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BEER X 2018






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As we look ahead to another exciting 12 months in beer, we have a bumper edition of the Journal for you to start the new year, crammed with interviews, insight and information to set you on the path to a fantastic 2018. So while you are no doubt taking some time this month to review your business performance in 2017 and plan for the year ahead, we have rounded up all the news and views from your industry to help inspire and inform your decisions. In this issue we feature three brewers who are leading the sector in three very different businesses. Former Little Creatures head brewer Alex Troncoso and his partner Annie Clements are carving a niche for unfiltered lager with their new venture Lost and Grounded in Bristol (see Business Profile pages 42-49), meanwhile Wild Card’s head brewer Jaega Wise spoke to us about growing the London business, which has just raised over £300K in a week via crowdfunding, as well as her thoughts on how the sector should be doing more to tackle sexism (see Meet the Brewer pages 23-29). And in a far larger operation, Innis & Gunn, their MD James Coyle tells us how his business is capitalising on its barrel-aging USP and exploiting the consumer trend for personalisation (see The Big Interview pages 32-39). Elsewhere in these pages we bring you the first of our new regular political updates, The View from Westminster, from our very own SIBA Head of Public Affairs & Communications James Calder (see page 17) who will be updating you every quarter on the key Society of Independent Brewers PO Box 136, Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4 5WW Tel: 01765 640 441 Email:

issues doing the rounds in Parliament. We also look at the latest progress with SIBA’s Four Pillars strategy outlined in 2017 by our CEO Mike Benner (see page 19). And as we look ahead to March, and BeerX, we have an exciting new venue for the biggest show of the SIBA year with a move from Sheffield to Liverpool as BeerX goes from strength to strength. In this issue we give you a taster of this year’s event programme (see BeerX Preview pages 62-71) and don’t forget to go online to for the very latest information and to book your ticket for the show. This year we are even giving a free two-day pass to all our Full Brewing and Not Yet Brewing members who want to attend so I look forward to seeing many of you there! Whatever your plans for the rest of 2018 I hope you find something in this issue to inspire you, and that the thoughts of the people and ideas from the businesses included here help you with the challenges you face within your own business. I am always on the look out for topics, debates and features for future editions and you can email me direct at caroline.nodder@ with all your news, views and ideas for the Journal at any time. Happy reading!



Editor: Caroline Nodder ( Published by: Media Alive Limited Produced on behalf of SIBA by: Media Alive Limited, 2nd Floor, The Red House, 119 Fore Street, Hertford, Hertfordshire SG14 1AX. T: 01992 505 810 Creative Director: Darren Kefford ( Studio Manager: Jon Hardy ( Printed by: Advertising Manager: Claire Rooney ( Printwize, 9 Stepfield, Witham, Managing Director: Dan Rooney ( Essex CM8 3BN

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




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2018 ISSUE 107








PAGES 40-41

PAGES 60-61

NEWS 9-15 19 20-21 72-77 93-95 97-105










All the news from SIBA HQ

The latest on SIBA’s core strategy


The acquisition of a new SIBA distribution channel


The winning beers from the latest round of SIBA competitions


42-49 51-57

This issue we focus on the South West


News and views from SIBA’s Supplier Associate Members



Get to know Jaega Wise from Wild Card

We meet James Coyle from Innis & Gunn

The new CEO of the Portman Group


The story of how Little Creature’s former head brewer Alex Troncoso launched a Bristol brewery


Advice on law, OR & marketing, digital and finance


The Can Makers outline everything you need to know about canning



The low-down on this year’s event













31 59

Mike Benner on SIBA’s focus for 2018

Buster Grant on the potential for hospitality

Our new regular political update


This issue we feature former Inapub editor Matt Eley


Brewlab’s Dr Keith Thomas on cones

Premier Systems and Brewers Select

Updates and advice from suppliers

Updates and advice from suppliers






Listing of our key sponsors

Introducing two of SIBA’s Regional Chairs




A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL I hope that the run-up to the festive season was a great success for your business and that you were able (though I suspect not!) to relax just a little over the ‘holiday’ to reflect on the year in its final days and on what 2018 might bring for our sector and for your business. In January last year we started promoting SIBA’s four pillars towards a sustainable market place for your brewery. A year later, the extreme pressures from competition at all levels and rockbottom wholesale prices for beer have, if anything, escalated. Now, more than ever before, the Society and its members must unite and focus on what we can achieve to create a sustainable environment for craft beer. I remain convinced that the four pillars; access to market, taxation, promotion and driving product quality are the key to how the Society should support your business.

efforts to communicate the need for flexible and ethical pricing to our pubco customers. We are price takers in a market dominated by large retailers and members decide if, as part of their sales mix, Beerflex works for them. The acquisition of a majority shareholding in Flying Firkin (see pages 20-21) gives SIBA a new opportunity to not only protect the existing business for members, but perhaps to build sales and new routes to market. All the proceeds of this activity are ploughed back into the trade association. Without this income, membership fees would have to increase significantly.


Intense competition and rising retailer costs are driving down wholesale prices to an all-time low. Understanding the costs of your business is essential as is ensuring that your sales mix and the prices you demand create a sustainable future. The harsh reality is that many pubs are struggling with increased costs and falling demand. The revaluation of business rates, despite the Government’s very positive decision to extend the current rate relief of £1000 for pubs with a rateable value below £100,000, is digging in; it’s affecting the prices even local freehouses are willing to pay. The arrival of micropubs and craft beer bars on the scene provides potential new outlets for brewers and many members are now benefitting significantly from their own on-site brewery tap.

SIBA has been researching the market for local beer. In the Spring we plan to launch a major brewery costs benchmarking project, so that you can begin to benchmark your own costs. What has already come out of our research, though, is that there are major opportunities to be had from café chains, restaurants and hotels. This diversification is becoming essential for many businesses and members are looking increasingly towards keg and can formats and the strength of their branding to enable them to break into these ‘new’ routes to market. SIBA’s commercial operation remains popular with many members, but the prices on offer can be challenging, despite our

On ‘Taxation’ it was very positive that our campaigning alongside other industry groups secured a freeze in beer duty in the November Budget and, with the recognition of the role pubs play in our society and communities, an extension of rate relief for pubs. In 2018 we must continue to focus on these major issues. Our new policy on the reform of Small Breweries’ Relief is a big step forward and provides a viable and attractive solution to the current system for a Government committed to job creation and growth. We will work hard to ensure that any reforms to SBR are sustainable and do not have a direct negative impact on our members.

Your membership fees and our commercial income support these essential lobbying activities. A major factor in our work to ensure the world recognises that our members lead in product quality and food safety is the SIBA Food Safety Standard. 2018 brings the next phase of audits in a programme which is subject to continuous review and improvement and is now beginning to gain the recognition it deserves with retailers (see page 15). There is much to work for in 2018 and our sector will be as dynamic and challenging as it has been for the last couple of years. We will continue to work tirelessly for your business, no matter what is thrown our way. We must stand together in ensuring SIBA is able to deliver its vision to be the voice of independent British brewing and deliver the future of British beer.






SIBA CHAIRMAN'S COLUMN Image courtesy of There’s a Beer For That.

WHY CAN’T WE SELL MORE BEER TO HOTELS, RESTAURANTS AND CAFÉS? I’ve been travelling quite a bit since taking up office as Chairman of SIBA, and that has necessitated staying overnight in a variety of hotels, and making use of a wider variety of eating houses (for want of a better phrase). The one common denominator in the vast majority of these was the lack of local beer. I’m pretty certain that I’m not alone in saying that when I travel, I want to sample the local produce wherever I am, be that food, beer or even (occasionally!) wine. Yet, in the UK, I’ve been mostly frustrated in this, as despite the best efforts of the craft beer revolution, many hotels still purchase their drinks from a single, simple one-stop shop, which is usually a national brand supplier. Recently I was in London, and despite the huge array of London based drinks available, the bar was supplied by Greene King. A few weeks back, I was in Nottingham, mere yards from the wonderful Castle Rock Brewery, but not a drop to be seen. Don’t get me wrong, both hotel bars were very pleasant, well appointed, and the beer they did serve in excellent nick - but it wasn’t local, and I find that really depressing. Compare this with Brussels (I did say I’d been travelling a lot!) - all the hotels, bars, restaurants and cafés offer a selection of Belgian beers from a variety of suppliers. The reasoning given for this in Brussels is that beer is a part of their heritage and national psyche, and they’ve been brewing for hundreds of years! Hang on, I’m sure that sounds very familiar… Back in Wales, this disconnect is reality in all too many hotel bars - even more frustrating given the efforts we’re all



going to to promote Wales as a holiday destination, and emphasise the joys of food tourism. We have amazing landscapes all over Wales, places that people want to visit. We have great breweries all over Wales, producing world-class beers. We have people who want to come to Wales and partake in both of these, yet we can’t seem to meet this demand - why not? Is it the fault of the producers, who aren’t marketing their products to the right people? Perhaps… Is the fault of the hoteliers, failing to recognise a market and exploit it? Probably… Is it a consequence of multi-venue operators taking the route of least resistance? Maybe… Is it the fault of the customers for being too British and not complaining enough and thus emphasising the demand? Possibly… Great beer writers, people like Melissa Cole, have been extolling the virtues of matching beer and food for years. I’ve been at shows and exhibitions where beer and food matches have created huge interest. I’ve been involved with ‘battles’ between beers and wine with food matching. I’ve worked with chefs to create beers to go with food, and food to go with beer. All these experiences show that the right beer is perfectly suited to go with food - the balance and breadth of flavours, the ability to cut through cloying mouthfeel and refresh the pallet, the joys of combining flavours (anyone who hasn’t tried matching a great Welsh Dark with the spectacular Celtic Promise cheese from Teifi Cheese really needs to have a go!) - all show that despite everyone’s perception, beer is often better suited than wine to go with food. In restaurants, we have chefs who take great pride in sourcing fabulous local, seasonal produce to create amazing dishes - but the bar manager can only offer a mass produced lager (if that) as a

beer pairing. Why is this? Why would a chef allow this? Ah, maybe we have an answer? Let’s get chefs to be in charge of what drinks are stocked… I think there are many threads to this : - Food tourism is a real potential benefit for both brewers and the hospitality industry – let’s have more joined up campaigning to ensure that UK hotels and restaurants really do offer the very best food and drink. - Education on all sides is an issue – let’s get more tasting and matching going on; let’s build enthusiasm based on the passion that definitely exists in brewers and chefs (neither is a profession one enters without passion!). Let’s also ensure highlight that passion as a pathway for a great career. - Many brewers complain about narrowing access to market and domination by the global brewers - yet they only look to pubs to sell their beer. Hotels, restaurants and cafés should be an obvious target. This is my resolution for 2018 - I want to see more chefs involved with choosing which drinks should be offered by the hotels and restaurants where they work. If the same stocking policies (local, fresh, seasonal, fun, etc) are applied, this will also boost local economies, and capitalise on food tourism. Hopefully, in the future, when I turn up at a British hotel, they’ll be able to proudly offer me a local beer, and then match it with a memorable dish of local food - I’ll just have to make sure I’ve booked well in advance, ‘cos if they can do this, I’ll bet they’ll be full!




Changes to SIBA’s policy on Small Breweries Relief (SBR) Following a SIBA Board meeting on 11th October 2017 some changes have been agreed to SIBA’s policy on SBR. These were unanimously approved by those present. New SIBA Policy on SBR [Brown highlighted clauses are new]: • SIBA is not supporting calls for a Treasury-led review of SBR but is committed to working with others towards achieving the enhancement of the regime. • SIBA regards the current 50% relief available to all eligible brewers up to 5,000hl as essential to British independent brewing • SIBA is supportive of increasing the upper threshold of SBR to at least the currently permitted maximum under EU law of 200,000hl to enable as many independent brewers as possible to benefit from the scheme • SIBA supports the enhancement of the SBR regime to reduce the present harmful impacts of the sudden withdrawal of SBR above 5,000hl and proposes a move to its “SIBA SBR Model” in order to achieve this without undermining the essential benefits for smaller firms that the 50% relief affords The Board considers that the new model for a revised SBR regime, “SIBA

SBR Model”, (which was circulated to members via Toolbox), would substantially alleviate the significant stresses in the present regime and go a long way towards removing the barriers to growth and merger activity that the shape of the present discount curve creates in the area above 5,000hl. Having considered and tested numerous alternatives the Policy Committee reached the view that the new model is most likely to “fit” the Principles and Objectives previously recommended and agreed by the Board. Retention of the 50% discount up to 5,000hl protects the diversity of the brewing scene at a very local level and provides the crucial protection (recognised by all the evidence) for newly established businesses and very small niche producers. It clearly does not over-compensate for the diseconomies of scale experienced at this level, nor is the discount of any significance for substantially bigger businesses. The present curve above 5,000hl is notoriously challenging, especially for those who do not have access to ample capital, or who consider merging with a similar business to give an immediate leap into scale. The new model addresses this cliff edge, smoothing the cliff and delivering a much more manageable impact. The chief effect here is to deliver “growth and opportunity for small breweries” (Principle 2), sustainability,

(Principle 1) and also fairer competition, (Principle 3). In essence, the Board’s aim has been to fairly match the actual curve of scale economy with that of the withdrawal of relief, and we believe that the new model does this.

Next Steps While opposed to a Treasury-led review, the Board has agreed to take an active posture with regards to the new policy, seeking endorsement from other stakeholders ahead of a submission to the Government. We believe that the best chance of securing reform is through establishing a joint position across the industry and this view was endorsed in comments from the Minister responsible for SBR in a Parliamentary debate held on 30th October. SIBA is confident that the estimated additional cost to Government of the new model of around £17 million will be more than offset through additional revenues due to growth and job creation and that there is no need or convincing rationale to redistribute relief from smaller to larger brewers to achieve a broadly cost-neutral solution as has been suggested by some parties.

Look out for further updates via the siba. org Toolbox, where you can also find more information on the note above.

Good news for independent brewers in Autumn Budget 2017 Mike Benner, SIBA’s Chief Executive, greeted last year’s Autumn Budget with a positive statement: “SIBA’s 850 brewery members will be delighted by the Chancellor’s announcement that he will freeze beer duty in this Budget, recognising the important role of the Great British pub. This is great news for brewers, pubs and consumers alike. "We’d now like to see the Chancellor go further and commit to a freeze in beer duty across the entire Parliament. An extension by one more year of rate relief for pubs and a move to CPI from RPI is also welcome but more action is still required. Whilst news for our sector has been positive from the Chancellor, brewers and pubs still face a tough trading period ahead with uncertainty around Brexit, and worsening growth and productivity figures. For now, though, we will raise a glass of craft brewed British beer to the Chancellor.”

Real Ale is Pub Hero: it’s Official Real ale keeps pubs open and helps them grow their trade, according to the latest Cask Report.

The 2017/18 Report showed that a great cask proposition helps attract and retain the highest spending customers. People who drink real ale spend £1,030 a year on food and drink in pubs. This is 30% more than average pub-goers and 6.5% up on two years ago. Cask ale drinkers are the most frequent users of pubs, with two in five (42%) visiting once a week or more - and they bring their friends. Highly significantly to licensees, it was also found that 90% of real ale drinkers don’t have a specific budget in mind on their trips to the pub. This suggests that there may be opportunities to attract more money into the till. Only 25% of managers, 16% of tenants and leaseholders and 14% of freehouse operators believe there is an opportunity to

increase any cask ale prices. “Licensees may be overly cautious in their attitudes to pricing,” comments Paul Nunny, who is responsible for creating the Report. “The research shows 69% of real ale drinkers to be in the more affluent ABC1 demographic. It also shows that cask ale drinkers will pay up to 20% more for a quality product.” He points out that craft keg has in any case set a precedent. “Beer drinkers are frequently paying more than 50p extra for a pint of craft keg beer.”


CASK REPORT 2017/2018

Download the full Cask Report 2017/18 from





Winners of 2017 Scottish Beer Awards announced

The best beers brewed in Scotland have been revealed following the 2nd annual Scottish Beer Awards, sponsored by ALDI and held in Edinburgh. The top award of the night, Scottish Brewery of the Year, was presented to Brewdog after the judges praised them for a monumental year of business. However, it was the news of winners in 11 coveted taste categories which were most eagerly anticipated. With 266 beers tasted blind by one of the largest and most experienced judging panels in the history of beer competitions in the UK, the results have become a highly respected measure of beer taste and quality. Tempest Brewing Co from Tweedbank in the Scottish Borders stormed the taste categories again this year claiming 5 medals. Three Gold medals in the Amplified, Lager and IPA categories and silver medal positions in Best Amplified Beer and Best IPA. Innis & Gunn scored both Gold and Silver medal positions in Best Barrel Aged Beer for I & G Rum Finish and I & G Original respectively. They also collected awards in the business categories winning Excellence in Marketing and Exporter of the Year. Other gold winners included newcomer The Ferry Brewery for Ferry Stout, Fallen Brewing for Grapevine in the popular Pale Ale category and Drygate for their mango infused beer, Disco Forklift.

