of beer we produce, whether that’s our more traditional range of classic English ales, or the more contemporary, stronger, deeply flavoured experimental beers.”




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SIBA supplier news


Simpson McCreath Trust donates thousands to local school Simpson McCreath Trust, in Berwick-upon-Tweed, has awarded a much-needed grant to nearby Tweedmouth school, Grove School, as part of its commitment to local initiatives. The trust, run by local family-owned maltster Simpsons Malt, has donated £5,000 to the local school, which provides education and care for pupils with severe learning difficulties. The funds will be used to purchase a specially adapted bed which will help staff to carry out essential physiotherapy programmes for pupils, which are currently carried out at floor level causing problems for both pupils and staff. Penny Derries, Grove School head teacher, explained: "Physiotherapy can be distressing and uncomfortable for some of our learners. As many of our pupils have very poor eye-sight, the ability to practice physiotherapy sessions at eye-level will be of great reassurance.” Simpson McCreath Trust is committed to supporting local causes, having previously awarded grants to other local schools, sports teams and community projects. Simpson McCreath Trust board member David McCreath OBE SAID: "Giving back to our community, particularly to young people, reflects our core values. We are proud to help make a difference for the students at Grove School with the addition of this very important resource for the pupils."

For more information go to

NicheSolutions unveils two new products FRUCTOZYM P There’s nothing like a subtle twist of fruit flavour to excite a craft ale lover’s taste for the exotic. But, as you’ll know if you’ve ever produced a beer with a peach, pineapple or raspberry twist, fresh fruit and puree are expensive ingredients. Fructozym P is a natural enzyme that helps to break down your fruit more efficiently, releasing more flavour and aroma. The name of the game is complete pectin degradation. Fructozym P avoids the waste and expense of throwing away kilogrammes of expensive fruit that’s only given up a small percentage of its potential goodness to your brew. “Fructozym is a fantastic product,” said John, head brewer at the Wild Beer Co, whose brews flavoured with fruit such as local Somerset raspberries, figs, oranges and foraged fruits are proving extremely popular. “We use it in our Pogo pale ale, and it really speeds up pectin fallout and helps to bring out the flavours of passionfruit and guava – fruits which are high in pectin.”

HOPFLOWER NicheSolutions has been giving out free samples of its exclusive HopFlower beerzyme to breweries and microbreweries. The feedback has been fantastic. Hops are expensive, and the brewing process can be wasteful of their precious aroma. HopFlower is a natural enzyme which helps to break down your hops and release more flavour and aroma – so you have to use less, saving you money. Steve at North Yorkshire’s Crooked Brewing told Nichesolutions: “Just some feedback on the hop flower sample you gave us. We’ve trialled it in a small-scale and a large-scale brew – works really well. Really adds something to our beers and so will definitely be ordering some soon.”

If you’d like to try a free HopFlower sample or want more information on Fructozym P, go to




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30/03/2017 17:34

Trade Marks: The 5 do’s and don’ts of protecting your brand


SUPPLIER viewpoint

Experts from Trade Mark specialist law firm Gill Jennings & Every LLP (GJE) were on hand at BeerX in March to offer their tips on how to legally protect your brand.



Do run clearance searches before you commit to a new beer name or new markets.

Ideally run these in your home and most important markets, but at least identical screening searches in others. Think laterally – not just other beer names but also soft drink, wine and even bar names could be a problem. Do your own checks at the UKIPO, on Google and the usual beer databases like BeerAdvocate and Untappd, before getting professional advice to identify the biggest problems – and have a few possible names up your sleeve (don’t get wedded to a single name too early on). Don’t get caught out and forced to rebrand at a critical moment which will cost you valuable money and management time.



Don’t assume your domain or company name gives you the right to use the name.

Registering a domain or company name is a purely administrative process – and your use of that name could still be infringing someone else’s registered or unregistered rights. Make sure you carry out the right checks early on, to make sure the money you’ve invested (especially in a domain) is on an asset you can actually use.

2 Do file applicationsearly on – especially if you’re talking to third parties.


This proves the name is yours (disputes in collaborations are not uncommon) and avoids the risk of distributors, retailers or other business partners stealing your name. It also gives you valuable rights early on, before you have common law rights (resulting from sales). Further down the line, having the right protection in place also shows investors/ purchasers that you know how to manage risk and protect your assets – think ahead to future due diligence and how your business will be assessed and valued. In this industry, your beer and brewery names could well be the most valuable thing being invested in/sold, so make sure they are properly protected.


