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ISSUE 104 S P R I N G 2 0 1 7



Industry legend Tim Martin


The four pillars of SIBA's future


Burning Sky's Mark Tranter

BEERX 2017

Highlights from this year's show


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WELCOME TO THE SPRING 2017 ISSUE OF THE SIBA JOURNAL! I am writing this having just returned from this year’s BeerX in Sheffield, where I was lucky enough to meet some of you and had the wonderful opportunity to try many of your fantastic beers. As a life-long beer lover I find events like BeerX a joy to attend, as they bring together so many local beers from areas of the UK I might otherwise not get to travel to, and the quality and innovation at this year’s event was outstanding. There is no doubt that the market is entering a tough period. The sheer proliferation of breweries and beers, rising costs, pub market shifts, over-taxation and uncertainty over issues like Brexit make brewing a difficult part of the market to be in. But what I did get from BeerX was a sense of collaboration and determination to face the issues head on and together. SIBA’s purpose is nothing if not to bring together the small breweries and make them stronger as a unit – and listening to SIBA’s MD Mike Benner at the SIBA AGM at BeerX outline the 2020 vision for the organisation was inspiring, and also reassuring at a time when strong leadership is evidently needed.

We also caught up with some of the 2017 winners in person to find out more about what puts them at the forefront of what is going on in the sector. Meet brewing legend and 2017 Gold award-winner Mark Tranter, from Burning Sky Brewery, on pages 25-31 and overall Brewery Business of the Year winner Daniel Lowe from Fourpure on pages 42-49. And in response to reader requests for us to feature larger retailers in the magazine, for our Big Interview on pages 36-41 we caught up with Wetherspoons’ Tim Martin to find out how he views the craft beer revolution and small brewers’ access to market through managed chains such as his. You can now email me direct at my new SIBA email address with all your news, views and ideas for the Journal and don’t forget to check your inbox for the regular Brewing in Brief updates from the SIBA team. Happy reading!



In this issue we bring you all the highlights from BeerX including detail of that 2020 Vision (pages 60-67), all the winning beers and breweries from the National Awards (pages 68-75) and also the first column for the Journal from your newly elected Chairman Buster Grant (page 8). Society of Independent Brewers PO Box 136, Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4 5WW Tel: 01765 640 441 Email:

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 ( Advertising Manager: Claire Rooney ( Managing Director: Dan Rooney (

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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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SIBA 2020

Highlights from SIBA’s annual report and members’ survey

A full report on the beer and business awards from BeerX

The four pillars of SIBA’s future

PAGES 16-19

PAGES 68-75

PAGES 60-61



Written by Prof. Ignazio Cabras, Newcastle Business School, University of Northumbria in Newcastle Commissioned and published by SIBA February 2017

9-15 16-19 20-21 22-23 70-75 87-93 94-105

7 8 35 59


The latest from SIBA HQ including the new SIBA communities project




The key findings from SIBA’s annual report and members’ survey



Are you making the most of your membership?



Get to know your local and national representatives


A round-up of all the winners from the 2017 National Beer Awards


51-57 60-61

This issue we focus on the North East



News and views from SIBA’s Supplier Associate Members


We meet Gold winning brewer Mark Tranter of Burning Sky


The national campaign to grow the beer sector


Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin on his passion for beer


Innovative operator Daniel Lowe of Fourpure tells us the story of his start-up


Advice on employment law, social media, marketing and finance

BEERX 2017

BeerX coverage and SIBA’s Four Pillars

BEERX 2017

SIBA AGM coverage and more news from the show

BEERX 2017












Mike Benner outlines the 2020 vision for SIBA


New Chairman Buster Grant writes his first column for the Journal


Beer writer Jane Peyton on why design matters


Brewlab’s Dr Keith Thomas looks at stability


The winners of the 2017 SIBA Business Awards

Updates and advice from suppliers

Croxsons and Napthens

Listing of all our Gold and Silver sponsors

Introducing three members of the SIBA team





In the winter issue of the SIBA Journal I wrote about the need for the Society to unite in delivering a 2020 Vision to help our members build sales and make their businesses sustainable, despite the headwinds our sector faces as competition intensifies. I’m pleased to report that proposals put to the Board in February were approved and were subsequently presented to members at the AGM held at BeerX in March. As we head towards our 40th birthday in 2020 we have set out a clear, practical and achievable path for SIBA based around Four Pillars of activity. SIBA’s strategic vision of unity as ‘the voice of British brewing’ and therefore our ability to ‘deliver the future of British beer’ is under threat as the craft beer market matures and many members face serious challenges for their businesses. One of our members captured it perfectly in a discussion just the other day, “We’re enjoying the biggest boom that craft beer has ever known, yet we’re fighting over scraps. We need to concentrate on making the market bigger and finding new opportunities”. In a nutshell, SIBA needs to break down barriers on the supply side to enable Britain’s independent craft brewers to meet the growing demand from consumers for craft-brewed beer. This involves participating in growing the cake itself as well as growing our members share of that beery cake. We are already working as key partners in Britain’s Beer Alliance to support There’s a Beer for That in its activity as a well-funded and directed campaign by the global brewers to build the overall beer market, but our 2020 vision needs to focus around increasing access and opportunity for our members specifically. Our members survey indicates that our share of the UK beer market has not increased significantly over the last two years, despite significant increases in the previous years. This is, at least in part, as a result of bigger brewers, at regional and national level, upping their game having finally realised that ‘craft beer’ is the most exciting thing to hit beer in a generation. Acquisitions of craft brewers, small-scale craft plants and crafty re-brands are now all the rage and, together with intense price competition, our routes to market are being squeezed and urgent action is required to ensure

our members can thrive and bring to market the genuine craft-brewed beers that discerning consumers want to drink. Based on the themes of excellence, growth and sustainability, 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 our 2020 vision we will positively face up to the challenge to grow market share for our members through improved access, supported by a fair tax regime, the focused promotion of our members’ beers and by driving quality and excellence in a practical way which sets SIBA members apart from other non-member brewers. Our four key pillars of activity are therefore: • Increasing access to market - building routes to market and promoting ethical pricing • Taxation - a fair system for beer and pubs with a focus on retention and sustainability of Small Breweries’ Relief • Promotion - via our flagship Assured Independent British Craft Brewer campaign • Product excellence – Placing the SIBA Food Safety & Quality Certificate (FSQ) as the hub of our activity. I hope you will take the time to read the full detail of the strategy, either in this magazine (see page 60-61 for full details) or on the Toolbox part of our website, and will agree with the SIBA Board that our 2020 vision draws a line in the sand for SIBA and sets a clear and achievable way forward to support our professional brewing business members. As times are tough for many, it is essential for us to unite, as broad as our membership is, towards our common purpose and for you to see clear benefit and value in being a member of SIBA as it approaches its 40th year.









I write this as I try to catch up on the backlog having spent 12 days in Sheffield for BeerX, mostly (whilst not learning how to be Chairman!) working with Keith Bott and the team running the keg beer competitions and then the cellars for BeerX. This was the first time SIBA has run regional keg competitions all in one place, and I have to say, the sight of some 390-odd (some of them very odd!) kegs all in one place, waiting to be judged was just a little daunting. Time did not allow for all of the regional awards to be announced, but I hope that all of those who won have been informed by now, and we are aiming to present the certificates at the next regional meetings. What was clear from BeerX is how vital it is that we have access to a large selection of judges - I know that as a brewer when I enter one of my beers into a competition, I’ve spent a lot of time and effort creating the beer, and I want to know that it is being critiqued by a panel of judges who know what they are talking about. That does not for one minute mean that I advocate using professional, paid judges - not only would this be cost prohibitive, it would remove the most important criterion (to me) from the process - the judging of drinkability. So, who are the best people to judge our beers? Us brewers, surely? We all have knowledge of the industry and what it takes to make great beer, and I’m pretty certain that we can all objectively decide whether or not the beer we’re judging is worth heading to the bar for a pint of as soon as the process is completed! The British Beer Report (available via the Toolbox, with highlights in this magazine on pages 16-19) relates that a large majority of members (you the brewers) rate SIBA’s beer competitions as ‘valued initiatives’. The awards themselves are gaining traction and recognition with the drinking public, and I have no doubt that the continually improving communications from Tony and Neil will mean that these awards will become ever more valuable commercial tools for us brewers. I know that



if I see on a pump clip that a brewer has won a SIBA award, then I’m more likely to order it at the bar - it might even help sway my ordering of beers for our guest beer program - and I’m certainly not alone in thinking like this. However, there has been criticism of the way SIBA competitions have been judged. For the regional competitions, the aim, as I understand it, is that each judging panel should be made up from a selection of people, including brewers, industry professionals, suppliers, publicans and guests. However, if there physically are not enough judges, then these ‘guidelines’ get blurred, and that might mean that our beers are not getting the respect that they deserve. This is where you the brewers can help - the more brewers who attend other region’s competitions to help judge, the better. To my mind, an award given by my peers is much more valuable than one given by an unknown panel - I’m much more proud of my SIBA awards than any others I’ve won over the years, including international awards - for exactly this reason - the award has come from people like me… These competitions also allow us brewers to see what other people are creating, draw inspiration (or warning!) and are excellent opportunities to mix with our Supplier Members and see what new products and services they can offer. However, the most important reason to go and judge beer it's fun! I’m intending to get around as many of the regional competitions as I can this year, for all of the above reasons, so I look forward to seeing many of you at these great events. I‘d really like to encourage you all to take a valuable day away from your brewery, and go and visit another region, to see what they’re up to, to talk to brewers and suppliers, to learn (one way or the other) and to have fun… Oh, and have a beer or two! Cheers!




Buster Grant elected new SIBA Chairman Buster Grant, owner and Head Brewer of Brecon Brewing in Wales, has been appointed the new Chairman of SIBA.

Board in 2008 and then again in 2012, and joined SIBA’s Executive Board in 2016 before his election as Chairman in March. Grant will work closely with SIBA’s Managing Director Mike Benner and Justin Hawke of Moor Beer Co, who has also been elected as SIBA’s new Vice-Chairman. American born Hawke trained as a brewer in San Fransisco before taking over the then defunct Moor Beer Co in Bristol in 2007 – transforming it into the modern US-inspired brewery it is today.

Buster took the chair for the first time at SIBA’s AGM on 16th March at the annual BeerX event, and has written his first column for the SIBA Journal (opposite on page 8). The appointment comes as previous Chairman Guy Sheppard, of Exe Valley Brewery, stepped down at the end of his successful maximum term of three years as the head of the association. Commenting on his appointment, Grant highlighted the challenges and opportunities facing the independent brewing industry: “I’m delighted and honoured to have been chosen by my fellow brewers to represent them and their Trade Association. The reputed curse of ‘May you live in interesting times’ has never seemed truer, with a number of threats and opportunities facing our industry. However, I see mostly opportunities, and I’m delighted to be working with SIBA’s Managing Director

Mike Benner and the team towards a goal of a more professional industry, with a real focus on quality products, sustainable business and fair access to market for all of our members, whatever their size.” Buster Grant is a brewer with over 16 years experience. He has been heavily involved in SIBA since his first election to the SIBA

Mike Benner said: “I am very pleased to welcome Buster as SIBA’s new Chairman and Justin as Vice Chairman – I look forward to working closely with them in what I expect to be a challenging but exciting future ahead for the independent craft brewing industry.”

Find out more about our new Chair and Vice-Chair and meet the rest of the board of pages 22 and 23.

SIBA launches 'Brewers in Over 350 breweries are now the Community' initiative signed up to the 'Assured Independent British Craft Brewers' initiative – why not join them?

SIBA Members are being invited to join the ‘Brewers in the Community’ initiative taking place between 15th-18th of June 2017 to help raise the profile of independent breweries and the role they play in the community.

These dates have been selected to fit in with the buzz created around the national campaign Beer Day Britain which will take place on Thursday 15th June. SIBA will use the findings from the Members Survey to create positive national, regional and trade PR for our member breweries. We would also like to promote a variety of Brewery Open Days so there are a number of events supporting this initiative and that the community can visit their local brewery and experience the delights of their local beer!

Over 350 SIBA breweries have pledged their support for SIBA’s 'Assured Independent British Craft Brewers' initiative, and are benefitting from the point of difference this gives them with consumers at the point of purchase. The initiative seeks to highlight beer from genuinely independent craft breweries using the campaign logo on bars, pumpclips, retail aisles and product packaging.

3) Supply any pictures from previous charity events your brewery has run.

Now that so many SIBA members are on board, and the logo is being used widely used, the SIBA HQ team is working with retailers, pub groups, consumers and the wider hospitality sector to grow awareness of the logo and key message of the campaign. This will ensure that drinkers know what to look out for when they choose to buy from an independent craft brewer.

SIBA will create a Brewers in the Community logo for all participating members to use, we are also considering some Brewing Community awards, some possible marketing material for brewers to use to promote your participation and the production of a small report to issue to the media.

In order to qualify for the initiative brewers must be wholly independent of any larger brewing interest, brewing under 200,00hl and agree to abide by SIBA's Manual of Brewing Practice - meaning all SIBA full brewing members are eligible.

Please email with details of what you have planned or ways your brewery is working with your local community.

To find out more and join the scheme visit

Therefore we are looking for SIBA brewing members to: 1) Organise Brewery Open Days between 15th-18th June 2017 2) Provide us with short case studies on the charity work your brewery has been involved in the last 12 months





SIBA MD Mike Benner visited the US to speak at the Brewers’ Association ‘Craft Brewers Conference’ Mike Benner, SIBA’s MD, addressed a room full of US brewers at the Brewers Association ‘Craft Brewers Conference & BevExpo’ in Washington DC this April. Focusing on SIBA as the UK’s independent craft brewing trade association, Benner discussed his vision for the future of British beer and the challenges facing the UK. “I was delighted to have been invited on behalf of SIBA to such a prestigious event, run by the very well-respected Brewers Association in America. I was able to share with them the challenges that are facing our members, many of which have parallels with those facing craft brewers in the US. It is important that SIBA deals with these challenges in the future to help our members prosper and to deliver the future of British beer,” said Benner.

SIBA statement describes Spring Budget duty rise as a ‘setback’ SIBA MD Mike Benner issued a statement in March in response to the Government’s latest Budget in which the Chancellor introduced a business rate reduction for certain pubs, but failed to cut beer duty. The statement said: “The £1,000 reduction in business rates for pubs with a rateable value below £100,000 is welcome support for the sector, although much more needs to be done, but this contrasts sharply with the two pence increase on beer tax which is a blow for the millions of people who enjoy a pint of British beer in their local pub and also for Britain’s 1,800 small brewing businesses across the country.

900,000 jobs depend on the industry across the country.

“We called for local brewers and community pubs to be supported with a cut in beer duty to build confidence, enable investment and create jobs in light of increasing costs and uncertainty, but the Chancellor’s decision will be a setback.”

The statement follows a campaign by SIBA and other trade associations for a further cut in beer duty, during which 71 MPs signed a pledge card supporting the brewing and pubs sector ahead of the Budget. Graham Evans MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group, joined BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds, Ray Turpie, Chair of CAMRA’s Public Affairs Committee, and Neil Walker of the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), to present the pledge to the Treasury. The MP pledge highlighted the 900,000 jobs that depend on the industry across the country, and the £20 billion beer and pubs add to the economy. The campaign pointed out that British people drink 12 per cent of the beer in the European Union, but pay almost 40 per cent of the total beer tax.



As well as discussing the challenges facing brewers, Benner also highlighted the early success of SIBA’s landmark ‘Assured Independent British Craft Brewers Initiative’. “Much like the Brewers’ Association in America, it is clear there is a need for SIBA to highlight and promote British independent craft brewers and differentiate their beers from those produced by the global brewers. Our Assured Independent British Craft Brewers initiative highlights breweries which are wholly independent, brewing quality beer and are relatively small – brewing less than 200,000hl a year.” Since it’s launch the initiative has gained support from over 350 British brewers, with many adopting the assured logo and using it on point of sale material, pumpclips and beer packaging. SIBA says that this is a key part of the future of British beer and that there are lessons which can be learned from across the pond. “The American craft brewing industry has grown massively over the last 10 years and much of this is down to the fact consumers are not only seeking out more interesting beers to drink, but that the Brewers Association have made it easier for consumers to understand what is an independent craft beer and what isn’t,” said Benner. As part of the ongoing cooperation between the Brewers Association in America and the Society of Independent Brewers in the UK, Bob Pease, CEO of the Brewers Association also spoke at SIBA’s BeerX event in March.

Want to reward your permanent stockists? If a pub agrees to stock your beer on a permanent basis why not sponsor them for Cask Marque? You will be helping the pub grow trade and they will be promoted on the CaskFinder app, which is used 70,000 times a month to find Cask Marque pubs. The key to building a beer brand and consumer loyalty is to have pubs stock your beer on a permanent basis. Research shows that Cask Marque pubs grow total beer sales by more than 4% per annum against non Cask Marque pubs. Why? Because quality matters and the pubs and their staff have a passion for beer. This results in an increase in footfall. The cost of 12 months sponsorship is just £85+VAT in the first year and in subsequent years £65+VAT with the licensee paying an equivalent amount. Once the pub has been nominated for Cask Marque they will receive two unannounced visits where the assessor will inspect up to six cask beers on the bar for temperature, appearance, aroma and taste. If the pub passes the inspections they will be sent their plaque and certificate plus point of sale material.

You can nominate a pub that you intend to sponsor today by ringing Angie in the Cask Marque office on 01206 752212.

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SIBA responds to calls from the Small Brewers’ Duty Reform Coalition for a review of Small Breweries’ Relief SIBA, which represents 830 independent brewers, the majority of which are beneficiaries of Small Breweries’ Relief (SBR), has voiced concerns about calls from the newly formed Small Brewers’ Duty Reform Coalition for a review of SBR and called for any review to fully consider access to market for small brewers alongside other objectives. Mike Benner, SIBA Managing Director, said: “In today’s extremely competitive beer market ensuring access to market for Britain’s small brewers is absolutely central to the future of the industry. We welcome the spirit of cooperation voiced by the Coalition and we wish to engage constructively with all stakeholders to discuss if the current scheme could be improved, but we are not in favour of a Government-led review which would bring unnecessary uncertainty to small brewers. “In order to consider if an independent review is the best way forward it is important that common objectives and areas of agreement are established and

of the diseconomies of scale small brewers face.

that the principles and factors behind any review are agreed by stakeholders to give a view of what the outcomes might look like. This is particularly important for SIBA as the trade association representing the main beneficiaries of this essential relief on beer duty.” SIBA says it is essential that consideration is given to all factors including access to market for small brewers, a key reason for SBR from the outset, and not just a consideration

Heineken partners with SIBA to bring local cask ales to its pubs

Benner added: “The consumer-led revolution in interest for genuine craftbrewed and local beers has been the most exciting thing in the British beer market for many years and yet, large parts of the beer market remain directly foreclosed to many small brewers which, with over 1,600 UK brewers, must be addressed. Furthermore, any reduction in the 50% relief for brewers up to 5,000hl would have severe unintended consequences for many brewing businesses who struggle to compete with brewers many times their size and often with their own tied estates.” “Sustainability of the industry and a scheme which promotes growth are clearly important to the future of British beer, but ensuring access to market is central in achieving these objectives. We all want a vibrant, sustainable and diverse beer industry where excellence and investment are rewarded but it is important not to throw the baby out with the bath water, by undermining the very real benefits of SBR.”

breweries. Heineken is a passionate supporter of the great British pub and is constantly looking for ways to deliver business benefit for our licensees and a great pub experience for consumers. This partnership with SIBA is another way we are ensuring our pubs remain relevant, innovative and successful and play their part in the heart of communities.”

Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars is to join the SIBA Beerflex scheme offering licensees a wider choice of local cask ales. Under the agreement, Star licensees with Cask Marque accredited pubs will be able to order local cask ales brewed by Beerflex participants within a 30-mile radius of their pubs. With 550 brewers producing over 3,000 beers, Beerflex will complement Star’s existing Discover Cask programme of cask ales brewed by national and regional brewers. The move is designed to meet growing pub-goer demand for local beers. It will enable Star cask ale focused pubs to attract more customers by further increasing their specialisation. To encourage participation in Beerflex, Star will continue its programme to help fund and support licensees wanting to gain Cask Marque accreditation for strong cask offers. Mick Howard, Operational Commercial Strategy Director for Star Pubs & Bars, said: “This new SIBA scheme will sit alongside our strong portfolio of leading brands and existing extensive third party cask beer offering. It will ensure that licensees have access to a wider range of quality beers from small, local, independent

Mike Benner, Managing Director of SIBA, said: ” I am delighted that Star licensees will now be able to serve excellent local craft-brewed cask beers to their customers through this partnership enabling small local brewers to bring a new and exciting dimension to the beer range. It’s a win-win-win partnership providing more choice Ensuring our pubs for pub customers, improved access remain relevant, for local brewers and a great beer innovative and offer for Star licensees. We look successful and play forward to a long and rewarding their part in the heart partnership with Star to bring the of communities. best of local beer to as many pub customers as possible.” Ross Evans, licensee of The Ship Tavern in Holborn, London, and winner of a national Star Award for Best Cask Pub said: “The Ship is one of the last traditional pubs in Holborn and customers come to us for the quality of our beer. We’ve already got a great choice of regional casks, being able to add further depth to that with local beers is great news. We source food as locally as possible for our restaurant, now we can replicate that approach with our beers.”





How can the AIP support brewers in the debate on alcohol and society? Here, the AIP’s Dave Roberts looks at the issue of how the beer sector should approach the increasingly polarised debate on alcohol and society, categorised by a push by the health lobby for more regulation…. “The Alcohol Information Partnership (AIP) was established in 2016 to bring balance to the debate surrounding alcohol in society. Although funded by eight spirit manufacturers, AIP is category and product neutral and is already working with beer, wine and cider categories and with trade associations across the sector. It doesn't matter if you are a brewer, distiller, wine maker, licensee or retailer, the impact of the excessive and draconian regulation proposed by many of the antialcohol campaigners could potentially restrict your ability to trade. Like the rest of the industry, AIP is not oblivious to the potential harm caused by excessive alcohol consumption. A small minority of people in the UK do drink too much and should cut down - or, in extreme cases, give up. The services that help dependent and problem drinkers must be supported. Having worked for many years on campaigns to introduce new life-saving vaccines to improve screening services and protect children, I am very aware of the excellent work UK public health teams do to try and keep us fit and healthy, free from disease and able to enjoy long and

fruitful lives. However, I am equally aware of how selective use of statistics and data can be used to support preferred policy goals. Anti-alcohol campaigners regularly ignore the inconvenient truths that alcohol consumption in the UK is falling, underage drinking is falling even faster and young adults drink less year on year with more people choosing to be teetotal. According to government data, over 70% of people drink within the Chief Medical Officers’ new lower weekly guidelines and 20% of the population are choosing not to drink alcohol at all. When it comes to alcohol consumption, the UK is becoming ever more moderate and the vast majority of those that choose to drink do so in a convivial and sociable way. Yet some in the temperance movement - and other campaigners struggle to acknowledge these changes. They refuse to acknowledge the evidence in front of them because it doesn't fit the narrative they wish to tell. Alcohol related crime is down, the night time economy is better managed and, due to consumer demand, a wider range of non-alcoholic and low alcohol drinks have become available. And all this has been achieved without government bans or restrictions. It's been achieved by an evolving social culture and by excellent partnership work between retailers, public services, licensees and industry. Problems remain with some drinkers and these need to be tackled. Data shows that in some regions and in specific age groups reduction in harm caused by excessive

FSQ Audit: If you’ve missed the May 1st deadline get in touch now!