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

What types of support are available? The Benevolent is the trade charity that provides help and support to current and former employees of the drinks industry and their families. Since 1886, the charity has been supporting colleagues of the UK drinks industry facing a variety of difficult circumstances, including serious illness, issues with depression or stress, with debt or any family crisis such as a seriously ill partner or child.

Who is eligible for support?

The Benevolent helps anyone who works

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

Cask Ale Week:

A few ideas to get you started:

“If you produce cask beer, getting involved with the national celebration should be a no-brainer,” says Paul Nunny of Cask Ale Week. “Get the dates in your diary and start planning now!”


20-30 Sep 2018


• Collaborative brew •Competition for customers to win a firkin

Mental Health

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

To find out more about The Benevolent’s work, visit, call 0800 915 4610 or email support@

Save the date now for CASK ALE WEEK 2018.

• Tap takeover • Brewery open day, tour and tasting • Beer festival • Beer and food matching event • Competitions e.g. 'Name a Beer'

Download the logo from the Cask Ale Week website at and if you decide to involve your brewery, make sure to get in touch with and let her know your plans.






IGC is your nationwide high-quality CO2 provider of choice for beers and cider.

Beer & Cider carbonation The popularity of beer and cider demands quality. A reliable and quality supply of CO2 is therefore crucial to your business, whether you operate within the manufacturing industry, or if you own a bar or restaurant. IGC strive to ensure that your business continues to operate as efficiently as possible, so can provide you with the necessary CO2 storage and gas supply to aid carbonation & soft drinks & cider production.

Our Comprehensive Service Guide • Sales centre of pressure vessels • Vessel capacities from 120ltr up to2500 tons • New and reconditioned pressure vessels • Engineering and servicing undertaken • Mixed Gas filling • Contractual advice and negotiations • Pressure system safety regulations 2000 (from HSE)

A selection of Breweries using IGC Storage vessel

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BeerX UK 2018 free for Full & 'Not Yet Brewing' Members Additional delegate tickets for other brewery staff will cost just £30 for a '2 day' delegate ticket and can also be bought from

This year all SIBA Full Brewing Members and 'Not Yet Brewing' Members will receive one complimentary '2 day' delegate ticket for BeerX UK 2018, 14th & 15th March, Exhibition Centre, Liverpool.

Supplier Associate members who are exhibiting at BeerX UK will receive 4 FREE Delegate Tickets as part of their exhibition stand package. Additional tickets can be purchased.

Please visit to order your e-ticket today. For more on BeerX see pages 62-71 in this magazine

Members' Survey Launched with £25 discount for completion SIBA's Annual Members' Survey has launched, with a £25 membership subscription discount for those that complete the survey in full, and submit their beer production figures for 2017 no later than 28th February 2018 The survey is not only SIBA's way of ensuring that our direction and activity are closely aligned to the values of our member brewers, but also acts as an important research tool, allowing us to better represent our independent craft brewing members in the media and wider beer world. The research will once again be undertaken by Professor Ignazio Cabras of York University, with findings presented at the launch of the Beer Report at BeerX in March 2018.

Go to and log in to Toolbox to complete the survey.

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

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

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

For more information contact Neil Walker at

Selling your beers to large multiple retailers? Get Groceries Code Smart. The Groceries Code Adjudicator is the UK’s first independent adjudicator to oversee the relationship between supermarkets and their suppliers. It ensures that large supermarkets treat their direct suppliers lawfully and fairly, investigates complaints and arbitrates in disputes. If you sell your beers to large multiples directly, then familiarising yourself with the code could help you, and your business. Examples of unfair practice caught by the adjudicators office have saved suppliers thousands of pounds. The office and the code covers issues relating to payment and invoicing, over-ordering, promotions, wastage and marketing.

For more information go to:





Update to the SIBA FSQ (Food Safety & Quality Standard):

the FSQ (Edition II) The SIBA FSQ is continuously being reviewed by a SIBA-collated group of professionals and recently there have been some changes made which form the new FSQ (Edition II). Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions about the changes but do get in touch via the details at the bottom of the article if you need any further advice:

What and why have changes been made to the SIBA FSQ? SIBA is not adding to the burden of red tape we all have to experience. Health & Safety law has always applied to all businesses which employ people. SIBA member businesses have always had legal obligations with which they need to comply. Introducing these elements now may remind old established businesses or raise new businesses’ awareness of these long-standing obligations. Health & Safety elements have been introduced, with effect from September 1st, 2017. From this day it is now called the SIBA FSQ (Edition II).

I thought Health and Safety legislation only applied to businesses employing five or more employees. There is a distinction between businesses employing fewer than five people and those employing five or more people. If you employ fewer than five, then you are obliged to have in place practices which make your place of business safe for your employees to work. If you employ five or more people, you have to make your place of business safe for your employees to work AND you have to record in writing the process by which you have complied with the law.

If I have fewer than five people employed, how do I go about making my place of work safe for all? Obviously, to be sure of every detail you need to visit the HSE website and trawl through all the documentation. You can employ specialist consultants to help you create and maintain good practices. This, however, you may consider to be too burdensome for you. SIBA has

created a modest Tool to help you begin to understand what is involved - a BASIC risk assessment Tool. The Tool is free of charge to SIBA member businesses. Please email for a copy. Remember, it is a modest Tool. Do not rely on it.

If I have five or more people employed, how do I go about making my place of work safe for all AND create evidence that I have complied with the law? To be sure of every detail you need to visit the HSE website and trawl through all the documentation. You can employ specialist consultants to help you create and maintain good practices. Perhaps your insurance agent can assist with Health and Safety issues. You will have to conduct risk assessments regularly and create policies and processes – all in writing to prove to the authorities (e.g. Health and Safety Executive) that you have done it before an accident happens. We sincerely hope such accidents do not happen.

This appears to be quite onerous for businesses with five employees or more, how can SIBA help? SIBA has created a Tool to help you begin to understand what is involved. The Tool is only £50 to SIBA member businesses and may be money well spent to set you on your way. Please email riponoffice@ for a sample to see if the Tool is helpful to your business. It is called: the “H&S Detailed Risk Assessments” Tool. Remember, it is a Tool, not a solution. Do not rely on it, but it may prove invaluable one day.

What are the specific issues on which SIBA has determined to be the most important for member businesses to focus? All member businesses have to comply with the legal requirements for providing and operating a safe working environment for all. As above, the minimum requirement is to provide a safe working environment in the actual practices of the member business and those with five or more employees must provide competent written evidence of compliance.


Your enrolment in the FSQ facilitates the creation and maintenance of good and safe practices and, if necessary, written evidence processes of the priority risks common to the brewing industry. These priority risks include: 1. Policy Statement, Poster, Accident Book 2. First Aid 3. Fire Safety 4. Manual Handling 5. Hazardous Substances 6. Working at Heights 7. Transport 8. Confined Spaces

What do I need to do now? Please think about what you might need to explore, bearing in mind the number of people your business employs. You must consider the risks of an accident happening and what you have done to make your place of work safe. The Auditing process of the FSQ (Edition II), which is conducted on a two-year cycle, will identify and help you resolve matters requiring attention, but before and after the Audit it will not guarantee your legal compliance. Unfortunately, nothing can take the responsibility away from the owner or manager of a business. Please look at the two SIBA Tools: the “BASIC Risk Assessments Tool” (free of charge) and the “H&S Detailed Risk Assessments Tool” (£50, plus VAT). One or the other may help you. Please consider employing professionally qualified advisors or consultants. Perhaps contact your insurance provider for advice.

For more information go to the Toolbox section of or contact Rachel Harriott in the SIBA Office on 01765 640441 or email her on



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A View from Westminster (and beyond)

At the last SIBA members survey, brewers said one of the things they value most is knowing their voices are being heard by politicians in Westminster, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Brussels and everywhere in between. That feedback; YOUR feedback, resulted in my appointment in the SIBA team to do just that. I have probably got the best job in the world; allowing me to fuse my passions for politics and great beer together. This column will be my first and become a regular feature in the Journal. I will be keeping you abreast of what we have been doing on your behalf in the corridors of power, supporting the four pillars of taxation, access to market, product excellence and promotion.

Autumn Budget If you had asked me even one week before the Autumn Budget to predict what the Chancellor was to do for the beer and pubs sector I’d have told you that he was going to do precisely nowt for us. Zip. Bugger all. The fact that we had a big surprise, and we were all proved (happily!) wrong on the day by the freeze in beer duty and the extension of rate relief for pubs is down to a few factors. One, the collective work of SIBA, CAMRA, BBPA and the ALMR. Together, we form the ‘One Voice’ group for beer and pubs. We clearly don’t agree on everything, but where we do, the collective voice of the sector has a much more powerful punch than if we act alone, or against each other. We asked for at least a freeze in duty, and action on business rates, and that’s what we got. Secondly, ahead of the Budget SIBA met with Treasury and DEFRA Ministers and their civil servants to ensure that they

knew how important taking action was. I’m happy to report we’re now developing a strong working relationship with this team of people and their colleagues across Government departments in HMRC and BEIS, too. They’ve all told us that Beer and Pubs is ‘in the DNA’ of Britain and that we are a ‘sunrise’, not a ‘sunset’ sector. From my perspective as a newbie joining the industry that was very reassuring to hear indeed. But by far the biggest difference in the Budget result was down to brewers and responsible drinkers who emailed, called, tweeted, and visited their local MPs to turn up the volume on the debate. For now, we raise a glass - until the next Budget...

Holyrood Tour & Cardiff Group Working with CAMRA, SIBA recently visited Stewart Brewery on the outskirts of Edinburgh with a delegation of a dozen Members of the Scottish Parliament. We were led by Green MSP Patrick Harvie, Chair of the Scottish Parliament Beer Group. A big thankyou to Steve Stewart and his team for being such excellent hosts on the evening and to Patrick for helping organise. Leaving the brewery, we had 12 enthusiastic supporters of the sector knowing the economic contribution brewing makes to the local area. They also learned about the process of making beer and of course, tried a few samples. MSPs were also keen to start up a guest beer on the bars of Holyrood, like they have in Westminster. If you want to be the first guest beer in the Scottish Parliament, then email your MSP! The Scottish group is a great example of cross party working, and is now being emulated across the country. A new All-Party Group is being formed in Cardiff by Plaid Cymru AM Simon Thomas. More detail on that to come in the next Journal.



Brexit As the negotiations progress, it is incredibly important that the beer and pubs sector speaks up. I’ve been to Brussels twice already to speak with MEPs about the impact of Brexit on our sector. We’ve also spoken with DexEU – the Department for Exiting the European Union on how we can work together and what we would like to see. If you are a brewery that exports a lot to European countries or you feel your business will be harmed by Brexit, then I’d love to hear from you. On the reverse, if you think Brexit will help you by opening up opportunities to new export markets, then I’d love to hear from you on that, too.

How Brewers can help Victories at the Budget and building reputable political links are only possible because of the work you do as brewers. So, three things to consider;

1. If you have a working relationship with your local politician, or would like one, then please tell me! We are building maps of where our support lies so we are better able to campaign in the future on the issues that matter to you. 2. Invite your MP to your brewery. They

love to hear about the number of jobs you have created, the capital you have invested and the products that you make.

3. Consider getting more active in SIBA’s new regional meetings and attend BeerX in Liverpool. James Calder is Head of Public Affairs and Communications at SIBA. He’s an avid homebrewer with a background in lobbying on tax legislation in the accountancy world. He lives in London. He tweets @jmcalder101 and can be emailed at



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SIBA’s ‘Four Pillars of Activity’ Update Here is an update following the SIBA Board Meeting in October. For more regular updates please read the Toolbox alerts, emails and the weekly e-newsletter Brewing in Brief. Presentations are also made by senior managers at Regional Meetings.

Access to Market • Progress towards establishing policy positions, informing campaign activity and providing members with useful insight for business based on research evidence is progressing to plan • CGA Strategy have submitted a draft report on access to market which is being considered by the Policy Committee. The next steps are to: - Review and disseminate the findings - Identify any further gaps for research - Consider which aspects are useful for SIBA policy development - Consider which aspects help inform the proposed SIBA Code of Practice • Use the findings to develop our member insight service • We are working on an MRO impact project and reviewing Beerflex – this project is almost finalised • We have given evidence in the Pub Code Adjudicator’s review of the adjudicator’s progress and role

Taxation This pillar focuses on excise duty on beer and the defence and enhancement of Small Breweries’ Relief.

Small Brewers’ Relief • The Centre for Economic and Business (CEBR) report commissioned by SIBA to consider the future of SBR has been completed. The report was commissioned to help inform SIBA’s review of policy • SIBA’s Policy Committee has reviewed, tested and devised a new SBR model as instructed by the Board and the model was presented to this meeting • The Policy Committee’s recommendation for a new SIBA policy, based around ‘the new model was unanimously agreed by the Board members present • The Board have also agreed that the new SBR policy should be actively pursued and should be communicated internally and externally

• The Small Brewers Duty Reform Coalition has said that it intends to make a submission to the Treasury calling for reform. SIBA has updated members, including members of the Coalition who are also SIBA members, calling for restraint to give the process of discussions towards a joint industry position a chance to work • SIBA will continue to try and work with other interested parties in a collaborative way on the future of SBR • The new model and policy on SBR has been circulated to members via the Toolbox.

Excise Duty • Our objectives and activities on campaigning for at least a freeze in beer duty in the November budget are aligned with partners in the One Voice alliance and we are focusing on engaging SIBA members with the issue •W  e are also focusing on business rates for pubs, calling for a root and branch review and an immediate interim increase of relief from £1000 to £5000 •S  IBA’s budget submission is broadly consistent with our submission to the spring budget, calling for at least a freeze in beer duty, highlighting the damage any increase is likely to do to the industry as well as revenues, reject calls for equivalence (being pushed by the WSTA), call for a review of cider duty and support the retention of SBR while recognising the positives of enhancement over 5,000hl •M  embers have been asked to campaign in support of our Budget calls for action.

Promote members’ beers focusing on the ‘Assured Independent British Craft Brewer’ campaign • Media Coverage - We have received some very positive and high-profile Media Coverage in the last few months for this campaign. National coverage has included excellent pieces in the Guardian & Independent, trade coverage in the MA, Imbibe and SLTN and additional pieces in


Campaign and Marketing Week. • SIBA Beer Award artwork - We have now produced new artwork for our beer award winners that incorporates the Assured logo - this artwork is now available with guidance, for all winners to use • ’Assured’ marketing material – We are creating ‘Assured’ marketing material for members to use in pubs and other hospitality markets • Pizza & Pasta Show – SIBA promoted the ‘Assured’ campaign to food & drink buyers at this show where we hosted a number of talks and gave away samples of our members’ beers • Brewery Engagement - We are seeing more breweries using the seal in their sales and marketing. We are starting to build up a file of the different ways breweries are using the logo • CAMRA - Nottingham CAMRA used the Assured logo on our members casks to help differentiate them from non-member beers. Working with CAMRA will help increase consumer recognition of the ‘Assured’ logo.

Product Excellence • The deadline for enrolment in the FSQ for all Beerflex members passed on 31st August •A  s we approach the next strategic planning cycle, we aim to keep the enrolment of all members into the FSQ (from 2020) as easy and inexpensive as possible. There will be a focus on communicating to members the value of exhibiting compliance to customers •W  e will additionally consider the future development of the FSQ into an accreditation scheme, an objective which would require time and investment •W  e have partnered with the IBD to deliver a training programme on the FSQ with a discount for SIBA members. It was soft-launched at BeerX and is now being refined for FSQ ‘2’ •T  he brewing apprenticeship standard project is progressing well •T  he Executive is considering, perhaps working with others, how we can help advise members of forthcoming issues related to food safety.




SIBA’s purchase of a majority shareholding in Flying Firkin Distribution: your questions answered The Society of independent Brewers (SIBA) has purchased a majority shareholding in Flying Firkin Distribution Ltd (FFD) as part of its commercial strategy to develop routes to market opportunities for its 850 craft brewery members. In recent times the national distribution network of the entire UK beer industry has been rationalised and restructured and SIBA has been seeking opportunities to expand routes to market beyond the direct delivery element of SIBA BeerFlex. Mike Benner, SIBA Chief Executive, said: “This purchase creates an exciting opportunity for SIBA to progress its commercial objectives to fulfil local to national demand for craft beer and firmly establish SIBA as the category leader in British craft-brewed beer. We are committed to delivering the future of British beer by creating a sustainable marketplace for professional brewing businesses and our commercial plans reflect this vision.” A number of questions and issues have been raised by members following the above announcement and the purpose of this section is to provide answers to all SIBA members in an open and transparent way.

Who is Flying Firkin Distribution Ltd? FFD has been a specialist distributor of craft cask ale for over 25 years, based in Colne, Lancashire and has been instrumental in creating and sustaining profitable sales channels for hundreds of British independent craft breweries to the on-trade throughout the UK. Flying Firkin has always operated under the same ownership and operating personnel. FFD’s Managing Director, Nina Bates, has run the business and will remain as both a shareholder (25%) and MD, bringing her wealth of experience to the SIBA Commercial team. FFD is well-known to most SIBA members, which make up the majority of supplying brewers, selling over £1m of craft brewed beer per year via FFD. FFD has assisted with SIBA operations on several occasions over the years, including the provision of the Beerflex Beer Festival service to Ei Group. FFD has gained an enviable reputation for cask ale distribution and has provided a service to a large number of SIBA members enabling their beer to be enjoyed outside their own trading areas. Nina leads a team of seven staff and six delivery vehicles. The operation is well organised in every detail – conscientiousness and integrity are bywords of the company.