Don’t assume your registered trade mark gives you the right to use the name.

A trade mark entitles you to stop others using that name or a similar name, it doesn’t guarantee your own freedom to use, since you could still be infringing a third party’s earlier trade mark or common law rights. Again, make sure you carry out the right clearance checks early on, to avoid any nasty surprises down the line.



Do be pragmatic and focused Do watch out for logos when it comes to international changing which could put brand protection. your registrations at risk. When you’re exporting, it’s easy to get swept up in to thinking all international enquiries will be your ticket to a lucrative exit – and to file lots of applications which could bankrupt you. Take a step back, work out where the riskiest countries are, as well as those with the greatest commercial potential, and focus your efforts and budget there. You can’t do everything – and you don’t need “global” brand protection. Work out a strategic and sensible phased filing plan with your trade mark attorney – and review progress and market performance on a regular basis, to check your priorities are right.

If you’re not using your logos “as registered” as a result of the inevitable “brand refresh” then they will become unenforceable and cancellable over time for “non-use”. So hold off filing applications until your logos are fixed and (hopefully) set to stay; and keep brand refreshes to a minimum (or at least make sure your marketing people are aware of the consequences and costs of their decisions ie if new applications are needed).

3 Don’t forget to take assignment of the copyright in any creative work (logos, labels, beer taps, websites etc) you’ve commissioned.

In the UK, the designer will own the rights unless you’ve had them specifically assigned or included the right clauses in your contract with them. Since most design work is carried out without a formal contract in place, it’s likely an assignment will be necessary. Getting it sorted now will be much easier than years later, when you’ve lost the designer’s contact details or they try to charge you a hefty sum for this subsequent assignment. Again, think ahead to the due diligence at investment/sale and make sure you can prove you own all the assets you’re planning to sell.

Do think creatively when it comes to brand protection.

You can’t file applications everywhere but having the right clauses in contracts with third parties can go a long way to protecting you. Make sure they acknowledge you own the rights to your name and agree not to file applications or challenge yours. Then if things go wrong, at least you’ve got them for breach of contract, if not also for trade mark infringement. The mere act of signing such an agreement may also deter them. Remember also to use TM and ® where appropriate and to include statements of IP ownership on websites, labels etc to send out a strong deterrent message to third parties.



Don’t think that once your name is registered, your work is done.

Reviewing your portfolio regularly, to make sure it continues to match and support your evolving business plan, will pay dividends. Make sure you identify any new beers you’ve introduced, any new markets that have risen in importance and any new names or logos that are being used. Do also keep an eye on what other breweries are doing, by informal or formal watches, and consider challenging them if they get too close.

Don’t be an ostrich.

If you think there could be a problem in the future, deal with it now, on your terms, rather than leaving it to fester and catch you out later on in due diligence or otherwise. This applies to ownership disputes, third party marks which are barriers in your key markets, squatter marks, disagreements with distributors, people copying you and so on.

For more information or questions about protecting your Trade Mark go to

Bürkert’s new valve control heads provide networking options The implementation of two additional industrial network interfaces in Bürkert’s Type 8691 control head makes it a universal tool for communications between valves and higher-level automation systems.

From a practical point of view the push for Industry 4.0 is bringing a focus on data exchange within industrial processes, all part of creating a ‘smart factory’. The ability to communicate seamlessly down to component level is something Bürkert is enabling by adapting its range of ‘smart’ valve products to offer more network connectivity. Bürkert’s new Type 8691 control head for example is now equipped with IO-Link and büS interfaces, in addition to the pre-existing fieldbus interface, AS-Interface, and DeviceNet. These enhanced communication capabilities help enable a shift towards more digitalised industrial processes by allowing packaged data to be gathered from the connected devices.

For more information on the latest control head and valve system innovations from Bürkert, visit the website, or contact Helen Christopher, Marketing Manager by email:, or by phone +44 (0) 1285 648720. WWW.SIBA.CO.UK



01283 565912 UB Plastics Ltd, situated in Burton on Trent, are the primary UK manufacturers of a complete range of 2 piece plastic shives in 6 different sizes to suit all cask bush variants. We also manufacture thermoplastic keystones, hard pegs, keystone re-sealing bungs - which are a far cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternative to cork - and a complete range of keg caps. Shives, keystones and keg caps can be customised to our customers requirements. We manufacture in a large range of colours and can also offer printing on the shives. UB Plastics are now manufacturing an in mould labelled Plastic 1 Pint Cup offering up to 5 colour branding. The cups are reusable therefore environmentally friendly, fantastic quality and are an excellent advertising tool for festivals / events.