Dave Roberts is the Director General of the Alcohol Information Partnership (AIP) which was set up to provide a balanced assessment of the evidence and debate over alcohol and health in the UK. Go to for more information. drinking has been slower. Indeed the research shows that some of my own age - the over 50s who grew up in the more hedonistic 70s and 80s – might benefit from reviewing their drinking patterns to ensure they are moderate. Yet in spite of the attempt by the antialcohol lobby to paint an alternative, shocking and pessimistic picture, the outlook in the UK is in fact one of moderation and AIP will champion the vast majority who enjoy sociable and convivial drinking.”


SIBA’s brewing Members who are part of Beerflex had until May 1st to set a date for a Food Safety & Quality audit, which must be completed by August 31st this year to continue supplying beer through the scheme. If your brewery uses Beerflex and has not already been audited make sure you get in touch now, as brewers who have not arranged an audit already face being delisted in September once the end of August cut-off is reached. The SIBA FSQ was launched last year, and we believe it represents a great step forward in providing all members with a practical means of access to an independent quality-driven audit that promises to deliver genuine benefits for their brewery. We recognise that not all members are ready and able to step up to SALSA or BRC schemes and it is right that SIBA, as the leading trade association for British craft brewers, creates what we regard as a first step towards SALSA. You might be exempt from the requirement if you already have SALSA, NSF or BRC certificates in place or have begun the process to get them.

To check whether you need to take action contact Rachel Harriott at or call the Ripon office on 0845 337 9158.










• We promoted our members’ beer to the wider hospitality market building on our insight research findings on consumer and licensee views of craft-brewed beer helping build interest in our members’ beer in a wider marketplace • We continued to champion Small Breweries’ Relief with the industry and Parliamentarians. Protecting and promoting this essential initiative is a priority for SIBA and we are unique in our ability to do this • We have championed our members’ beers in the media as the very best of British beer whether in cask, keg, bottle or can • We promoted our champion members’ beers at major events including the Great British Beer Festival • We continued to partner with Britain’s Beer Alliance in support of There’s a Beer for That to ensure our members have access to the benefits from this campaign • We campaigned to secure a freeze in beer duty in the March 2016 Budget and the November Autumn Statement, giving members the confidence to build plans and invest in their businesses. The UK beer market remains in fragile stability after years of decline • We continued our lobby of the European Commission to ensure that our members’ businesses will benefit from the review of the EU Structures Directive which governs how member states apply excise duty to different alcoholic drinks • We supported Beer Day Britain in June, promoting our members’ beers with various activities • We worked with others to publish

• Our representation of the independent brewing sector1 is now between 8085% of production volumes with around 840 members. This gives us a powerful and credible voice. • Our Supplier membership increased by 10% increasing funds for campaigning and providing improved member access to suppliers. We hit 300 supplier associate members during the year • Our member retention remained impressive demonstrating that most members are satisfied with their membership • We set up a Membership Category Review Group to consider the future shape of our membership categories to ensure our structure is fit for purpose as the market changes • We continued to develop our compliance support for members with a dedicated Compliance Officer • We launched the SIBA Partners scheme whereby we will work with partners which can bring genuine benefits to member businesses • We continued to implement and promote the SIBA Food Safety and Quality Certificate (FSQ) as the hub of our activity on quality, food safety, excellence and compliance • We ran the biggest and most popular BeerX so far with an exciting programme of seminars and activities in March 2016. The event is now a key highlight of the brewing calendar. • We launched our flagship ‘Assured Independent British Craft Brewer’ campaign with over 350 members now signed up



Below 200,000hl


the tenth edition of the Cask Report providing credible insight and licensee advice on cask beer • We lobbied, with some success, for changes to the Pubs Code regulations to ensure small brewers were not unduly affected by the triggers set for market rent only options • We successfully worked with others to put an end to the rhetoric around the Chief Medical Officer’s new alcohol guidelines that there is ‘no safe level of alcohol consumption’ • We raised concerns over the proposed takeover of Punch Taverns with Heineken UK with regards to access to market for our members, resulting in reassurances for the future of Beerflex business with Punch pubs • We worked closely and effectively with the All-Party Parliamentary beer Group to promote our members to parliamentarians • We lobbied for the retention of Small Breweries’ Relief in the Autumn Statement as other groups stepped up calls for a Treasury-led review • Our Policy Committee undertook a review of Small Breweries’ Relief leading to a set of principles and objectives to help drive future enhancements of the scheme within our strategic plan • We launched Beer Alive! As the consumer-facing aspect of BeerX presenting the very best of independent craft-brewed beer in a modern and lively format


COMMUNICATIONS • We focused our communications on the promotion of our members’ beer • We launched ‘Supplier news’ to promote the services of our valued Supplier Associate members to brewing members • We launched the all-new SIBA website • We launched a brand new SIBA Journal edited by leading industry journalist Caroline Nodder, bringing you the best mix of news, features, useful advice and unique news and views from suppliers for your brewery business • We are about beer and only beer, creating clarity in our communications as the trade association for British independent craft breweries as part of our journey to become the voice of British brewing • We further increased the press coverage around our National and regional Beer Competitions • We re-launched the SIBA Business Awards with an exciting new format • We continued to develop our social media strategy to ensure SIBA is engaged with members and others on Facebook and Twitter drastically increasing the number of followers in a

short period of time • We increased the readership and impact of our e-newsletter ‘Brewing in Brief’ to keep more members’ staff up to date. • Our flagship event, BeerX grew in 2016, breaking previous records, to become the only national trade event for British beer creating a great place for members of the public to experience our members’ beers in all formats. – the biggest and best independent craft brewing event! 87% rated their experience at BeerX as good or excellent and 90% of exhibitors say it represents value for money.

CAPABILITY • We continued to invest in our staff to provide the structure and capability required to deliver our plans • We appointed a new PR and Marketing Manager to strengthen our communications function • Our Regional Executives provided support for our eight regions, improving the content and format of regional meetings resulting in significant increases in attendances in most cases.

COMMERCIAL SERVICES • We launched the new SIBA Stockholding and Delivery centre (HDC) initiative to enable members to reach retailers outside their core local market • We continued to develop interest in Beerflex ethical pricing to enable Beerflex members to flex their pricing within parameters set by participating customers • We launched the SIBA Brewer’s Video Unit service to provide access to top-notch promotional films for members • Despite significant loss of business to Orchid and Spirit Managed and continuing intense competition we worked hard to build sales with various customers including Greene King, Hawthorn Leisure and LT Pub Management securing new outlets for members.


As reported 12 months ago, the year ended 30th September 2016 was planned as a year of investment whereby the organisation budgeted to incur a modest loss to be funded from available reserves. Despite income from subscriptions and commercial activities not reaching the ambitious targets set, significant savings achieved on overheads and the organisation’s activity spend meant the final result was a loss which was smaller than budget. During the last financial year SIBA succeeded in maintaining its healthy balance sheet position which provides reserves and financial resources for the future.


During the year our number of members continued to grow appreciably and as a consequence total membership income grew by over 9% compared to the previous year. On commercial activities, whilst new sources of revenue commenced, the prime factor determining our income is Beerflex and a reduction in volumes was experienced reflecting competitive market conditions.


From a financial perspective, SIBA remains strongly positioned to face the many challenges which apply to this industry. SIBA has again planned a year of investment devoting significant funds to developing its commercial and campaigning activities in support of the 2020 vision. The rationale for this strategy is with the aim of: i) thus allowing membership subscription levels to remain relatively low and ii) developing new markets for our members’ beer







Written by Prof. Ignazio Cabras, Newcastle Business School, University of Northumbria in Newcastle Commissioned and published by SIBA February 2017

BREWERIES AND BEER PRODUCTION: • SIBA Membership now stands at 840 brewing members. • Over 299 million pints produced by respondents is estimated to translate to 527 million pints by SIBA members , nearly 3 million hl in 2016. • Beer production continued to increase in 2016, registering a 13.7% increase in the period 2013-2016, compared to 5.7% 2011-12 and 8.5% 2012-13. • Nearly half of respondents brew less than 1,000hl. • Keg proportion of production continued to grow in 2016, and it is expected to increase further in 2017. • 37% of members are now selling some craft beer in keg, up from 27% in 2015. • Cask production now at 74% of total production. • More kegged beers – proportions related to these type of packaging all expected to increase in 2017. • Majority of respondents brew more than 10% of production as bottled or canned beer. • Average beer strength is 4.2% ABV. • Golden ales are the most produced beer style – 87.6% of respondents brew at least one, followed by stout/porter– 80.2%. • 34% of members still brew a traditional mild, while 28% brew a lager. • Most brewers produce between four and six regular brands. • 92% of respondents brew seasonal beers.

JOBS: • 71% of brewers expect to recruit at least one new employee in the next 12 months.



• Estimated 980 new jobs to be created by members next year. • On average 5.5 full-time and 1.9 parttime staff are employed by members. • One in five employees among surveyed breweries are female. • Three in four jobs are full-time. • Good spread of ages in employment – half are aged 24-45, with nearly 40% aged below 34 and 17% aged over 55. • Investing in young people - more than one in ten employees are aged 16-24. • Strong impact on local employment – over a third 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 2012-16.

GROWTH: • 64% of respondents expect their turnover to increase in 2017. • One in three forecast over 10% growth in annual turnover in 2017. • 35% of respondents achieved an annual turnover between £50K-£250K in 2016. • One in six expect a decline in annual turnover in 2017. • Respondents took on 33 pubs in 2016 indicating 19 acquisitionsacross SIBA’s membership. • 55% of production is supplied to free-trade pubs, with 13% going to controlled pubs. • 65% of beer is sold within 40 miles of the brewery. • 23.5% of respondent brewers now export their beers. • 60.7% of brewers approached are interested in exporting their beers. • Half of surveyed breweries rented containers to deliver their production in 2016.

INVESTMENT: • Most breweries made capital investments in 2016. • 22% invested more than £50K in 2016, and 10% investing more than £100K. • Bulk of investments were in expanding beer production, modernising equipment and to enlarge current premises. • Duty savings and Small Breweries’ Relief continue to be mainly used for more capacity and new equipment. • Only 12% of respondents used duty benefits to discount beers. • Training remains very important to members – 77% 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 – 77% say it is either ‘extremely’ or ‘very important’ to their business and a further 7% consider it ‘important’. • Almost one out of six breweries plan to double their current levels of production, sales and turnover by 2018.

IMPACT ON LOCAL COMMUNITY: • Most breweries run a shop and a tap bar on site, with one in ten having a visitor centre. • 84% indicated their relationship with the local community as ‘important’ or ‘extremely important’, with only 4% considering this relationship as ‘not important’. • The vast majority of surveyed breweries supported at least one charity in the past 12 months, with about half supporting more than five charities in 2016. • One in four breweries donated or raised more than £1,000 for charities in 2016.


Annual turnover in 2016

Production totals 2010-2016 (HL) Thousands







2,942 2,900

80 20.2% 60 40













20 0




















*Estimated; †based on actual amounts

Services and benefits offered by SIBA and ranked by level of importance Defence & development of Small Breweries Releif/Progressive Beer Duty


Political representation (lobbying at National level)







Campaigning on alcohol issues


BeerfFlex DDS Beer competitions & festivals (regional/national)




SIBA Members Toolbox - toolbox alerts, guidance, compliance tools etc




SIBA BeerX event (AGM,Annual Conference, Trade Exhibition)


FSQ - food Safety & Quality accreditation


Networking opportunities e.g. Regional Meetings





Annual Beer Report Compliance advice & support


Assured Independent British Craft Brewers’ initiative


Regional representatione.g. trustees


Supplier Associate members (trade directory, discounted rates, guidance/support)


SIBA Journal


Centralised Cask Management e.g. NCR Net

Importance of Small Breweries’ Relief for breweries (counts and percentages) Not important Somewhat important


Legal and business support including helpline


SIBA E-newsletters (Brewing in Brief & Supplier News)


Important Very important Extremely important


Others* 0%







*Others include services and benefits offered by SIBA ranked as most important by 5% of less of respondents. These categories include: Brewing technical support (including helpline and training); Commercial/sales initiatives (e.g. exporting, business development); Joint Purchase Schemes (e.g. centralised beer mat buying for members); PR support; SIBA National Website; and Cellar services.





MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS REMINDER SIBA offers brewing members a wide range of benefits and will be looking to enhance these over the next 12 months. If there are any membership benefits you would like SIBA to investigate, then please email your ideas to

Below is a reminder of just some of SIBA’s current membership benefits:



Each SIBA region organises four meetings a year. SIBA has invested more resource into supporting Regionals Meetings by restructuring and creating three Regional Executives that offer more regional support. This support has played a key role in attendances growing between 40-100%. We realise all members are very busy but we are working hard to make Regional Meetings difficult to miss. We are improving the guest speakers, looking into training sessions, updating members on what is happening nationally but more importantly, they give you the chance to network with other brewing members in your area and find out more about what our Supplier Associate members are offering.


(Scotland, North West & North East)

SIBA’S TOOLBOX SIBA’s Toolbox, the members’ password protected website, offers a range of free tools to help your business including Duty Change Calculator, Due Diligence and Registering Trademarks.


The Toolbox also files the numerous Toolbox alerts that SIBA issues to members on important business matters. Those that decide to join BeerFlex will also find the orders here.

(Midlands, Wales & West and East)


(South West & South East)

SIBA’s beer competitions have been rebranded ‘SIBA’s Independent Beer Awards’ to help us differentiate our awards from others. SIBA has employed a professional PR & Marketing Manager to help raise the profile of our award winning breweries. We hope this increased coverage leads to more interest in SIBA members’ beer and increased sales.


FREE Legal Helpline 

Supplier Associate Member Support

Unfortunately SIBA members have experienced a variety of different legal issues in the past. To help reduce the burden SIBA has created a relationship with Napthens solicitors who have a wealth of experience in the brewing industry.

SIBA has over 300 Supplier Associate members who supply the independent craft brewing industry. Many have the experience to offer brewing members guidance, support and of course, quality products and services to help run professional breweries.

Free legal advice on 0845 6710277 All SIBA members may access this service by telephone or email and receive one hour’s free advice and thereafter be charged at approved rates. So just one call to Napthens could save your SIBA membership fee alone! For advice on any legal issue that is affecting your business please call 0845 6710277




For more information visit




A BRITISH BEER REVIVAL Roger Protz on our proud heritage

NEW RIVER BREWERY’S FIRST YEAR IN BUSIN ESS BEERX A BRITI THE NEW RIVE SH BEERBIG MEET THE 2017 FIRST YE R BREWERY’S RE INTER VIV VIEW BEERBREW AR IN BU What to expectRog X at er We AL ER SINESS meet Everards’ 20 this year’s eventpro Protz on Matt 17 Clarke on his THE BIG our ud herStephen itage GouldWhat toHawksh IN expectead MEET TH at adventureTERVIEW this year’s We meet event Everards’ BREWERE Stephen Matt




Clarke Hawkshead on his adventure


201 7

Relaunched, professionally edited SIBA Journal The SIBA Journal was relaunched in March 2016 to help celebrate the 100th issue. Our members’ quarterly publication has a new look and is now edited by Caroline Nodder, a previous editor of the Publican Newspaper. Caroline is delivering the content our members requested in SIBA’s 2015 Communication Survey. If you would like to submit any information to Caroline, please email

JOINT PURCHASES SIBA offers a range of products


at discounted prices. The current discounted products include Bar Runners, Branded Logo Glasses, SIBA Branded Disposable Tumblers and Bag in a Box but our most popular Joint Purchase is Beer Mats:

This year's SIBA membership survey highlighted that the three most important SIBA membership benefits are now Defence & development of SBR / PBD, Political representation (lobbying at national level) and Campaigning on alcohol issues.


SIBA has many important campaigns to tackle over the next 12 months. We would encourage all members to participate in our campaign activity and help us make a difference.


£239 by ordering just


beer mats!

It is estimated that SIBA, working with Katz beer mat company, has saved our members more than £100,000 in the last 3 years and approximately £250,000 over the last decade.


Just ordering 10,000 beer mats (which can be 5,000 x 2 designs) saves a SIBA member £239 from Katz non-member price. This saving can mean SIBA membership becomes FREE for brewing members who annually order a small stock of beer mats and brew less than 2,000 HL.


For more information please email


SIBA also offers members a selection of benefits that may not be the cheapest on the market but they do offer members trust, due to SIBA backing these offers and creating long-term relationships with suppliers.

BREWERY VIDEO SERVICE The SIBA Film Unit produces videos and still images for SIBA nationally and offers discounted rates for members. If you are looking to produce a film for your website, social media, press or publicity purposes then typically a full days shoot and a completed two minute video would cost £750 inc VAT.

SIBACLOUD ECOMMERCE (WEB SHOP) FACILITY An affordable ‘Online Shop’ service exclusively available to SIBA members. We handle all of the technology and administrative issues with an online shop, you concentrate in making and selling beer!



The SIBA Cloud enables businesses to work remotely from anywhere in the world. All that is required is internet access and a laptop or desktop computer and you can connect remotely to your brewery office system – with secure access to all files, records, programs and systems.

SIBA has three 40ft mobile cask / keg beer cellars for hire at a very competitive rate to SIBA members. Each cellar holds 100 firkins and 20 kegs – perfect for larger events you may be supporting!





MEET YOUR SIBA BOARD Democracy is at the heart of SIBA’s structure and operation and it is vitally important that SIBA Members retain the right to oversee, scrutinise and approve all of our activities, investments and operations. SIBA is set up as a limited company and is run and operated in accordance with the Members’ Handbook, its Articles, Rules and Policies, which are all set out in the Handbook and can be downloaded in full from the home page of the Members website, the Toolbox. SIBA carries on its business under the direction of the Directors who have been delegated powers to oversee SIBA's operations. SIBA has a large Board made up of three Regional Directors elected from each region (24 representatives), a National Chairman and Vice-Chairman, four Executive Directors employed by SIBA and three Non-Executive Directors - all of these you can see listed here, with biographies for some of our newer Board Members you might not be as familiar with. The Regional Directors are voted for by the membership at the appropriate Regional AGM. Members are encouraged to attend regional meetings and regularly contact their representatives on the Board with any business they would like raised at Board level.


Mike Benner – Managing Director Nick Stafford – Operations Director Tony Jerome – Communications & Membership Director John Hart – Finance Director

The more Members who are involved in SIBA’s events and decision-making, the more democratic we are and the stronger and more representative we become. The Chairman must be a member of SIBA and is elected by the Regional Directors. The region that the Chairman is from can also nominate an additional Regional Director to the board, therefore having a possible four representatives from that region. The current four Executive Directors are the Managing Director, Operations Director, Finance Director and Membership & Communications Director. SIBA also has an Executive Board who are responsible for the day to day operation and management of SIBA under the supervision of the Board. This consists of the Executive Directors, three of the elected Regional Directors and NonExecutive Directors. The three current Non-Executive Directors are employed by SIBA to offer support and guidance based on their relevant expertise and knowledge to help SIBA achieve its strategic plan.

Should you have any queries on this governance, please email SIBA's Company Secretary Sara Knox - - who will be more than happy to help you.

NON-EXEC DIRECTORS Robert Humphries MBE Carolyn Uphill Francis Patton



Having always enjoyed a decent beer, getting involved in the trade was probably inevitable for Buster, who first got involved with CAMRA in 1992 whilst working in the iconic White Horse in Parsons Green, London. Having completed an MSc brewing and distilling he moved to Henley to work for Brakspear’s, and when that brewery sadly closed an opportunity arose at a new brewery in Brecon. And in 2011, as all attempts to work with the existing company had floundered, Brecon Brewing was born. As well as an obvious passion for beer, Buster still finds a little time to play with Land Rovers, and occasionally manages to get out and race.

Originally from California, Justin discovered the delights of real ale when he visited England. Subsequently graduating from West Point, he lived in Germany where he developed a keen interest in unfined beer. He then returned to California, learning how to brew the flavour forward beers of the burgeoning microbreweries. Returning to England, he founded the brewery in 2007. Since then it has expanded multiple times, been recognised as one of the world’s best breweries, started the unfined beer movement, and was the first to be certified by CAMRA for canned real ale.

Buster Grant – Brecon Brewing



Justin Hawke - Moor Beer Company



Sam Abbott – Lincolnshire Brewing Co



MEMBER Sam Abbott

Sam is the recently appointed brewery and events executive co-ordinator at Lincolnshire Brewing Co. The brewery is based in Lincoln where it also has a crafty beer shop called the Crafty Bottle and the recently acquired George pub just outside Lincoln near the brewery site in Langworth. After joining the SIBA Board Sam said: “I am really looking forward to working for SIBA over the coming year and look forward to meeting lots of new brewers and associates, learning from them whilst trying to represent the smaller brewing members of SIBA.”



Iain McIntosh

Iain has lived in Winchester for the last 32 years after short spells in Bedfordshire (Unilever Research), Reading (University), and growing up in Fife in Scotland. His previous career lives include biochemistry research, food process engineering, animal nutrition, and IT. He’s been brewing professionally for 11 years, having previously run The Flowerpots Brewery in Hampshire 2006-11 and set up Red Cat Brewing with his business partner and fellow brewer Andy Mansell in 2013.

Tom Bott – Signature Brew



Tom Bott

Tom is the Founder and Head Brewer of Signature Brew in Leyton, East London. Signature Brew was established in 2011 by Tom and his cousin Sam, and was born out of their mutual frustration at the state of beer in UK music venues. Tom first got involved in beer through his dad and uncle who run Titanic Brewery in Stoke-on-Trent. It was here during his formative years that he experienced the many facets of brewing life and so began his infatuation with beer.

Ed Mason – The Five Points Brewing Co Iain McIntosh - Red Cat Brewing


Shane Swindells – Cheshire Brewhouse




MEMBER Shane Swindells

Christopher Harrison-Hawkes – Idle Valley Brewery



MEMBER Christopher HarrisonHawkes

Stuart Bateman – George Bateman & Sons Marcus Beecher – Elgood & Sons


I have been the brewer at The Teme Valley Brewery since 1997. I studied biochemistry at university but came to brewing later while I was working on a hop farm. I have passed the Institute of Brewing General Certificate and then passed the Brewing Diploma in 2016. Ours is the only brewery in Worcestershire with SALSA accreditation. I find brewing endlessly rewarding as a technical pursuit - there is literally no end to the ways in which it can go wrong. After 20 years I am tiring of the sales and marketing but it has been easy to find someone with more enthusiasm to take it over.