Flying Firkin was responsible for coordinating the logistics of the original SIBA Access to Market Scheme, the forerunner to the Direct Delivery Scheme (now Beerflex DDS), which proved to the pub company involved that centralised distribution struggled with small volume lines and encouraged the pub company to allow SIBA Brewers supervised, limited direct delivery access - hence the DDS/Beerflex scheme was launched.

Why has SIBA taken this step? Within our ‘Four Pillars’ strategy SIBA has committed to improving market access for assured independent British craft breweries and to help ensure that the smallest brewery is able to grow their businesses via access to sales opportunities to all markets and the means by which deliveries can be made. Distribution networks in the UK are experiencing serious commercial pressures in a competitive beer market in wholesale and retail sectors. SIBA needs to take action to protect existing business for SIBA brewers and to be minded to prepare for difficulties in developing a favourable commercial climate to enable growth of its members. As part of its commercial strategy to develop routes to market opportunities for our 850 craft brewery members, we are complementing the Direct Delivery Scheme (Beerflex DDS) and the SIBA Stockholding and Delivery Centre (HDC) with a traditional wholesaling operation under the direct control of SIBA Commercial Services Ltd. SIBA’s success with the Direct Delivery Scheme (Beerflex DDS) has provided access to a foreclosed market for hundreds of SIBA brewers and contributed to a vibrant local beer market. In recent years our commercial activities have expanded to help create new routes to market for members via the HDC to dovetail supplies into central distribution networks for domestic and export markets. It's part of the step change SIBA Commercial should take in leadership of supply of craft beer for its members and we think it will be a great fit and addition to the SIBA family!

Is FFD a successful business? FFD is a well-run cash generative business, which has operated successfully for many years, providing a route to market for members’ cask ales mainly via its featured ales programmes and festival services. The management has recognised that in order to grow in a very difficult trading environment, with a recent steady decline in sales, a sales resource is required urgently. This would have represented a significant

step for the business. It was this requirement which led to the approach to SIBA in the hope that a partnership would create a stronger more sustainable business bringing the benefit of SIBA’s existing commercial team and the distribution capability of FFD together as one.

How does the purchase fit with SIBA’s vision and strategy? SIBA’s vision to deliver the future of British beer and become the voice of British brewing is bold and far-reaching. It directs our activities as a trade association and the activities of our commercial arm, SIBA Commercial Services Ltd. SIBA Commercial Services Ltd is the wholly owned subsidiary and as such all proceeds are injected back for the benefit of the Society. Our Four Pillars strategy adopted earlier this year focuses all our activities up to 2020 on access to market, taxation, promotion of members’ beers and product excellence. The purchase of FFD is directly related to market access and aligned with the promotion of our members’ beers and product quality.

What is the rationale for the purchase? Wholesale prices of beer, particularly cask ale, are being reduced to an all time low. Wholesalers are now focussing on higher volume, mainstream brands. If this volatile small brewery network collapses, national distribution of ‘any beer to anywhere’ will be jeopardised. SIBA needs to maintain good relations with all wholesalers (or as far as possible) to be ready to offer help to maintain the long-term future of this valuable service. Central distribution across the industry is also volatile, best illustrated by the withdrawal of Carlsberg UK. Pubcos using central distribution are increasingly sensitive to managing stock with slower throughputs. SIBA member breweries are likely to discover it harder to gain access to this distribution route without managing their own stock. SIBA has the IT facilities and experience to assist. Brands with lower throughputs require smaller scale ‘wheels’ to move beer about the country. The SIBA HDC concept will be enhanced by direct control of a distribution company to bring to the HDC lower volume products at a viable cost. The HDC must differentiate itself from usual collation services, which require minimum throughput, excluding very small breweries. Additionally and significantly, exports through SIBA initiatives have never materialised due to a lack of access to a small-scale distribution network.

Isn’t this just a money-maker for SIBA? No. The proceeds of SIBA Commercial Services are injected back into the Society which helps keep down the cost



Mike Benner, SIBA Chief Executive of membership. The income from our commercial activities is important in enabling us to function as a trade association, but equally, it provides benefits to hundreds of members. Around £11,000 of SIBA’s Beerflex profit comes via FFD as suppliers to EI Group beer festivals. The purchase helps to protect this important income. Of much more importance is the fact that over £1m of member sales are generated via FFD and the primary reason for the purchase was to protect and develop this access for members.

Isn’t this purchase an example of SIBA competing with its own members? The SIBA Executive, as the Board of SIBA Commercial Services Ltd, is very sensitive to this area of concern and considers it with each proposal from the senior management. Our commitment to building improved market access does mean that we have to push the boundaries to enable members who choose to do so to benefit from the opportunities which SIBA can bring as an effective and trusted operator with our retailer customers. Retailers are increasingly looking for national solutions for local beers, for craft beer category management and a one-stop shop for craft beer. Like other operators we have to meet the demands of the market, while also balancing the needs and expectations of our members. This can be a challenge. Since SIBA is not the only operator in this market place it is important that we investigate and build opportunities as they arise and this may mean taking a much more active role in building new business in a changing marketplace.

Are there any conflicts of interest and how have these been managed? The initial approach from FFD was to our long-serving Operations Director Nick Stafford. Nick is an Executive Director of SIBA. Nick has known Nina, like many brewers, for many years. Two members of Nick’s family were also shareholders in FFD, alongside Nina. Nick declared this conflict of interest at the beginning of the process. It was dealt with appropriately by the SIBA Executive throughout consideration of the proposal and the resulting due diligence. The process was managed by Francis Patton, Chairman of the Executive and by John Hart, Finance Director, with the Chief Executive, Mike Benner, kept informed at every stage. Nick played a minor role in the process, contributing commercial forecasts and information as required.

Why were members of SIBA not consulted? I’m sure most members will appreciate that it is not practical for the Executive or the Board to consult with members on every activity and the Executive is in place to make decisions as the Board of SIBA Commercial Services Ltd, within its authority set out in the Society’s rules and within our strategy. On a wider governance point, the Board of Directors can make changes to SIBA’s rules and policies at any time. The Board consists mainly of elected directors from each region. It is not required for the Board to make proposals for change via motions at AGM or consult the whole membership, although it may choose to do so. This enables the Board to operate the Society effectively, ensuring it can deal with issues practically and respond in a timely manner. In the case of this purchase, the matter was not referred to the whole SIBA Board, since it was a relatively minor transaction for SIBA Commercial Services, particularly in terms of the financial impact and risk. The Executive acted appropriately within its powers and the vendors demanded absolute confidentiality in order for discussions to proceed. The Members’ Handbook, which you will find on the SIBA Toolbox, contains all the Society’s Rules and Articles of Association.

What did the purchase cost? The costs to SIBA Commercial Services Ltd are confidential, but were limited to the net asset value. Other than legal costs and minor consultancy fees, there were no other costs to SIBA. The total cost represents around 6% of SIBA’s total reserves. The purchase has a relatively minor impact on SIBA’s finances given the benefits to members and the potential for growth.

What are the financial risks to SIBA? It is a pre-condition of the purchase that SIBA is not obliged to any financial commitment beyond the initial purchase price.

What are the future plans for FFD as part of SIBA? Initially FFD will run exactly as it did before the purchase. The terms and conditions, approach to pricing, etc will remain unchanged during a period to enable the businesses to be aligned. The performance will be reviewed regularly by the SIBA Executive and any changes notified to members. By purchasing FFD, SIBA protects member sales and protects a small SIBA margin, but it also provides a wholesale arm allowing us to develop existing beer festival business, potentially grow member sales, enter new


markets for SIBA and its members (such as hospitality and export) and start to bring the HDC concept to life. The forecasts carried out during our due diligence suggest that trading will be profitable in year 1, growing further in year 2 and beyond. A detailed projection analysis has been carried out by the Executive. We will build the business within our existing plans around exports, a multi-format approach including a craft keg range and beer festivals. It is important to remember that over a £1m of SIBA member business goes through FFD, so protecting this is a priority for the business going forwards. Beyond this, we aim to grow the sales of the breweries currently supplying FFD and a business plan is in place to enable this.

FFD do not use chilled warehousing. Are there plans to introduce this? There are no plans to introduce this service at present, as the warehouse is partially underground with natural temperature control and proven successful operation, but it will be considered as an investment in the future.

Will all brewers supplying FFD now need to be enrolled in the SIBA Food Safety Certificate programme? As part of our Four Pillars plans and consistent with all Beerflex activity, all brewers supplying beer to FFD will have to be enrolled in the SIBA FSQ or hold another approved level of certification by December 31st 2019. As with the introduction of FSQ to Beerflex (of which FFD is now part), a 24 month period for suppliers to enrol in the SIBA FSQ is considered to be fair and reasonable. For non-SIBA members, who are still able to supply FFD, we will require an acceptable alternative to FSQ by December 31st 2019 or that the brewing business joins SIBA and enrols in the FSQ by December 31st 2019.

What if I have other questions? Contact Nick Stafford, Operations Director, for questions on the commercial or operational aspects or Mike Benner, Chief Executive, on other aspects. 07971 591224; - 07927 558425. This is a ‘living’ document and further updated versions will be issued as required, watch out for those via Toolbox.







BREWER'S CV: Jaega Wise, Head Brewer, Wild Card Brewery, London @carmelkingphoto

The London brewing scene has emerged over the last five years as a major force behind the advancement of the sector, and is now home to some of the most recognised brands in the market. Jaega Wise joined the scene in London’s Olympic year, 2012, when Wild Card first emerged as ‘cuckoo brewers’ – using other people’s brewing equipment initially before they raised enough money to buy their own. The situation now is very different, with Wild Card’s booming popularity recently helping the brewery raise £300K in just over a week through crowdfunding, to invest in expansion to a new site. The SIBA Journal’s Editor Caroline Nodder spoke to Jaega about her own path into brewing and also her recent comments about tackling sexism in the beer industry, which sparked something of a Twitter storm…


2006 – 2010 – Degree, Chemic al Engineering, Loughborough Uni versity 2006 – 2010 – Homebrewer (while at University) 2009 – 2010 – Laboratory tec hnician (as part of degree), Water Division, General Electric 2010 – 2012 – Various jobs in chemical companies, London 2012 – 2013 – ‘Cuckoo brewer ’, with Wild Card brewing at variou s sites in London 2013 – present – Brewer the n Head Brewer, Wild Card Brewery, London





Having agreed to interview Jaega Wise in a week or so’s time, I settled in to do a bit of research beforehand and found my job made somewhat easier than usual. Where some brewers remain very much below the radar, a quick Google and it emerged that Jaega had hit the national headlines that very week following comments she had made on the inherent sexism in some beer branding. This had sparked something of a debate on social media – including some pretty nasty stuff thrown at her by the inevitable online trolls – and raised a serious issue about attitudes to women within the industry and whether beer packaging that perpetuates sexism should be banned. Jaega’s profile was soaring, and I was intrigued to learn more about her story. I caught up with her the following week on a freezing December morning in the brewery yard, and she told me her interest in beer began at university in Loughborough in 2006 where, as a compliment to her chemical engineering studies, she became a keen homebrewer. She explains: “I come from a chemical engineering background. So I was doing a chemical engineering degree at the same time as I was home brewing, and then I went off and worked in various engineering and technical roles.” While it may have been a natural progression from her degree, Jaega did not take to a full time career in these particular technical fields, and after trying a few roles within water treatment and chemical manufacture she saw an opportunity to make her hobby a full time job. “The recession happened, and I was hating my job, so I quit, and at that time a couple of friends of mine were starting up the brewery so I jumped on board,” she adds. “We started out as cuckoo brewers. We didn’t have the money to get our own brewery so we were using other people’s equipment for about a year and a half. Then we got the keys for our own site, which is on Ravenswood Industrial Estate in Walthamstow, in December 2013. And it all kicked off in a big way from there!” In brewing, her technical background could be put to good use in a sector she loved and she was hooked. Learning all she could from the head brewers at the breweries she was borrowing equipment from as a cuckoo brewer, Jaega says she supplemented this with some more formal courses but found the on-the-job experience most valuable. “I have taken every opportunity to take every course I can take,” she tells me. “But I can’t underestimate how important my background is, that I am a technically trained chemical engineer. It is quite different brewing small scale to doing it on a larger scale and I spent a lot of time at the start learning every day on the job.” It turned out that 2012 was the start of a boom in small breweries launching into the London market, so what had begun as an extension to the home brewing Jaega loved was in fact a timely launch into a market with huge potential. “When we first started in 2012, the boom hadn’t really kicked off, so when we were considering the set-up of the brewery we didn’t consider what the market was doing, this was just something we enjoyed and wanted to do,” says Jaega. “But we have come along at a time of boom, with 2013 and 2014 being a major time of growth in the number of breweries, and it has been fascinating to watch it all develop.” Indeed since its inception in 2012, the brewery has developed a core range that includes a lager, a blonde, an IPA, a ruby red and a porter, but in 2017 and going in to 2018 Jaega’s team is switching it up a bit with some more unusual brews. “I’ve been at Wild Card since the start and our focus is to make as exciting a range of beers as we can,” she adds. “We are not restrained by style or structure. In our core range we make everything from the palest of lagers to the richest of chocolate porters. I want to make beers that are new, exciting and fresh, to make fresh beers using new ingredients and using the experiences of the team to create some beers people have never tried before.

Continued on page 27








“People can still buy our core range but we have been doing some more exciting beers as well. We have literally just done a Christmas beer, we have done a wild hop IPA, we did a rhubarb pale ale for International Women’s Day, and we have loads of specials in the pipeline. So we are not constrained in any way, by anything. We use our own pool of experience to innovate – so for our Christmas beer we used something called sorrel which is a Caribbean drink made from hibiscus which is something completely new and different from the usual Christmas beers. I am half Trinidadian, so we are trying to pull on our own personal experience to make our beers unique.” Having worked through the formative years of the London brewing resurgence, I ask Jaega what change she has seen in the local market, and more widely across the UK. “It has been great to see all the different breweries coming into the market, and from a consumer perspective it is great to be able to go to restaurants and places that would never in the past have sold any kind of beer, and definitely not craft beer, and see the sheer availability of some of the smaller breweries’ beers. I am aware that is quite apparent in London and there is still work to be done in other parts of the country, and more work to be done in London itself of course, but in terms of availability to the consumer it is absolutely incredible to see.” She has also noticed a change in the market in terms of the workforce itself. She adds: “I have seen so much growth in terms of expertise coming through. You see a whole range of people now getting involved in the brewing industry from a whole variety of backgrounds – from a technically trained background, a home brewing background, to people who have been taught on the job – and the more people you get from different backgrounds coming into the industry, the more diversity there is, I think will mean you see a higher quality of beer. Just from the sharing of knowledge and ideas and also there is a much bigger pool for us to choose from when we are hiring.” But although this diversity is growing, there is still work to be done in the area of equality. I refer back to the recent Twitter storm caused by Jaega’s comments on tackling sexism in beer. “I suggested three things I think we as an industry could implement within the next year,” says Jaega, explaining how the issue was first raised. “These are by no means the only things we could be doing, but I was talking about having meaningful change quickly. The first one was to include more questions on diversity in the annual SIBA members survey, the second one was to introduce a sort of brewers’ code of conduct like the US Brewers Association has just done, and the third thing was to ban all sexist branding on beers entering SIBA and CAMRA competitions.”

Continued on page 29




















She has been pleased with the formal response from the main industry bodies on the issue since, although says she will reserve judgement until this turns to action. “The brewing industry, we ourselves are very slow to change. You hear lots of talk in the press and from bloggers about sexism, but having been in the industry myself for five years there has been very little meaningful change. There have been official statements from SIBA, CAMRA and the Portman Group about diversity and sexism within the beer industry and they have all essentially promised change. From what I have seen the response has been very positive, however, talk is cheap and I want to see implementation.” Of the response to her comments on Twitter, she remains circumspect. “I got a fair amount of pretty vile abuse online, lots of sexual-related abuse. But I am a big girl and I can take it. I don’t take it personally. I watched it all unfold on Twitter, I was tagged in every comment both good and bad, but I had said what I had to say so I was not drawn into having an argument on Twitter with someone who is trying to essentially sexually harass me. I don’t need that in my life!” There is certainly a lot to concentrate on internally within Wild Card for 2018, as the brewery looks to move from its original site to a new larger site down the road next to Walthamstow wetlands, across the river from Beavertown and Pressure Drop, making it a new local circuit for beer lovers. The move will increase capacity from 8,000hl a week to 20,000hl.

With Wild Card now firmly established and heading for 20,000hl capacity, I ask about Jaega’s thoughts on the recent calls for reform of the Small Breweries Relief (SBR) system of preferential tax for small brewers.