Please contact Steve Brown on 07885 866777 or for any quotations or information regarding Stainless Steel Kegs or Casks and we will be happy to discuss your exact requirements.

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Dare to be Different


Beer continues to trend, but there are signs of fatigue as ever more breweries pile into the market. Creating a compelling stand-out brand has become even more important as competition for both shelf and bar space increases. However, too many brewers are becoming slaves to fashion, as an easy option. If you want to follow the fashion route, there are some formulas you can adopt: • Find a cartoonist to do a series of cartoons, the wackier the better. For some reason the Portman Group seems to turn a blind eye to this area, except in the case of poor Tiny Rebel, why pick on teddy bears… • Commission a contemporary artist to produce some artwork, the edgier the better – don’t worry if no one understands it, there’s less reason to question it…

• Go for a contemporary, minimalist, abstract, typographic approach – a stacked monogram and/or blocks of colour, job done… • Or if you really want to play safe, go retro, always a good fall back. It’s not rocket science, simply Google craft beer brand trends and take your pick. However, before you jump, think – what makes your brand relevant and what gives you a competitive advantage on bar and on shelf. The likes of Cloudwater, Tiny Rebel, BrewDog and Beavertown have already claimed ownership of the aforementioned genres and you can recognise their brands simply by the graphics on their packaging.


What can your brand own? The true test is that if another brand can replace your logo on your packaging design and not make any difference – then the odds are you won’t own it in the eyes of the consumer. Look at the market leaders and learn from them, but don’t copy. As Picasso once said ‘good artists copy, great artists steal’. Be relevant to your own brand proposition and positioning, and be brave enough to stand out from the crowd. Always remember ‘Good is not Great’…

By Strategic Brand Director Myles Pinfold from brand design consultants WPA PINFOLD. For more information go to

Siebel Institute of Technology announces new President and Chief Executive Officer The Chicago-based Siebel Institute of Technology has announced the appointment of Christian von der Heide to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer. With a heritage of providing training and education services to the brewing industry dating back to 1872, the Siebel Institute is the oldest brewing school in North America. In addition to a wide range of class-based programmes delivered at its Chicago and satellite campuses, the Siebel Institute has, in conjunction with its Munich-based partner Doemens Institute, developed the concept of the World Brewing Academy (WBA), a unique dual-continent education and training programme incorporating both classroom and web-based education combined with extensive ‘hands on’ practical experience, from malting through to final pack. The WBA Master Brewer program is widely recognised as the one of the most sought-after credentials for professional brewers. Christian is a graduate of Weihenstephan and is a master brewer and maltster by profession, and a Past President of the European Brewery Convention and has held senior positions in brewing, technology development, R&D, innovation and supply chain management at a number of entrepreneurial enterprises and global beverage companies.

BrewBroker launches industry first peer-to-peer marketplace for the global brewing industry BrewBroker has launched a new online marketplace for the global brewing industry. It brings everyone together who wants to brew beer enabling them to trade directly with breweries and suppliers on one platform – making beer production smarter, more accessible and more profitable. After successfully raising £390k seed investment via crowdfunding platform CrowdCube last year, BrewBroker has signed up more than 85 industry suppliers, across the UK and Europe, including Brewhouse & Kitchen and Kegstar and over 70 buyers, to bring the platform to market. Whether a brewery, pub, restaurant, retailer or aspiring brewer, BrewBroker provides a solution connecting these businesses with a network of brewing, packaging and logistics partners at the click of a mouse. The BrewBroker solution can work for breweries that need to scale up, to a start-up beer brand looking for a cost-effective route to market. Or bars, restaurants and retailers

looking to source their own brand of beer to a beer lover wishing to create a one-off beer for an event. With no formal process or facilitator in place, identifying the supplier with the relevant services and capabilities, let alone capacity, is a time-consuming task. Additionally, negotiating pricing, contracts and handling payments securely and transparently are all challenges that BrewBroker aims to solve. Sour Fingers is the first beer to be launched as a result of using the BrewBroker platform – taking it from home brew to commercial production within six weeks.