Christopher (AKA Harry) lives and works in East Retford and has been a keen homebrewer from the age of 15. After spending 10 years in the building trade, he found he had a passion for Science and Engineering and decided to return to academic study with the OU in 2008. Shortly after, a reignited passion for brewing led to him founding Idle Valley Brewery in 2014, with Guy & Barbara Curtis. Predominantly producing cask and bottle the brewery is now operating with 48 BBL fermenting capacity and growing. The brewery also has a tap house, The Idle Valley Tap, in Retford.

John Allcroft – Grafton Brewing Co Anthony Hughes – Lincoln Green Brewing Co


Buster Grant – Brecon Brewing (National Chairman) Norman Pearce – Corvedale Brewery Chris Gooch – Teme Valley Brewery



Chris Gooch


Shane is the Head Brewer & Owner of The Cheshire Brewhouse in Congleton, Cheshire. Shane has been connected with beer since he was 6yrs old, as the son of a publican. During his career in Maintenance engineering he came back into Brewing as a maintenance & planning engineer at Molson Coors Burton Brewery, prior to setting up The Cheshire Brewhouse in 2012.

Dave Sweeney – Bank Top Brewery Patsy Slevin – Prospect Brewery


Guy Sheppard – Exe Valley Brewery Kevin Newbould – Flying Monk Brewery Justin Hawke – Moor Beer Co (National Vice-Chairman)


Ian Fozard – Roosters Brewery Mark Anderson – Maxim Brewery Dave Shaw – Hop Studio

SCOTLAND Andrew Richardson – Black Wolf Brewery Gerald Michaluk – Arran Brewery Stuart Cail – Harviestoun Brewer



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Mark Tranter,

Head Brewer and Founder,


Burning Sky Brewery, founded by former Dark Star head brewer Mark Tranter, took home the overall Gold Award at the recent SIBA National Beer Awards in the keg category for it’s Easy Answers IPA, adding to a trawl of awards which have more than put the small brewery on the map since its launch. But while this rash of wins might have spurred others to quickly start investing in expansion, small is very much where Mark wants Burning Sky to stay. SIBA Journal’s Caroline Nodder caught up with him to find out more….


Burning Sky Brewery, Firle, East Sussex 1994 – Began home brewing (while doing a Fine Art Deg ree) 1996 – Brewer at Dark Star (then in the cellar of the Evening Star pub in Brighton) 2001 – Head Brewer at re-formed Dark Star Brewery (now 15 barrel brewery) 2013 to present – Head Brewer and Founder of Burning Sky Brewer y




Mark Tranter is something of a legend in brewing circles having started his career on the ground floor – well below the ground floor in the cellar to be exact – of the micro-brewing revolution.

now, was the founder and he was busy putting micro-breweries in for other people so it was basically me brewing in the pub. Then we reformed the company in 2001 and moved it out to a 15 barrel brewery and I was then the head brewer there until February 2013 when I left to pursue Burning Sky.”

“I’ve been brewing a long time,” he tells me, after I manage to track him down just a few days after his impressive keg Gold win at BeerX during what is probably not the quietest week he’s ever had!

But Mark has not chosen the most obvious path since leaving Dark Star to set up on his own, choosing very much to remain hands on with his own operation rather than moving into a more managerial role.

“I actually started as a home brewer back when I was doing a fine art degree – probably around 1994 – and then after graduating I got a job with the then very small Dark Star Brewery in 1996 when it was just in the cellar of the Evening Star pub in Brighton. Apart from a brief stint up in London I was then at Dark Star for 17 years.”

“I was a shareholder at Dark Star but Burning Sky is sort of ‘the baby’!” explains Mark. “It’s been a sharp learning curve, but it was set up from the start as a 15 barrel brewery and although we’re quite ambitious in terms of the beers we do we are bucking the trend in that we don’t want it to grow beyond the size it was originally set up to be. So we don’t have plans for expansion, for moving premises, big brewhouses, nothing like that. When I set it up we bought good equipment because I knew I wasn’t going to be replacing it at any point in the near or distant future. Being the size it is it means I can be hands on in all areas and we remain focused on what we set out to do to start with.”

All Mark’s training was done on the job in the sometimes hectic Dark Star cellar – “I have never had time for formal training,” he laughs – and his love of experimentation with different beer styles was evidently born of that style of learning. Dark Star Brewery is often credited with paving the way for the latest wave of small UK breweries that have emerged onto the scene in the last two decades and certainly Mark Tranter’s role as Head Brewer there in the mid-to-late 1990’s, placed him right in the heart of the action. “Rob Jones, who has also left Dark Star

There are five staff at Burning Sky currently, brewing between three and five times a week – there are plans to recruit one more this year but the size is unlikely to grow much beyond that.

Mark explains: “Having been involved in a brewery that grew and grew and grew, I knew what I liked doing, and that was being very involved in the day to day and being able to oversee the cogs turning in the background. It was about creating something that I see as sustainable. Everyone who works here gets on well, we have a really good working relationship and everyone knows exactly what is going on – we don’t hide anything. “Back when we re-formed Dark Star in 2001 it was a very different world. It was the year before Progressive Beer Duty came in and so I am very aware of what it is like to work with it and without it, and with Burning Sky I have tried to create something that is sustainable whatever may come.” With no ambitions to grow Burning Sky beyond its current capacity, Mark has instead thrown himself head long into rolling up his sleeves to perfect the finer arts of the brewing process and expanding his knowledge of less precise techniques like wood-aging and wild yeast and, more recently, spontaneous fermentation. “I started with quite a clear vision that we have stayed true to,” says Mark. “It was always about brewing beers we loved to drink rather than what’s on trend – and some of the beers we brew are currently on trend, but that’s just because we like making them anyway. We have stayed true to mainly pale hop-forward IPAs and a lot of barrel-aged beers and Belgian style beers and saisons.”

Continued on page 29




















In fact, Burning Sky now has a reputation for these more unusual styles, which are growing in popularity. “We were the first brewery in the UK to invest in oak foudres for aging beer and the first beer we made was a beer that wasn’t going to be ready for three and a half months. So one of our main achievements has been not going bankrupt,” he smiles. “And keeping our focus when there is a lot of noise in the market. If you do what you do and you do it well, to the best of your ability, and you stay true to yourself then people will follow. You can see breweries that are successful out there and are true to themselves and then you see the ones that just follow the leader.”

learn from just making the same beer is immense.” This attention to detail is born of Mark’s two decades in the sector, spanning time of great evolution in the brewing market. “Every year you think ‘this is the best time to be brewing’,” he says of what he views as a very positive movement forward. “The change is definitely for the better. When Progressive Beer Duty first came in you just saw loads of Mickey Mouse set-ups – people just trying to capitalise on the duty break and making cheap beer that tasted cheap. It was quite damaging, and so you had to be quite true to making good beer and selling it at a reasonable price – you’ve got wages to pay after all!

This ‘noise’ in the market, as Mark puts it, has become almost deafening in recent years as it seems a new brewery opens its doors almost every week, many doing very similar beers. But Mark’s pioneering spirit has led Burning Sky to do things a bit differently.

“But now, while you’ve still got some amazing breweries and some maybe not quite so amazing ones, in terms of being a producer and a consumer right now I’d say it is such a good time for beer. There are so many beer styles, there is just so much going on at the moment.”

“It’s quite easy to make a different beer every week, and some will be good and some not so good, but it’s easy to sell those beers because they are new. Yes we do experimentation and we are pushing ourselves, especially with the barrel-aging and we’ve put a coolship in – we are one of only two breweries with a coolship now in the UK, the other one being Elgood’s. But it’s not just about new beers. With our core beers, we are never happy with them! Well, we are happy with them, but we are always reviewing them, always making small adjustments. It’s part of the learning process. If you constantly evaluate what you’re doing then the amount you can

And Burning Sky is constantly moving forward itself. The latest ‘experiments’ among the brewing team involve the sort of wild yeasts that have ensured the brewery has to package its own beers on site – “no one would touch us!” Mark laughs, but he is hugely enthused by the alchemy of what is never a predicatble process. “Some of the beers we do now with wild yeast in them, and the natural souring effect that has rather than fast souring, you just couldn’t have done that 10 years ago,” he adds. Although some of the styles Burning Sky has pioneered are now becoming more prevalent.


“I’ve been brewing saisons since 2008 or 2009 and there was no one doing them back then really, but they are now becoming more popular. A lot of the marketplace at the moment is quite young – they’re new to beer. They’ll probably pick a gateway beer – it might be Brewdog’s Punk IPA or Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale – and then if they get really into beer they might go for these more challenging extremely hopped pales and then they seem to mature a bit. Whilst I love really hoppy beers there is a complexity to a really balanced beer that is a real joy to drink and help produce. And it’s actually a lot harder to make a balanced beer than it is a more aggressive beer.” It may be harder to make, but that certainly hasn’t stopped Mark and his team winning awards with their beers, however, he would rather measure his success in orders than silverware these days. “It’s always nice to win awards but we don’t really enter our beers into many competitions. When I was a bit younger winning things used to be more important, but now, while it’s always nice to win, the biggest win is customers, and repeat orders. We have done very well, I’ve been named Brewer of the Year by the Guild of Beer Writers, we were named fourth best new brewery in the World by RateBeer, and now obviously this massive big win at BeerX. Yes, it’s really nice to win these things, but it’s not what we set out to do. We set out to make the best beers we possibly can,” he explains, adding: “We never have any beer! Because we’re relatively small – 25hl - the pale ales, for

Continued on page 31



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example, are always fresh, they rarely stay in the brewery more than a few days and all our beer is sold before it’s packaged. That’s a fortunate position to be in.” Fortunate, perhaps, but it is a position resulting directly for Mark’s laser-like focus and strategy. He appears unconcerned by many of the usual brewers’ worries – tax, Brexit, competition – preferring instead to worry about the beer he produces. He shrugs. “You never know what’s going to happen so you can’t get too worried about it! What’s happening in the wider world of duty and tax and Brexit you just have to get on with it, deal with it – the things that make me really worry are our beers, so I have enough things to worry about! We are just moving into doing spontaneous fermentation and there are no text books on these things. So everything we have done has been about learning as we go along – there is something nice sometimes about not knowing what you’re doing! There’s nothing like making mistakes to make you learn.” And now that his equipment is in place – the hop gun and coolship his two last major purchases – his plans for the next year or so mainly involve his team and their education….oh, and lots of barrels of course! “Most of our investment in terms of equipment is in lumps of oak! And then of course investment in staff. They know if they want to pursue their education then the brewery will foot the bill for it – so the investment this year might be in staff

knowledge maybe. In terms of equipment for a brewery this size there is only so much you can buy.” So what of the longer-term future for Burning Sky? I ask Mark what he’d like the brewery to be known for and he says he would like to “be respected for the beers we make and to have a good reputation for the pale ales but also to be a bit of a leading light when it comes to barrel aging and oak vats and that sort of thing” – something he is no doubt already on the road to right now, although he won’t be chasing down the latest trend any time soon. “Trends don’t excite me, good beer excites me,” he pauses. “I like to see the beers we’re making gaining popularity because it makes it sustainable to continue our investment into them, but what excites me more than anything is people ‘getting’ beer, understanding it and being able to appreciate the myriad of different styles and flavours there are.” And his love for that proliferation of different styles, for different brewers doing different beers, is clearly a driving force behind Burning Sky and Mark’s passion for and collaboration with the rest of the industry.

own furrow completely,” he adds, citing Thornbridge, Cloudwater, Beavertown and Marble among a long list of friends who have inspired him along the way. He has travelled widely both across the UK and internationally of course, but he also credits the location of his brewery, nestling in the hills of East Sussex, with giving him the inspiration to move his own beers forward. “Usually when I’m walking over the hills to and from work ideas will come to me – the setting of the brewery is very important to us. I’ve done my time on industrial estates and I don’t find them terribly inspiring.” A country boy at heart no doubt, my final question as to his personal favourite beer occasion reveals an equal passion for Belgium, spiritual home to so many of the beers he creates. “Some of my best times have been with friends in Belgium drinking geuze – it would have to be a bottle of Mariage Parfait by Frank Boon, it doesn’t get much better than that!” And you certainly can’t argue with that.

“If you are all pushing the boundaries then you keep eachother ahead and you keep the marketplace ahead. Although we are all doing very different things, together we are a lot stronger.” “In this collaborative industry it would be foolhardy to want to plough your




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There’s A Beer For That is the campaign to reignite Britain’s love of beer by demonstrating its versatility, diversity and quality

• Get access to There’s A Beer For That educational material style guides, beer & food matching guides

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By presenting a united approach to the category we encourage consumers to think differently about beer and stimulate trial. Beer deserves to be appreciated by more people on more occasions – it has a great story about passion, quality and skill that needs to be told far and wide.

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In this issue, award-winning beer writer and founder of Beer Day Britain, Jane Peyton, looks at the impact colour and design can have in marketing your beer…. I am the instigator of Beer Day Britain and on that day I will be in a pub with an excitingly large range of beers brewed by SIBA members. The pub will be busy and as I queue at the bar I will hope the pump clips assist my purchase choice. Picture this scenario. The crowd is five deep at the bar. Everyone is rushing to buy a drink in time for the National Cheers To Beer we hold on the day at 7pm. But it is impossible to read the pump clips properly through the crowd because the typeface is too small. With no time to ask the publican to describe the beers or request a sample, people’s eyes scan the hand-pumps. They ignore the cartoon image of a large breasted woman (is this a beer pump clip or a top shelf magazine?) and the one with the cheap office laser-printer label, figuring that the beer will be poor quality. Under pressure their eyes rest on one with greencoloured branding. They buy a pint, take a sip and are disappointed – they wanted English not New World hops. If only the pump clip had communicated more details about the beer. Today’s beer market is arguably the most competitive it has ever been so how does a brewer persuade drinkers at the bar to buy its beer if the brand does not have instant

recognition? By treating the pump clip as the shop window. When it comes to making a great first impression there are no second chances. Humans are visual creatures and form an opinion within seconds. That’s why the brewery’s branding, the name of the beer, and the pump clip design needs to be carefully considered. Knowledge of the psychology of colour is a place to start. Colours communicate a subliminal message to which customers respond without realising. Green, for instance, sends signals related to refreshment and balance. Violet suggests quality and authenticity. Avoid grey, there are no positives just negatives - depression and lack of confidence. But what if every brewery decides on a violet colour scheme? That’s why eyecatching branding or logo is crucial. Think of Beavertown’s unmistakable vivid cartoons. Simplicity also makes a brand stand out. On Pig & Porter’s pump clips the brewery name is prominently displayed and the beer style proclaimed in colourful bold block capitals with the beer name and ABV underneath. There is no imagery and yet the pump clip does the essential job of enlightening customers about what the beer is. The design is slick and sophisticated and radiates quality. All that from a few words on a black background! I spend a lot of time and money in pubs. Given a choice I always buy beers from small independent brewers. One aspect of my work is taking groups of eager beer


drinkers around pubs educating them about beer and recommending which ones to try. Invariably the majority of pump clips fail to communicate anything informative about the beer, not even the beer style and I have to ask the bar staff to describe it. Some staff know the beers and can upsell, but most do not, resulting in lost sales of those particular brands. There are myriad reasons for drinkers not to buy a particular beer including lack of information about the style and its taste; sexist, aggressive or vulgar imagery or brand-names; poor pump-clip design; hard to read type-face or font-size, and colour-scheme. To use a smart phone dating site analogy people respond to striking profile pictures and descriptions. If a beer brand wants customers to go on a date with it then polishing the image and communicating what an attractive proposition the beer is will more likely result in success. Swipe right? Quite right!

Jane Peyton is a writer, public speaker, alcoholic drinks expert, tour guide, and founder of the School of Booze. She has won several awards for her work including Drinks Educator of the Year and Beer Sommelier of the Year and is the author of seven books including Beer o’ Clock, and Drink: A Tippler’s Miscellany. Jane is the driving force behind Beer Day Britain, held annually on June 15th. Find out more at








Fresh from a visit to Liverpool, Tim Martin strolls casually through the doors of the Shakespeare’s Head in Holborn, central London, as if he owns the place. Which of course he does. He happily chats to the duty manager and staff at the flagship London pub, asks the name of the member of barstaff who serves him his half pint of beer, and settles comfortably into a booth in the middle of the bustling pub for our interview. Belying this relaxed, casual exterior, Martin is arguably the best know and sharpest pub operator of his generation, and has built his JD Wetherspoon pub empire from a single site in north London into one of the most impressive, almost formidable, commercial enterprises in the sector. He has a reputation for straight talking, and is loved and loathed in equal measure by suppliers for the huge volumes of product he shifts, and the low prices that are a key mechanic of his business. But he has achieved this enormous commercial success whilst retaining the immediately engaging, softly spoken, laid back character of the keen surfer dude he once was - and evidently still is at heart. And having left his desk firmly behind in his role as Chairman, Martin now travels the UK visiting at least a dozen of his own sites each week to keep an eye on trading and see what is going on at the coal face of his estate – not many of his peers can say the same. The outspoken pubco boss, who has most recently been grabbing headlines with his views on both Brexit and the fight for tax equality for pubs, spared SIBA Journal’s Editor Caroline Nodder half an hour of his time to talk craft beer…..





CN: You have always based the Wetherspoons model on serving a good range of great quality beers, even when beer was far from fashionable – did you anticipate the recent resurgence of consumer interest in beer? TM: I knew that I liked beer, although I’d never heard of real ale when I bought my first pub in London. I’d been in Nottingham and I’d been drinking Home Ales Brewery and Shipstone’s beers – two local breweries at the time - and I came to London and thought ‘I can’t stand this stuff’ and that’s how I found my first pub – it did some really great real ales. So did I anticipate it? Well, I always felt the great thing with that pub – and I didn’t start the pub, I bought it off someone else and took over his lease – was that it had a fantastically attractive range of beers. And I felt that if they could be made available everywhere then people would choose them over Charrington IPA or Watneys Red Barrel. So in a way I am not surprised by what has happened. Although I am surprised by the extent of the small micro-brewery involvement there is now. CN: How do you select the beers for your sites? TM: Well, I don’t! But we have a firm called East West Ales who’s job it is to do that for us. Dave from East West Ales has been involved for 20 years or more in selecting the beers for our sites and he deals with all the small brewers, all the micro-brewers. He selects some beers which are made available nationally through a central distribution system to all our pubs. And people can ask him for any ones they want. Secondly, we do have small brewers who deliver direct to us and to our pubs – it’s a mixture of those two mechanisms. CN: You have very high beer volumes across your estate and that sometimes precludes smaller brewers supplying to you. Is the local delivery scheme you mentioned now widely available and how can brewers get involved? TM: In most of our pubs now there are some beers which are delivered direct to the pub from small brewers in the local area. Brewers can have a chat with the local pub manager about it.

Continued on page 39






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CN: Smaller brewers operate with very tight margins, and cannot afford the discounts larger brewers offer to retailers like Wetherspoons. How does your pricing model work and are your consumers prepared to pay more for a beer from a small craft brewer?


TM: It’s a tricky one, because all the time we are trying to convert people to real ale and you are dependent on a high throughput to maintain the quality. So we often find ourselves - in order to get the number of beers on the bar that CAMRA drinkers like to be available – having to charge quite low prices just to keep it moving. CN: But would you make an exception for a small local brewer’s beer? TM: If we make an exception for one small brewer we’d have to make an exception for them all! Well, your readers might laugh at this, but we always try to be commercial but not impossible. And the fact that most people deal with us and have been dealing with us for 10, 20 or 30 years shows we are not too bad! But I no longer agree the deals any more, so I can’t take direct responsibility. CN: SIBA recently launched the Assured Independent British Craft Brewer Scheme, would you support this sort of initiative which enables consumers to identify small independent brewers’ beers at point of sale? TM: I can’t see why not. We usually find we have got a joint interest with our sensible suppliers, because we want to sell as much beer as we can, and of as high a quality as we can, and I would hope that this scheme would be the sort of thing that is also attractive to the public. If it’s attractive to the public, and its attractive to the craft brewers, then it’s attractive to us! CN: What challenges do you currently see affecting your beer sales and the choice of beers you stock? TM: I think the overall challenge is a tax one. It is a point I have made again and again. The whole tax system is tilted towards getting people to go to supermarkets, which is destructive for pubs. So some brewers may think we charge too low a price and could sell for more, but above all what is holding down the price is the price beers are sold in supermarkets. So we are stuck between a rock and a hard place. I believe what we want is – and it would be great if SIBA was to support this – is tax equality between pubs and supermarkets. CN: Sticking with tax for a moment, do you have a view then on Small Breweries Relief and how it has impacted the beer sector? TM: It’s working really well. We have a tremendous number of brewers and beers in the market now. So I would say try not to tinker with it too much. If it ain’t broke why fix it? CN: You have been very outspoken in your support for Brexit. What positives do you foresee for the pub and beer sectors as a result of us leaving the EU? TM: I think Brexit will be very good for the economy and that it will increase the level of democracy in the country and increase the level of freedom because we won’t have people making laws who we haven’t elected and can’t deselect. And if it’s good for the economy generally it will be good for pubs, and I think Britain will be a more attractive place. CN: In terms of your own business, you employ a lot of European workers, do you think Brexit will affect that? TM: Well I am campaigning for it not to affect that, because I certainly believe, as does almost everyone, that the Europeans who are already here should certainly be allowed to stay. But I would also like a campaign for a preferential deal for counties currently in the EU, so if their workers get a job here, they can get a work permit and come over here and work. I feel especially Eastern Europeans are very receptive to the concept of democracy and the danger of losing it.

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CN: Could the craft beer sector be doing more to increase its foothold in large managed chains like yours? TM: I think craft brewers have done a fantastic job to be honest because I am seeing craft beer everywhere! I’d say just keep doing what they’re doing! It is about continuing to create demand, and there is no real secret to it. But you don’t want to sell craft beer to terrible pubs - if you get a lot of the regional brewers selling craft beers as well that is a really good sign. CN: SIBA runs a lot of regional and national beer competitions. Does it make a difference to you if a beer is award-winning in terms of what you stock? TM: Probably yes, because it is all about customer demand. If it has won an award then more people would probably like to try it and drink it – and apart from anything else it is good marketing, which I am sure is why SIBA is doing it and why it is a good idea. CN: Are you aware of SIBA’s BeerFlex scheme (previously the Direct Delivery scheme) and if so what is your view of it as an effective route to market? TM: I haven’t actually come across it, but it sounds like a very good idea because delivery is tremendously expensive and time-consuming for brewers so if they can find a way of taking advantage of the economies of scale then that has to be a good thing. CN: Your sites have a great reputation for serving beer at optimum quality, how do you ensure your staff achieve this?