She says SBR should not be underestimated as a major factor in enabling brewers like her to compete. “You would not have had the boom you have had in UK brewing if it had not been for SBR and to get rid of it would be madness,” she adds. “It would choke the industry. I understand you would want reform if there was potential to make more money but to be clear it is the only reason brewers like us can compete. Just look at me personally for example. It takes seven or eight hours to make a batch of beer and I can make 1,000 litres at a time. If someone else can make 20,000 litres at a time there is no way I could I HAVE BEEN LUCKY ENOUGH compete without SBR. If you choose to become that big, and compete with OVER THE LAST YEAR TO the regionals, then you have to bear the TRAVEL TO MUNICH, JAPAN consequences. I am competing with other small brewers who also get SBR AND NEW YORK TO TRY so that is a pretty even playing field.”


“We crowdfunded in 2017, and asked for £250K. We ended up achieving that in a week and we let it overrun to £300K. So that for us is a huge amount of money – we have never even been near that amount of money before – so we are going to be moving sites, and we have got another six tanks coming in, a new epoxy floor and a new chiller system. We are working with the Carbon Trust on a chiller system that is essentially going to be as green as possible. We are using a company called Aqua Cooling that is helping us to recycle a lot of the heat from the brewing process. So I have lots of different things going on over the next 12 months.” The new site will hopefully be up and running by mid to late February this year, and will feature a new bar and retail operation, although Wild Card are keeping the original site too and installing a barrel-aging room alongside existing warehousing to boost their barrel-aging programme. The brewery is also going through the SALSA accreditation process and all the compliance paperwork that comes with it, so this year looks set to be an inward looking one as the business structure grows.

Interestingly, at a time when Wild Card is growing and expanding away from its original micro roots, I ask Jaega to namecheck someone who she finds inspiring in the sector, and rather than listing a few of the oft quoted founders of the craft brewing movement, she points to a new start-up.

“There is a new brewery in Nottingham called Liquid Light Brewing Co, it was set up by Thomas Stone, who has been brewing for a number of years but has just set up his own company. The beers are incredible. Just in terms of the challenges of setting up a brewery right now in today’s market, I think he is an amazing brewer and has done an amazing job and 2018 is going to be a really big year for him so watch this space!” We finish by discussing her own desert island beer choice and the answer is unsurprisingly local, she chooses the UK, and in particular her home market of East London. “I am really enjoying the general innovation you are seeing in the UK market at the moment,” she explains. “I have been lucky enough over the last year to travel to Munich, Japan and New York to try some of their beers and honestly we in London are brewing some of the best beers in the world right now. It is a really exciting time to be working in beer. If I had to choose, honestly, I’d be in a pub in East London drinking a pint of any of my amazing colleagues’ beers – I’m not going to pick one because I think drinking any of their beers in London is one of the best things in the world!”




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TO ISINGLASS OR NOT TO ISINGLASS…. In this issue, freelance beer writer and former Inapub editor Matt Eley looks at why making your beer veggie friendly is worth the effort… As a recent convert to a vegetarian diet, I’m starting to get used to the type of questions you get asked by the meatmunchers. ‘Why on earth would you do that?’ being the number one. Followed closely by, ‘I bet a bacon sandwich could tempt you, couldn’t it?’ And, as pleasant as the waft of burning pig flesh is, that isn’t the biggest hurdle for many veggies, myself included. After all, if you’ve decided to cut out meat on either health or moral grounds you really need to be prepared for the sight and aromas of certain dishes passing your way. Nope, the biggest challenge I have found, over the last six months or so, is around beer. Well, beer and Haribo if I’m totally honest, but for the purpose of this article I won’t bang on about how annoying it is that the sweets I used to love stealing from my children are bound together by gelatine. I suppose that’s karma. The thing that Haribo and loads of other brands of teeth-rotting bags of badness have in common with beer, is that it’s not immediately obvious that it isn’t a veggie product. It’s what the Vegetarian Society described to me as “a huge grey area”. They also said that they have seen “some improvement” in recent years and that a handful of brewers now carry the Vegetarian Society approved trademark.

However, they also said that progress in this area was far from ‘radical’.

So, there it is. I knew we would get there in the end. Money.

It sounds perverse, but it amuses me to see the looks on people’s faces – veggie and otherwise – when you explain that there’s a very good chance that the brew they are about to knock back contains traces of dried-up fish swim bladders.

For as long as it remains financially sensible to use isinglass, brewers will continue to do so. But how long will that be for?

Again, the question that folk tend to ask is ‘why on earth would you do that?’ And it is one that I am sure many brewers of all sizes are finding increasingly difficult to justify. I’m obviously not a very good veggie because while I would prefer isinglass not to be in beer I have, on occasion, turned a blind eye to that fact. I know other veggies do the same. But I do wonder if it needs to be there at all. I mean, if Guinness can go vegan and others such as BrewDog can go without a fish-based filter, why can’t everyone else? Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to ask everyone else, but I did speak to a family brewer and a couple of craft brewers on that topic. The former’s off the record response was one of utter dismay that anyone would worry about a little bit of fish. He unapologetically explained that isinglass is used in its cask beers because it is traditional and the best tool for doing the job. The craft brewers also use it, but less enthusiastically. One told me it was only part of his brewing process because in his part of the world a “beer you can’t read your paper through” is not acceptable. The other said they use it but were enjoying the cost benefits of producing more unfiltered keg products.


Vegetarianism and veganism are on the rise. That might not be an army that sends a chill down your spine just yet, but it is worth noting that veganism has grown by 360 per cent in the UK in the last decade. The Vegan Society says there are 542,000 vegans in this country while the NHS has the numbers of vegetarians adding up to 1.2million. It will come as no surprise that a large chunk of these are in the under-35 age bracket. It suggests the numbers will only grow. At the same time, alcohol and beer consumption continues to decline. You can also argue that it’s a moot point because of the lack of awareness that beer is not strictly speaking vegetarian. But as more brewers go vegan and veggie the more focus there will be on those that do not qualify for those clubs. There will be a time when brewers of all sizes will surely have to consider whether traditions outweigh the potential cost benefits of appealing to such a large, potential customer base. When we get there, the use of isinglass in beer will increasingly look like a fish out of water.

Matt Eley is a freelance journalist and a former editor of Inapub who has been writing about pubs and beer for over 10 years.






INTERVIEW JAMES COYLE, MANAGING DIRECTOR, INNIS & GUNN Innis & Gunn’s James Coyle is a familiar face within the beer sector having cut his teeth at Marston’s and Wychwood and been instrumental in shaping the development of the category through his involvement in initiatives like Why Handpull? and the Cask Report. He joined Innis & Gunn two years ago as MD but his involvement with the business goes right the way back to its launch in 2003. This latest role at a brewery known for its innovation seems the perfect move for someone with an entrepreneurial spirit born of helping his father build up the family greengrocer’s business, and this has enabled James to put all of his experience in larger operations into driving Innis & Gunn forward. The exports which form over half the business, and the spirits background to the operation, make for a very interesting and different business model, and with a significant investment secured from private equity firm L Catterton last year, there are already big plans afoot for 2018. The SIBA Journal’s Editor Caroline Nodder spoke to James about his own career in beer as well as his plans for a brewing business that is operating right at the cutting edge…




How did you come to join Innis & Gunn, and tell us more about your background in the sector? “I don’t know if it was written in the stars or what, but I joined Innis & Gunn as the first MD two years ago, however my association with the brand goes all the way back to when it was launched in 2003. The business was originally started by Dougal Sharp but interestingly, the middle names of Dougal (Gunn) Sharp and his brother Neil (Innis) Sharp were originally used by their father Russell Sharp who was one of the owners of Caledonian Brewery and named a beer after his two sons. I was Sales and Marketing Director at Wychwood Brewery, and I was working on projects with Dougal Sharp, who was Head Brewer at Caledonian Brewery at time, and I was in Edinburgh hosting the now sadly departed Glenn Payne, then the beer buyer at Safeway, at the rugby. While in the sample room of the brewery, Dougal offered Glenn and I a taste of a Scotch Ale which had been maturing for a couple of months in Bourbon barrels. The beer was amazing and Glenn committed to listing it in every Safeway store in the UK if we could bottle it – we did and this is

how Innis & Gunn The Original came into existence. I was privileged to sell the first bottle, then continue to grow the brand in the UK until they set up their own sales structure in 2009. So I was very much there at the very very start of the business. My career in beer started in ‘94 when I joined Marston’s to manage the off-trade and export channels. Early on, I developed a partnership with a number of leading micro brewers to sell and market their brands in the UK and internationally. This partnership included Wychwood, Exmoor, Caledonian, Batemans and Wadworth and successfully established Marston’s as category leaders in the premium bottled ale sector. When Marston’s was acquired by W&D in ’99, I decided I wanted to do something a bit more for myself rather than the corporate life. So I remortgaged my house and bought into Wychwood Brewery with Ian Rogers. We were very successful, particularly with building the Hobgoblin beer brand, which established itself as one of the leading premium ales in the UK, so we decided to sell the pubs to concentrate all our effort on the brewery. We sold Wychwood then to Refresh, with Rupert Thompson, and a few years later in early 2008 Marston’s acquired Wychwood and


I was back to where I started! I stayed with the business and over the next seven years I went from Sales Director to Sales & Marketing Director and was privileged to reach the position of Deputy MD of the beer division. I continued over that time to have a lot of contact with Innis & Gunn as a Non-Exec so when the opportunity came up to join as MD and lead the business I took it.”

Was it an easy move going from a large player to a small independent brewery? “My personal background is that I’m from an Irish Catholic family, oldest of seven kids, and my Dad was a greengrocer, so I helped my Dad build up his business. Even when I was at University I used to do some market selling of fruit and veg in the summer and soft toys at Christmas time, so I have always had a real entrepreneurial flair and I always wanted to be selfemployed or be a part of a business that I owned. And so for me, yes it was an easy move, as I had spent 10 years at Wychwood and then at Marston’s I was given a huge amount of autonomy to help shape the beer business and culture.”

Continued on page 35 SIBA JOURNAL WINTER 2018


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What is the ethos behind the Innis & Gunn business? “For us it is all about brewing amazing, flavour packed beers that can be enjoyed by everyone. We believe we are very much an inclusive business, whether it is the world’s first non-alcoholic craft beer Innis & Nunn, all the way up to Vanishing Point which is a 12-month aged Imperial stout we have got beers for everyone. I think allowing consumers to experience the wide variety of beers that we and Britain as a whole has on offer is very much our mission. We are not all about barrelaged beers – probably around 60% of our beers are barrel-aged but we also do beers that are not barrel-aged – but we use those barrels and that wood very much to express some of that innovation and imagination.”

What do you do differently at Innis & Gunn? “Right from the start we have done things differently at Innis & Gunn. For the first few years Innis & Gunn was part of the William Grant & Sons business, so that DNA of the business came from spirits. We very much have been about building the brand internationally and in top end bars and restaurants, and pushing the boundaries. We spent a couple of million pounds putting in barrels and barrel-aging equipment in other people’s breweries

until we bought our own a couple of years ago. That is quite a different model. For most craft brewers I would say 10% maximum is exported, for us its 50%. So we have built an internationally recognised brand which in many places is now bigger than what it was in our domestic area. We launched into China in May 2017 and I was working there at the craft beer show and I had Swedish people working in Shanghai coming up to the stand to say Innis & Gunn was their favourite beer! Our latest innovation is that we are sourcing barrels from Jamaica and bringing them over to Scotland where we’re charring them and breaking them up into pieces and putting them into the beer to get the real rich flavours and aromas out of the wood into the beer.”

Where are you currently investing in the brewery? “We’ve just completed a significant investment to treble brewing capacity, we put in more fermentation capacity, cask racking, keg filling etc. A couple of years ago we raised £3million on a beer bond, which we used to buy the brewery. Then a year ago last November we sold 5% of the company for £5million and we used that money to treble the capacity and also open three new beer kitchens, so we now have four beer kitchen bars. That money sounds a lot but we have spent it in a year! Then in September last year we sold 28% of

Innis & Gunn to L Catterton, the world’s largest consumer-focused private equity business, to accelerate the next stage of growth. So in 2018 we will be increasing capacity again, and building a huge barrelaging warehouse onsite at the brewery – the work has already started on that. We have got one of the world’s largest private collection of rare whiskey casks, so one of the thoughts is that for a special occasion, a birthday or an anniversary, you could buy a 40-year-old rare cask, we brew a beer for you and put it into the cask and put a webcam on it and anywhere in the world you can access that, show your friends your own personal beer aging in the highlands of Scotland. Then a few months later you can come to the brewery and help bottle it by hand. So that will be a small operation but it will be the pinnacle of what we can do, a beer that is completely personal to the consumer, to their flavours and tastes.”

What makes a great beer? “A distinctive flavour obviously, but a key thing too is consistancy, that is the real art of the brewer. Anyone can brew a beer and just add hops and more hops. There comes a level where the human tastebuds just switch off. To make a really balanced, sessionable beer, consistently good, is the mark of quality, not a beer you can only drink half a pint of.”

Continued on page 37 WWW.SIBA.CO.UK





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Leading is far more challenging than following – how do you stay ahead of the competition?

What is your view of the trend for small craft brewers selling out to large multinationals?

training and tapping and venting and our head brewer who also runs our brewpub is also out in our customers’ sites helping them improve quality.”

“Because half our business is international I am abroad every single month, and we have amazing partners in all those markets so I pick up a lot from them. We also use our brewpub in Glasgow to experiment with new beer recipes as we can get immediate feedback from our fans, plus we are constantly ageing our beer in all sorts of wonderful barrels sourced from all over the world – a ruby ale aged in Rioja Gran Reserva casks was awesome!”

“I am supportive. Craft beer is here to stay and it is growing rapidly. As long as the founding values and principals of the smaller brewery are maintained, I’m supportive as this can be very good for the category. It gives an opportunity for those brands to be enjoyed by more people.”

What do you see as the key challenges facing UK brewers like yourself at the moment?

You raised money for the site move

via a beer bond…how did that work and why did you opt for that mechanic?

“We could have gone to the bank and borrowed the money. But the most consistent question we get asked by our fans on social media is ‘how can we invest in Innis & Gunn?’. I guess they have seen it with Brewdog and they want to be a part of something. So we decided we would do a bond that allowed consumers to buy in, and we did it as a two stage process, we did the bond and then we sold 5% of the business through crowdfunding. So that means we now have over 3,000 investors. We do investor gatherings and hundreds of those investors turn up and the passion and love out there for the brand is amazing. So it was less about the money, it was more about letting our fans own and be part of our future.”

Do you think the explosion of small micro-brewers in recent years has impacted on overall beer quality? “I think there are two things here. Yes, there have been some poor quality brewers, that promote their beer as craft when it is not. But equally there is as much responsibility, perhaps even more, on bar owners to invest in quality, whether it is training staff, or cleaning lines, or buying the right keg size. In the main I do believe 99% of the beer coming out of breweries is of a good quality. We’re living in a golden age for beer and the choice and variety available for drinkers has never been better, this is a direct positive result of the number of new breweries who have started in recent years.”

How do you maintain quality while you expand the business? “First of all we have fantastic long term relationships with all our suppliers and we use the best quality ingredients – saving a few pounds on hops or malt will impact on the flavour and drinkers will notice and vote with their feet. As far as training goes, we train our retail customers, we invite them to the brewery, we do perfect serve

“Craft beer is about flavour, choice and experience, therefore with increasing cost pressure on ingredients and a constant churn of brands in bars, you need to keep investing in every area, otherwise profits will disappear.”

What is your view on the call for a review of the beer duty system? “I’m fully supportive, as the environment has changed dramatically since Small Breweries Relief was established 15 years ago. For example, when we grow our export sales our duty relief declines, even though it costs us more to brew and ship beer for export, which the Government is encouraging the industry to do.”

Have beer drinkers’ tastes changed significantly since you started in the sector? “The expectation for flavour now is huge. The bland middle ground is gone and consumers are happy to push things with the flavour profile. Hops are absolutely here to stay but I also believe that colder serving of beer is going to be more important. I am a big advocate for colder serving for cask and it is going to become a real Achilles heel for cask because a lot of consumers are drinking it colder.”

Continued on page 39 WWW.SIBA.CO.UK



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How do you see the brewing sector evolving over the next five to 10 years?

Can you offer any advice to start-up brewers in the UK market today?

“Expansion and contraction through mergers and acquisitions will pick up, but perversely Small Breweries Relief is actually an inhibitor now, because it is discouraging small breweries from growing above a certain size. They are caught in a duty trap and they cannot get any bigger, and I do feel the normal demand and supply metrics have been distorted. The other thing is on the other side seeing consumers’ desire to brew beer. We run brew schools in every one of our pubs and they are growing and growing. They come to the brewery and they brew beer. So their desire to experience things will continue to grow, and the nano-breweries and micro-pubs that are springing up in people’s back yards will continue to grow.”

“One thing is to find your own niche – find the white space you can occupy in a very crowded market – and then be absolutely dogged and determined about sticking to that. Don’t be distracted by what your competitors are doing, be 100% true and focused on those founding principles that got you into launching your own brewery.”