Commenting on BrewBroker, Sam Lloyd from Sour Fingers said: “Taking our product from home brew to commercial production within six weeks just wouldn’t have been possible without this online marketplace. It has allowed us to focus on delivering a great product while connecting us with the right suppliers at the right time. It was a low-cost alternative to setting up our own brewing business and took out the headache and logistical nightmare of pinpointing suppliers who had the capacity and availability to meet our needs.”

For more information go to SIBA JOURNAL SPRING 2018


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Klenzan becomes Christeyns Food Hygiene as it sets its sights on growth Brewing and beverage hygiene specialist Klenzan has changed its name to Christeyns Food Hygiene to fully represent its new status as part of the Christeyns group. Jon Walker of Christeyns UK, who heads up marketing for the Bradford based manufacturer, said following the buy-out of Klenzan in early 2017, the time was now right to rebrand and bring the business in line with the other companies in the Christeyns group. He added: “Supported by Christeyns N.V. Gent, we are providing the company with the best possible platform from which to further develop its business in both UK and

Irish markets. It is a new era for the Warrington firm, now set to become a centre of excellence for Food Hygiene across the whole European group.” ‘Klenzan’ is one of the most trusted manufacturers of industrial hygiene solutions in the UK. Experts in detergent and disinfectant manufacture, the company uses its innovative chemistry and industry insight to manufacture, design, install and maintain cleaning solutions across the brewing and beverage industry. “It is a company that can be proud of its roots and achievements over the past 28 years,” commented Nick Garthwaite, Managing Director of Christeyns UK. “We are now setting the stage for the next

phase of growth where, as Christeyns Food Hygiene, we aim to increase our share of the €1bn European food and beverage hygiene market to double figures.” The firm recently won Best Industrial Hygiene Product Provider 2017 in the North West Enterprise Awards 2017.

For more information go to www.

Simple mileage claims from your mobile Recording mileage can be difficult to keep on top of at times.

Not only is this a hassle for drivers, but also for those working in accounts in the office, keeping tabs on the fuel bill and company spending. Underestimated private mileage for brewers who have a fleet of company cars can be expensive for any brewer – this is where ABAX steps in, making sure that business and private mileage are strictly separated. Deliveries of all brewers’ vehicles going from pub to pub and back to the brewery again can be hard to monitor. For logistics purposes, a tracking system would be highly beneficial to locate all vehicles driving around at one time, so that customer service levels can be optimised. ABAX helps breweries around the country save an average of 25-35% on their fuel bill – this is a considerable amount of money for any company who run a fleet of vehicles.

For more information go to

Are you making the most of valuable tax reliefs and benefits? As accountants and business advisers, UHY Hacker Young can help you to maximise available tax benefits such as capital allowances on any expenditure on new property, plant and equipment, managing supply chains and industry by-products. There are also generous reliefs available from HMRC in relation to research and development tax credits which can be reclaimed for areas such as investments in new recipes or products and process improvements through technological change. In particular, small breweries and boutique distilleries are often eligible for R&D tax credits which can provide welcome tax relief or cash payments where costs are incurred when creating a new product, for example.

If you would like to learn more about how these reliefs and benefits relate to your specific circumstances, please contact James Simmonds, Head of Drinks, at




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No more empty 25 Litre detergent drums! Are you finding it difficult to dispose of your empty 25 litre detergent drums in the brewery? Are your suppliers reluctant to collect empties?

Freedom Hygiene has developed a high active, high performance powder product, FREEGIENE POWER CIP which is packed in 25kg plastic buckets and 25kg plastic sacks. The woven coated polypropylene sacks with a poly inner liner are waterproof to UNCH3 standards. Buckets can be re-used around the brewery and stacked at least 10 high. Sacks can be crumpled and disposed of taking up very little space. This innovative alternative to conventional packaging provides an opportunity to eliminate or significantly reduce the number of empty 25 litre containers on site. The cost of using Freegiene’s powder products is no more than the cost of its liquid alternative. For example, FREEGIENE POWER CIP is highly active and equivalent to around 3x25 litre drums of 33% liquid caustic detergent.

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Core Equipment showcases new machine at BeerX Core Equipment showcased the Quinti JACK T04 bottling machine at Beer X in March. Two representatives from Quinti were available to talk through the functions and benefits of this machine which has a production rate of up to 500 bottles per hour. The wide range of accessories available for this machine means you can put together a system designed specifically for your needs, some of which may go far beyond simply filling and capping. Core Equipment also offers a range of innovative brewhouses, plus further production equipment such as tanks or pumps.