TM: One of the things I do myself is call on a dozen of our pubs every week and always test a couple of the beers – I have a taster of one or two each time – that’s a good check, and others do the same thing. We also have mystery visitors who check on quality and we are involved with Cask Marque who provide a fantastic service to specifically monitor the quality of the beer. There may be a few sites where Cask Marque has found the cellar temperature too high, for example, but I think we have a higher number accredited than any other company. CN: What, to you, makes a good beer? TM: I am quite a philistine actually! I like strong tea, I like Americanos, I like strong cheese and I like chocolate. And once I find something I like, I stick to it. For me, I have acquired a taste for Abbott Ale. I have acquired a taste for weissbier - wheat beer - so I like Erdinger and other similar types of wheat beer. And I tend to stick with that. But I do like Jail Ale (by Dartmoor Brewery - Ed) and Teignworthy beers down in Devon and I like Exmoor Ales – the ones I know are all West Country ones. I will wander outside my comfort zone! CN: If you could drink any beer, anywhere in the world, what would it be and where? TM: I used to do a bit of surfing, and I used to really like a pint in a pub in Polzeath (in Cornwall – Ed) that had this amazing view out over the Atlantic – the name escapes me, but they’ve knocked it down now! There is another pub though called the Port William in Trebarwith Strand with views out over the Atlantic – I’d say if you can get a view of the sea at the same time as having a pint that’s pretty good!





PUREGOLD Daniel Lowe and his brother Tom came into brewing from the technology sector, where Daniel had grown a start-up business from scratch into a 240-person operation turning over £70M a year. To go from that, right back to the start with a new business launching in a completely different sector might seem to many as lunacy, but Daniel missed the more hands-on operational challenges that start-ups present and was keen to exploit the obvious opportunities the brewing sector in London presented as the scene started to explode. Launching into the burgeoning South London market five years ago, Fourpure certainly hit the ground running, with Daniel drawing on all his business experience to launch with what he sees as the perfect business model for the new world of UK brewing. No cask, no bottles. Fourpure has already shone a light on what the future might look like for small brewers by ripping up the rule book and starting again. SIBA Journal’s Caroline Nodder caught up with Daniel at BeerX, where he took home a SIBA National Business Award for Innovation and also saw Fourpure named SIBA Brewery Business of the Year…..




BREWERY BASICS NAME: Fourpure Brewing Co FOUNDED: 2013 LOCATION: Bermondsey, London OWNED: Daniel and Tom Lowe CAPACITY: 28,000 hl BREWING TEAM: 6 brewers, 20 in general production STAFF: 46 KEY BEERS: Pils Lager (4.7%ABV), American Pale (5%ABV) and Session IPA (4.2%ABV) PRODUCTION (CASK/KEG/BOTTLES/CANS): 60% keg, 40% can EXPORT MARKETS: Key markets include Singapore, Sweden, Australia and Spain

Tell me a bit about your background and the background to launching the business.

How would you describe your beer range and brewing ethos?

“I was, along with my brother Tom, running a technology business which I started myself when I came out of University. We were a data centre business, so we ran buildings that hosted other people’s IT equipment, with security round the clock, technicians - at infrastructure level really. We were in a market that was rapidly evolving when we started it in the late 1990’s and we became a very successful company. Tom went off to do other things and then came to join me for about three or four years in the technology space and at that point the company had got about as big as we could take it without a big wave of capital investment and other routes to market, things like that. So we made a decision and got involved with a private equity firm. We exited the technology company, Tom went and travelled the world, and I stayed on and worked with these guys and was involved with buying all sorts of other technology businesses and integrating them. So I learned a lot about that corporate transaction market, how to buy and sell businesses and scale them. The company when I left was employing 240 people, was turning over £70M. So I had started the original business with just me, and I had gone all the way through this huge growth phase, which was great, but at that size the company was not making me fulfilled. I like doing things that are hard, doing things differently to other people, thinking of new approaches to problems. In a company that big you are pretty much in a finance role. So I got out. And I had to sign a non-compete agreement for a number of years, which meant I couldn’t work in the same space. But I’m not one for doing nothing! So I saw the opportunity in brewing in London at the time – this was 2011, 2012 time, we had people like Camden Brewery popping up at that time, and I saw the opportunity to do something very different to the traditional cask model. There was an opportunity to disrupt that and do something completely different because the market was changing and evolving.”

“It was about taking a fresh view on a well established and very successful industry and looking at whether there was a new way to do things. I was very influenced by the travelling that I have done – as has Tom – all around the world. We grew up living in several different places as well. And for me it was about almost the assault on the senses, the sensory input you get from the smells in some amazing parts of the world which really linked into what I saw coming out of the US. The progressive beers they were doing over there, the IPAs and things that were very aroma forward. And then you’d go and have a pint of great British cask beer and the aroma is not a major constituent of that. So I went down the route of looking at the traditional materials we have here in the UK – we use Kent and Suffolk malts – and then our hops are coming in from the US and Australia and places like that. So we wanted to mix those up – and it’s not really a unique story but it was certainly where we were. And then the name, Fourpure, was about letting those four core ingredients in the beer do the talking. We wanted to see if you could get away with not putting isinglass in there and all those processing aids - we just dialed them back.”

How is Fourpure different to other brewers in the sector? “We haven’t launched into cask, we didn’t go down a bottling route, we took a different approach – which was hard at the time but is now becoming increasingly well accepted. We were the first guys to put all our beers into can. It wasn’t just that we were launching one beer in cans, we bought 150,000 cans, had all the designs done and got it out there. As a new brand we didn’t want to give out a middle message, saying we were putting a beer into a can because it was better in terms of light and oxygen but then on the other hand saying that another of our beers was ok in a bottle. And on the cask side we felt there were some fantastic cask ales in and around London and the UK so we felt there was

Continued on page 45





more opportunity in keg and it better suited our beer. If you also look at the way we have approached our business and our team as well – we are lucky enough to be in London and we have 46 people now at Fourpure but those people represent nine different countries. So we have this really rich DNA. When you look at that openness to accept people I think that is important to us. So overall we have taken four or five non-unique ways of doing things and when you put them together that makes us unique.”

Where are you currently investing/growing? “In 2016 we spent over £1M on packaging equipment – so we put in a new canning line etc. and its definitely the highest grade equipment of its kind that exists in the UK brewing scene. It is designed to look after us for the next 10 to 15 years. We have also automated a lot of the processes – so even brewers like Camden will pack their cans into boxes by hand but we have automated that process now. I’d rather not ask the guys that work at Fourpure to pack a box, a job a machine could so easily do, I’d rather they contribute to the beer and to what we do. They can add so much more value than that. So right now we have a new brewhouse on order, takes us from doing three brews a day to 10 brews a day, and takes us from 28,000hl to 80,000hl capacity. Of course we won’t use that capacity initially but we think that will be full for 2020. Other things happening this year are we have expanded our cellar alongside our brewhouse, so more fermentation capacity. And having launched in Key Keg as a format - and they have been a great place to start - with exchange rates etc the economics means it makes sense for us to have our own infantory so we have been spending money on our own keg stock. ”

You have invested very heavily in your team. Can you tell us a bit more about your training and development programme? “All our permanent staff based at the brewery – so that’s 36 people – we have put through a full sensory training course. We spent a little under £200,000 on the training, and part of what we did was that the quality team was trained to train people in the future as well. So everyone got 12 days of training, which fine tunes them to recognise off-flavours, good flavours, bad flavours in beer, and its done by Cara Technologies, the people who train the very best in the country. They train Thames Water people who test water, they train people from the big brewers. So it’s probably the most expensive training we’ve ever contemplated doing. But the benefit now is that I have a 36 person tasting panel who can look at all of our beers through the whole process, and there are many flavours that individuals are blind to so having such a large and such a diverse panel means we can detect things that maybe others can’t. And it gets fed into the process – so if someone is detecting this and this then we can analyse that to mean we might have an issue with X. We can constantly improve the beer, and we pick up low-levels problems really early now. And some of our best tasters now are in finance and sales support – the best ones are not necessarily brewers! We also invested £150,000 in our lab so we now have a full suite of chemical analysis gear and microbiology equipment and everything is tested in house now.”

You have taken a very non-traditional approach to the set-up and structure for Fourpure why is that and how has it helped your growth? “With the experience of being in a high growth environment before with the technology business, I have made a ton of mistakes! This time I have the chance to do things better, so we haven’t purchased any of the existing brewing software or technologies you might usually see. Much of it was built many years ago

Continued on page 47




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and was designed for a different world. So we have started with everything web-based, we have no servers, we can operate from iPads, laptops, phones. We use Salesforce – a CRM tool which we customised and I have end-to-end visibility on everything we do.”

Do you see any barriers to your growth and if so how are you approaching these? “There are 1,700 other breweries! The reason we want ourselves to grow and have scale is not because I want to own a big brewery. When we initially looked to launch I looked at things like what the overall market was for beer, what the base duty rate was on beer (because Progressive Beer Duty can change – you can’t build a business on that), and I don’t think that we could have built a business that worked without relying on a duty cut without significant scale. So we have always set ourselves up to grow. But we certainly need to be responsive, to see what the market is doing. As we grow we could become slow, and we have to keep on top of that. People’s taste change, so we have to keep on top of that. You have to be able to adapt. The bigger the contracts – we launched into Tesco and that is a lot of stores and a lot of beer – we have a lot of investment in supporting that but if we sent them bad product twice they might delist us. So that is a risk. But in terms of barriers we are a business like any other. If we have a product people want to buy and we produce it well then we should be able to keep going.”

How have you got your brand message out there? “We have always had a structured plan for brand and marketing and we’ve executed it to what was appropriate for the scale we were. But I suppose one of the most exciting things we do is getting out and about and talking to people about beer. Last year we sent 26 members of staff to a foreign country to talk about our beer and experience what was going on in that market. They travelled to nine different countries and travelled 206,000km. That was getting them out there talking, sharing, trying beer. I think that has been so much fun, and they get our message and brand out there but they come back and bring back what they’ve seen too. We are not the guys who have a travel-inspired brewery where me and Tom are travelling and everyone else is stuck at the brewery!”

How are you seeing consumer attitudes to beer change and how has this affected your range? “I think a lot of the seismic change was already underway before we launched. So guys like CAMRA have had a huge role to play in keeping beer alive but then they look at us and we’re not allowed to be in the Great British Beer Festival because we’re in keg. It is disappointing. There seems to be a constant battle and narrative around things which I don’t see the relevance of. Ten pubs a week are closing – but the overall number of licensed premises is increasing. Now I’m not personally aware of a great modern pub that I can take my family to that closed down. I’ve seen plenty of 1960 décor, still tobacco-stained pubs that closed and got turned into flats. But we supply beer to cafes, to

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art galleries, to bicycle repair shops, to any manner of outlets, and people are looking for more flexibility in how they do things. Where they enjoy socialising. People want to enjoy beer but they might not want to go to the pub round the corner, they might want to drink it in the hairdressers. I don’t feel the narrative around pubs closing is helpful for beer.”

What challenges do you see for small brewers in the current market? “For us, the challenge comes down to money for capital growth. But there is also working capital, so as we grow our suppliers – malt and hop suppliers – are asking for us to pay upfront. For us it takes us five weeks to make the beer, so that money doesn’t come back to us until much later. Could be 12 weeks. And as you grow that number gets bigger and bigger. So cashflow is a big issue. That is something which takes many people by surprise and you do hear about businesses which go under with a full order book because they can’t pay their suppliers. So a detailed understanding of the business plan right down to cashflow is really important.”

Where do you see Fourpure being in 10 years time? “I had my last business for 15 years, so I think in 10 years time I’m probably going to be getting to the limit of my capability for growing the business. But we have a long way to go yet and a decade is a long time!”

Who do you most admire in the sector and why? “I have taken so much from so many different people. From the States I think breweries like Sierra Nevada have done so much for us, their attitude to the environment and the growth they have seen. They epitomise a lot of what craft beer is for us. But I also like Fuller’s. They have been around so long, they produce such good quality beer and they over time have proven their ability to continue to innovate. For me they are not the new trendy guys in the market, but they have both done so much. With Fuller’s to be such a long standing player in the market and yet be so on point with some of the beers they are producing – but also have that tradition and sense of heritage is just fantastic.”




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EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE In this article Napthens’ employment & HR partner Oliver McCann, examines two major issues for employers.

National Minimum Wage Regulations

The draft National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Regulations 2017 have been published and come into force on 1 April 2017. They raise the National Minimum Wage (which includes the National Living Wage for those aged 25 or over) as follows: • for those aged 25 or over an increase from £7.20 per hour to £7.50 per hour

Oli McCann, Napthens

• for those aged 21 or over (but not yet 25) an increase from £6.95 to £7.05

• for those under the age of 18 an increase from £4.00 to £4.05 per hour

Pimlico required the operatives to wear its uniform and provided them with GPS tracked vehicles with company logos on the side. The agreement between the parties did not allow the plumbers to send any substitute to carry out work on their behalf.

It is important to consider for example, where a salaried employee is not paid overtime their hourly rate may fall below the relevant National Minimum Wage bracket if they work additional hours:

The Court of Appeal considered the level of control the company had over the operatives and held that the plumbers were ‘an integral part’ of Pimlico’s operations and were therefore workers as opposed to self-employed contractors.

• If an employee is paid a salary of £18,720 this would equate to an hourly rate of £9/hour over a 40 hour week. However, if that employee works 50 hours, the hourly rate falls to £7.20/hour - below National Living Wage and illegal for anyone aged 25 or over. If they worked 55 hours the hourly rate falls to £6.55/hour - illegal for anyone aged 21 or over. Where employees are paid an annual salary around this level, employers must keep an eye on the hours (and retain records) that salaried staff have been working and ensure hourly rates meet the National Minimum Wage.

The decision highlights that a court or tribunal will look beyond the label given to a relationship to examine how it operates in practice when considering employment status.

Deductions from wages can also give rise to breaches of National Minimum Wage Regulations, even where deductions agreed by employees. While there are permitted exclusions, employers should contact us for advice before making deductions.

ACAS have recently published new guidance on their website: to help employers understand the different employment arrangements.

• for those aged 18 or over (but not yet 21) an increase from £5.55 to £5.60

Employment Status

Employment status of individuals is another popular topic and we have seen an increase in enquiries as to whether a particular arrangement between a brewery and an individual amounts to that individual being an employee. This issue was highlighted by the judgment in the Uber case in December 2016, followed up in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ Employment Status Review outlining possible future reforms. Recently we saw the Court of Appeal hand down its judgment in the case of Pimlico Plumbers & Charlie Mullins v Gary Smith which saw the Court of Appeal uphold the Tribunal’s earlier decision that a plumber who purportedly carried out work for Pimlico Plumbers as a self-employed contractor was in fact a worker. The Court of Appeal gave a clear summary of the principles for the ‘personal service’ aspect of the employment status tests In this case, the written agreement between Pimlico and its plumbers specifically referred to the operatives as being ‘self employed operatives’. Despite this description of the relationship in the document, the Court considered the reality of the arrangements operating in practice.

Where self employed status is defeated and individuals held to be workers or employees, they gain employment rights such as the right to be paid National Minimum Wage, the right to paid leave, the right to be automatically enrolled into a pension scheme (where they meet qualifying criteria) and the right not to be unfairly dismissed.

We expect to see more cases of workers challenging their employment status and employers should take the opportunity to review the employment status of their workers, employees and any self employed contractors to establish and properly document the true employment relationship. Failure to do so could result in a costly claim further down the line. For advice on this topic or on legal issues affecting your business please contact 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.












YOUR MARKETING PLAN IS SO LAST YEAR! Brand and marketing guru Mark McCulloch, the founder and CEO of WE ARE Spectacular, looks at what’s hot and what’s not in 2017… 2017 is being seen as a do or die year for many as the fight for sales gets harder and people are either spending more to try and get more awareness and sales or they are consolidating to protect their margins. But as we begin the next financial year, for most, will you stick or twist in marketing terms? Will you replicate your marketing efforts of the past year or two (or three or four) which is safe and comfortable, or will you get brave, blow everything up and start again with your marketing? I am a fan of the latter, and here are some things I think your should be doing differently this year….

1 Instagram ads. Organic posting is both dead and a

waste of time. Social is a paid game now so please start to think about who you want to target, with what message and start playing around with £50-£100 per week to see what return it will bring you. Once you know what works for each of your audiences, then start to build on that and spend more to make sure you are getting seen.

2 Instagram Stories (or Snapchat for grownups).

So many people are still scared to use Instagram Stories and it is still pretty slim pickings when it comes to brands or venues who are on here, doing it consistently and doing it well. The only issue at present is that it does not lead anywhere unless you have an official account. If you have an official account (blue tick) then you can add a link to your story and viewers can swipe up to visit your website, book a table or access more content (depending on what you have linked to). Still, this is one to start laying down some content on for the future. Practice makes perfect.

3 Snapchat filters. It costs as little as £15 to choose

and upload your Snapchat filter. What that means is that when someone takes a photo close to your venue or in a number of locations where you have set up Snapchat geofilters, the user takes a photo and then swipes either left of right to apply a colour or branded filter. Even in London, people are not using these enough, so you have a huge chance here to be part of people’s Snapchat messages and stories.

Mark McCulloch is the Founder & Group CEO of WE ARE Spectacular

4 Facebook ads. Like Instagram, you will need to pay

to be seen by the right people. The platform in terms of who you can target and how you can target them is insanely good. All you need to do is try to create an ad on Facebook and start looking at the options on who to target and what a budget may get you in terms of reach. Just go to the Facebook help pages or search on You Tube for ‘how to’ videos.

5 Facebook groups. There are hundreds of groups on

Facebook created by local communities that you can be a part of. In my local area of Brighton there are hundreds, if not thousands of pages. For example, two that you would be interested in if you traded in that area is Sunday Roast Club and Best Breakfast in Brighton. You have a closed group that will be open to what you are selling as long as you do that in a personal way.

6 WhatsApp. Speak to your most loyal customers and

set up a WhatsApp group for them to join that offers them first chances to know, see, taste and test all of the new things that you are doing as a business. You could also limit it to your top 100 and this will make them feel special and like a truly appreciated customer. They will then spread the word on all that you are doing to their nearest and dearest.

7 Spotify. If you have a pub, you probably have a playlist

of songs you play in your pub, or you may have a playlist you play in your brewery or your visitors centre. It’s a great idea for you to make your playlists public on Spotify and people who enjoy all that you do can take a bit of you with them on the train, to their house and to the office. This is free and easy to do.

I hope this helps you in terms of planning, but my advice is from now on try to treat every day/week as a chance to question what you are doing and how you are doing it. Planning and sticking rigidly to a year’s plan will no doubt make you lose in the longer term. Mark McCulloch is the Founder & Group CEO of WE ARE Spectacular Mark has 15 years experience in brand, marketing, digital, social and PR. WE ARE Spectacular have worked with many leading food, drink and leisure clients including Costa Coffee, Fuller's Inns, YO! Sushi, Belushi's, Long Arm Brewery, Harviestoun Brewery and Drake & Morgan to name a few.




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Ed Davies, from digital consultancy firm Inapub, takes a look at how your can give your business a digital spring clean….. There’s no denying that running a brewery is a non-stop occupation, with a to-do list that never ends, so it’s all too easy for digital to drop to the bottom of the list. So why not take the opportunity this spring to give your digital shop windows a bit of a spruce up?

Let’s start with your website

As the only part of the internet that you own (social media etc is ‘rented’) this is the most important window to keep looking fresh. Firstly, make sure any expired events or offers have been taken down. Google, and your customers, prefer your website to be up to date, not out of date. Also check that everything else here is up to date – have you repainted/moved since the photos were uploaded? Created an Instagram account that hasn’t yet been linked to your site? An up-to-date, mobile-friendly website is the first thing we look for when we audit businesses for the Perfect 10 – our benchmarking system. To be sure of hitting customers’ expectations, you want to score above seven on the 10 points below: 1 Established your website on Page 1 or 2 of Google 2 Created a responsive website (a website that shrinks to fit any mobile device like those Inapub provide) 3 Updated your website in the last month 4 Provided links to your Facebook/Twitter/Instagram on your website 5 Registered your pub on Google My Business 6 Verified your Facebook business page (a tick should appear next your brewery name to show that you own the official Facebook page) 7 Updated your Facebook page in the last week 8 Created a second social media account (Twitter or Instagram) with links on your website 9 Updated your second social channel in the last week 10 Achieved a TripAdvisor (if you use it) score of four or more with all responses to reviews good or bad fully up-to-date.

Freshen up your Facebook

Make sure you’ve updated your Facebook cover photo with something seasonal or new. This takes up a huge amount of real estate both on laptop and mobile screens, so retire the image of the roaring open fire and get a great photo showing your new Spring ale. A quick tip on header images – they’re not the same size on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re using the same header image, check what it looks like on mobile after uploading to avoid awkward cropping.

Ed Davies

Google Business

Another point on our Perfect 10 scoreboard – ensure your Google Business listing is fully up to date. Google will reward you in the listings for regularly updating your account with new photos, updated opening hours and responding to reviews. A great feature of your Google Business listing is the ability to set any special hours for events that you might open for. If you’ve got a TEN for a beer festival coming up, make sure you add those extended hours to your listing.


Whilst you’re looking at your Facebook page and tidying it up, have a look at your Insights. They’ll soon tell you who’s engaging most with your posts, who makes up most of your audience and which posts have performed best. By looking for a common theme in your best posts, you can start to make posts that perform better and therefore reach more people for free. There could be a day of the week or time of the day that always performs best for you. Have a look for this and schedule your most important posts for these times.

Read and respond to reviews

If you use Tripadvisor it may not be your favourite website. Perhaps just seeing the word on the page makes you spill your coffee in disgust. But it’s here to stay. Businesses that embrace it can use it as a tool to learn more about their business from a customer’s point of view, to show off their excellent customer service skills and to turn happy customers into personal recommendations. Sign up for an account and ensure you’re responding to reviews – thanking people for taking the time to review you. Only 5% of customers will leave a review online, the other 95% will leave a review with their feet – and not return. By responding to reviews you show future reviewers they’ll be welcome and appreciated. Why would someone leave a good review for a venue that doesn’t acknowledge reviews? Respond to people and the number of positive reviews you get will start to rise, taking your score over the four out of five you’ll need for another Perfect 10 point. 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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THE PERFECT BREW How to find the recipe for success for the growth of your brewery. Following on from our article in the last issue of SIBA Journal on the subject of new year’s resolutions for your business, in this issue we will look at how you can grow your business in a structured way: James Sleight, Geoffrey Martin & Co

Planning is key A business plan is, in essence, a roadmap for you business. Like a map, it will help you towards your destination, whether that is tripling the size of your business in the next year, selling the business within five years, or establishing a business that you can work in for a lifetime. If you're looking for investment (more details on this later), a lender will insist on you having a comprehensive business plan. Think about the following questions: • What will the business look like in one, three and five years? This will set out your vision for the brewery’s growth • What’s the opportunity, and what does the competition look like? • What resource (people, funds, support) will you need to achieve your aims? • What partnerships (with distributors, suppliers) will you need to develop? The more time you can spend on your business plan, with regular reviews, the better. You need to keep heading towards your vision, and don’t worry about the odd setbacks here and there.