What do you see as the ‘next big thing’ for beer? “I do think low and no alcohol beers will be a big thing. I see it all over the world, and we ourselves are already looking more at ABVs. Our Innis & Nunn I drink at least twice a week now, you have all of the flavour of a craft beer without the alcohol hit. The next generation is certainly more health conscious and my children, for example, are definitely consuming less alcohol that I did at their age.”

What are you proudest of in your career? “I guess looking back, I started my association with Hobgoblin in 1995 when I met Ian Rogers and over 20 years I built up and then sold the brand so I feel very emotionally attached to it. In fact I still get that little flutter when I see the brand on a bar.”

Who do you most admire in the brewing sector worldwide, and why? “This is a really difficult question because there are so many. But, and this is probably a bit controversial, but love him or hate him you have got to admire James Watt for what he has achieved in 10 years with BrewDog. They are the poster boy for craft.”

Where do you get your ideas and inspiration from? “I travel a lot, and am always going out in trade, into bars, not just our own bars but our competitors’ bars too to see what they are doing with beer, food, how they serve spirits. A lot of my own ideas actually come for looking at what is going on in the spirits category. Consumer trends, lifestyle, emotional engagement, recruitment and retention – I am always looking at what the big brands are doing globally, engaging with bars, bartenders, perfect serve, marketing, advertising – I think the beer industry can learn a lot.”

investment L Catterton made we will use some of that to expand our pub business – we will continue to focus on Scotland for the next 12 months then we are looking at the north of England, Canada and Sweden.”

What is your favourite pub/bar worldwide? “Albert’s Schloss in Manchester is hard to beat. It is a venue that has everything – you go there in the morning and have fresh baked bread, obviously you can have their fondue, great beers, then in the evenings they do live music, and I’ve even had the Sunday Gospel brunch with a live gospel choir. They seem to transform themselves through the day. There’s also a bar in Portland which has the best name I have ever come across – it is called Three Dollars Deweys. I obviously had to ask the owner why that name and he said originally as it was on the harbor it was frequented by sailors and ladies of the night and the offer they had was ‘one dollar lookey, two dollars touchy, and three dollars dewey’! These days it has about 80 craft beers on tap and it is a fabulous venue.”

What are your three favourite beers worldwide? “That’s such a difficult question, but I’m going to say Hobgoblin, Innis & Gunn Original and Shipyard Monkey Fist IPA [from the Shipyard Brewing Co in Portland, Maine].”

What are your plans for your retail bars this year? “We have four sites – Dundee, Glasgow, Edinburgh and St Andrews. With the







JOHN TIMOTHY, CEO, THE PORTMAN GROUP As part of their SIBA Membership all members agree to abide by the Portman Group codes of practice. Here we meet the organisation’s new CEO John Timothy, who joined this summer after a decade at Tesco, to find out more about his aims for the organisation, what the Portman Group does for brewers and what the codes mean in practice… When did you join the Portman Group and what did you do before? “I joined the Portman Group in June after more than 10 years with Tesco. I’ve worked across a variety of comms and public affairs roles – both in the UK and internationally. It was absolutely the right time for me to move and this was too interesting and exciting an opportunity to turn down.”

What are your priorities in your new role? “First and foremost I wanted to make sure that I understand the organisation, the members and the wider industry. I don’t believe in changing things for the sake of it so much of my first six months has been around listening, watching and learning. Looking ahead, I’d like Portman Group to do what it has always done best – lead and challenge the producer community to drive forward issues of social responsibility while also showing that self-regulation really is the most effective model to deliver responsible alcohol production and retailing.”



What is the Portman Group and what is its key purpose?

How are decisions made in cases brought under the code?

“As the self-regulatory body for the alcohol industry, our key aim is to promote responsible drinking. The Code of Practice underpins our minimum standards and strikes a balance between allowing producers to develop innovative products and brands while also protecting children and vulnerable consumers.

“It only takes one complaint to trigger an investigation and that complaint can come from anyone - a member of the public, an NGO or even a competitor. All complaints are assessed by the Independent Complaints Panel which, as the name suggests, is an independent body consisting of a real cross-section of society, with experience in law, youth work and teaching amongst other things. It’s very deliberately not an industry panel or a Portman Group panel – it's ordinary people tasked with taking a commonsense view to interpreting the Code.

At the same time, we also have a leadership role in the public policy debate around alcohol regulation. We know that the vast majority of people who choose to drink do so responsibly so we want to make sure that regulatory efforts to reduce harm are targeted, proportionate and don’t unfairly penalise ordinary drinkers. Portman Group members are playing their part to support the delivery of fantastic local alcohol partnership initiatives across all parts of the UK.”

All SIBA Members sign up to the Portman Group code of practice as part of their membership, can you tell us more about what this entails? “By signing up to the Codes, brewers are demonstrating their commitment to marketing their drinks responsibly. The greater awareness brewers have of the rules and regulations, the more likely they are to be able to trade successfully and not be subject to complaints. We’re delighted to have SIBA members’ support for the Codes because it spreads good practice. We’d strongly welcome more SIBA members becoming code signatories and so have a say in how the Codes are shaped.”

When we receive a complaint, the Panel will assess a dossier containing both the complaint and the response from the producer and will reach a provisional decision. If the complaint is not upheld, then that’s the end of the matter. But if it’s provisionally upheld, the producer is given a further opportunity to put forward a defence of their product. The Panel then meets to make a final ruling.”

There has been criticism in the past of Portman Group rulings for being too conservative and missing the point of some humorous marketing campaigns. How do you draw the line? “The ICP members are open minded and thoughtful people and they take their role seriously. They understand the need for innovation, they understand the role played by humour in marketing and they understand the creativity that goes into developing a brand and product label.



However, when they’re making their decisions their sole concern is whether one or more aspects of the packaging is in breach of the 11 rules of the Code. Unfortunately, a drink can have a fantastic design full of great ideas but if, for example, it’s not clear that it’s alcoholic then the Panel will have no choice but to find it in breach. From what I’ve already seen, they do a great job. Their rulings help make our industry stronger and more responsible.”

Why is the Portman Group needed by the industry? “We have a world class drinks industry that is innovative, dynamic and entrepreneurial. We know that 99.9% of brewers just want to make great beer and sell it to customers with minimal interference. Our role is to make sure they can do that. And one way of doing so is by maintaining high standards in the way drinks are named and labeled. Through working closely with brewers and distillers we have an industry whose products are trusted by consumers. But it would only take a few rogue brewers to tarnish others’ good name. If that were to happen, consumers could lose confidence in our industry and Government would be under pressure to act. We know that the word ‘regulation’ is never exciting and rarely popular but we think self-regulation is important and a far better option than regulation by Government. As an industry funded body that is listening to producers, we can be nimble, evolve our Code as social attitudes change and can understand what

brewers need from us to help support their businesses.”

What advice would you give to brewers looking to operate within the code? Are there any common pitfalls? “Every brewer developing new drinks or labels should take advantage of our free, confidential Advisory Service. Within 48 hours, you can hear whether your drink’s name, label or promotion is likely to be compliant with the Code. The team can suggest tweaks if necessary. The most common banana skins are not making clear the drink is alcoholic – you’d be surprised the number of times we’ve seen drinks that don’t make clear that it’s a beer or spirit - and using names or cartoons that unintentionally appeal to children. For craft brewers looking to stand out from the crowd, if they are using 330ml cans, they should be careful if there’s a risk of their drink looking too similar to a soft drink. We’re not saying they shouldn’t innovate or do things differently. But it’s about doing it right. And our Advisory Service is dedicated to helping brewers tread that fine line.”

What happens if a brewer is found in breach of the code? “If the complaint is upheld by the Panel, the decision will be published on the Portman Group’s website, in the trade media and a Retailer Alert Bulletin may be issued. This instructs retailers not to restock the product until it has been amended in line with the Panel’s decision.


The Portman Group’s Code Advisory Service is on hand to help and can work with brewers to help redesign the packaging and bring it in line with the Code.”

Will you be making any changes to how the Portman Group operates in your new role? “The Portman Group is a brilliant and effective organisation so I won’t be rushing into changes for the sake of it. That said, every organisation needs to evolve and change to ensure it stays relevant and meets the needs of its customers. I’ve already begun talking to members about how we ensure the Portman Group is fit for the future but what I anticipate is that we’ll be agreeing changes to our strategy and approach rather than amending our overarching purpose.”

How can the Portman Group more effectively help brewers? “I’d really like more small and medium size brewers to talk to us and tell us how we can help them. Everyone can access our free advisory service but I’m also talking to brewers groups such as SIBA to explore what more we can be doing together.”

For advice on their labels brewers can email The Portman Group at or call us 0207 290 1460.




BRISTOL CREAM Alex Troncoso and his partner Annie Clements are 18 months in to their start-up brewery project in Bristol, Lost and Grounded, which specialises in unfiltered lager. But their story started years before in Australia where Alex made a name for himself after joining the team in the early days of Little Creatures. The pair took what they learned there to Camden Town Brewery before taking the plunge with their own operation in the UK. The unusual choice of Bristol for their site may initially have raised eyebrows, but it has meant they have the space they need to produce the unfiltered lager they love. The brewery name encapsulates their ethos which is non-hierarchical, ego free and very much built around the people within the business. Annie has led the branding side which showcases the work of a local artist, with Alex still hands on in the brewing process itself. Caroline Nodder, SIBA Journal’s Editor, spoke to Alex to find out more‌





Tell me a bit about your background and the background to the business. “Personally I was interested in brewing from around the mid1990s when I was at university. I moved back to the US to go to University, because I’d been at High School in Australia, and I was doing chemical engineering. I started to realise a lot of the guys who run big breweries were chemical engineers and I started reading about brewing, and home brewing, and got more and more into it. But when I graduated, at that time there weren’t an awful lot of good jobs around for chemical engineers in breweries, so I went back to Australia and worked in mining. But after doing that for a while I decided all I really wanted to do was make beer so I started applying for jobs…and applying for jobs… and getting lots of rejections because in Australia the late 90s there were not a lot of breweries at all. There are about 400 now but at that time there were Lion Nathan and Foster’s and that was about it, so if you didn’t fit into that big brewery mold then you didn’t really have a career in brewing. So eventually I started studying brewing, I did a graduate degree in brewing, and got my first job at a small brewery in Melbourne. I was only there for a short time because they had me making cream liqueur which is soul destroying for an aspiring brewer! But eventually a job came up at Little Creatures in Freemantle. And my partner [Annie Clements, who went on to jointly found Lost and Grounded - Ed] and I looked at it and rolled the dice – I’d already taken a pay cut to get into brewing and this was another pay cut, plus we had to relocate 4,000km away. But we went for it. And at that time, in 2004, Little Creatures was just starting to grow and there was a hard working really switched on team there and we were really going for it. During my eight years there I was a shift brewer, brewing team leader, production manager, head brewer, head of brewing development – then eventually we were bought by Kirin in 2012. They had always had a minority share-holding in Little Creatures so we always knew the day was coming, but we didn’t quite expect it then. I knew I liked working for smaller companies, and around that time had just completed an MBA, so we started looking further afield and that is what led us to Camden Town Brewery in London. We were there from 2013 to 2015, and in early 2015 we started thinking about moving back to Australia.

Then one day we were in the pub talking and we thought, ‘what if we stayed in the UK and set up our own brewery?’ We looked up north then one day we came to Bristol and there was just something about it so we just decided to do it here. It was a case of careful what you wish for because it all came true!!”

What are your aspirations for the business? “We want to become a regional brewer and we want to make the best lager possible. At the start we thought about how you would set up the perfect small brewery if you could. You’d need room for trucks, near to the centre of town, enough electricity, enough space to expand, enough height for tanks etc. We actually only looked at one site and then we came to this one we are in now and we wanted 1,000sqm and this has 1,200sqm, we wanted it to be 8m high, it is 12m, there is enough room for trucks, offices, enough gas and electricity, and also landlords that were supportive of a start-up business and willing to take a chance on us. A lot of people assume you want to build a brewery in London, but that would be a completely different business model. We need to sell a lot more beer through wholesale than we would in London but then our overheads are a lot lower. There is no way we could have had a site this size in London that is for sure.”

How would you describe your brewing ethos? “We like to be precise. At Little Creatures, where I spent most of my career, attention to detail was everything. So even when we did pale ale, it was fermented with an ale strain, then fermented out, filtered bright, re-inoculated with lager yeast, go into a conditioning room for two weeks, we’d check carbonation level every day etc etc – it was about how to do very precise bottle conditioned beer but on a large scale. So the same attention to detail I have put into this brewery. We don’t bottle condition beer, but we do everything unfiltered, in the brewhouse we have lactic acid plants, we have a mill so we can use whatever grain we want and not rely on pre-milled grain – it is all about making the best unfiltered lager we can possibly make. We also have a state of the art German brewhouse so we can do whatever mashing regime is required to be flexible depending on the malt, everything started with the end in mind of making the most beautiful lager possible.”

Continued on page 45 WWW.SIBA.CO.UK



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You are a Living Wage Employer. What does that mean for you? “Our philosophy is that everyone is working hard, and contributing to making the brewery successful so it is not necessarily about me and Annie and our egos, it is about everyone. So rather than have one person as a figurehead we try to make it about the whole entity. I don’t know. I guess I’m a bit of a socialist!! I think we had a realisation when we came to the UK that compared to Australia there are quite a few people out there in work who do struggle. We found wages are very low, so we started thinking about what someone should get paid and we came across the Living Wage Foundation when we were working in London and for us it is something we believe in. Of the 2,000 breweries in the UK only about 15 or 20 are signed up. But for us it is more of a statement about who we want to be and how we want to treat people.”

Where are you investing at the moment? “We are just starting to look at how we can expand some fermentation capacity and packaging capacity but this is just to make sure when the time comes we are ready. From past experience it is always good to be planning a year or two in advance. If we get off to a really good start this year we might look at doing some expansion in 2018 but we have to see how sales go. It is a bit like a rollercoaster – you have periods where you’re really busy and then other periods where you think ‘where are the sales?’! I think there is an impression that if you build a brewery you are just going to be busy but I don’t know if that is necessarily the case. It is a different seasonality to what we are used to. I would have thought summer would be quite busy but in Bristol summer sort of dies off because some of the students go home. But then I spoke to a licensee recently who said January is really busy for him because the students have all just got their loans.”

How is Lost & Grounded different to other brewers in the sector? “We focus on lager, which is one difference. We have a constant

debate here about IPA and pale ale, but the reason we set up this brewery was to make beautiful lager and that is what is driving our attention to detail because it is not the easiest thing to nail. The other thing is our branding which is based on illustration rather than graphic design which is quite different. We wanted it to feel friendly and approachable – beer shouldn’t be an intellectual exercise it should be something that is fun. Our inspiration was some of the older Belgian breweries which use a lot of illustration. There are a lot of creative people in Bristol so we ended up just going on a website called Drawn In Bristol, and we found a local freelance illustrator we liked and she and Annie came up with all the concepts.”

Can you describe the challenges you’ve faced as a new business? “Taps are harder to come across. There is a lot of support for independent businesses in Bristol, but there are still a lot of venues that would probably like to have more freedom but they don’t because they are in supply contracts. For us starting out you try to approach everyone who is free of tie or has free if tie lines and you find you are in a queue of about 30 other brewers. It is a bit more difficult to get the permanent distribution that will be the mainstay of your business. We are about a third direct and twothirds wholesale whereas in London we’d be about 80/20.”

Are there any mistakes you’ve made that you have learned from? “It comes down to sales and planning for how things are rolled out. That can’t be underestimated. For us we have a beautiful brewery now. We’ve done it. And our first full year we will do a bit shy of 3,000hl which is pretty good.”

What is your view on the debate around reforming the beer duty system? “Small Breweries Relief is really good, and helps a lot of people start out, but what if that were to ever go away? Overnight duty would become about 40% of revenue for us brewers which would

Continued on page 47 WWW.SIBA.CO.UK




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be quite a blow. In reality would that ever happen overnight? Probably not. But I do think that just having a business and staying really small under the 5,000hl mark forever is quite a risky position to be in. Definitely don’t just use the duty cut to make your beer cheaper, you have got to look ahead and as you grow look at what efficiencies there are. But I think here it is a fair system. In the Australian market where I spent most of my career there was no duty relief for smaller brewers.”

Do you see any barriers to your growth and if so how are you approaching these? “For us it is now about trying to hit the sales numbers that we are after. We have built a nice brewery here, but we have done that with the aim of growing, not saying we want to take over the world but we have an ambition and we want to achieve it. So it is about managing all those business issues – how do we get investment, all those kind of things – we have some good relationships with our finance companies and we have some shareholders too but it comes back to sales. Everyone wants to see that you’re in a sustainable position. I think a lot of brewers have got busy, maxed out their small capacity, but they don’t necessarily have the best structure in place for growth. Then when they go to find a bigger site they need three years of solid company accounts and it’s a catch 22. Our ambition is to create a regional brewery where we have all the employees as shareholders because they have helped create something that’s special, so that everyone has a future here.”