For more information, brewers should visit or e-mail

Makro UK appointed agents for Eurostar

Makro Labelling UK has had a close relationship with Eurostar of San Marzano, Oliveto, Italy for several years. Richard Portman, Managing Director of Makro Labelling UK Ltd, said: “We have had huge success over the past year putting together small lines for Micro producers of both beer, wines and spirits. The Eurostar range of machines fits the bill brilliantly for those who are on their second generation of equipment who want to move up from in-line fillers to rotary filling. Key to our choice of taking on the Eurostar agency for the UK and Ireland was their build and design quality. Just because the volumes of the Micro producers are lower, does not mean they will accept inferior machines, and why should they when their products are top end, high value brands ending up at the highend bars and restaurants and retail outlets as well. I am very confident about this latest agency to join us in the UK and Ireland.”

For more information call 01283 712720

Bar towel supplier to cut waste and polluting plastics

The Cotton Textile Company is to stop using polybags in a bid to reduce its footprint on our planet. The team at The Cotton Textile Company is acutely aware of the damage plastic is causing our planet when it enters the food chain and pollutes the worlds waterways and seas. With offices in Cornwall and Essex the team are exposed first hand to the sight of plastic and waste in the sea. They cleaned a beach in Fowey and the findings were truly awful, from the usual plastic bags, water bottles, straws, and ear buds through to cleaning mops, plastic toys, milk crates and polystyrene; the list is endless. The company’s small and important action of cleaning their local beach and recycling as much as possible in the office and at home will not cure the problem, but it will help. They have now taken the decision to only bulk pack their products if packaging is specifically requested. This will immediately prevent thousands of bags from

entering the waste chain per year and brings about the added benefit of marginally reduced costs for customers. This is a small step towards reducing their footprint and bigger rewards will be gained by creating greater awareness of the problem. Their intention is to show others how they too can have a positive impact on the planet and perhaps even save some money along the way.

If you would like to learn more about environmentally favourable clothing, towel and sock fabrics and packaging ideas, or indeed join the company for a beach clean, then please email





SUPPLIER viewpoint

Want to put your beer in cans? Here’s how… Canned beers are hot stuff right now. They are loved by consumers everywhere, they are trendy, convenient and their bold designs make them stand out on the shelf. The latest research from Nielsen shows that sales of canned craft beer increased by 327% from January to August 2017 alone – and now already account for 25% off all craft beer sold in multiple grocers and off licenses.

Is the can right for your drink? Quality of taste: The quality of an independent beer in a can is usually better than in other formats. The technology involved in making and filling cans is advanced – unlike bottles, they protect from light and other elements, ensuring that the drink isn’t compromised. And you needn’t be concerned that placing your brew into a new pack will force you to alter its intended characteristics. Canning your beer will not require you to change your gas levels and you can easily place an unpasteurised beer into a can. If you pour your drink into a glass you will find it very hard to tell how it was packaged. When people think that their beer tastes ‘off’, it is usually the result of oxidisation. When beer is exposed to air, chemical reactions take place that make the taste of the beer change rapidly. Cans are airtight; seamed ends mean there is no way that air is going to get in until someone pops the ring-pull.

Create your can design Once you’ve decided to can your beer, you will need to think about the design for your finished product. A distinct advantage of the can is its 360-degree canvas. Not restricted to just a label around the centre, the entire package can be transformed into a work of art – canned craft beers already have some great examples of bold and creative designs that really stand out on a shelf. Whether creating your own design or working with a professional designer there’s a handy free design tool called Can Creator. Can Creator can help you to visualise your final product, in 3D, in seconds. Available for Mac and Windows and free to use, it allows you to download a template and try different features, finishes and colours in seconds. You can even rotate your can 360 degrees to view from any angle. It also allows you