Class SWOT? Pull together a SWOT chart, which will really help you dig into the details for your business plan. This may sound complicated, but it’s a simple and very useful checklist for all the issues that may affect your business. List all the Strengths you have in your business, including your brewing skills, industry contacts, location. Also have a look at your Weaknesses (and be honest): e.g. if your skills are in brewing, do you need help with sales or finance? The Opportunities section should be a list of the ways you can increase sales, such as new products and new markets, e.g. overseas sales or canned brews if you only use bottles. The Threats list should look at any change that could take away revenue of market share, such as a new entrant that brews similar beer to you, or if many of your ingredients are imported, does this make you vulnerable to currency fluctuations? The SWOT can then feed into your business plan. For example, if you decide to make the most of a weaker pound by exporting more, does this mean you need to employ someone with relevant contacts overseas, or more funds to increase brewing capacity?

Funding your growth Many businesses grow at a steady rate, with all growth funded from cashflow. However, if your vision is to grow the business faster, then you may need extra funding. Indeed, if you are growing at a fast rate, it’s very likely that you will run into cashflow problems, for example having to pay for more stock and ingredients, before revenue from extra sales comes in. Crowdfunding has become popular amongst brewers over the last few years. Successful examples of brewers raising funds this way include Brewdog, Camden and Seven Brothers. The most popular crowdfunding sites are Crowdcube, Seedrs and Crowdfunder; they each have a different audience so do your research carefully and see which best fits your own brewery. As well as traditional routes of finance available from banks and other high street lenders, have a look at local and national Government-sponsored financial help, such as the British Business Bank or Local Enterprise Partnerships. Not only are they helping breweries with funding, they may also provide other means of support, such as advice on exports, and sales and marketing. If they can’t help you with funding directly, they will be able to recommend local Angel investors.

Plan for growth Fast growth rarely comes without issues, usually around funding and resources, so the more you plan, the fewer problems you’ll have. Build a strong business plan, and keep talking to staff, suppliers and funders, and you can keep heading towards your vision and build a really successful brewery. 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, and insolvency 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, please call our Leeds team on 0113 244 5141.




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HOW STABLE IS YOUR ALE? By Dr Keith Thomas of Brewlab, Sunderland

With BeerX presenting so many opportunities to develop and perfect your beer it is worth taking a moment to consider whether beer is the limit of our production. And whether other options allow for future growth. Such options are of course appearing all around us. Distilling for example has shown a prolific rise despite its difficulties in finance and licencing and now a few brewers have introduced a rectification column into their premises to take advantage of the busy market. Gluten free and alcohol free are other brewing options to broaden your portfolio. Cider is also worth considering on its own but also as it can be blended with other ingredients to produce combined drinks. Competition for pub beer sales is a perpetual concern with increasing numbers of breweries fighting for a market which must be limited at some point. Capacity may be gained from national brewers’ customers but this is not guaranteed and small brewery sales do need additional avenues. Coffee bars, restaurants and the off trade are all noted in SIBA’s Beer Report and may expand the market in the near future but for a long term view it is worth considering more radical options. So, what non-brewing products could provide an additional avenue without investing in the complex chemical engineering of distilling? At a basic level the simplest addition to produce is bottled water and while it is, perhaps, disingenuous to package what pours out of the tap producing novel or flavoured waters is

a creditable option. This is particularly so if you have invested in or inherited a borehole and so produce a water or unique specification. There are different regulations governing spring, mineral and bottled drinking water so check out details at food-standards-labelling-durabilityand-composition#bottled-water. Providing a mineral profile and checking microbiological content is important particularly as water is not as safe a beverage as beer. More developed products do, of course, include soft drinks many of which, but not all are carbonated. Fruit and herb extracts are extensive and allow a whole world of creativity to your recipe instincts. Local sourcing and blending give further variety and can open markets to your full range of products. Hops themselves provide distinct character to non-alcoholic drinks and again give cross over to your beers. What of more advanced and developed products? There is plenty of interest today in nutraceuticals – beverages with enhanced nutritional benefit either for health or fitness with increasing studies showing their impact on sports performance. Many producers are small companies with products focused on addressing health concerns of cardiovascular, obesity, cognitive abilities or on enhancing sport performance. A major difficulty is that neutraceutical claims require approval based on appropriate scientific evidence – an approval which requires expensive trials to achieve. Omega 3, antioxidants, vitamins and phytosterols are all example active ingredients. Of course, beer contains a number of potential


neutraceuticals but the industry has moved away from repeating the health claims of the 1930’s and 1990’s in the light of its ambivalent health impact. Beer is good for you – but only in part. Yeast and microbiology are another major area of product development, particularly with the understanding of the yeast genome. At around 6000 genes the Saccharomyces genome is small compared to other organisms but knowledge of their function is increasing rapidly. Genetics will undoubtedly become more prevalent in brewing but it isn’t necessary to install a full molecular biology laboratory in your brewery. Isolating local yeasts is increasingly common with prospects of finding a novel microbe in your nearby vegetation. That said studies to enhance, inhibit or convert genetic activity are extensive in the literature, particularly from the far east. Simple examples are to increase the uptake rate of sugars and so accelerate growth and to control genes to reduce the production of esters or diacetyl. A more complex example has looked at the enhancement of a glucosidase gene in Brettanomyces species so as to release embedded aromas from plant extracts for the production of more highly flavoured drinks. One study even used a Chinese space flight to naturally mutate species of yeast and stimulate the enzymes in the vitamin C pathway. While such developments are doubtless beyond the resources of any small brewery the value of molecular biology in just understanding our yeasts will inevitably increase. The future may not be on the moon yet but perhaps on a step towards it.



BEERX 2017


Thanks to all those who attended BeerX 2017 - it was by far our biggest yet.


BeerX is SIBA’s flagship event, and hosts both SIBA’s Trade Show, which consists of the association’s AGM, a brewing supplier exhibition, a programme of seminars, debates and Key Note speakers, SIBA’s national Brewing and Business awards and the showcase of award-winning SIBA beers, BeerAlive!

PrograMMe IceSheffield 16-17th March 2017

AGM Trade Exhibition Industry Speakers Seminars Panel Debates

Brewery Bars in Brewers’ Yard Brewing Awards Business & Industry Awards Beer Alive!


OFFICIAL PROGRAMME sheFField 17-19th march 2017







This year saw an impressive turnout with delegate attendance up by 59% compared to last year, SIBA members visiting up by 69% (Brewing and Supplier Associate members), trade stand sales increasing by 19% with 148 exhibiting businesses present and the BeerAlive! consumer event experiencing an 11% increase on the previous year’s beer festival footfall. Nick Stafford, SIBA’s Operations Director, said: “I would like to thank everybody who attended this year’s BeerX event. It is great to see how BeerX has grown in the last five years since we launched the concept. It is important that SIBA organises an exciting event for independent brewers to learn more about brewing and the independent brewing industry and have the opportunity to network with the rest of the membership – brewing and suppliers. I think we achieved that!” He continued: “SIBA understands how hard it can be for a very small business to find time out from brewing to visit a trade show. For this reason, we created a packed programme of events into two days, offering real value for money.”



BEERX 2017

THE FOUR PILLARS OF ACTIVITY FOR SIBA’S 2020 VISION WERE LAUNCHED AT BEERX Mike Benner, SIBA’s MD, presented SIBA’s new ‘2020 Vision’ to the membership at its AGM during BeerX, highlighting the areas where SIBA will focus its efforts over the next few years. Here is he what told SIBA Members…. "It may be an over-used term now, but the ‘craft beer revolution’ is the most exciting thing to have happened to British beer for a generation. It is a lasting consumer-led drive for quality, diversity and innovation in beer. SIBA brewers are the leaders of that revolution bringing exciting beers to local, national and international markets. As consumer interest has boomed, many new breweries have opened creating intense competition in local markets and increasing capacity in craft brewing. I have confidence in the entrepreneurial spirit and capability of our brewing business members to face up to the most challenging of environments, but we must work together to ensure we have a market which encourages and rewards independent brewers in their efforts to sell greater volumes of beer at fair and sustainable prices. How do we ensure that the market is able to deliver the beers demanded by the discerning beer drinkers of today and in the future? In 2016, SIBA members had 7% of the UK beer market. This share has been gained over recent years, with 15 million beer drinkers increasingly demanding better beer, placing quality over quantity and rejecting the mainstream brands. The overall UK beer market may be in long-term decline, but more people are demanding ‘our kind of beer’. There is still a very big 93% of the market out there for us to fight for, without relying on the scraps left by bigger brewers, as routes to market get squeezed and low prices restrict access further. Creating improved access to market is of fundamental importance and a realistic commercial approach is essential. The next chapter, in the SIBA story is how we ensure the market is opened up further, in various ways, so our members can continue along a path of success. I intend that our 2020 vision of a sustainable marketplace where professional independent brewing businesses of all sizes can thrive and grow will be based on four pillars of activity:

1 - Access to market

We will develop the marketplace by building improved access to market, breaking down barriers and restrictions, building routes to new markets, lobbying for legislative change to improve access if necessary. We will work positively with retailers, particularly large multiples, in both the on and off trade to help them unclog supply routes so that they come to realise that a more constructive approach is in everyone’s interests.


We will campaign for fair, sustainable and reasonable pricing in a market where prices have become squeezed. We will campaign for a ‘good price for good beer’ throughout the supply chain and to the end consumer. Access to market has always been a key issue for SIBA and, in essence, all our activities sit under this common purpose. Our approach will be broad, building on our work to build new markets in hospitality and casual dining for example, further developing access via Beerflex and positively pushing for greater access at every opportunity. There’s more to beer occasions than pubs, but we know that the majority of our member production is cask and improving pub access is critical to the sustainability of our member businesses. In the first instance, SIBA’s Policy Committee will review access to the pubs market to assess the situation and inform our campaigning activity.

2 - Taxation On taxation, the recent RPI-linked increase in beer duty after three cuts followed by a freeze last year were a blow and a backward step from the Government. It will simply make it harder for pubs to compete as supermarkets absorb the increases. We ran an excellent campaign working with our industry partners, but it is clear that more will need to be done in the coming months.


Primarily, though, our activity under the ‘taxation’ pillar focuses on retaining and improving Small Breweries’ Relief. The SIBA Board has re-affirmed its commitment to defend the 50% relief awarded to brewers up to 5,000hl, but there is a strong case for reform to improve the scheme above that lower threshold and SIBA’s Policy Committee is looking at options to bring to the table. The newly formed Small Brewers’ Duty Reform Coalition, separate from SIBA, is to work with the British Beer and Pub Association on an independent review of SBR to be put to the Treasury and we will engage appropriately in a process in an attempt to reach an industry consensus for the future of SBR, but we will be proactive and positive in our defence of SBR as an essential factor in the majority of member businesses. Any review of SBR would be incomplete without a thorough understanding of the impact on small brewers of restricted access to market and the diseconomies of scale suffered by small brewing businesses.


3 - Promotion – the Assured British Independent Craft Brewer initiative We launched our flagship ‘Assured British

Independent Craft Brewer campaign’ in August last year and it has been very popular with many members, 350 having now signed up. However, in isolation, its reach and impact will be limited without dovetailing the campaign with our other four pillars to give it sharper teeth. In particular we will work to secure significant retailer support for the campaign to bring genuine commercial benefit to participating members.

4 – Product excellence Our final pillar of product excellence sets out a practical means of delivering our commitment to ‘excellence, growth and sustainability’. SIBA represents professional brewing businesses, great businesses of all sizes. Our members must be compliant, playing by the rules, our members’ charter and our values. We will ensure that non-members aspire to become part of our Society, making it clear that we represent the very best in British brewing.


Our SIBA Food Safety and Quality Certificate (FSQ) introduced in 2015 has been successful and is generally popular with members despite a bumpy few months following its launch. It is a practical and fair way to ensure our members are first-rate ‘food’ producers and have quality at the top of the list for their business. The FSQ will be the hub of our activity under this pillar and all members will be expected to enroll by 2020, so that we can truly set SIBA members aside from those who choose not to join us. We will look at ways to make that journey as straightforward as possible for all members. A working group has been created and details will be set out as soon as possible. Finally, we will by 2020 dovetail the FSQ with the ‘Assured’ campaign, so that all those participating in the campaign are enrolled in the FSQ. Towards improving training and education we are working closely with the Institute of Brewing and Distilling which will deliver a bespoke and targeted training package. We are also collaborating with other stakeholders towards a standard apprenticeship package for brewing to ensure our members have access to qualified brewers for the future. We will represent professional brewing businesses committed to sustainability, growth and excellence. We will help our members be first-rate ‘food’ producers assured by independent quality audits starting with our own SIBA Food Safety and Quality Certificate.

We are the best of British brewing businesses It is important to understand that our four pillars are not mutually exclusive. The success and impact of each depends on the others to create a coherent path forwards for SIBA.





BEERX 2017


Motion 1

Motion 4

“SIBA will carry out a ballot of all members to ensure that the membership is happy with the current membership criteria. Should the results of the membership show that the majority of the membership is unhappy with the current criteria SIBA must fully, demonstrably and transparently consult the membership to determine a new membership criteria.”

“It is 15 years since Small Brewers Relief was last reviewed and the market has changed substantially. SIBA will support and participate in an independent review of SBR together with other key stakeholder groups to agree modifications that will then be proposed to the Treasury. The three key guiding principles for the review will be – sector sustainability, fairness to brewers of all sizes and maintenance of an orderly market.”

Proposed by: Dave Bailey - Hardknott Brewery

Proposed by: Rupert Thompson - Hogs Back

Seconded by: Andy Brocken - Burscough Brewing Co

Seconded by: Andy Hepworth - Hepworth & Co



Motion 2 “SIBA will remove the Associate Brewer Members from its membership.”

Motion 5

Proposed by: Douglas McPherson - Cwrw Ial Ltd

“SIBA to actively and publicly campaign for freer and less restrictive access to market for SIBA members and their products.”

Seconded by: Tom McNeill - Heavy Industry Brewing

Proposed by: Dave Shaw - Big Hand Brewing Co


Seconded by: Roy Allkin - Boss Brewing Co

Motion 3


“SIBA's current policy is to defend PBD in its current form. However, SIBA is reviewing this policy. SIBA will ensure that any change in PDB will be matched with a significant, meaningful and proactive improvement to access to market for the majority of SIBA members.”

Motion 6

Proposed by: Dave Bailey - Hardknott Brewery

Proposed by: Shane Swindells – Cheshire Brewhouse

Seconded by: Shane Swindells - Cheshire Brewhouse

Seconded by: Dave Bailey – Hardknott Brewery



“For SIBA to work towards introducing a process/system/ code of practice that clearly states Beer Duty as part of the Sale Price of Beer.”




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Winter Journal_128x182mm.pdf

SIBA JOURNAL SPRING 2017 13/12/2016 11:00


BEERX 2017

Burning Sky brewery halted Scottish hat-trick

in SIBA Independent Beer Awards Burning Sky brewery in East Sussex stopped a potential Scottish hat-trick in the SIBA National Independent Beer Awards, by taking home Gold in the Keg competition. The awards, the biggest of their kind ever seen in the UK with hundreds of cask, keg, bottled and canned beers judged across five days, were announced at BeerX. With 400 beers in the keg competition it was Burning Sky Brewery’s’ Easy Answers IPA that wowed judges and won them the top spot after Williams Brothers in Scotland took home the much coveted Supreme cask Gold award for their traditional dark mild ‘Black’, before another Scottish brewer, Fyne Ales, won the bottle and can competition with ‘Mills & Hills’, a hefty imperial stout of almost 10% ABV. “It is fantastic to see such high quality beers across a range of formats in this years biggest ever beer competition. With hundreds of entries across cask, keg, bottle and can this really was the cream of the crop in terms of independent craft beers from the UK and each of the three Supreme Champion Gold Winners should be extremely proud of their achievement. It’s also clear fantastic tasting beer is being produced by our members across the length of Britain, but that Scotland brewers have proved to be a particular hit with judges in 2017, with both Fyne Ales and Williams Brothers taking home top spots.” Mike Benner, SIBA’s Managing Director. It is the second year running that a Scottish brewer has won the best cask beer in the country award, following Loch Lomond taking home the Silverware in 2016 for their citrussy Southern Summit pale ale.

“This a fantastic win and hugely exciting for us as this was one of our very first beers we ever brewed, so for it to still be winning awards is amazing. Mild has an image as an older, more oldfashioned style but it’s a great beer. Maybe Mild is the new IPA!” Scott Williams, Co-founder Williams Bros. The awards have also highlighted the diversity of independent craft beer that is now being brewed in the UK, with three very different beers taking home the top spots. From the traditional dark mild ‘Black’ from Williams Brothers winning in the cask competition, to the heavily hopped, aromatic ‘Easy Answers’ IPA from Burning Sky winning in Keg, as well as the rich, dark and strong 9.5% Imperial Stout ‘Mills & Hills’ from Fyne Ales winning in bottle. “It’s amazing to win this award as it’s judged by our peers, by other Brewers in the industry as well as the hop and malt merchants that are so important to what we do. It’s a massive result for our whole team and we are so proud to accept this award from SIBA.” Mark Tranter, Head Brewer Burning Sky Beer. SIBA’s Smallpack competition can be entered by both canned and bottled beers, but it was the 330ml bottled stout from Fyne Ales, brewed in collaboration with De Molen in the Netherlands, that came out on top this time around. “A lot of fantastic beers were up for this award so even to be amongst them is amazing for us. This was the fifth brew we ever did and is special as it was a collaboration with De Molen in the Netherlands where we just decided to have a play on our brand new kit, to really push to see what it could do. 3 years later and people still love it!” Jamie Delap, Owner Fyne Ales. See the full list of winners on pages 70-75.

Speaker Presentations from BeerX 2017 now on Toolbox You can now download the individual speaker and seminar presentations from BeerX via the Toolbox. Simply go to the BeerX 2017 Presentations folder which you can navigate to by clicking filing cabinet and then BeerX 2017 Presentations. Other AGM documents such as the Motions etc are also available via the Toolbox by clicking the AGM 2017 Documents link on the top left of the Toolbox homepage, below the BeerX video.




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BEERX 2017

SIBA PARTNERED WITH BRITISH GLASS & THE CAN MAKERS TO BRING DEDICATED BOTTLE AND CAN BARS TO BEERX FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER With more and more independent craft breweries packaging their beer into bottles and cans for sale in the on and off-trade, SIBA partnered with the trade organisations to offer dedicated can and bottled bars at their flagship event BeerX for the first time ever.

“The improved accessibility of the canned craft beer means that brewers and consumers alike have fallen in love with it; it appears on the shelf in many independent stores and is increasingly listed in supermarkets. Plus, it is opening the craft beer market up to wider markets, attracting more females to what is often considered a male product.”

BeerAlive!, SIBA’s new showcase of independent British craft beer that was open to both the public and trade and formed part of their huge BeerX event, featured eight regionalised cask and keg bars plus two dedicate bottle and can bars, presented in partnership with British Glass and the Can Makers.

Despite canned beers meteoric growth, bottled beer remains the most popular format for SIBA’s members, with hundreds putting their beers into the competition taking place at BeerX, all of which will be served on the dedicated bottle bar.

“SIBA is proud to be working with British Glass and Can Makers to show off the fantastic independent craft beers being packaged into bottle and can – proving that great beer comes in a range of different formats. Small pack beer is becoming increasingly important for our members as quality beer begins to make inroads to the hospitality sector, hotels, coffee shops and restaurants more than ever before,” said Mike Benner, SIBA’s Managing Director

“We were really excited to sponsor the BeerEx2017 bottle bar. Glass is the perfect partner for craft beer – delivering the flavour the brewer intended while giving great shelf-appeal. What’s more – UK manufactured beer bottles can be made from as much as 90% recycled content and are themselves 100% recyclable – so they’re kind to the environment too,” said Rebecca Cocking, British Glass’ Head of Container Affairs

Martin Constable, Chairman of the Can Makers welcomed the partnership: “Cans are increasing in popularity as brewers recognise the role they play in maintaining the integrity of their beer and their recyclability. The drink is protected, kept fresh, sealed from light and air and is quick to chill; it is served in the exact state that the brewer intended.







London-based Fourpure was named the Brewery Business of the Year 2017 in the annual SIBA Business Awards at BeerX. The awards seek to congratulate the top brewery businesses in the UK across a variety of categories, as well as naming retailers, pubs, bars and restaurants who have made an outstanding contribution to the promotion of independent craft beer in the UK. “In a year when the number and calibre of entries was higher than ever before, Fourpure’s huge commitment to staff training, innovative business strategies and clear commercial vision, hugely impressed the business awards judges. In particular it was the company’s sensory beer training scheme which the judges felt went above and beyond in ensuring every single member of the Fourpure team is inspired by independent craft beer and working for Fourpure,” said Mike Benner SIBA’s Managing Director. Fourpure also won SIBA’s Business Innovation award category for their innovative sensory training scheme which put all their staff through rigorous beer training in order to drive quality throughout the business. “It’s absolutely fantastic to win, we are so shocked and humbled to receive this award and it feels like confirmation of a job well done after we have been



working so hard to grow over the last few years. This is a brilliant win for the whole team and we are absolutely over the moon.” Adrian Lugg, Head of Marketing at Fourpure.

innovative Social Media and marketing activities which maximised the sponsorship of Wasps Rugby Club. Crookham travel also won SIBA’s Supplier Associate of the Year.

Other winners on the night included Tiny Rebel brewery from Wales, who took home gold in the Commercial Achievement category for their meteoric growth over recent years and their bold export operations.

SIBA introduced the industry section of their awards to congratulate the bars, restaurants and businesses going above and beyond in their promotion of independent craft beer in the UK.

360 Degree Brewing won SIBA’s coveted Concept Design Award for their range of sleek, minimalist cans, and Beavertown Brewery took home the individual design category for the bottle design for their Tempus Project Applelation saison. Swan Brewery won the Green Business award, which judges commented was for their efforts to “Not only make their brewhouse and business activities as economically friendly as possible, but to engage their local community in this activity through their ‘Green Saturday’ open days, was a perfect example of what can be achieved by a small brewery. Judges felt that the practical, thoughtful methods employed by the Swan brewery showed that being Green is something within the reach of every brewery and not just those with large amounts of money to invest.” Purity won the Marketing Implementation category for their

Booma in Brixton won SIBA’s Best Independent Craft Beer Restaurant, with judges being ‘unanimous in their praise of Booma’s commitment to making the pairing of craft beer with indian food central to their menu in a simple yet engaging way. With easy to follow suggestions of which beers worked well with different dishes, backed up by an exciting range of independent craft-brewed beers, Booma was a clear winner in an extremely strong category.’ Other winners included Tapped Leeds in the city pub/bar category, the Salutation Inn in the rural pub/bar category, We Brought Beer in the Multiple Retailer category and the House of Trembling Madness in the single independent craft beer retailer category. Beer Day Britain won the on-trade promotion category, with Sheffield Beer Week Highly Commended, and ‘There’s a Beer For That’ won in the Off-Trade Independent Craft Beer Promotion category.