How are you seeing consumer attitudes to beer change and how has this affected your range? “Our range of driven by us really. I had eight years making hoppy pale ale at Little Creatures. But towards the end of my time there I became obsessed with how come we couldn’t make a pilsner that good, and then I went to Camden which was mainly about lager as well. Most of the time when I drink beer I don’t want it to be an intellectual exercise. I just want a really nice balanced beer. The simplicity of making beautiful lager is fantastic. It dawned on

me when I went to the hop harvest in Germany and I was staying at this brewery guest house and had this Keller Pils. And there was an oompah band playing outside and weiner schnitzel and it was the stereotypical German experience. And this lager was a bit lemony and a bit piney and a bit hazy – and I just thought ‘this is just brilliant’. So that was how we started. And then we thought about other beers to make – another lager that’s hoppier, which can satisfy people who want hoppier beers, and then I was reading a book by Michael Jackson ‘The Great Beers of Belgium’. So for our ales we focused on that Belgian style. It is really coming from the heart!”

What are your key plans for 2018? “Besides continuing to grow we want to more actively talk to people about what we are doing and we have a lot of work to do educating the trade about good lager. Some bigger venues have a lot of free of tie lines but they have the lager lines sown up, so there is a whole other level of discussion to be had about how we get into the right places.”

How do you see the structure of the brewing sector changing over the next few years? “I think there will be more venues opening up more opportunities for consumers on draft. Even if the pubs are still locked in with pubcos the pubcos themselves will be looking for more variety in the beers they are stocking too. I think the key for hospitality is how to make someone feel special when they walk in. So it is not just about the people behind the bar it is about the products on offer. And that is where small brewers can really play a part and that is where we need to focus our efforts – how do we make people feel special and how do we help venues be more successful? It is about having a clever range of products that compliment other products on the bar, it is about having some variety and not being the same as everyone else (which is hard with 2,000 breweries!). All the venues need a point of difference to make them feel special and to make customers feel special.”

Continued on page 49 WWW.SIBA.CO.UK




Are there now too many small brewers in the UK market? “I don’t know if there are too many. But I think everyone needs to figure out why they should exist. If we want to keep starting up breweries the growth has to come from somewhere. Part of where SIBA can help is trying to keep small brewers united rather than us all unravelling and getting into a fight with eachother.”

Where do you get your ideas and inspiration from? “We draw a lot on past experience but the challenge is not to be coloured too much by it and still produce some originals. We took a bit of inspiration from the US as most small brewers do, then we looked at other traditions out there from Germany and Belgium and the UK and we thought about how we could take snippets of inspiration from all those things and try and make something unique.”

What beer styles currently excite you? “I think what Mark Tranter is doing down at Burning Sky in Sussex is quite exciting. It is a complete purity of vision and long term he has a vision of what he wants it to be. He’s going to all lengths to make the most beautiful Belgian-inspired beers he can. I think that is quite inspiring. I like places with a clear philosophy. Likewise I also like Moor Beer – we made friends with Justin [Hawke, founder of Moor Beer Co – Ed] before we came down to Bristol, and his clarity of vision is for modern real ale. They have a clear philosophy about how they do things. Duration is another one looking to set up and hopefully they will start production in Norwich next year on a farm there, they have a lot of spontaneously fermented beer. Having people with that clarity of vision is quite inspiring.”

Where do you see yourselves being in five year’s time? “We want to be at about 20,000hl. That’s getting to the point where we are a company with about 20 employees that has its own energy.”

Who do you most admire in the sector and why? “As I’ve said I like people with a clear philosophy. Even people like Cloudwater who are making a huge variety of beers. The people there have a clear philosophy of making great seasonal beer and they are doing a really good job with it. In the US people I find inspiring are Odell’s in Colorado. The funny thing is that they are quite big – 120,000hl or something like that – then you have New Belgium which is about 1Mhl and they are 500m away from eachother! I really admire both those companies. Odell’s has been much more steady in its growth and does a lot of work with the community, and made all its employees shareholders and then you have New Belgium that back years ago was one of the first breweries to be completely employee owned, with their culture of openness and everything is quite interesting. I think there is something to be learned from both those businesses. With business sometimes it can feel like it is all about the people who started it but it is about everyone who has been involved in it. We just borrow those people for a while, we don’t own them.”




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CAN BE CARRIED OVER In the October 2016 SIBA Journal, Napthens provided an update on holiday pay in light of a flurry of case law on the issue. However, a recent European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling, in the case of King v Sash Windows has held that workers are entitled to be paid on termination for any annual leave accrued during employment, where the worker has been discouraged from taking holiday because it would have been unpaid. This case will impact significantly on employers who engage individuals on a self-employed basis when in reality the individuals are determined to be workers. Recently, the Employment Tribunal has been taking an aggressive stance on the issue of employment status and has found in many cases that those considered self-employed contractors, were actually workers. Employers therefore need to become increasingly aware of their employment relationship with staff and ensure their contracts truly reflect the relationship. In this article, employment lawyer Sarah Collier of Napthens examines how businesses could potentially face a significant holiday pay liability should they engage individuals on a selfemployed basis, when in actual fact they are later found by a Tribunal to be a worker.

The Law Under current UK legislation, workers and employees are entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid annual leave per year. Any holiday pay calculation should include supplements and allowances (if part of their normal pay), contractual commission, bonuses and overtime (if required to work it). Ultimately, an employee or worker should not be worse off for opting to take their holiday entitlement, and their holiday pay should reflect their ‘normal remuneration’. Conversely, businesses are not required to pay holiday pay to genuine self-employed contractors. In fact, if they did it could bring into question the whole nature of their employment status and could potentially demonstrate the existence of an ‘employment relationship’.

King v Sash Windows Mr King worked as a self-employed, commission-only, salesman for Sash Windows for 13 years. He was not paid any salary nor was he entitled to holiday or sick pay. When Mr King reached 65, Sash Windows terminated the relationship, so he bought a claim against them for age discrimination and unpaid holiday between 1999 and 2012. The Employment Tribunal found that Mr King was in fact a worker, rather than being self-employed and therefore was entitled to holiday pay. He argued that he had not taken his full yearly holiday entitlement as he would not have received any pay. The ECJ ruled that because Mr King’s employer effectively prevented him from taking his holiday leave entitlement, by not paying him, he could not be prevented from making a claim for the full amount owed. The fact that Mr King had not put in requests to take the leave over the years was found to be irrelevant and the ECJ found that a back-pay claim could potentially go back as far as 1996, when the Working Time

Sarah Collier of Napthens

Directive came into force. Since this ruling only applies to the 4 weeks’ EU holiday entitlement of 20 days paid leave per year for full-time workers, as opposed to the 5.6 weeks’ entitlement for UK workers, a worker could potentially claim up to 80 weeks’ pay. Although it is unclear as to how the final amounts awarded would be calculated, there is no doubt that it could place a significant liability on any employer.

What you should do This decision will have significant implications for those whose employment status has been misclassified. It is therefore vital for businesses to review the status of individuals that they employ/engage and highlight whether or not the reality of the situation truly reflects their employment status. If you are unsure about the employment relationship with any of your staff, or whether you have been calculating holiday pay correctly, do not hesitate to contact a member of the Napthens’ team for advice.

For advice on this topic or on legal issues affecting your business please contact the SIBA Legal Helpline: 0845 6710277

North West law firm Napthens LLP is a SIBA supplier associate and gold standard sponsor. The firm has a team of specialists looking after the legal requirements of clients in the leisure and licensed trade sector, with clients including Daniel Thwaites plc and Sceptre Leisure Ltd. Napthens manages the SIBA Legal Helpline which offers legal advice and guidance on a wide range of legal issues affecting your business including: general commercial, intellectual property, corporate finance, dispute resolution and litigation, commercial property, licensing, debt recovery and employment law. Any enquiry through the helpline will receive up to 1 hour of free legal expertise (if further work is require, you’ll be advised of the appropriate charging structure) Full details of the helpline can be found on the SIBA Members Toolbox.





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TRENDS 2018 The digital world is moving faster than ever, so to help you keep up with the latest developments in social media, Inapub’s Digital Services Manager Matt Jones takes a look at the key digital trends for 2018… With social media being one of the most important ways businesses communicate with customers, keeping up to date on what practices to employ can give you the edge on your competitors. In 2017 we saw many new elements of social media employed more and more throughout the year. This includes the increased use of Live Video on different platforms and the continued growth of Instagram. Here are some of the trends in social media which brewers & businesses should be aware of having an impact in 2018. Video content is one of the major growth areas of social media. 90% of shared content of social media was in video format in 2017. This will continue to grow as this type of posting is seen as more authentic by customers than other types of business posts. Most phones & data plans allow customers to view videos very easily when on the go. Meaning that Video content is now effective as a strategy for marketing. Most modern phones can not only film very easily, but can offer different ways such as time delay functions. Any business which is not already doing so should be looking to generate video content. Live Video is one of the more effective ways to do this as it is seen as more authentic than other types of posts. It gains up to 10x more engagement with customers online. For instance, a customer is less likely to read a long blog or social media post and will scroll past that content more quickly. But if they can see it as it happens they are more likely to engage. Facebook in particular is looking to develop ways of advertising on Live Video as part of its growth in the future. Instagram will also be looking at ways to increase the use of Live Video as part of stories, with new features expected to be introduced soon. Where they lead the other platforms will follow. Beginning to use this now will help in 2018 & beyond. Businesses should look to adopt Instagram if they haven’t already done so. Instagram’s user base grew by an estimated 200 million users in 2017, with that growth rate expected to continue in 2018. This makes it the 2nd largest platform in the world growing faster than Twitter or Snapchat. As Instagram is owned by Facebook, its integrated features give it an edge on other platforms

Matt Jones. Inapub's Digital Services Manager

online. Users spend an average on 21 minutes per on the platform browsing through different types of content. The visual nature of this platform is naturally inclined to get more engagement. Throw away or Ephemeral content is looked upon by many social media users as reliable and genuine. Stories on both Instagram & Snapchat are the most effective examples of this, with Facebook adding more features like these in 2018 too. Stories are a series of posts and videos over the course of one day which give a real sense of what is happening now. As it is immediate it is often much more spontaneous and real. Users are more likely to engage straight away. For instance if a customer wants to see how a particular beer is made, they will watch it through the story because it can’t be looked at later. The extra features on these stories mean that you can add your website, along with some fun filters. Twitter has recently doubled its character limit. The platform was forced to do this after the number of new users signing up in 2017 stagnate. Crafting 140 character Tweet had been mastered by some of Twitter’s users. These strategies and methods will now have to be adapted by its users to make better use of the increase in character limit. This is the first significant change to Twitter in some time. More changes are expected on the channel in the coming year as it tries to make up for lost ground in 2017. All these new features should be integrated into a strategy of regular and engaging posts by brewers. Remember that the best content will always be guided by what your customers are interested in. Constantly think about what it is that they will like, retweet, comment, share and engage with on all platforms to increase reach and hopefully sell more beer. Don’t be afraid to try something new and different online if you think your customers will appreciate it. Always try to entertain inform and engage when you post on your social media platforms. These are just some of the things expected to have an impact on Social Media in pubs in 2018.

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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Mark McCulloch, Founder & CEO of creative agency WE ARE Spectacular, offers advice on how to maximise the benefits of winning an award…

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

Awards are important and they even lead to sales. I was walking past a restaurant near St Paul’s last year and a friend and I were wondering where to eat. An A-board proclaimed ‘Best Burger in London’ Evening Standard and I think the year said 2014. Now this award was three years old, but the place was busy at 9.30pm on a Wednesday night and most tables had at least one burger on them.

But let’s look at it being ‘UK’s Best Craft Beer’. I would always always always look at what marketing channels you have available to you. This rarely changes and is as follows (not exhaustive):

There are essentially two types of awards - consumer facing and B2B. Both of these are great news (unless you win worst dressed male/female or similar).

OWNED – Change or add sticker to product to shout about your award, your merchandise, point of sale, website, email, social, whitepaper, blogs.

Every award is an opportunity to celebrate internally and externally with your teams and your customers no matter what it is.

EARNED – The result of you pushing this message is the word of mouth that happens out there through media and influencers talking about your win

The first thing I would do is document you entering for the award and make public what you are entering and the hard work that is going into writing and sending the submission. Not all the details of course, but this can engage the audience from early on. It can make great social content especially on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. The posts would also sit nicely as an Instagram or Facebook story for example simply posting what categories there are, deciding which category you will enter, showing some of the work, showing you writing the entry, tea break in the middle, finishing the entry, a post showing you sending the entry and lastly a ‘wish us luck’ post.

You should be pushing this at every opportunity letting past, current and future customers know about this.

If it is a public vote, then you should go on the marketing offensive and promote that you need votes constantly across all channels. If it is a private vote via a judging panel, then all you can do is bring you’re A game to the interviews (if there are any), or ensure that you make it as simple as possible for the judges to choose you over anyone else. Remember this is like submitting a CV, expect there to be tons of entries, all looking the same, so you need to stand out and be memorable.

New customers via in store promotions, digital advertising including google adwords, promotion on any websites and stores that sell your product, ask to put flyer in with every order from sites where you sell you beers (Honest Brew, Amazon etc), sample product (with your award mentioned on it). Make sure you put your award accolade everywhere you can in text and images on all websites in which you appear, wherever possible.

So, it’s the big night and you are waiting with baited breath for the winner of your category to be announced. You’ve won. Now what? Of course you should celebrate, however this is also the time to capture great moments of the night to create content for future marketing. Hopefully you have been live tweeting the events of the evening so far with the correct hashtags for visibility. I would then get up to five posts up on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with different engaging photos showing you with the award. You may want to have broadcast the moment on Facebook and Instagram Live. The morning after post more of the same. ‘What an amazing night’ ‘Thank you’ etc. But now what? Well this depends on what the award is.

PAID – Advertising (On and offline), Sponsorship, In store promotion, PR

You can promote to your: Past and current customers through any data you have on them (via email, social media channels, all point of sale (inc your product and how you ship them) and send postal information (brochure, direct mail, SMS, coupon etc) or send samples to them). Depending on your sign up terms and conditions you can also upload your email database to Facebook and Instagram to target your customers on social via a paid post.

And don’t forget internal communications also. Celebrate your successes internally, make a big deal of it, change your hold music, change on all office stationery, change how people answer the phone “Hello, welcome to X, Craft beer of the year”, change your screensavers, make sure you change your email signatures, feature the news in your out of office and of course make the award the star of the show in your reception area or boardroom. Cheers and here’s to you winning in 2018. Mark McCulloch, 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 pub, food, beer & wine clients including Long Arm Brewery and Harviestoun Brewery. @spectacularmark




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YOUR 12 MONTH FINANCIAL PLAN TO IMPROVE YOUR BUSINESS (AND YOURSELF!) In this issue, Alan McRae, an Associate at Geoffrey Martin & Co, outlines a plan for 2018 that will help to keep your finances in check….


You may find that some of your customers are taking part in “Dry January”, so why not join them by looking at your business plan (a subject you may find a bit dry) from last year and comparing it to how you actually did. It is important to reflect on the business goals you have achieved and also try to understand some of the things that didn’t go to plan. The brewing industry is constantly changing and this month of reflection will help you understand your business better and help you learn from any past forecasting mistakes.


Write your 2018 business plan. Think about short and long term goals and what you need to do to achieve them in this calendar year. In terms of business finances, look at last year’s costs and overheads and determine how they will change this coming financial year. Differentiate between those costs that are fixed e.g. rent, rates and salaries to those that are related to the volume of production. Did you have the demand to produce more than last year and if so how are you going to address this, this financial year? Raw material usage needs to be carefully planned so that production capacity is not hindered and importantly that you have the right money at the right time to pay for any advance supplies.


March is a great month for speaking to your professional advisers e.g. bank, accountant and brokers about your business plans and how external factors may affect your business. Is your business aware of all government taxation and other legislative changes that may be occurring from April onwards, for example tax benefits on investing in machinery. Don’t forget to go to BeerX and learn about great ideas and initiatives from your industry peers.


Good management of your cash flow is key to running an effective business, and strong processes for credit control are important. April is a good time to review your credit control policies (we’ll look at this in more detail in next the next issue of SIBA Journal). Do you invoice on time and to the right person? This will save you having to chase each month. Are the right people in your business doing the right job? Often those that are in charge of sales also do credit control and this can sometimes create conflicts when dealing with customers. Do you carry out credit checks on customers and set credit limits? If you have poor payers, think about asking for advance payment. If you have a very old debt, it may be worth passing on to a collection agency.


Review of all your financial products. Does your bank account do everything it promised when you first opened it? Are the charges reasonable? Check that any insurance policies reflect any growth in your business and incorporate recent changes to your business. It is essential that your business is adequately insured at all times. If you discover issues or feel like your need further advice. Review your relationships with your professional advisors, such as your solicitor, bank, broker and accountant. Whilst it’s generally good to have long term relationships in these areas, you should periodically look at whether they're still the right choice for you. For example, your accountant may specialise in start-up companies which was great but you may need other specialist help now that you have grown.


Spend some time reviewing any funding arrangements you may have, especially those that are coming up for renewal. This is particularly important if you are looking at raising finance for growth. There are more options for fundraising than ever before, so have a look at some of the alternative methods such as crowdfunding. There are many successful examples of breweries using this method including SIBA members Se7en Brothers Brewing and Wild Beer Co. Also, contact your local council or Local Enterprise Partnership who may have grants available.