to share your creations with friends and colleagues, so you can showcase your final design. Sustainability: Beverage cans have some serious environmental credentials too. Any metal is a permanently available material, meaning it’s uniquely 100% and infinitely recyclable with no loss of quality – unlike other pack formats. This makes cans an environmentally friendly packaging choice as they stay in the recycling loop forever. Did you know, for example, that 80% of the metal ever produced is still in use today? The impact sustainability has on the brand image in terms of its green credentials is becoming increasingly more appealing and important to consumers. The packaging with the best recycling story, combined with great design and taste is now the most attractive option. The recycling story resonates with the millennial audience who now seek brands that align with their values. If they care about the environment, they want the products they buy to meet their values too. Research by GfK showed that consumers aged 35+ believe the can’s recyclability is its strongest feature. Over half of consumers (52 per cent) believe it’s important to consider the packaging’s impact on the environment when choosing a drink to purchase. It’s one of the top three benefits of buying a can. Consumer demands have changed to seek packaging that not only looks good and tastes great, but has a positive impact on the environment too. Not only are cans sustainable from a recycling perspective, but for the simple reason they are light, strong and easier to stack, meaning they take up less space and therefore less transportation is needed to ship them from manufacturer to retailer. Less trucks on the road means less CO2 produced.

The can manufacturing process Many smaller brewers still hold the common misconception that they don’t

have the ability or capacity to can their beer. But the fact is size and volume are no longer the challenges they were. The increase in demand for craft in cans has driven the launch of a range of affordable, short-run contractor services, mobile canning companies and multiple choices when purchasing very low to high volume in-house lines/systems. This rise in short-run, contract filler lines and mobile canning line options means that most brewers can can their brews, if they wish, at very competitive prices. The first step is to assess how many cans you want to fill and at what speed. For a consistently large volume, you might want to get in touch with a major supplier such as the following Can Makers members: Ardagh, Ball or Crown. If, however, you are planning on lower volumes, consider a contract canner or employing a mobile canner. You can find contact details for all choices on the Indie Drinks Can Advicesite. An infographic on the process can be viewed on the Indie Drinks Can Advice website

Keep on innovating Once you’ve got your product into a boldly designed can, there’s a host of additional innovative options at your disposal to take your drinks brand to another level. For example, thermochromic inks allow surface areas of the can to change colour. This can be used to show when the beverage is the optimum temperature for drinking, so your consumer can enjoy the product at its very best and enjoy the great taste.

Be our guest As you can see, cans offer a win, win solution for brewers, retailers and consumers alike, and now the benefits aren’t just reserved for the bigger brands. Please do visit Indie Drinks Can Advice for further details on how to get your drink into can:

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Atlas Packaging helps to facilitate St.Austell Brewery re-brand St Austell Brewery has recently unveiled new bottle designs and logos for its Tribute, Korev and Proper Job beers in the UK. Atlas Packaging has helped to facilitate this by developing bespoke packaging suitable for the new range of bottles. Mark Leverton, Sales Director and Key Account Manager for St. Austell Brewery, said: “Re-visiting the design of the perforation on the 8 x 500ml packs has

allowed the new packaging line to become more user friendly and to also aid the presentation in store. “Tweaking the design ever so slightly really does make an impact and has allowed for a more consistent and efficient run via St. Austell Brewery’s case erector. “Our approach to St. Austell Brewery’s packaging has always been to support their superior knowledge, integrity and innovation whilst communicating clearly about each other’s manufacturing processes. Ultimately, we have found

that efficient boxes and bottling allows for operations for both companies to run smoothly and to occur in regular working hours. During our 20-year relationship with St. Austell Brewery we have developed and advanced our corrugated offering, which we are delighted to provide to St. Austell Brewery and to the brewing and drink industry today as a whole.”

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Moncada Brewery – moving into the future When successful micro brewery Moncada recognised that they were rapidly outgrowing their premises, they started to look for help with developing a new site. By some strange twist of fate they found out about NIRAS when one of their team went to the hairdressers and the hairdresser turned out to be the cousin of one of the NIRAS brew experts. As an experimental brewer Moncada needed a new facility to give them space to be even more creative and grow the range. The NIRAS team were originally engaged to review the business model and make recommendations on taking the brand forward. The options were to build a new brewery or revamp an existing building. The Project Manager, Fred Bechman, led a Master Plan Workshop where he presented the findings of the business analysis. This workshop allowed the Moncada and NIRAS teams to work through the findings, discuss ideas and options and come away with an outline action plan. It wasn’t long before a building was identified, which fitted the brief for the new Moncada Brewery. The NIRAS team were engaged to project manage the front end engineering design and prepare the tenders. The Moncada team agreed the budget and the project kicked off. A Civil Consultant was appointed who was responsible for areas such as fully upgrading the floor for industrial use. The main construction works were completed on time enabling the manual installation of the plant. The result is an efficient, productive and creative brewery that not only creating beautiful beer but also creating new and exciting collaborations with other brewers.