FuLL Awards WiNNers List


Marketing Implementation

Purity Brewing Co, Warwickshire

Green Business

Swan Brewery, Herefordshire

Business Innovation Fourpure, London

Commercial Achievement Tiny Rebel, Newport

Best Individual Design

“Tempus Project – Applelation” – Beavertown, London

Best Concept Design

“360 Degrees Brand” – 360 Degrees Brewing, Sussex

Brewery Business of the Year Fourpure, London

Supplier Associate of the Year Crookham Travel

UK’s Best Independent Craft Beer Retailer – Multiple

We Brought Beer (three stores in London)

UK’s Best Independent Craft Beer Retailer – Single

The House of Trembling Madness, York (Winner) Hop Burns & Black, Peckham (Highly Commended)

UK’s Best Independent Craft Beer Bar or Pub – City

Tapped Leeds, Leeds, West Yorkshire

UK’s Best Independent Craft Beer Bar or Pub – Rural

ng 27 draft beers including 13 cask ales and 14 craft keg beers with The Salutation beers. Opened in December 2013 and managed to achieve just t 12 months this venue really hit the spot with various clientele and business due its age range of customers but equally very popular s as well.

Inn, Ham, Gloucestershire

UK’s Best Independent Craft Beer Restaurant Booma, Brixton, London

Best Independent Craft Beer Promotion – On-trade

Beer Day Britain (Winner) Sheffield Beer Week (Highly Commended)

Best Independent Craft Beer Promotion – Off-trade

system allows customers to choose their beers on descriptions and luenced by the normal flashing pump clips. Plus, a little help from dvise our customers fully with in depth descriptions of their range of s great with each made on site fresh pizza that is available that day.

There’s a Beer for That




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. This year's competition was by far our biggest ever, with hundreds of beers from battling it out to be crowned the best-of-the-best in these coveted brewers' choice awards.





Sponsored by: Close Brothers Brewery Rentals Presented to: Scott William Presented by: Paul Evans

Sponsored by: Premier Systems Ltd Presented to: Rob Hill Presented by: Nigel Gardner

Williams Brothers - Williams Black

Swannay Brewery - Island Hopping



Sponsored by: Murphy & Son Ltd Presented to: Scott William Presented by: Jamie Ramshaw

Sponsored by: Charles Faram & Co Ltd Presented to: Simon Sandy-Hindmarch Presented by: Charlie Gorham

Williams Brothers- Williams Black



Wantsum Brewery - Montgomery



Alechemy Brewery - Bad Day At The Office Sponsored by: Thomas Fawcett & Sons Ltd Presented to: Kimmo Karjalainen Presented by: James Fawcett

STRONG BITTERS & PALE ALE Eight Arch Brewery Co. - Corbel Sponsored by: Napthens Solicitors Presented to: Steve Farrell Presented by: Malcolm Ireland


RCH Brewery - Chocolate Slug Sponsored by: Crisp Malting Group Presented to: Graham Dunbavan Presented by: Nigel Gibbons

PORTERS, STOUTS, OLD ALES, STRONG MILDS & STRONG BROWN ALES New Lion Brewery - Totnes Stout Sponsored by: Muntons Presented to: Ann Monroe Presented by: David Hannah

PREMIUM STRONG BEERS St Austell Brewery - Big Job Sponsored by: SpaSoft Presented to: Roger & Toni Ryman Presented by: Buster Grant









Sponsored by: Close Brothers Brewery Rentals Presented to: Charlie Gorham (Proxy) Presented by: James Lewis

Sponsored by: Schafer Presented to: Richard Webb Presented by: Mike Hickman

Burning Sky Brewery - Easy Answers

Stewart Brewing - Jack Back



Sponsored by: Kegstar Presented to: Stuart Cail (Proxy) Presented by: Christian Barden

Sponsored by: Norriq Presented to: Andrea Reed Presented by: David Ashmore

Arran Brewery - Arran Dark



Charnwood Brewery - American Pale Ale




Sponsored by: Anton Paar Presented to: Andrea Reed Presented by: Les Rice

Sponsored by: Brewfitt Presented to: John Lloyd Presented by: James Paxman

Charnwood Brewery - India Pale Ale


Burning Sky Brewery - Easy Answers Sponsored by: Pentair Presented to: Charlie Gorham (Proxy) Presented by: Mike Cholerton

STANDARD LAGERS & PILSNERS Coniston Brewery - Oliver's Lager

Sponsored by: Close Brothers Brewery Rentals Presented to: Dave Smith (Proxy) Presented by: James Lewis

Barngates Brewery - Vienna


Sponsored by: MGT Presented to: Phil Halls & Grahame Read Presented by: Buster Grant

SPECIALITY BEERS Grain Brewery - Weizen

Sponsored by: Festival Glass Presented to: Phil Halls & Grahame Read Presented by: Kelsey Cheesbrough






SMALL PACK SMALL PACK STANDARD BITTERS & PALE ALES Idle Valley Brewery - Vacant Gesture Sponsored by: Croxsons Presented to: Chris Harrison - Hawkes Presented by: Tim Croxson

OVERALL CHAMPION SMALL PACK Fyne Ales - Mills & Hills Sponsored by: Croxsons Presented to: Jamie Delap Presented by: Tim Croxson

SMALL PACK PREMIUM BITTERS & PALE ALES Thornbridge Brewery - AM PM Sponsored by: NFU Mutual Presented to: Alex Buchanan Presented by: David Brown

SMALL PACK STANDARD MILD & BROWN ALES Strathaven Ales - Craigmill Mill Sponsored by: British Glass Presented to: Carolyn Uphillm (Proxy) Presented by: Gareth Jones




Sponsored by: Beatson Clark Presented to: Florent Vialan Presented by: Charlotte Taylor



Swannay Brewery - Barrel Aged Orkney Porter



Sponsored by: Brewers Select Ltd Presented to: Jamie Delap Presented by: Buster Grant

Brass Castle - Helles Lager Sponsored by: Saxon Packaging Presented to: Matt Hall Presented by: Mike Impson

Sponsored by: Vale Labels Presented to: Rob Hill Presented by: Buster Grant

Loch Lomond Brewery - Silkie Stout Sponsored by: Russell Scanlan Presented to: Fiona MacEachern Presented by: Buster Grant

SMALL PACK PREMIUM LAGER & PILSNERS Hawkshead Brewery - Lakeland Lager Sponsored by: IC Filling Presented to: Matt Clarkel Presented by: Buster Grant







SUPPLIER viewpoint

Experienced brewer and consultant Mark Tetlow offers an overview of what you need to know when setting up a basic QC laboratory for your brewery… As a successful brewer you will realise that you need to be an artist and a scientist to brew good quality consistent

beer. Your artistic side will enable you to design a moreish beer and your scientific site will enable you to control the brewing process to ensure your customers get the same beer time after time. To help you monitor your process you will need to set up a basic QC laboratory and this need not be too daunting or expensive. Often you can achieve accurate results on cheap, second hand or re-purposed equipment. Think about what checks you want to do, set your budget, shop around and talk to others that you know in the industry. The following guide may help you.

Your lab space needs:

✔ Good lighting and comfortable ambient temperatures ✔ Durable work benches that are easy to keep clean ✔ If you intend to perform any microbiological analysis make sure you have minimal foot traffic and little to no airflow or draughts ✔ Don’t forget to make sure you have the correct chemical data sheets and PPE for any hazardous materials you are using


Thermometers should be scaled between -10.c to +110.c to cover all applications within the brewing process. Go for a digital version in your brewing area as you should not be using glass in a production area. A digital thermometer used in cooking with a probe tip is more than sufficient and can cost less than £20 brand new. You will also need a calibrated glass version to check your final gravities but keep this away from the production areas.


pH is one of the most frequently checked parameters by brewers, it will help you monitor your beers performance from mashed sample, through fermentation and onto final package. This is a critical QC check and is an early warning signal as mild deviations in pH can indicate microbiological contamination where as drastic swings in pH can indicate a chemical contamination. Two routes are available for testing pH, firstly pH testing strips these are consumable items and can cost £5-£10 for a 100. This method does not to offer a good level of precision but are a great “due diligence check” for detection of trace cleaning detergent. The second option is a hand held pH probe. These can retail at around £40 new, but don’t forget to factor into your costs buffering solutions to keep the meter accurate.


Hand held refractometers have been available for many years and can be bought online for around £25. These are used for a variety of uses, not just brewing. Be sure to check the scale on the instrument you wish to buy, as you could well find yourself with a device perfect for testing the water salinity of your aquarium by mistake. So look for the units that read brix% and SG. You may need to use a calculation to get the final gravity but there are numerous online calculators that will do this for you. These are ideal for performing rapid test of your wort run off from the mash and your copper gravities (take care to cool the sample) but they won’t work so well with fermenting wort as the alcohol affects the reading. Use a traditional measuring cylinder and saccharometer to get fermentation gravities. These are relatively cheap to buy but remember density changes with temperature so be sure to use your thermometer and compensate your gravity result accordingly. Rapidly chilling your kettle sample if you can, to prevent vapour losses will also help improve your accuracy.


The problem with beer colour measurement is that the test is industry specific and therefore instrumentation is more expensive. Colour measuring equipment uses light at a wavelength of 430nm to give a numerical value of the beer colour. The result can be in read differently depending on the two industry standards: SRM: or standard reference method. (Widely used in North America.) EBC: European Brewing Convention, this figure approximately 1.97 times SRM. A second method is to use a colour wheel; the wheel has graduated coloured glass windows which are “best matched” with a 10ml sample of beer and will give you a numerical value for your final beer colour.






Light boxes are simple wall mounted fluorescent tubes on a shelf to visually assess beer clarity. The beer is put into Imhoff cones and this allows you to check fining potential and calculate the correct amount of copper or isinglass finings to add to your beer. Another option is to have a single bright lamp (brightest possible), shrouded except for a vertical narrow opening, clarity of the beer is assessed again visually by viewing the beer sample at approximately 45 & 90 degrees from the light source. Light boxes are cheap to produce, however the Imhoff cones can cost around £70 for three and a stand can cost just as much, unless you fabricate one yourself.


Your brewing yeast is crucial to the flavour and consistency of your beers and microscopes are an indispensable piece of lab equipment to check that the yeast is healthy and fit to brew with. The price of optics has reduced significantly over the past 10 years. It is easily possible to pick up a brand new scope with the specifications you require for under a £100. Your microscope needs to have 10X and 40X lenses and 10X or 16X eyepieces. With a microscope and the following equipment, you'll be able to: check yeast counts check yeast viability with a methylene blue stain. identify certain infections in your beer if something has gone wrong. To check your yeast count and calculate the correct pitching rates you will need a haemocytometer (Nubauer Improved). This is special microscope slide originally used for counting blood cells. Its chamber and microscopic etched grid can be used to count suspended yeast in a drop of beer. These retail at around £50 but are fragile so be careful

when handling them. You may need a hand counter and click every time you see a yeast cell. which will appear on the grid like small sesame seeds when viewed under the microscope. Standard microscope slides and cover slips these are consumable and cost around £4 per 100. Glass pasteur pipettes are used to drop the beer onto the slide and cost around £15 per 200. They will need to be sterilised over a flame. If you don't have a suitable gas supply for a bunsen burner a small chaffing dish fuel pod can be used on a heat proof mat. This will take away any airborne microbes from the immediate area providing you with a aseptically clean area to work in. Methylene Blue 0.1% is used to check the viability of the yeast. A stock solution can be made cheaply. A 100g jar of crystals will cost around £15 and will last for a long time. The stock solution is added to a small sample of your dilute yeast slurry at a 1:1 ratio and the percentage of blue (dead) cells are recorded against the live population. You can then adjust the pitching rate to ensure that sufficient live cells are added to the fermenting wort.


You will need a variety of beakers, flasks measuring cylinders and pipettes. Glass ones should only be used away from the production areas. Plastic ones are best for hot liquids. Your local laboratory equipment supplier will be able to supply these. When you add it all together you can easily get a basic QC laboratory set up for around £300. When you consider the importance of brewing consistently good beer to your profitability its money well spent.

The Beer Hub, founded by qualified brewer and beer sommelier Mark Tetlow, provides a range of consultancy services for the brewing industry and licensed trade. The Beer Hub’s services cover all areas of the brewing process — from raw materials to beer dispensing, plus talks and bespoke beer-themed events Phone: 01509 561 943 Email:






Show me the way to Amarillo New company Amarillo Consulting has just launched with the objective of helping suppliers and manufacturers develop their business with supermarkets, convenience chains and independent retailers. Aimed mainly, but not exclusively, at independent breweries, the company is the brainchild of Cecile Simpson who has extensive experience in the sector, having worked as a Business Consultant with ARC for almost six years, and previously as the Sales & Marketing Manager at Saltaire Brewery, with whom she continues to work on a consultancy basis.

For more information call Cecile on 07786025917 or email

Choose a Bottle to Turn Heads

SUPPLIER viewpoint

Nick Kirk, technical director at British Glass, examines why clever beer bottle design is important… “As packaging trends come and go, the glass beer bottle continues to offer brewers a classic design with striking and customisable looks, in-built heritage, technical excellence and sustainable credentials. It perhaps says ‘artisan’, ‘premium’ and ‘drink me’ better than any other packaging option. And with such a strong set of attributes, the makers of glass bottles continue to look at new and exciting options that are accessible to all brewers. Charlotte Taylor, marketing manager at glass manufacturer Beatson Clark says: “The challenge for many small independent brewers is how to create bespoke bottle designs that are cost effective and can be obtained in relatively small numbers. We can help brewers achieve this with our standard range of bottles and embossing techniques.” As well as embossing, glass bottles offer versatility of shape, helping convey a strong brand image. For example, a conical bottle can evoke a traditional image, which may be suitable for a traditional ale whereas a champagne bottle can say ‘premium’ as well as ‘enjoy me with food’. Matching beers to food is one area of growth and we are now seeing some brewers using champagne bottles to tap into this trend. Jane Peyton, drinks educator, beer sommelier and author says: “Some brands package their beer in champagne shaped bottles with corks, which look fabulous. The cork can

also be sealed in wax for added distinction and an air-tight seal. A glass bottle on the dining table with the beer served in a tulip or wine glass looks elegant and adds a sense of occasion to the meal.” Bottle colour can also be used to help a brewery create a point of difference. For brewers with more substantial packaging budgets, there are further options for bottle decoration and label design with techniques such as screen-printing available, which delivers a particularly striking, modern feel. So a glass beer bottle has a lot to offer today’s independent brewers. With clever and careful design, using many of the latest techniques and services on offer to the independent brewer, a glass beer bottle can be the packaging solution to help set your products apart from the crowd - an essential in today’s busy market place.”

A new identity for Urban Island from Lemon Top Even though they are separated by over 300 miles, LemonTop has just completed the rebranding and design of Urban Island Brewery’s corporate identity, along with the promotional material and packaging for the full range of beers.

Distance was never an issue for brewery owners Hayley and Guy. They had seen what LemonTop had done for other breweries throughout the UK and wanted their brand, bottles, and promotional material to have that unique LemonTop flavour. Hayley asked Lemon Top to create some new designs for their pump clips. Something unusual using bright, eyecatching colours that would stand out on a crowded bar. Both Hayley and Guy are passionate about brewing to the highest quality possible and keeping the flavour consistent every time. The pump clips needed to portray this passion, needed to be consistent across the entire range of beers and needed to show there was a quality beer behind them.

To find out more email or call 01325 311177.





Can cans make a difference?

“Unless you have just returned from a trip to Mars, you have probably noticed that there has been a proliferation of cans across the brewing industry. Cans have long been a stalwart of the USA craft beer fraternity, fitting perfectly with the outdoorsy and easy going lifestyle. According to Oscar Blues, who where one of the originators of the craft-beerin-a-can-craze: ‘Cans keep beer fresher, longer by eliminating the damaging effects of light and ingressed oxygen while being infinitely recyclable and portable...taking them where your next soul saving adventure takes you’. All good, except for the current concerns of the State of California about BPAs (Bisphenol A)… In the UK the 330ml can is fast becoming craft beers packaging of choice and has moved into the premium category – much to the stunned shock and amazement of some of my ale drinking buddies who fondly recall buying a four pack of John Smiths for less than the price of a can of craft beer… Cans have become uber acceptable across the on-trade including all the fashionable restaurants and bars and it now appears that the multiple grocers have finally woken up and smelt the hops too… Supermarkets are creating separate craft beer categories (in contrast to all those 500ml brown ale bottles) and are buying into cans big time.



For the brewers, cans are a great new opportunity to extend their reach and offer an excellent canvas for your brand. However, everyone seems to be leaping onto the bandwagon without properly considering the medium or the message. The paper labels used by mobile canners are a fantastic opportunity to create premium cues around your brand – whilst, for those fortunate enough to command larger volumes, the technical requirements of printing directly onto the can are quite challenging. The flag bearers for the can tend to be Beavertown, Brew Dog and Brooklyn (all the B’s) however we are now starting to see an array of choice on the shelves, from brewers large and small. Premiumisation is key and brand integrity too – be a brand with meaning, not a me-too. Can cans make a difference? Yes they can, as long as you treat them with respect. Anyone going to check out the cans at the Craft Brewers’ Conference this year?” Myles Pinfold is founder and creative director at WPA Pinfold.

PBC Brewery Installations has moved As the market leader in installations and training facilities throughout the UK, PBC Brewery Installation has been part of a nearly £1 million investment in completely new facilities in Manchester. Director David Porter considers that the company has an enviable worldwide reputation as being the people to go to when you want a brewery start up, with functional equipment at a sensible price. “We’re developing the business to provide bigger breweries with more flexibility, and hope we will become the go-to people when upgrades are required.” He added, “We’re getting a lot more enquiries for craft keg breweries and equipment, the amount of people we get on our course with a thirst for understanding carbonated beer is quite amazing.”

The move puts PBC in a very strong position to exploit any worldwide opportunities as they appear. “One of the main aims of the move is to be significantly more efficient in the production facilities at our new site, the team just operates a lot better and more effectively now. As well as installing over 40 breweries per annum, we also put over 100 people every year through our course at our purpose built training facilities.” As the principal trainer, David says that “it’s vitally important to be able to offer training to virgin brewers, talk their language, not to confuse them, and offer one course that will answer all their questions. Above all it’s really important that the people who present the courses can (and do) produce quality craft beer in any container required by the customer.”


Beer Swaps – why bother? “When I first got involved with local breweries whilst setting up CBR in 2007, it always struck me as rather odd that I often stumbled across other breweries casks in far off yards and I wondered how and why they had got so far away from home. “Ah, that would be a beer swap,” often came the explanation. Older, and hopefully a little wiser now, I realise there is a very solid business case. In fact, it’s such a good case I’m rather surprised every local brewer doesn’t regularly swap beer! So let me back up that statement with these observations. • Beer swaps are done at discount prices. In fact, actual money should not change hands, just beer. Therefore the final sale of the swapped brand should generate a profit opportunity for the recipient brewery of at least the same magnitude as the home produced beer. • Every local brewery sells some, if not all, of its beer to local pubs and bars. Often those same outlets will be selling other brands purchased from a wholesaler. A beer swap allows that same brewer to offer other brands to its customers and probably at cheaper prices than a wholesaler.


• It is well known that beer drinkers enjoy variety. • The goal for many breweries is to increase overall sales by conquering new markets. Swapping beer with another brewery does just that. So, it’s all up side is it? Well, there are a few difficulties. Firstly, a brewery has to find a like-minded brewery to trade with in the right location, and with the right products. Then, if casks are sent to a far off brewery the sender is very reliant on the recipient taking care of, and returning them. So, what’s out there to help? was launched just a year ago by ECasks founders Andy and Kay Thompson and provides a free online marketplace for beer swapping. It makes placing and choosing beers and trading partners easy by just browsing on the site. Most innovative and unique is the ability to sell beer to one brewery and buy beer from another – all online and with just a few clicks of the mouse. So beer swapping does not need to take up any of a brewery’s cask population. It can truly be an additional revenue stream.” Peter Godwin is a Business Consultant and Founder of Close Brewery Rentals Ltd.




Are you fully promoting your beer, your brewery & your business? If yes, you should be able to tick this checklist

Logo Design ■ Pump Clips ■ Website ■ e-Commerce ■ Brochure ■ Bottle Labels ■ Beer Mats ■ Bar Runners ■ PR ■ Packaging ■ Corporate Video ■ Exhibition Stand ■ Merchandise ■ LemonTop Creativity ■

Celebrating 5 years of Great Branding for Great Beers

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Is your brewery a Rising Star, a Cash Cow or a Dog? Here, experts from The Business of Drinks take a look at the different stages in your business’s development and how to progress and grow….

As your brewery business develops it becomes ever more critical to have a clear vision of where you want to go. How will you build value and how will you get a return from that value in the future? One of the best ways to look at this is to consider the changing focus of your business as you move through the four stages of a company’s life cycle:

1) Question Mark – where the company is starting up and the future

is rather unknown. Got the idea need to make it happen!

2) Rising Star – where the company is focused on growth not profit and revenues are growing very rapidly.

3) Cash Cow/Established – where the company’s growth slows down and it becomes more profit/cash focused. 4) Dog – the place, where, in the end all non-performing companies

end up. In growing markets such as ours the key objective should be to get the company into the “Rising Star” category where the company is driven for growth as hard as possible before the market growth starts to slow down and the company moves into the Established/Cash Cow category. The characteristics of each life cycle stage are mapped out in the following illustration.

So what are the key steps at each stage and what do you need to focus on, in each one of the stages?


Question Mark Key Steps: Idea, Money and Labour Need to get to a reasonable size profitably as soon as possible. Invest in sales, control costs. Drive the business to become a Rising Star. Rising Star Key Steps: Vision, Money, People and Brand

Focus on growth. Timing is everything; • Moving from growth into Cash Cow stage is critical. • Staying too long as a Rising Star and looking to sell, based on future growth can be risky.

Cash Cow Key Steps: Money, People and Brand Lots of opportunity in growing market place. Acquisition of other breweries becomes another growth option. Dog Key Step: Needs a willingness to change to move out of this stage. Don’t stay too long here! Value draining away. Your people are a key issue.