July is a good time to review your sales and marketing plan for the rest of the year. Are you able to measure all your forms of marketing? It’s easier to do so with website and online ads, but also possible with print advertising. Check whether contacts and sales from each type of marketing have become more or less effective and adjust your budget accordingly. Don’t be afraid to set some budget aside for a few new ideas. If you’re not using PR already, this can be a very cost-effective measure to increase your brand awareness.


For some this could be a busy month with festivals and exhibitions which can be as enjoyable as it is stressful. No matter how busy it gets remember to try and take or plan to take some time off. This is really important as you need to make sure that you’re fully refreshed and are physically and mentally healthy. Step away from the tanks and barrels and switch off. You’ll come back refreshed, which will help both you and your business.


A simple task for this month, to ease you back in from the holidays: check your credit score. Having a good credit rating is one of the most


Alan McRae, Geoffrey Martin & Co

important factors when it comes to accessing finance to support and grow your business. You can check your score for free with the likes of Experian and ClearScore. To keep a good score, pay your bills on time and keep debt levels low. If you don’t use credit, this may go against your chances of getting credit in the future, so build up a history of using and repaying credit.


You’re coming up to the busiest time of the year, so October is a good month to take some time to review your stock control processes. Efficient stock control ensures you have the right amount of stock available at the right time, so your money is not tied up unnecessarily. This does require a good system though, as you don’t want to be short of vital ingredients when you’re brewing. Software such as Sage and Xero will help you build a strong system, with the benefit that it links with your finances.


As you’re heading towards the end of the year, November is a good time to review your property requirements. Check your lease and ensure you are aware of any future changes in terms of renewal, rent reviews and terms of occupancy. Start thinking about whether your premises are fit for purposes and how their continued occupation fits in with your long term goals. Are any repairs/renovations needed and find out whether you are responsible and whether your plans for the premises are allowable.


Hopefully, this month will be busy in both sales and also in celebrating the end of a successful year. As in August, take some time out for yourself and don’t forget to thank your staff, family and friends for helping you make 2018 your best year yet.

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




Cover your cones. Settled yeast will quickly cool in cones.

Temperature profile at edge of 50 litre vessel incubated overnight at ambient 12oC surroundings. Centre temperature is more stable but yeast will lie against the base and rapidly chill.

Winter is not a good time of year for fermentations if your vessels are exposed to external temperatures. Given the coincidence of a high gravity brew, an under-pitch of yeast and a cold snap in the weather the possibilities of a stuck fermentation become possible. When brewing in the winter months an extended fermentation is the common source of brewery headaches. It is well recognized that ale yeast ferment at high temperatures and lager at low temperatures – but how low can temperatures go for brewing your best bitter? As a general rule we can say that between 15 and 20oC is a potential zone of difficulty and the closer to 15oC you go the more likely ale yeast will become inactive and sediment out of suspension. Lager yeast, in contrast, carry on happily but slowly. The major difficulty is matching the initial wort temperature on collection to the profile of cooling as the wort awaits the heat generated by yeast activity. During growth yeast develops metabolic heat. This will first stabilize wort temperature then increase it to your target at which you can turn on the chilling. Rapid metabolism is not guaranteed, however. Once pitched yeast will require between 12 and 20 hours to generate a good metabolic output as it recovers from storage and overcomes the stress responses of being pitched into high sugar conditions. If in this period heat losses to the surroundings are extensive it is quite possible for the whole brew to fall into the danger zone and for fermentation to cease. There is of course a dynamic in this depending on the size of the vessel

and its insulating capacity. Below 100 – 200 litres heat will be lost from the vessel fairly rapidly leading to problems. At a further extreme a home brew or experimental batch of just 20 litres is highly susceptible to never starting at all so requiring heat input. While it is possible to move a small portable vessel into a warm room, larger vessels need a directed heating system. We tend to rely on our circulation coils and panels to cool fermentations down so making preparations to route hot liquor through these in times of emergency is a useful precaution. At 400 litres and above a wort collection temperature is more likely to be more stable and survive the cooling before yeast becomes active. Bear in mind, however, that the body of stainless steel in a large fermenter has a high thermal load and will remove significant amounts of heat from the incoming wort. Preheating with some warm liquor collected from your heat exchanger or collecting an amount of uncooled wort initially in the fermenter will limit this effect. Other precautions to minimise a stuck fermentation centre on managing yeast activity and storage. Dried packet yeast should provide a consistent quality with a long shelf life but handling can compromise its effectiveness. Freshly opened packets will be in best condition but once exposed to air yeast can die off rapidly. Pre-conditioning according to suppliers instructions is desirable – often to resuspend in sterile warm water before use to allow effective hydration. If repitching your own yeast take note of its storage. The longer yeast is stored the less viable it will be. Ideally limit storage to less than seven days and ensure limited aeration or disturbance. Slowly adding warm wort to gently raise temperature is preferable to a plunge from the fridge directly into warm wort.



By Dr Keith Thomas of Brewlab, Sunderland

Adding a slightly larger pitching rate is a good option for both packet and fresh yeast – perhaps 5-10% if chilling is a likely prospect. For longer term consideration look to test your yeast’s stress resistance. With more genetic and physiological awareness it is possible to assess a yeast’s genetic features and test responses to oxygen, pH and temperature stress. Once documented it is sensible to tailor your yeast use to its strengths. With time it will become possible to manage the genetics to brewing conditions and target our brewing to optimise our yeast’s abilities. In wine making yeast have been pre-conditioned in strong salt solutions to minimise stuck fermentations and high gravity brewing typically uses osmotically resistant yeast. Wort compositions may also contribute with adjuncts which may alter the balance of sugars which may affect yeast metabolism in different ways. In practical terms, however, what are the best actions if faced with a declining temperature and a sluggish ferment? Heating the wort is a desirable option if panels or coils will take warm water but beware of putting very hot water in the cone panels of a conical fermenter as settled yeast may be killed by the direct contact. When heating a gentle stir is important to prevent thermal layering. Once warm consider adding fresh yeast – perhaps a supplementary 25% or some actively fermenting wort to krausen the brew. Other options are to mix the brew with an existing ferment or with a second batch collected at a higher temperature. Finally maintain careful hygiene as a non-fermenting wort is at high risk of contamination. With careful management a stuck brew can be reclaimed, a contaminated one certainly not.








Only four years ago it was impossible for a smaller volume brewer to get their beer in a can: small volumes, high costs and accessibility were the main barriers faced by many. But the industry has made giant leaps forward since then, introducing smaller contract canners, mobile lines and retailers of scalable lines/systems to the market, enabling independent craft manufacturers to get their brews into cans too. Canned beers are hot stuff right now. They are loved by consumers everywhere, they are trendy, convenient and their bold designs make them stand out on the shelf. The latest research from Nielsen shows that sales of canned craft beer increased by 327% from January to August 2017 alone – and now already account for 25% off all craft beer sold in multiple grocers and off licenses.

alter its intended characteristics. Canning your beer will not require you to change your gas levels and you can easily place an unpasteurised beer into a can. If you pour your drink into a glass you will find it very hard to tell how it was packaged. When people think that their beer tastes ‘off’, it is usually the result of oxidisation. When beer is exposed to air, chemical reactions take place that make the taste of the beer change rapidly. Cans are air-tight; seamed ends mean there is no way that air is going to get in until someone pops the ring-pull.

Create your can design

And you needn’t be concerned that placing your brew into a new pack will force you to



The canning market is growing month on month and it is easier than ever to get your product into cans and tap into this market, says Martin Constable, Chairman of the Can Makers association…

a work of art – canned craft beers already have some great examples of bold and creative designs that really stand out on a shelf. Whether creating your own design or working with a professional designer there’s a handy free design tool called Can Creator. Can Creator can help you to visualise your final product, in 3D, in seconds. Available for Mac and Windows and free to use, it allows you to download a template and try different features, finishes and colours in seconds. You can even rotate your can 360 degrees to view from any angle. It also allows you to share your creations with friends and colleagues, so you can showcase your final design.


Is the can right for your drink? Quality of taste The quality of an independent beer in a can is usually better than in other formats. The technology involved in making and filling cans is advanced – unlike bottles, they protect from light and other elements, ensuring that the drink isn’t compromised.

Here’s how…

Once you’ve decided to can your beer, you will need to think about the design for your finished product. A distinct advantage of the can is its 360-degree canvas. Not restricted to just a label around the centre, the entire package can be transformed into

Beverage cans have some serious environmental credentials too. Any metal is a permanently available material, meaning it’s uniquely 100% and infinitely recyclable with no loss of quality – unlike other pack formats. This makes cans an environmentally friendly packaging choice as they stay in the recycling loop forever. Did you know, for example, that 80% of the metal ever produced is still in use today? The impact sustainability has on the brand


image in terms of its green credentials is becoming increasingly more appealing and important to consumers. The packaging with the best recycling story, combined with great design and taste is now the most attractive option. The recycling story resonates with the millennial audience who now seek brands that align with their values. If they care about the environment, they want the products they buy to meet their values too. Research by GfK showed that consumers aged 35+ believe the can’s recyclability is its strongest feature. Over half of consumers (52 per cent) believe it’s important to consider the packaging’s impact on the environment when choosing a drink to purchase. It’s one of the top three benefits of buying a can. Consumer demands have changed to seek packaging that not only looks good and tastes great, but has a positive impact on the environment too. Not only are cans sustainable from a recycling perspective, but for the simple reason they are light, strong and easier to stack, meaning they take up less space and therefore less transportation is needed to ship them from manufacturer to retailer. Less trucks on the road means less CO2 produced.

The can manufacturing process Many smaller brewers still hold the common misconception that they don’t have the ability or capacity to can their beer. But the fact is size and volume are no longer the challenges they were. The increase in demand for craft in cans has driven the launch of a range of affordable, short-run contractor services, mobile canning companies and multiple choices when purchasing very low to high volume in-house lines/systems. This rise in short-run, contract filler lines and mobile canning line options means that most brewers can can their brews, if they wish, at very competitive prices. The first step is to assess how many cans you want to fill and at what speed. For a consistently large volume, you might want to get in touch with a major supplier such as the following Can Makers members: Ardagh, Ball or Crown. If, however, you are planning on lower volumes, consider a contract canner or employing a mobile canner. You can find contact details for all choices on the Indie Drinks Can Advice site.


The following infographic outlines how a can is filled: The full infographic can be viewed on the Indie Drinks Can Advice website.

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

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







SIBA'S BEERX UK event is moving venues

after five successful years in Sheffield and will be hosted for the first time this year at the Exhibition Centre in Liverpool on the 14th and 15th of March 2018.

new venue

This multi-million pound exhibition and events complex is located on the former King's Dock in Liverpool and will host a trade exhibition of 175 stands, an exciting programme of seminars, Keynote speakers and panel discussions, SIBA's AGM, SIBA's National Independent Beer Awards and SIBA's Business Awards over the two days. The Exhibition Centre's location in Liverpool gives easy access to more than 5,000 hotel rooms within a 20 minute walk of the




Exhibition Centre, good transport links from most major cities in Britain and across the world and plenty of pubs, bars and restaurants to socialise in after a hard, but enjoyable day's work at BeerX UK. To help encourage as many members as possible to attend, this year BeerX UK will offer one free two day pass to all Full Brewing members and Not Yet Brewing members. Additional tickets for breweries who would like to have more than one representative attending BeerX UK or for Supplier Associates who are not exhibiting have been heavily reduced this year to just £30 for a two day pass.

Find out everything you need to know about booking your place at this year’s BeerX UK by going to the website at




Refine your beer with the Craft2Craft package

- With the Craft2Craft package you can be sure that your products have a consistent great taste - The DMA™ 35 density meter for precise fermentation control - The Alex 500 alcohol and extract meter for correct alcohol labels - The CboxQC At-line CO2 and oxygen meter for optimized shelf life stability

Get in touch:


EXHIBITION This year BeerX UK will have more than 175 companies exhibiting on both days of the event. These companies all supply the craft brewing industry with a wide range of different products and services.

SEMINARS & PANEL DISCUSSIONS Both Wednesday and Thursday will consist of many exciting seminars and panel discussions for visitors to attend. Some of the subjects our members have highlighted for us to include are listed below.

SIBA'S AGM, DEBATES & KEYNOTE SPEAKER SIBA's AGM will take place on Thursday 15th March. Time to be confirmed please visit Here SIBA's CEO Mike Benner will address the membership with his report on the year. Members will also have their opportunity to debate different motions and an inspiring industry Keynote Speaker will also present to delegates during this session.





•8  Technical Brewing Seminars, organised by the Institute of Brewing & Distilling • Making  most of beer industry apps to help you market your beers • Export • How to drive your profits with a diversified sales strategy •A  ll you need to know about opening a brewery tap / shop

• This will also include a report from SIBA's CEO



•2  hour session from SIBA on its Commercial activity and plans for the future

• What you need to know about Data Protection • Lobbying politicians to make a difference to our industry • Costing your beer for profitability • How social media can help you sell more beer • Craft beer and casual dining • Protecting your brands

BEER JUDGING • SIBA's  National Independent Beer Judging will take place throughout this day

EXHIBITION •M  ore than 175 Supplier Associate members will be exhibiting their products and services

SIBA'S BUSINESS AWARDS • These will be presented in the evening



Minimum Unit Pricing Marketing beer responsibly to women The future of Small Breweries' Relief Local beer into Supermarkets

EXHIBITION •M  ore than 175 Supplier Associate members will be exhibiting their products and services

SIBA'S NATIONAL INDEPENDENT BREWING AWARDS •S  IBA will announce the breweries who have won awards in cask, keg and small pack

MEET THE EXPERTS - Informal Q&A sessions Details correct at the time of going to print but are subject to change. Please visit for more up to date information.





Micro-Canning's Most Flexible System 3 HEAD FILL STATION Individual inline fill head control technology combines fill level sensors with proprietary foam control valves.

LID DISPENSER Automatic lid slice avoids jams. CO2 under lid gassing minimizes oxygen pickup.

CO2 PRE-PURGE Piston like purge completely evacuates all oxygen from the can prior to fill.

ELECTRIC CAM DRIVEN SEAMER Revolutionary new seamer design! Increased seaming reliability combined with significantly easier setup and maintenance.

MULTIPLE CAN SIZES Simple change over between multiple can heights and widths!

TOUCHSCREEN HMI Intuitive panel with auto CIP cycle and recipe memory feature.

COMPACT FOOTPRINT 7’ x 2-1/2’ = 17.5 ft2 Mobile Option Available.



POLYCARBONATE ENCLOSURE For safety and hygiene during canning operations.













825+ customers & 46 countries

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Official supplier of Ball Corporation for the supply of printed aluminum cans to our customers


The SIBA Business Awards seek to celebrate excellence in the brewing industry across a variety of categories, from pump clip, can and bottle design, efforts taken by you as brewers to make your business more eco-friendly or efficient, or for a bold and successful business innovation. The SIBA Business Awards are unique in that they are both free to enter and judged by a panel of independent industry experts, with winners able to promote themselves as one of the best brewing businesses in the UK in their winning field. This year SIBA are partnering with Inapub magazine for the UK's Best Independent Craft Beer Bar or Pub categories (‘City’ and ‘Rural’) to encourage a wider range of pubs to enter the awards in 2018. However, all categories, including the pub awards, are open to SIBA Members for entry - so if you run or supply an award-worthy craft beer bar or pub then be sure to visit the Business Awards Website and make your entries today.

A REMINDER OF LAST YEAR’S WINNERS Get your entry in before the end of January and you could be in with a chance of being on this list in 2018!


• Marketing Implementation ENTRY • Green Business DEADLINE • Business Innovation 31ST JANUARY • Commercial Achievement 2018 • Best Individual Design • Best Concept Design • Supplier Associate of the year • UK's Best Independent Craft Beer Retailer - Multiple • UK's Best Independent Craft Beer Retailer - Single • UK's Best Independent Craft Beer Bar or Pub - City • UK's Best Independent Craft Beer Bar or Pub - Rural • UK's Best Independent Craft Beer Restaurant • Best Independent Craft Beer Promotion - On-trade • Best Independent Craft Beer Promotion - Off-trade

• 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, 3 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 The Salutation 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 There’s a Beer for That

To enter the awards or find out more about the categories visit




WE’LL DO THE SEARCHING YOU DO THE BREWING Whilst you are busy running your brewery, it’s good to know you can rely on us to find and select the right people to fill important roles within your business.

Visit us on our stand 134 and see what we can do to help you grow

Connecting Talent in the Drinks Industry

01483 893100

More Beer from Each Brew We have the right solution ready for brewers small and large! Starting from the special “Plug & Win” centrifuge skids progressing which all the way to skid-mounted GEA CRAFT-STAR™ as a compact brewhouse. GEA’s versatile technology gives craft brewers the freedom to convert their creativity and passion into market-winning beers. Visit BeerX‘18 stand 136 to speak to GEA specialists about the range of equipment and solutions and see the Plug&Win 20, ideal for small breweries with great visions.