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Brausol beats finings in Brewlab clarification test Over the past few years, more and more breweries have been switching to Brausol P Special. The silica-based clarification aid gives results comparable to traditional finings – with the added benefits that it’s cheaper, has a longer shelf life and is vegetarian/ vegan-friendly. No fishy ingredients. So Sunderland’s highly respected Brewlab Training and Analysis asked if they could put Brausol to the test, to see how it faired

in a direct laboratory comparison against finings. And the test results were eyeopening, to say the least! Keith Thomas, Director of Brewlab, said: “Non-gluten beers were selected for testing after primary fermentation when attenuation was complete and before primary settlement of yeast. “Initial settlement after 23 hours indicated a clear difference in OD with little difference between isinglass, auxillary and Brausol samples.


Brausol was comparable or better than isinglass or auxillary on the primary settlement at 70μl and 350μl doses.” This is perfect for racking, kegging or bottling clarified beer. Brewlab did note that when the beer was unsettled in cask, traditional finings worked better on the resuspension.

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Meet the regional elected directors


NAME: Tom Bott REGION: South East

NAME: Anthony Hughes REGION: Midlands

CONTACT: How did you first get into brewing?

CONTACT: How did you first get into brewing?

My first memory of alcohol was of the taste of my father’s homebrew – he used the Boots kits and held a stash in the garage, which would come out every Saturday night and Sunday lunch time. At the age of 18 I followed in his footsteps and began to brew the same kits, but became frustrated by the ‘homebrew’ taste. I bought an early edition of ‘How To Brew Real Ale’ by Graham Wheeler and taught myself all grain brewing with an entirely self-built kit comprising plastic buckets, kettle heating elements and the obligatory cold box and copper pipework for a mash tun! Turns out the brews went down well with the neighbours and when redundancy came the wrong side of 40, I decided to turn my hobby into a career. I’ve received lots of support from Brewlab, Nottingham University and many consultants along the way, I hasten to add!

How long have you been involved with SIBA and why did you join?

Lincoln Green Brewing Company has been a member of SIBA since the very beginning of our start up in 2012. We saw SIBA as an essential trade body for the provision of advice, keeping us up to date with changes in the industry and in relevant regulations; The FSQ audit has been particularly useful recently in helping the brewery to improve its working practices.

What is the main focus of your SIBA role?

Since my role began, the Midlands Region unfortunately lost its venue for the annual beer competition following a clash of dates. We successfully sourced an alternative venue and hosted our first competition and beer festival – hopefully an annual event to showcase the very best of British beer from the Midlands.

How do the regions support SIBA members?

My fellow trustees and I aim to make it easy for members to provide feedback and air their views – we’re always available at the end of the phone, email and we’ve established a Facebook Group ‘SIBA Midlands Region’ to help encourage participation.

How can Members get more involved in SIBA locally?

Express your opinion and get in touch with your Trustees – we want to represent your views with the SIBA Board and Executive. Call, email, Facebook or send a carrier pigeon (!), but let us know what you’re thinking. Our Region is pretty vast, but please try to attend our meetings; we try hard to keep the agenda light, interesting and relevant.

What’s new in your area of SIBA this year?

The next beer competition and festival is likely to shift to late Spring, rather than Autumn, and we’re open minded to venues and location – many of our members want to see the location move around the region in the interests of fairness and to make it easier to contribute and get involved.

What do you do outside brewing?

Mmm…. Self-employment in the world of brewing doesn’t lend itself to having time outside of brewing, but my wife and I (including our ‘brewery dog’, Beau!) love to take short trips away from it all in our caravan. Many apologies if you’ve ever been out delivering your beer and have been stuck behind us!!

What is your favourite beer in your region other than your own? Tricky – far too many great beers to choose from, but I have to admit a huge fondness for Castle Rock’s ‘Screech Owl’, Thornbridge’s ‘Jaipur X’, and Dancing Duck’s ‘Dark Drake’.

Who do you most admire in the brewing community and why? Pete Brown continues to be a great writer of all things beer, his words often echoing my own thoughts. I also greatly admire Keith Bott of Titanic Brewery for his work in SIBA, both at Midlands Region level and of course nationally, particularly his direct influence over Small Breweries' Relief and the scrapping of the beer duty escalator.