The Business of Drinks helps independent breweries to grow and develop their business, by providing 1-2-1 advice from our team of experts and experienced business advisors. Want to get further insights into the lifecycle stages of a brewery business? Then visit to download your free copy of the full article.

What is the true cost of insurance for brewers right now? Catherine Proudlove – from SIBA partner Bollington Insurance – provides a brief overview of the factors involved in insuring your microbrewery. “There has been a sustained spell of growth within the microbrewery sector over the last few years, with boutique shops, suppliers, stockists, pubs and distributors all involved. With that growth has come an increase in the number of businesses who require insurance cover. One thing is for sure: just as each brew is individually crafted, no two breweries are the same. Like any business that requires insurance, it’s what you do that determines the extent of cover required, and in turn ultimately determines the individual cost of your insurance. Key to this is being honest with your insurance broker. If you aren’t covered for something that is particularly important to you – for example, specific exhibition cover – then if anything were to happen that led to an insurance claim, you could find yourself in financial peril. Paying a little more up-front for insurance that covers you properly could

SUPPLIER viewpoint

make a big difference in such circumstances. Government legislation and taxation certainly plays a part in the costs of insurance, too. The rate of Insurance Premium Tax has risen rapidly, with three increases in the last 18 months. This means that insurers must work hard to keep the underlying costs down – keeping the levels of claims and fraud in check – so the impact of additional taxation is not felt as much by businesses such as yours. Ultimately, microbrewery insurance has remained cost effective, though it is still the case that finding an insurance broker who provides the additional covers you might need – such as theft of goods in transit, exhibition cover, or seasonal adjustments to amounts of stock covered – is more important than cutting corners to pick up the cheapest insurance products available.”

Bollington Insurance has been a long-standing supporter of SIBA, with an exclusive offering for SIBA members. Visit or call 01625 348733.





Gold Sponsor Croxsons embark on new chapter For a family firm that’s been successfully trading for nearly 145 years, one would think that undertaking a brand refresh should be as straightforward as just adding another coat of paint to the office front door. Not so with leading glass packaging company Croxsons, who having embarked on a journey to fully revitalise their brand last year, view their fresh new look as the dawn of a new chapter in their long and unique heritage.

Launched last year at the EasyFairs Luxury Packaging show at London’s Olympia, Croxsons unveiled their new logo - a contemporary typeface in a ‘Croxsons’ green colour, complemented by founder William Croxson's signature. The logo design includes the tagline ‘A Family of Packaging’ to convey the importance the company place in nurturing business relationships, whilst also demonstrating the breadth and completeness of their offering - that being single-source, multi-choice glass packaging and closure expertise. A new website has also been released, providing a fresh and up-to-date insight into the company’s product and service capabilities, together with recently added ‘Collections’ e-brochures, covering Croxsons glass products in the beer, spirits and food sectors.

The scale of the makeover, handled by Chester-based marketing agency, ‘We are Armstrong’, has included re-defining Croxsons’ services and combining all of the stages of customer interaction into one journey. Alongside a strong commitment to service and the creation of added-value, from Collaboration, Design and Container, to Closures, Decoration and Logistics, customers can now find everything that they need at Croxsons.



We believe that the main reason for our continued success is our relentless attention to execution, not just in delivering a product, but also in providing service excellence.

The architect behind the new look, Croxsons’ COO, Tim Croxson said: “We believe that the main reason for our continued success is our relentless attention to execution, not just in delivering a product, but also in providing service excellence. The new styling, which represents our image in a fresh and contemporary way, together with our on-brand messaging, typifies that success in providing an accurate reflection of who we are and what we currently offer.”


Alongside the significance of their customer journey, elsewhere at Croxsons the key issue of sustainability continues to figure highly. At the recent BeerX show, Croxsons presented their developing range of rightweighted beer bottles specially selected for the growing craft brewing sector, including a new addition to their line-up, the 500ml ‘BEN’ beer bottle - originally a 405g product, the BEN has been rightweighted to a new weight of 280g. Tim Croxson said: “As the biggest supplier into craft, our customers are coming under pressure at consumer and retail level to be ahead of the game on sustainability issues. The same is true with the craft range in our Australian and New Zealand operations, where customers like 4Pines Beer fully appreciate the look and feel of the Croxsons’ 500ml rightweighted AMC bottle. “The emphasis we place on rightweighting is all part of our ‘customer journey’ - being able to provide customers with the best design, the best price, the best quality and at the best weight, against the trade items that are currently available. And by doing ‘the right thing’ by rightweighting, our customers will have loyalties to the ethical approach and will want to work in partnership with us to augment their own sustainability strategy.”


Croxsons say that by rightweighting three beer bottle products in 2016, they managed to take an impressive 1,200 tonnes of glass out of the supply chain. Further rightweighting activity is planned for 2017. There are real opportunities within the glass industry to support the market by delivering a more cohesive and uniform approach to sustainability,” added Croxson. “Through our partnership with SIBA, we are well placed to support brewers of all sizes, where relationships are paramount to business success.


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 actively supported SIBA for more than five, both through their longstanding Supplier Associate membership (now Gold Standard) and also through acting for the organisation itself. Napthens provides support to both the 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 can help in areas such as: • Employment and HR • Intellectual Property & 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

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.



GOLD SPONSORS 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 on 01253 832355 or




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SIBA Rebrand for awardwinning Castleford brewery Revolutions Vinyl-loving brewery Revolutions has undergone a re-brand as it looks to strengthen its position in the independent beer market, with plans to double the size of the business over the next few years.

REGIONAL NEWS ROUNDUP NORTH EAST REGION The company was founded in 2010 by Andrew Helm and Mark Seaman, and their brews have since won many awards including national and regional gold medals at SIBA competitions. Andrew Helm, Revolutions co-director, explained: “We’re looking to double the size of the business within the next few years which will include investing in the district's economy by employing more local people, installing extra equipment such as fermenting vessels, enhanced cold-storage and keg filler, as well as adding an onsite bottle shop and an entertainment space.” The range of core beers will be refreshed this year, with new beers being introduced, while retaining some of their celebrated cask beers such as Clash Porter and Manifesto Stout. Andrew added: “Alongside our range of cask beers, we are keen to capitalise on the success of our Vienna-style lager, Severina, which won National Gold at SIBA BeerX last March. We are also introducing two other keg lagers; a helles pale and a black dunkles-style. All three of these will be available in 330ml cans, and we expect to add further beers to the range in the near future.” Mark Seaman, Revolutions’ co-director, said: “We're proud to have forged our own little piece of the vibrant Yorkshire beer scene over the last six years. We continue to invest locally with our involvement in Wakefield Beer Exchange, The Woolpack Inn York and the very successful Castleford Beer Festival, but this is no time to rest on our laurels and we are planning a giant leap forward in 2017. “Our new line up of beers will be accompanied by a new logo, pump clips and website. These are exciting times for us and we hope beer lovers will enjoy the changes.”

Acorn Brewery appoints new head of business development Barnsley’s Acorn Brewery has announced the appointment of Director of Business Development, Christy Winfield. The former project manager and soon to be wife of the brewery’s owner, Dave Hughes, joined the business in March of this year, bringing with her a wealth of skills and experience of leading teams to success. Dave Hughes said: “When the thought came to mind to grow the team and drive the business to the next level there was no doubt in our minds who should fulfil the role. With Christy’s experience and skills in leading successful programmes of work, across Europe, for customers such as Boots, Unilever and Sky, to name a few, I have every confidence that exciting times lie ahead.”

Christy said: “With turnover to date being up by 8% on last year there is no better time to be joining the industry and family business. With micro-breweries really taking hold of the market there are many opportunities in the UK and further afield to be had.” Acorn now delivers direct across Yorkshire, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and the North Midlands while its beers are distributed nationally through leading wholesalers. All its beers are brewed using the original yeast strain of the famous 19th century Barnsley Brewery.




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NEW Festival Glass Revival craft beer glass available March ‘17! With craft beer becoming evermore popular, the choice of drinking vessel is crucial to enhancing the drinking experience, including: taste, colour and smell. Enter the NEW Revival craft beer glass from Festival Glass. Boasting an authentic craft beer shape that optimises the tasting experience, Revival offers you: great stackability, MOQ from 300 units (6 per case), single colour or classic etch print options, short lead times and is available in two convenient sizes: 17.25oz (49cl): CE marked, lined at 2/3pt, 1/2pt and 1/3pt 14.75oz (42cl): CE marked, lined at 1/2pt and 1/3pt

For further information on the Revival glass contact Kelsey Cheesbrough today:

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09/02/2017 19:45



Treboom Brewery wins Great Taste Awards York's Treboom Brewery brought home Great Taste Stars for five of their bottled beers in the last round of Great Taste Awards. Great Taste is organised by the Guild of Fine Food and is the acknowledged benchmark for fine food and drink. It has been described as the 'Oscars' of the food world. The judges, who are professionals from all corners of the food industry, blind taste the entries and give comments on each one. Jane Blackman, co-owner of Treboom, said: “The judges had really considered all aspects of the drinking experience of each beer, right down to food pairings, it really is all about taste.” Their flagship beer Yorkshire Sparkle pale ale, Kettle Drum best bitter, Myricale wheat beer and Hop Britannia strong pale ale all won a Great Taste Star while their 'Yorkshire Saison', Maillot Blanc won an impressive two stars. “We were thrilled with the results,” said head brewer John Lewis. “Our labels, designed by United by Design, have won a SIBA Business Award and a prestigious Design Effectiveness Award from the Design Business Association, so it's fabulous that the beers themselves have now been recognised.” Their wheat beer, Myricale, also captured the attention of the judges at the SIBA North East beer competition in September, winning Gold in the small pack speciality beer category. Brewed with bog myrtle gathered on the North York Moors it has a unique herbal/ginger flavour and a slight sweetness. Treboom Brewery celebrated their 5th birthday at the end of 2016 marking the occasion with a brewery takeover at the Slip Inn, York, one of the first pubs to take their beer.

Firebrick launches Wey-Aye P.A. Firebrick Brewery has completed its Heritage range of North East beers with Wey-Aye P.A. The new beer is a fruity IPA using Cascade and Centennial hops, low on bitterness but high on flavour, and its very smooth nature makes it deceptively strong at 5.8% ABV. It is available in bottle, cask locally, and in one way kegs nationally via EeBria.

Hopwarts Express steams in for major award Tony and Jackie Rogers of Half Moon Brewery, in Ellerton, York, have been presented with the Pale Ale of the Festival Award by the members of Halifax and Calderdale CAMRA. The award was received for Half Moon’s Hopwarts Express (5.5%) which was commissioned by the CAMRA Branch for the 2016 Calderdale Beer and Cider Festival at Hebden Bridge Town Hall. The presentation, which took place in a crowded Chequers Micropub in Beverley, was attended by the brewers, 20 members of the Halifax and Calderdale CAMRA Branch, invited members from other CAMRA branches, and the Breweries’ supporters from Ellerton and Beverley locals. The ale proved extremely popular at the Hebden Bridge Festival in September, receiving many votes from the public and steamed in against stiff competition to win Pale Ale of the Festival. Half Moon Brewery also donated 12 bottles of its ale to be sold to raise money for the Festival’s charity; the Watermark Flood Fund. The bottles, along with items donated by other breweries, helped to raise £600 for the charity and this was used to support Calder Valley businesses and individuals whose premises had been destroyed or damaged in the devastating floods of Christmas 2015. Tony Rogers said: “We are delighted to have won this award and to have our beer acknowledged for its quality by Halifax and Calderdale CAMRA. Such awards mean a lot to us and we have already agreed to supply the Calderdale Beer and Cider Festival with a cask of ale next year.”

The 2017 Calderdale Beer and Cider Festival will be held at Hebden Bridge Town Hall from the 28th-30th September.





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Abbeydale lets loose with new Emporium range Abbeydale Brewery has announced the release of their new “Brewers Emporium” range. Each beer within the range is designed to be small run and of limited quantity, with the brewers given free reign to select unusual and interesting ingredients to create exciting recipes well suited to the fast-paced modern market. The new beers will sit alongside existing core keg beer Heathen, an American style pale ale which has helped to cement Abbeydale’s reputation. The Emporium range is intended to be constantly evolving and rotating, encompassing a wide array of beer styles which will largely be available in both cask and keg, from new IPA Voyager to Salvation stout and Reaper cereal beer. The first release, a coconut edition of Salvation stout, sold out within two days. Brewer and Cellar Manager at Abbeydale, Jamie Memmott, said: “it’s great to have the opportunity to unleash our creativity and produce beers that not only do we love to drink, but which will continue to delight our existing customers as well as bringing new drinkers to the Abbeydale party.” Also being released under the Brewers Emporium banner will be Abbeydale’s first major exploration into barrel aged beers, including their new “Funk Dungeon” barrel souring project. This comes hot off the heels of the much-anticipated rebrand of their core range of cask ales, which took place in January this year.

Muckle Brewing makes its mark Hadrian’s Wall country is now home to a pint-size 1.3-barrel brewery which has the rather incongruous name of Muckle Brewing – ‘muckle’ being a Northumberland dialect word for big or large. Owners Tom and Nicola Smith are brewing ‘mighty’ beers in their tiny garden brewery, with four Muckle beers launched in August 2016 and a summer beer planned for this year.

For more information go to

Brass Castle launches US Cask Beer Project Flying in the face of what they see as some deliberate hype from breweries that have decided to discontinue cask beer, Brass Castle has initiated a US Cask Beer Project. The project is based on drinkers' appetite for full flavoured beers with an interesting and unique provenance. The brewery has partnered with four outstanding New England breweries who are associated with the NERAX organisation (New England Real Ale Exhibition) and have filled a number of Brass Castle casks with beer. Brass Castle is believed to be the only brewery importing cask beer from America in this way and it is thought the beers/ breweries themselves will never have been seen in a UK pub before. Contributors to the project are Aeronaut Brewing (Somerville, MA), Lord Hobo Brewing (Woburn, MA), Mayflower Brewing (Plymouth, MA) and Notch Brewing (Salem, MA). Brass Castle has also just opened its Taphouse, alongside the brewery in the centre of Malton, Yorkshire's food capital. The Taphouse is essentially a beer cafe, serving at least eight Brass Castle beers alongside coffee, cakes, savouries and an impressive bottled Belgian beer collection.




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SIBA Hambleton Ales bottles its 15 millionth beer!


Appropriately, the beer was one of its own, a 750ml bottle of its Legend Thoroughbred Pale Ale.

Hambleton Ales, the North Yorkshire based brewer and contract packager, celebrated a huge milestone this February when it’s 15,000,000 bottle rolled of the bottling line.

Marking the occasion, Hambleton’s Nick Stafford said: “This number of bottles probably seems tiny for some of the large bottlers in the UK, but for a business such as ours, with minimum runs of just 5bbls, and a very manual process where every final bottle is inspected for quality, and packed by hand, this is a truly significant milestone of which the whole team are very proud.” The business, which concentrates on low volume, high quality packaging runs, has been contract brewing, bottling and kegging from its North Yorkshire base for over 20 years now, and has contract customers from the top of Scotland to the South East coast. It was one of the first brewers in the UK to achieve “Salsa plus Beer” Accreditation and sees this as a base from which to continually improve the quality of its packaging operations. Asked about the secret of the business’s success, Nick puts it down to the experience of the team, and the lessons learnt over the last 20 years. He added: “Over the years we have seen many bottling companies come and go. They realise that it isn't quite as simple as they first imagine, and that getting a beer into bottle with a decent shelf life is actually really difficult, even if you do have all the latest kit. “We know, as we ourselves have made all of the same mistakes, however, luckily for us we made most of these mistakes 20 years ago when we were just starting out! It’s our years of experience that really count in getting the highest quality product for our customers and are the reason why they keep coming back to us year after year.”

Cullercoats brewery reaches £30,000 target in fund raising for RNLI Five year old Cullercoats Brewery has been raising money for the RNLI, the lifeboat charity, by donating 3p of every pint of beer they sell. And their total has just hit the £30,000 mark – that’s a million pints! The brewery has developed a range of top quality all English real ales using their own brewer’s yeast, English malt and hops. Cullercoats Brewery has firmly planted itself in the local community, supplying predominantly local pubs and using, wherever possible, local suppliers and businesses. The beer names all draw on the local history of Cullercoats and the lifeboats, with stories of shipwrecks and bravery. Owner and brewer Bill Scantlebury said: “We’re proud to have reached the £30,000 milestone, it’s been a lot of hard work but very satisfying. We hope our fundraising achievement helps to highlight the benefits of corporate giving through permanent charitable donations. Our aim for the future, as well as raising even more money for RNLI, is to be a firm favourite for local drinkers, and publicans. We value our strong community ties and work hard to promote other local businesses and community events. We’re looking forward to producing a special beer for to celebrate the Music and Literary Festival held in Cullercoats in May – Iron in the Soul.”





Canarchy in the UK and Cask Brewing Systems In 2013, London’s Camden Town Brewery released a full-flavored beer in the most scoffed-at package a small-batch brewer could use: the aluminum can. The move - the craft beer equivalent of the Sex Pistols’ release of Anarchy in the UK - was made possible by Cask Brewing Systems, the inventors of micro-canning for craft brewers. Two more rule-breaking UK craft brewers – Fourpure and Beavertown – soon fired up their Cask machines and England’s canned craft beer revolution was underway. Today about 20 UK craft brewers (including London Fields, Williams Brothers, Concrete Cow and others) fill their cans on their own Cask machines. Many more count on Cask gear through the UK’s first mobile canning service, We Can Solutions. Fourpure’s sales exploded with the release of its cans. “In our first month,” Fourpure’s Daniel Lowe recalls, “our cans doubled our historic bottle sales. The second month they quadrupled them.” And across the UK, canned craft beer sales are now rising fast. Cask founder Peter Love says UK brewers wondering if that trend will continue can look to the US for what to expect. “In 2016,” Love says, “bottled craft beer sales in the US were virtually flat. But canned sixpack sales there rose 62% last year. For a few years now, canned craft beer has been the fastest-growing segment of packaged beer in America.” Cask launched micro-canning for craft brewers in 2002 with tiny Oskar Blues Brewery & Pub as its first US customer. The brewery has become a fast-growing juggernaut thanks to its cans-only focus, and seven of the 50 largest US brewers are on Cask’s

customer list. Today Cask has placed over 750 of its machines in over 45 countries. Cask’s latest innovation -- the ACS X2 – will help brewers around the world and in the UK keep up with growing demand for beer in cans. The machine doubles the power of Cask’s now iconic ACS machine with ten CO2 pre-purge heads, ten fill heads, and two can seamers. The new ACS X2 fills and seams 75+ cans/minute and 190+ cases/hour and requires just two operators. The machine has a tiny 2’ by 14’ footprint and produces filled cans with extremely low dissolved oxygen levels of just 15-20 parts per billion. “Our focus,” says Cask founder Peter Love, “has always been craft brewers. The ACS X2 allows us to greatly expand that focus, and it will help our UK customers grow their business in an efficient and affordable fashion.”

Learn more about Cask’s micro-canning revolution at

Atlas Packaging celebrates best Pro2pac event yet! Atlas Packaging, based in North Devon, attended their third Pro2Pac event at London’s ExCel in March, exhibiting at stand N850 during the three day event. Atlas Packaging showcased their newest packaging solutions ranging from branded food packaging, drink boxes, shelf-ready displays as well as the high quality print finishes available thanks to the Cuir Rotaflex Machine. Added to the Atlas arsenal in late 2016, the machine provides premium quality finishes as well as an increased economical process overall. Atlas Packaging were also asking for the next #ChallengeAtlas idea; it’s an opportunity for businesses and charities to challenge the team to turn anything into a cardboard reality. Previous challenges have included life size postboxes, a World War II tank and more. Challenges received at the event included life size animals, Grand Prix race cars and more. You can continue to #ChallengeAtlas via social media, before they take on their next mission!

Go to for more information.



Controlling CO2


SUPPLIER viewpoint

Kieron Atkinson, MD of Complete Bottling, looks at the importance of Carbon Dioxide… “I set up Complete Bottling almost two years ago and now bottle beers for over 40 different breweries across the UK. During this time since the company’s establishment, one of the most important factors I have seen to affect the quality of a finished product, is CO2 – or to be more specific, the control of CO2, which is absolutely crucial to the successful packaging of beer. In fact, everything we do within our small but knowledgeable team at Complete Bottling has CO2 at the heart of the operation; as we continue to search for marginal gains which will go on improving the beer bottling process we offer customers. Within our daily processes, every piece of kit that the beer comes into contact with has been flushed with CO2, or, we bring the beer into a space that has CO2 in it as opposed to oxygen. As we all know, oxygen is one of the biggest - if not the biggest - enemy of beer and turns delicious, fresh beer into stale, lifeless beer.

ECO KEG offers ‘lighter, smarter’ alternative to all stainless steel kegs

Brewers are often wary of filtration and the potential of it to affect desirable flavours / aromas of their product, but from experience and having had the opportunity of tasting the same beer in bottle, keg and cask - filtration at 0.45µ if carried out with correct CO2 control, in fact leads to fresher and cleaner beer, retaining its flavours and aromas. When I purchased the line itself at the heart of what it had to achieve was the need for it to be a double pre-evac line meaning that oxygen is removed from the bottle prior to any filling thus bringing beer into an environment as free as possible from oxygen. When filling we also ensure that there is some fob up to the level of the top of the bottle to ensure there is absolutely no space for oxygen to have a negative impact on the life expectancy of the beer. Hopefully this outlines just one of the many factors which we need to consider when bottling and which has an impact on producing the best possible outcome for the beer.”

For more information go to

UK designed and manufactured milling equipment goes International It has been another busy year for Alan Ruddock Engineering Ltd, the malt milling and grist handling specialists. The company, based near Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, has carried out a large number of successful dry goods projects around the world.

Based on the success experienced within Europe and the US markets, collecting design awards along the way, the ECO KEG is available to the UK market and offers the modern brewer the latest in beverage packaging.

The reputation gained by Alan Ruddock Engineering here in the UK for designing and manufacturing the finest quality milling and malt handling equipment has now well and truly spread onto the continent and much further afield.

The first stainless steel deep drawn keg was introduced to the market over thirty years ago, and using the existing deep drawn stainless body, have mechanically integrated two polypropylene chimes into the steel body, resulting in a lighter, ecologically worthwhile and thus smarter alternative to conventional all stainless steel kegs. Combining innovative design and contemporary materials allows the KEG to be produced to a lower tare weight, in the case of a 30 litre size, some 20% lighter, without compromising strength or safety. Reducing the weight of containers has obvious advantages in health and safety, as well as environmentally, as this helps breweries to cut transport costs. In addition to this weight reduction, the ECO KEG will also significantly reduce noise levels, with the KEGs being rolled on the stackable PP rings instead of expanded steel rolling bands which flatten over time. The PP chimes are also stackable for added safety and easy to pick up and stack in the cellar. The chimes themselves are designed in such a way, that, similar to shock absorbers on cars, they can prevent damage on impact.