As some may guess from my surname my family runs Titanic Brewery in Stoke-on-Trent so I guess I was born into brewing. It wasn’t quite beer on my cornflakes but from a young age both my brother (now the brewer at Titanic) and I were immersed in pub and brewery life. Having studied in Manchester my cousin and I founded Signature Brew in the Autumn of 2011 and thankfully with the help of many around us have seen our music inspired brewery go from strength to strength.

How long have you been involved with SIBA and why did you join?

I believe any trade body is only as good as the sum of its parts. Brewers understand the myriad of issues affecting them and the only way SIBA can adapt to help in any circumstance is via proper engagement from all eight regions. It was this sense of duty and the ideology that you get out what you put in that compelled me to get involved with SIBA, initially as a regional member and now as a trustee.

What is the main focus of your SIBA role?

Since becoming chair of the South East region in January my main focus is ensuring all concerns of members within my region are heard and taken forward to the right place so they’re properly acted upon. Also, as one of the 25 brewers on the SIBA board it’s my duty to work with my fellow trustees to ensure SIBA takes the right course of action on behalf of all its membership.

How do the regions support SIBA members?

The regions support their members by offering a localised point of contact for all matters that might concern our brewers. These concerns can be region specific so having locally elected trustees to represent them means there is better understanding for what issues might be live in any particular region.

How can Members get more involved in SIBA locally?

First and foremost the best opportunity to get involved is by attending and engaging with your regional meetings. It’s here that all relevant issues concerning SIBA members are aired and discussed.

What’s new in your area of SIBA this year?

This year we’re looking at opportunities to improve our regional competitions, continuing to harness the great engagement we see from the members in the SE region and we’ll be supporting a change in approach to sexism in the beer industry, championed by my fellow SE trustee Jaega Wise.

What do you do outside brewing?

Running a small business and being involved in the brewing industry can at times be all encompassing beasts leaving little time for anything else. However, I wouldn’t swap this, the world of independent brewers is brilliantly collaborative and a hugely rewarding space to work in. When time does permit I enjoy heading to gigs, playing football, cooking and seeing the world.

What is your favourite beer in your region other than your own? Cask - Surrey Hills Shere Drop Keg, - Siren Soundwave IPA.

Who do you most admire in the brewing community and why?

Obviously I have huge admiration for what my family has achieved but beyond them I’d probably have to look to two of the most distinguished and respected figures from the London brewing scene, Derek Prentice now of Wimbledon Brewery and John Keeling of Fuller’s Brewery. Both have a wealth of experience, an unwavering dedication to supporting other brewers develop and have successfully moved with the times as the beer industry has changed.




contacts SIBA Head Office: 01765 640441 Cellar Services: 01765 641099



Mike Benner Chief Executive Nick Stafford Operations Director Tony Jerome Membership & Marketing Director John Hart Finance Director Sara Knox Directors Assistant

Rachel Harriott Head of Operations James Calder Head of Public Affairs & Communications Neil Walker PR & Marketing Manager Rebecca Kirby Financial Controller

Louise Gosney Commercial Administrator Jenna Barningham Regional Executive – North East, North West & Scotland Siobhan McGonigle Regional Executive – East, Midlands, Wales & West Cheryl Ford Regional Executive – South West & South East

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 Vice Chairman of SIBA Ian Fozard

EAST Sam Abbott Stuart Bateman Marcus Beecher


Lincolnshire Brewing Co George Bateman & Son Ltd Elgood & Sons Ltd

SCOTLAND Andrew Richardson Black Wolf Brewery Isle of Arran Brewery Gerald Michaluk Harviestoun Brewery Stuart Cail

MIDLANDS Greg Maskalick Draycott Brewing Company John Allcroft Grafton Brewing Co Lincoln Green Brewing Co Ltd Anthony Hughes

SOUTH EAST Tom Bott Signature Brew Jaega Wise Wild Card Brewery Red Cat Brewing Iain McIntosh

NORTH EAST Roosters Brewery Ian Fozard Maxim Brewery Mark Anderson Hop Studio Ltd Dave Shaw

SOUTH WEST Moor Beer Company Ltd Justin Hawke Exe Valley Brewery Guy Sheppard Driftwood Spars Brewery Peter Martin

NORTH WEST Shane Swindells Cheshire Brewhouse Bank Top Brewery Dave Sweeney Peerless Brewery Steve Briscoe

WALES & WEST Norman Pearce Corvedale Brewery Teme Valley Brewery Chris Gooch Salopian Brewing Co Ltd Wilf Nelson


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Siba journal spring 2018  
Siba journal spring 2018