In addition to UK based projects, Alan Ruddock Engineering has recently supplied AR 2000 Precision Malt Mills to Brasserie Les 3 Fourquets in Belgium, The Owl Distillery in Belgium, Akkeshi Distillery in Japan, Cardrona Distillery in New Zealand, The Australian Brewers Guild, as well as breweries in France, Italy, Ireland, and even Bali in Indonesia. In production currently are two mills destined for Japan, and a mill which will be going to a brewery in Denmark. Alan Ruddock Engineering designs and manufactures complete malt handling and milling systems for 25kg, 500g, 1000kg bags through to a range of silos up to 30 tonne capacity for complete bulk malt handling solutions.

For more information call 01359 250989 or go to

The 30 and 50 litre ECO KEG's, with Euro diameter, are manufactured to the same height as the conventional all stainless steel kegs or PLUS KEGs and so will run alongside standard kegs on the keg filling line and fit on the same pallet.

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BMF system for craft brewers Integrating Pentair’s innovative quality control equipment, valve technology, carbon dioxide systems, and Beer Membrane Filtration (BMF) with all functions of a brewery creates an efficient and advanced operation. Whether you are taking the first step toward more advanced technology or planning a major expansion, Pentair has the products and solutions to serve craft brewers today and in the future. Get in touch with the Pentair product specialists to learn about the new BMF +Flux Compact S4. This BMF has a nominal capacity of 30 to 60 hl/h, which makes it an ideal solution for breweries with an annual output of 10,000 to 100,000 hectoliters. The pre-assembled, stand-alone system offers all the advantages of the original BMF concept at an interesting investment level. The use of membranes results in a better and consistent beer quality, with beer loss down to 1%, and a hygienic and environmentally-friendly filtration process void of the health and safety risks associated with the use of diatomaceous earth. In addition, labor cost and operator errors are reduced to a minimum with the BMF +Flux Compact S4 due to the automated process and the smart start-stop operation.

Rapid detection of spoilage organisms and wild yeasts QCL have been appointed the exclusive UK distributors for the Veriflow range of rapid detection test kits from Invisible Sentinel. BrewPAL, a test for the detection of Pediococcus and Lactobacillus, targets specific hop resistant bacteria, providing positive identification of true spoilage organisms in less than three hours. Wild yeasts can be detected within four hours using BrewDEK, allowing effective management of the naturally occurring Dekkera/ Brettanomyces yeast, whereas BrewBRUX can be used to detect levels of Brettanomyces Bruxellensis species when desired in select brews.

Since its market launch in 2002, Pentair’s BMF technology has gone from strength to strength together with its users. More than 100 BMF systems have started operation, processing over 100 million hectoliters of beer each year. Today, more than 200 brands and all kind of beers, including full malt or with adjuncts, dark beers, low alcohol or high bitterness beers are filtered with BMF.

Other tests soon to be available are BrewMAP, for the detection of spoilage organisms Megasphaera and Pectinatus, and BrewLAP, for non-hop resistant Pediococcus and Lactobacillus for low alcohol beers and non-hopped beverages. Also in development is a test for detection of Saccharomyces Diastaticus which can lead to over-attenuated beers and exploding kegs.

For more information call 01905 797 280 or email sales_ Web:

For more information call 01342 820820 or go to

New Beer Me Bags bottle carrier launched This year sees the launch of Beer Me Bags, an innovative carrier for bottles. Its design is based on comprehensive research into craft beer retail and today’s purchasing patterns. With Beer Me Bags, brewers and retailers can help consumers carry more bottles and thus sell more beer. “In light of the evolution of craft beer retail, we believe it is essential that you realise the potential in selling beer for consumption at home. However, we also know that transporting beer in bottles remains problematic for the majority of consumers and changing product format is not an option for many breweries. With Beer Me Bags, we wanted to address this contradiction,” explains Csaba Babak, founder of Beer Me Bags.

For further information go to





Reduce the cost of microbial stabilization, whilst protecting your beer! Parker domnick hunter have launched BEVPOR BR filter cartridges for cold stabilization applications, designed for longer service life and ease of integrity testing. The new range of BEVPOR BR filter cartridges allow brewers to significantly reduce the cost of microbial stabilisation, whilst protecting the sensory appeal of their beer. Constructed with a unique Polyethersulphone (PES) membrane which has been validated to retain key spoilage organisms, it offers the longest service life and therefore the most efficient and lowest cost of operation in cold stabilization applications. The unique construction allows for easy integrity testing as the cartridge is entirely hydrophilic and wets out quickly and easily. With a greater control over testing of the filters, it will prevent operation with a failed filter which could lead to microbial contamination. Daniel Vecsey, Market Development Manager at Parker domnick hunter, has been working closely with the product development team and commented: “The BEVPOR BR is the most recent addition to our microfiltration portfolio for the brewing industry. We are very excited about bringing this new innovation to market and very confident that brewers will realise cost savings from this in their process. We are very pleased our portfolio has been bolstered by the addition of the BEVPOR BR product. We have a great technical support team who are ready to work with customers to implement this new product in their brewery.”

To find out more, watch a video discussing the development process at

Bürkert maintains price freeze for 2017 Fluid control expert, Bürkert, has bucked the industry trend for price increases by implementing a price freeze for 2017. While many other manufacturers have already communicated price rises between 5% and 11%, Bürkert aims to maintain current price levels for its customers. Recent changes in Euro and USD exchange rates with Sterling have increased pressure on manufacturers to raise UK prices in order to maintain their margins. However, Bürkert’s investment in modern manufacturing technology has enabled it to withstand significant external pressures from currency exchange rates. Neil Saunders, General Manager for Bürkert UK and Ireland, explains: “Bürkert Fluid Control Systems is the first fluid control manufacturer in the UK to announce a post-Brexit list price freeze in 2017. As we promised last year, we have driven through our commitment to absorbing or offsetting any cost increases through ever-improving production methods inside our factories. We have maximised the use of high technology automation systems together with continuously reviewing our global supply routes, but without risking our reliable and committed supply chain. Bürkert has committed to never raise prices mid-contract or more broadly unless influences stretch beyond its control.” As more businesses look to improve efficiency and reliability in order to remain competitive, it is important to source high quality process control components. For its part, Bürkert continues to support its customers by continuing to develop new technologies as well as providing all the essential elements for fluid control processes.

For more information go to



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PROCESS & FILTRATION SOLUTIONS for the food & beverage industry

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Profil supply Carlson filter sheets & lenticular filters, Merck-Millipore filter cartridges and laboratory membranes, filter bags and all types of filtration equipment, new & reconditioned to suit all budgets. Profil also supply DE Filters, Crossflow filters, sheet filters and other equipment manufactured by Velo Technologies. For further product information, please contact Dave Manns on 01531 890809 or e-mail to

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Brewology are the UK's leading supplier of brewery automation equipment. From complete brew-houses, CIP Sets, tanks, cask and keg cleaning and packaging equipment to service and spares and state of the art automation. Based in Leeds, West Yorkshire our highly skilled team of engineers offer in-house design, manufacturing and software development as well as a complete after-sales service team. From a complete turnkey solution to a spare seal call us today.

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Wort’s the worst that could happen?

SUPPLIER viewpoint

Moody PHE tell us how their plate heat exchanger refurbishment can save energy…. Wort Cooling = Energy Saving Plate fouling leads to poor heat recovery, which means you are spending more to heat your brewing liquor. Your plate heat exchanger (PHE) is an essential part of your brewing equipment, keeping your plant clean maximises efficiency. Regular PHE refurbishment restores plate heat exchangers back to the new condition optimising heat recovery. Plate failure can lead to cross contamination between wort and brewing liquor leading to microbiological problems and wort dilution - regular integrity tests can identify plate failure. Paul Hayward, Moody PHE, explains: “For a quick and accurate test, the PasTest2000 Integrity System is ideal. We’ve been running this test for three years now and our customers are always grateful for the early identification of issues.” Camden BRI, the UK’s leading independent food and drink research organisation, stated the PasTest2000 system was “very effective for systematic testing of plate heat exchangers”.

For more information, get in touch with Moody PHE by calling their Customer Service Team free on 0800 666 397 or email

Pillars Brewery works with Enterprise Tondelli on its craft lager project When the four partners of the newly opened Pillars Brewery and taproom in Walthamstow London E17 embarked on their craft lager brewing enterprise they knew that it was imperative to “plough their own furrow”. With so many microbreweries and breweries in the London area producing good ales etc. Pillars Brewery wanted to make their own mark and they have certainly achieved this by producing their “un-traditional lager”. The four partners knew that a traditional British mash conversion system would not be the optimum solution to achieve their aims so they started a dialogue and ultimately ordered a turnkey plant from Enterprise Tondelli and their manufacturing partners in Italy Simatec Srl. Enterprise Tondelli have supplied a number of microbreweries to the craft lager sector in the UK market as part of their activity in the brewing and bottling industry. There are a number of specific features of the brew house that make it very flexible and ideally suited to produce both Pils style lager along with the full range of traditional beers too. This partnership has been ongoing resulting in continual development and improvement of the product over time. One recent example is the trend for dry hopping which can cause some challenges for both costings and tank hygiene. Simatec developed the “isobaric hop injector” or IHI for short. This unit utilised with the conditioning vessel reduces hop consumption by around 50-60%, can reduce tank time by two days and results in a conditioning tank easier to clean. Full details of this can be found on the Enterprise website. Pillars Brewery took advantage of this device and included one in their project too. The Pillars’ Gavin Litton, said: “We have appreciated the experience that Enterprise have brought to the project especially with regards to the environment and other areas that a traditional supplier is not so interested in.”

Enterprise Tondelli supply modular brew houses from 3 hl to 96 hl for up to 12 brews per day along with packaging plants for bottles, cans and kegs, go to for more information.

Brewery boom drives investment and growth for Leeds engineering firm Brewology, the Leeds-based manufacturer of cask and keg filling and cleaning systems, is investing in new machining and production capacity to take advantage of the continuing boom in UK craft breweries. The company has invested £89,000 in the purchase of a new CNC machine and conveyors to speed up production and increase output with help from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which has provided a grant of £17,763 towards the new equipment. Further growth is now being targeted, following on from a year which saw turnover doubled from £664,000 in the year to July 2015 to £1.35 million in July 2016. Growth is being driven by small craft breweries as well as large drinks manufacturers such as Sharps, Heineken and Fullers. The new machinery will increase production capacity by 30% and is expected to create up to four new jobs at the company, which currently employs 15 full-time staff. Together with incoming orders, the investment is expect to see the business double its turnover again.

For more information go to





Crisp Maltings helps Kirkstall Brewery with its expansion A company which recently benefitted from the support of maltster Crisp Maltings to support it through its expansion is Leeds brewery Kirkstall. “We have gone for growth,” says head brewer Alex Dodds. “And found a great way of doing it –including finance and technical support from our malt suppliers.” Six years ago, a small eight barrel plant was installed in a Leeds former dairy, but Kirkstall was soon brewing to capacity and demand was outstripping supply. “It’s devastating to have to ration supplies when customers are asking for more – and to have to turn away new customers,” says Dodds, “and so plans soon got under way.”

The installation of a new [30] barrel plant has recently been completed, giving the capacity to produce 60,000 barrels (over 17 million pints) a year. “The smart move was to involve Crisp Maltings from the outset,” says Dodds. “It helped us to apply new thinking to our malt storage, logistics and processing.” Capital provided by Crisp was used to buy two pristine 20 tonne malt silos and what Dodds describes as “a beautiful new mill”. Now, rather than buying malt that’s ready-milled, he can order it whole. Specialist varieties are still delivered by the sack load. But large volume base malts can now be bulk delivered by Crisp’s blower truck straight into the new silos. This reduces price and saves space.

For more information go to

Embossing helps Beatson Clark to grow exports An Irish craft brewery has chosen eye-catching beer bottles from Beatson Clark, as the UK glass manufacturer continues to make inroads into overseas markets. Brewery 9 White Deer was started in County Cork in 2013 by Gordon Lucey and Don O’Leary to try to introduce a greater range of quality beers to the Irish market. The brewery now takes both a 500ml standard amber beer bottle from Beatson Clark for its own contract bottling line and an embossed standard beer bottle for its own range of beers. “When we started out we were using another bottle manufacturer but we missed that close attention to clients’ needs that we’ve since found with Beatson Clark,” said Gordon. Gordon said the brewery was able to consider an embossed bottle option as they already process enough bottles through their contract bottling business to make it cost-effective. The customised version of the bottle has the brewery’s white stag logo embossed on the neck and the words ‘9 White Deer’ embossed around the shoulder.

For more information go to



InnCellar Equipment

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The InnCellar Equipment Dual Purpose Cask Tap© is ideal for functions & festivals, with been able to dispense directly from the cask eliminating the need for a beer engine or any further dispense equipment. To Check Out Our Full Range Of Equipment Please contact us!!

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Marsden, the scales manufacturer, sets up online hub for brewers Brewery scales manufacturer Marsden has set up a Facebook page purely for brewers – as a place to go for weighing tips, advice, offers and appropriate weighing news. Breweries are being encouraged to share their tips and advice on weighing with likeminded peers. Marsden provides weighing advice and resources for all industries on the blog section of their website, - but this new page is specifically for brewers to find all the information they need, all in one place. You can find and join the group – Weighing Advice and Resources for Breweries - at New scales from Marsden include the Marsden MSS-I-400 Bench Scale, with a bright display for poor lighting conditions.

Find out more about Marsden and the scales available for breweries at

Four packaging concepts we have loved!

SUPPLIER viewpoint

Saxon Packaging looks at four recent innovative packaging concepts that have really excited them… 1. Creative Die-Cut Packaging

3. Clear & Bold Packaging

Packaging that takes advantage of a product’s concept and branding as a unique way of customising packaging has been on the rise. Personalised packaging instantly stands out from all the standard product packaging on shelves, propelling it into a luxury market of its own.

Consumers these days don’t have the time to read every inch of text and information on a product’s packaging before purchasing. This means their eyes are often pulled towards packaging that does the work for them; packaging that is clear and to the point.

The die-cut section on this spirits packaging below is an outline of the Province of Abruzzo in South East Italy. The roots of Sette Vie originate from a family of master distillers from Abruzzo who have been perfecting their craft since the 1800’s. Sette Vie is therefore steeped in the history and landscape of the region, which makes the die-cut feature on their product packaging the perfect way to represent their brand whilst also displaying the beverage within.

The Five Points Brewing Co beer packaging does this extremely well. Kate Lyons was the graphic artist behind The Five Points’ visual branding and the striking visual design of the boxes.

2. Fun Packaging Packaging that really stands out as being creative and fun is when the consumer’s experience has been given extra care and thought. A recent project for Adnams saw us design and manufacture a die-cut packaging solution for their 3x 2cl Gindulgence gift packaging. This bright and cheerful lithographic printed packaging is complete with a matt laminate coating to give it an extra premium look and feel. If you look closely below you can see it even includes a helpful cocktail recipe suggestion for the ‘red snapper’!



4. Luxurious Packaging Maldon Salt saw us design and manufacture packaging for their Salt Pig. It includes a one-colour lithographic print on the outside AND the inside, which adds an additional element of fun and surprise when opening. Black and white are a luxurious combination when applied to product branding and packaging, and Maldon Salt’s packaging utilises the high contrast extremely well with a spot UV varnish used on the outside of the box.

If you are looking for a bespoke, stand out packaging solution. Get in touch on 01502 513112 or email













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BEERMATS Special Rates for SIBA Members

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Call 01942722000 Email either or Jenna at SIBA Detergents, Disinfectants, Conveyor Lubrication, Water & Effluent Treatment CCL Pentasol a division of Zenith Hygiene Group Plc

Helping brewers produce beers to the highest standard Training new brewers to reach their full potential 170 breweries assisted over three decades • Regular on-site visits. Our bespoke service ensures we know both your brewery and your brewers • Technical support for day-to-day issues • On-site training • Residential training courses • New start-ups. We offer a full consultancy service from concept to completion and beyond David Smith or Rob Smith David: 07970 629552 / Rob: 07966 693097 Trusted by brewers since 1988




MEET thE SIbA tEam

NAME: Neil Walker JOB TITLE: PR & Marketing Manager CONTACT DETAILS:

NAME: John Hart JOB TITLE: Finance Director CONTACT DETAILS: Describe your role at SIBA. As Finance Director I am responsible for all financial matters including the production of accounts, budgets, forecasts and other information the Executive and the Board require. Happily, much of the detail is dealt with by Rebecca who is SIBA’s very competent Financial Controller and she is supported by a superb team in the office. I am also part of SIBA’s Senior Management Team and so I contribute to all decisions taken on running our business always trying to work in the best interests of our members. It is a rapidly changing world and nothing stands still; this makes the job all the more interesting. My role is part time and I also fulfil financial roles for some other organisations none of which are in the brewing industry. How long have your worked at SIBA and what did you do before? I first worked for SIBA in 2010 as a Non-Executive Director which, as you would expect, was fairly hands off and I became Finance Director in late 2014. Prior to that I worked for KPMG for many years most latterly as a director based in the North East of England. How do you support SIBA Members? I help to ensure their money is being properly looked after and wisely spent; hopefully this leaves them able to concentrate on running their own businesses in the knowledge SIBA is in safe hands. What’s new in your area of SIBA this year? I have been responsible for SIBA introducing its first accounting procedures manual. As well as establishing proper procedures and controls over finance, it records much of SIBA’s governance which was upgraded when our organisation was restructured in 2014. Tell us something SIBA Members might not know about what SIBA does. SIBA processes sales of around 16,000 casks or kegs each month on behalf of our members through Beerflex which, as you can imagine, results in a large number of accounting entries. If you could drink any beer anywhere in the world what would it be and where? During my time at SIBA I have come to learn some terminology so I now know I like most session beers if not too dark; Titanic’s excellent Plum Porter is my exception to that rule. As for location, I am easily pleased as most quality pubs represent attractive venues to me especially those with a roaring old fashioned open fire on a cold winter’s day! When in Burton on Trent I enjoy visiting The Coopers where the sense of tradition and history is palpable; nowhere in the world does pubs as well as Britain.

NAME: Rebecca Kirby JOB TITLE: Financial Controller CONTACT DETAILS: Describe your role at SIBA. My role as Financial Controller involves me preparing the monthly management accounts, and assisting with the annual audit and preparation of our annual accounts. I am also responsible for setting the budgets, forecasting, and also monitoring costs against budgets. How long have your worked at SIBA and what did you do before? I started working for SIBA in April last year, so have been here for just under a year. My previous two roles have been in a similar position of accounts preparation but within the Hotel Industry. I worked as part of the Finance Team at Rudding Park Hotel in Harrogate for four years, and then spent five years working for a hotel group called Principal Hayley, whose head office was also based in Harrogate. How do you support SIBA Members? I prepare the monthly management accounts in order to show our members how SIBA is doing financially.

Describe your role at SIBA. The majority of SIBA’s internal and external communications come through myself, including Social Media, Toolbox updates, the Brewing in Brief and Supplier News E-Magazines and various other ad-hoc comms. Working closely with SIBA’s Communications & Membership Director Tony Jerome I also implement SIBA’s external comms and press functions, from sending out press releases to working with trade and national media to gain coverage for member breweries and SIBA as a whole. It’s a varied role that I enjoy massively as a beer lover and writer. How long have your worked at SIBA and what did you do before? I’ve worked at SIBA for just over a year and a half and prior to that was Communications Manager at the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) for three and a half years - managing their press office and running their regional and national press communications. Prior to that I was a journalist, press officer and beer blogger. How do you support SIBA Members? I think we’ve made some big internal communication improvements over the last year including the launching of the new website, which I project managed, and the introduction of the Brewing in Brief e-magazine and new look SIBA Journal. There are still plenty more improvements to come though, primarily in finding new ways to streamline the information we share with member breweries, but ensuring the really important stuff is seen by as many members as possible. I also work with SIBA’s Regional Beer Competitions to promote the festivals and award winners in a bid to raise the profile of these important events. What’s new in your area of SIBA this year? Everything! The world of marketing communications and PR is constantly changing and a big part of what I do is to keep my eye on where the industry is headed and to make suggestions on how SIBA as an organisation can continue to grow on behalf of our members. Getting the voice of SIBA’s independent brewing members heard both within the National and Trade press is hugely important and something I’m always looking for new ways to achieve. Tell us something SIBA Members might not know about what SIBA does. I’m always surprised by the number of members who have never attended a regional meeting or beer competition, as for me these are the beating heart of what SIBA is all about. If you’re a new member who wants to engage with other brewers in the area, ask questions of SIBA’s Directors (one of whom is nearly always in attendance) or find out when the next beer competitions will be, then your regional meeting is a great place to start. If you could drink any beer anywhere in the world what would it be and where? I went on a trip to New York a couple of years ago and we stayed in Williamsburg in Brooklyn for a couple of days - which has loads of brilliant craft beer bars, far more than Manhattan. My favourite of the lot was Spuyten Duyvil, a quirky little bar with a leafy beer garden which I’d love to go back to and drink in again - anything fresh, local and full of hops.

What’s new in your area of SIBA this year? We are constantly trying to evolve the layout of the management accounts so that they are as clear and informative as possible. We have made some positive changes so far, but it is an ongoing process. Tell us something SIBA Members might not know about what SIBA does. Many people may not realise that SIBA has a very small team, who are fully occupied delivering on many different jobs. Saying that, although we are a small team it is a great team to be a part of, and I feel very fortunate to be part of it! If you could drink any beer anywhere in the world what would it be and where? I love skiing, but haven’t been for a few years, so I’d choose Liefmans Cherry Beer in a snowy French ski resort.




contacts SIBA Head Office: 01765 640441


Mike Benner Managing Director Nick Stafford Operations Director Tony Jerome Communications & Membership Director John Hart Finance Director Sara Knox Directors Assistant

Cellar Services: 01765 641099


Neil Walker PR & Marketing Manager Rachel Harriott Operations 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


Existing members wishing to contact your regional representatives can use the relevant regional e-mail addresses listed below. For individuals, just type Chairman of SIBA Buster Grant

EAST Sam Abbott Stuart Bateman Marcus Beecher


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

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

MIDLANDS Christopher Harrison-Hawkes Idle Brewery Ltd John Allcroft Grafton Brewing Co Anthony Hughes Lincoln Green Brewing Co Ltd

SOUTH EAST Tom Bott Signature Brew Ed Mason The Five Points Brewing Company Iain McIntosh Red Cat Brewing

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

SOUTH WEST Justin Hawke Moor Beer Company Ltd Stephen Heptinstall Cotleigh Brewery Kevin Newbould Flying Monk Brewey

NORTH WEST Greg Bolton Coach House Brewing Co. Dave Sweeney Bank Top Brewery Patsy Slevin Prospect Brewery

WALES & WEST Buster Grant Brecon Brewing Norman Pearce Corvedale Brewery Chris Gooch Teme Valley Brewery


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