Ad Craft Beer Separation SIBA Journal.indd 1



14/12/2017 11:48:49


Additional tickets for breweries who would like to have more than one representative attending BeerX UK or for Supplier Associates who are not exhibiting have been heavily reduced this year to just £30 for a two day pass.

Tickets can be booked here: member-choice.asp


This year BeerX UK will offer one free two day pass to all Full Brewing members and Not Yet Brewing members.




If you are a Supplier Associate member of SIBA and would like to exhibit then visit

Prices are as follows (all stands include 4 free two day passes): SMALL






2m x 1.5m space

3m x 1.5m space

4m x 1.5m space

Includes 4 x Two Day Passes

Includes 4 x Two Day Passes

Includes 4 x Two Day Passes


Accommodation can be booked through the following website that offers exclusive delegate rates: A link to this site can also be found on the BeerX Delegate website at




TEMPERED GLASSWARE • Extended range for tempered glassware • New standards in glass and decoration design • Innovative solutions for the UK beer market • Powerful logistical services

V I S I T US : B O OTH 7 7


BREWHOUSE 0,1 l / 0,2 l / 0,25 l / 0,3 l / 0,4 l / 0,5 l ½ PINT / 1 Pint brimful/tempered

d i s c ov e r mor e : w w w . s ahm . de

Beer Taster Training: Introductory Course 15th February 2018 Truman’s Brewery, London £200 plus VAT. Includes lunch. We’re bringing our one day taster training course to London! Over the day we will teach you to assess beer flavour to a professional standard. On the day we will focus on 20 flavours, teaching you how to set up a formal sensory programme in your brewery.

To register go to or email us at





Beyond the exhibition I'm finding continued value in the wide-ranging seminars available, the opportunity to engage with the politics of SIBA shouldn't be understated but perhaps the jewel in the Beer X crown is the pint or two of award winning beer at the end of the day with like-minded friends.

Tom Bott, Signature Brew

BeerX is a great opportunity to meet or catch-up with other brewers and suppliers from across the country. The trade seminars are informative, wide-ranging and particularly useful for us, as a relatively young, growing business. This, and the chance to sample some of the many fine beers produced by our peers, make it an event we always look forward to.


I've been attending BeerX for five or six years and I'm always impressed with the scale of the event and its increased professionalism. As a growing brewery the exhibition offers a great opportunity to meet potential suppliers and discuss plans for the year ahead with companies we already work with.

Jeremy Alter, New River Brewery


BeerX provides a great opportunity to network with other like-minded brewers and suppliers to the brewing industry. With a varied mix of seminars, discussion topics and speakers throughout the event, it’s also a great opportunity to learn and understand more and share ideas and experiences about the industry we love.

Tom Fozard, Rooster’s Brewery

59% AT BEERX 2017

BeerX has been a really great event for the North; so often industry shows and events happen in the capital and the great brewing cities of this area can feel a little ignored; so this is a chance for those who can’t always make it south to interact with suppliers, put faces to names and have a get together with people in the industry that we don’t often see. It is also a chance to try beer from some breweries that we may not see around so often and celebrate the diversity and quality of the UK brewing scene.

Colin Stronge, Northern Monk Brew Co. We would like to thank our Gold Members and all our sponsors for their support this year. Why not give them a visit at BeerX UK?

Gold Members

Quality, Consistency & Support

All information correct at the time of going to print. Please visit for more up to date information.




Midlands Region Cask Winners


SIBA Midlands Region

Overall Champion of the Cask Competition

Nottingham Rugby Football Club, The Bay, 1 Holme Rd, West Bridgford, Nottingham. 2nd November 2017

Cask Standard Bitters & Pale Ales Sponsored by Rankin Brothers & Sons

Barry Jones, Rankins Brothers & Sons, presents Alex Cosgrove with the gold award

Sponsored by

Cask Best Bitters & Pale Ales Sponsored by Charles Faram & Co. Ltd

Emily Powell-Tuck, Charles Faram & Co. Ltd, presents Alex Cosgrove with the gold award

SPAsoft Ltd

Cask Standard Mild Ales & Brown Ales Sponsored by

Close Brothers Brewery Rentals

Nigel Hoppitt, SPAsoft Ltd, presents Ian Hughes with the gold award

Paul Evans, Close Brothers Brewery Rentals, presents Rory Gibson with the gold award

GOLD The Backyard Brewhouse Gold 4.5 SILVER The Backyard Brewhouse 1898 4.9 BRONZE Purity Brewing Company Bunny Hop 3.5

GOLD The Grainstore Brewery Rutland Panther 3.4 SILVER Great Oakley Brewery Welland Valley Mild 3.6 BRONZE Vale Brewery Black Swan Mild 3.9

Cask Premium Bitters & Pale Ales

Cask Strong Bitters & Pale Ales

Sponsored by

Sponsored by

Crisp Malting Group

Murphy & Son Ltd

Carl Heron, Crisp Malting Group, presents Ian Hughes with the gold award

Iain Kenny, Murphy & Son Ltd, presents Ben Millner with the gold award

GOLD Intrepid Brewing Company Ltd Myrce IPA 5.3 SILVER The Backyard Brewhouse Antipodean 5.6 BRONZE Slater's Ales Haka 5.2

GOLD Purity Brewing Company Bunny Hop 3.5 SILVER Springhead Brewery Outlawed 3.8 BRONZE The Chiltern Brewery Chiltern Pale Ale 3.7

GOLD Purity Brewing Company Mad Goose 4.2 SILVER Lincoln Green Brewing Company Limited Archer 4.0 BRONZE The Heritage Brewing Company St.Modwen 4.2

GOLD The Backyard Brewhouse Gold 4.5 SILVER Charnwood Brewery American Pale Ale 4.8 BRONZE Castle Rock Elsie Mo 4.7

Cask Premium Strong Beers Sponsored by Rastal GmbH

Cask Porters, Stouts, Old Ales, Strong Milds & Strong Brown Ales

Cask Speciality Light Beers

Anthony Hughes (Regional Director), presents Ian Hughes with the gold award

Dave Parish, CFB Boliers Ltd, presents Rachel Matthews with the gold award

Buster Grant (SIBA Chairman), presents Amanda Robson with the gold award

GOLD Dancing Duck Wot the Duck? Duck a l'orange 6.4 SILVER Grafton Brewery Apricot Jungle 4.8 BRONZE Shiny Brewing Company Elevation 4.7

GOLD Blue Monkey Brewery Guerrilla Chocolate Amaretto 4.9 SILVER Fownes Brewing Company Visions of Heresy 5.7 BRONZE The Chiltern Brewery Chiltern Black 3.9

& Co. Ltd

Buster Grant (SIBA Chairman), presents Dita Kolomejevova with the gold award

GOLD The Loose Cannon Brewing Co ltd Double IPA 7.5 SILVER Shiny Brewing Company Rocket 7.0 BRONZE Dancing Duck Imperial Drake 6.5



Sponsored by

Brewers Select

GOLD The Backyard Brewhouse 1898 4.9 SILVER Brampton Brewery Brampton Mild 4.9 BRONZE Shiny Brewing Furnace Brewpub My Milk Stout Brings All The Boys To The Bar 4.9

Sponsored by

CFB Boilers Ltd

Cask Speciality Mid to Dark Beers

Midlands Region Bottle & Small Pack Winners Overall Champion of the Small Pack Competition

REGIONAL BEER COMPETITIONS Small Pack Premium Bitters & Pale Ales

Small Pack Standard Mild Ales & Brown Ales

Small Pack Standard Bitters & Pale Ales

Adam Bloomfield & Allan Barrett, NFU Mutual, presents Alex Buchanan with the gold award

Buster Grant (SIBA Chairman) presents Eve Clarke with the gold award

Anthony Hughes (Regional Director) presents Janine Shorrock with the gold award

GOLD Thornbridge Brewery AM:PM 4.5 SILVER Ashover Brewery Littlemoor Citra 4.1 BRONZE Brampton Brewery Impy Dark 4.3

GOLD Brampton Brewery Impy Dark 4.3 SILVER The Loose Cannon Brewing Co ltd Abingdon Bridge 4.1 BRONZE XT Brewing Co FOUR 4.2

GOLD Ashover Brewery Littlemoor Citra 4.1 SILVER The Backyard Brewhouse Americana 4.3 BRONZE Lymestone Brewery Stone Faced 4.0

GOLD Thornbridge Brewery AM:PM 4.5 SILVER Lincoln Green Brewing Company Limited Archer 4.5 BRONZE Weal Ales Brewery Weller Weal 4.6

Small Pack Strong Bitters & Pale Ales

Small Pack Premium Strong Beers

Small Pack Standard Lager & Pilsners

Small Pack Premium Lager & Pilsners

John Allcroft (Regional Director) presents Rob Smith with the gold award

Neil Walker (SIBA PR & Marketing) presents Janine Shorrock with the gold award

Buster Grant (SIBA Chairman) presents the gold award to Andrew Reed

Anthony Hughes (Regional Director) presents the gold award to Alex Cosgrove

GOLD The Chiltern Brewery 300's Old Ale 5.0 SILVER Loddon Brewery Forbury Lion IPA 5.5 BRONZE Peak Ales Ltd. IPA 6.0

GOLD Ashover Brewery Victorian Ruby Mild 7.0 SILVER Blue Monkey Brewery Woolly Monkey 6.8 BRONZE The Grainstore Brewery Rutland Beast 5.3

GOLD Charnwood Brewery Liska 4.0 SILVER Derby Brewing Company Python Pilsner 4.2 BRONZE Thornbridge Brewery Lukas 4.2

GOLD Purity Brewing Company Lawless Lager 4.5 SILVER Shiny Brewing Company Shiny Lager 4.5 BRONZE Nobby's Brewing Company Ltd Pilsner 4.8

Small Pack Porters, Stouts, Old Ales, Strong Milds & Strong Brown Ales

Small Pack Speciality Light Beers

Small Pack Speciality Mid to Dark Beers

Sponsored by

NFU Mutual

John Allcroft (Regional Director) presents the gold award to Janine Shorrock

GOLD Ashover Brewery Milk Stout 6.0 SILVER Brampton Brewery Brampton Mild 4.9 BRONZE Blue Monkey Brewery Guerrilla 500ml Bottle 4.9

Sponsored by

Beatson Clark Ltd

Chris Palmer, Beatson Clark Ltd, presents Sarah Bradford with the gold award

GOLD Lymestone Brewery Cherry Stone 5.2 SILVER Dhillons Brewery GPA 3.8 BRONZE Peak Ales Ltd. Chatsworth Gold 4.6

Sponsored by

Saxon Packaging

Stuart Haggar, Saxon Packaging, presents the gold award to Alex Buchanan

Neil Walker (SIBA PR & Marketing) presents the gold award to Alex Buchanan

GOLD Thornbridge Brewery Cocoa Wonderland 6.8 SILVER Fownes Brewing Company Visions of Heresy 5.7 BRONZE The Backyard Brewhouse Coaltown 5.0




East Region Cask Winners


SIBA East Region

Overall Champion of the Cask Beer Competition

Elgoods Brewery, Wisbech. 21st September 2017

Cask Standard Bitters & Pale Ales Sponsored by

Muntons PLC

Sponsored by

Cask Best Bitters & Pale Ales Sponsored by Charles Faram & Co Ltd

SPASoft Ltd

Cask Standard Mild & Brown Ales Sponsored by Rankin Brothers & Sons

Buster Grant (Chairman - Proxy) presents Marcus Turpin with the gold award

Barry Jones, Rankin brothers & Sons, presents Will Edwards with the gold award

GOLD Turpin's Brewery Cambridge Cambridge Black 4.6 SILVER Grain Brewery Lignum Vitae 6.5 BRONZE Oakham Ales Green Devil IPA 6.0

GOLD Wolf Brewery Sirius Dog Star 4.4 SILVER Briarbank Brewing Company Cobnut 4.2 BRONZE Milton Brewery Minotaur 3.3

Cask Premium Bitters & Pale Ales Sponsored by

Cask Strong Bitters & Pale Ales

Rankin Brothers & Sons

Sponsored by

Murphy & Son Ltd

Katie Richardson. Muntons PLC, presents Wil Wood with the gold award

Nigel Gibbons (Proxy) presents Phil Halls with the gold award

Buster Grant (Chairman - Proxy) presents Ethan Kannor with the gold award

Ian Kenny, Murphy & Son Ltd, presents Nigel Wattam with the gold award

GOLD Lacons Brewery Encore 3.8 SILVER Grain Brewery ThreeOneSix 3.9 BRONZE Brewster's Brewery Hophead 3.6

GOLD Grain Brewery Redwood 4.3 SILVER Lacons Brewery Legacy 4.4 BRONZE Tring Brewery Dropbar 4.0

GOLD Brentwood Brewery Hope & Glory 4.5 SILVER Tydd Steam Brewery Dr Fox's Chicken Choker 4.6 BRONZE Elmtree Beers Ltd Snetterton Scary Tree 4.5

GOLD Oakham Ales Green Devil IPA 6.0 SILVER Brentwood Brewery Lumberjack 5.2 BRONZE Green Jack Brewing Co. Ltd. Mahseer IPA 5.8

Cask Premium Strong Beers

Cask Porters, Stouts, Old Ales, Strong Milds & Strong Brown Ales

Cask Speciality Light Beers Sponsored by Rankin

Brothers & Sons

Cask Speciality Mid to Dark Beers

Marcus Beecher (Regional Chair) presents Marcus Turpin with the gold award

Marcus Beecher (Regional Chair) presents Tim Dunford with the gold award

Stuart Bateman (Regional Director) presents Daryl Sleeman with the gold award

GOLD Turpin's Brewery Cambridge Cambridge Black 4.6 SILVER 8 Sail Brewery Victorian Porter 5.0 BRONZE The Norfolk Brewhouse Moon Gazer Dark Mild 4.9

GOLD Green Jack Brewing Co. Ltd. Orange Wheat 4.2 SILVER Nethergate Brewery Umbel Ale 3.8 BRONZE The Norfolk Brewhouse Moon Gazer Raspberry Gold 4.2

GOLD Nethergate Brewery Umbel Magna 5.0 SILVER Mauldons Blackberry Porter 4.8 BRONZE Elgood & Sons Ltd Plum Porter 4.5

Sponsored by

Crisp Malting Group

Nigel Gibbons, Crisp Malting Group, presents Phil Halls with the gold award

GOLD Grain Brewery Lignum Vitae 6.5 SILVER Green Jack Brewing Co. Ltd. Ripper 8.5 BRONZE Lacons Brewery Audit Ale 8.0



East Region Bottle & Small Pack Winners Overall Champion of the Small Pack Competition Sponsored by

Beatson Clark Ltd

Small Pack Standard Mild & Brown Ales


Small Pack Standard Bitters & Pale Ales

Small Pack Premium Bitters & Pale Ales

Sponsored by

Sponsored by

CFB Boilers Ltd

Rastal GmbH & Co. KG

Jonathan Clark, Beatson Clark Ltd, presents Sam Reed with the gold award

Buster Grant (Chairman) presents Will Edwards with the gold award

Dave Parish, CFB Boilers Ltd, presents Reuben Dalton with the gold award

Marcus Beecher (Regional Chair - Proxy) presents Sam Reed with the gold award

GOLD Tring Brewery Pale Four 4.6 SILVER Elgood & sons Ltd Warrior Ale 5.5 BRONZE Wolf Brewery Sirius Dog Star 4.4

GOLD Wolf Brewery Sirius Dog Star 4.4 SILVER Barrell & Sellers Mild'n'Bitter 4.2 BRONZE Bishop Nick Limited Dark Mild 3.7

GOLD Elmtree Beers Ltd Best Bitter 4.2 SILVER Woodforde's Brewery Bure Gold 4.3 BRONZE Bishop Nick Limited Heresy 4.0

GOLD Tring Brewery Pale Four 4.6 SILVER Adnams Ghost Ship 4.5 BRONZE Lacons Brewery Affinity 4.8

Small Pack Strong Bitters & Pale Ales

Small Pack Premium Strong Beers

Small Pack Standard Lager & Pilsners

Sam Abbott (Regional Director) presents Alan Pateman with the gold award

Stuart Bateman (Regional Director) presents Sam Reed with the gold award

Neil Walker presents Bruce Ash with the gold award

Neil Walker presents Ethan Kannor with the silver award

GOLD Elgood & sons Ltd Warrior Ale 5.5 SILVER Bishop Nick Limited Divine 5.1 BRONZE Brewster's Brewery IPA 6.0

GOLD Tring Brewery Death or Glory Ale 7.2 SILVER Adnams Tally-Ho 7.2 BRONZE Elmtree Beers Ltd Gambrinosity 6.8

GOLD The Norfolk Brewhouse DewHopper lager 4.0

GOLD Calvors Brewery Premium Pilsner 5.0 SILVER Brentwood - Elephant School Pils 4.6 BRONZE Ferry Ales Brewery Golden Fleece 4.5

Small Pack Porters, Stouts, Old Ales, Strong Milds & Strong Brown Ales

Small Pack Speciality Light Beers

Small Pack Speciality Mid to Dark Beers

Sam Abbott (Regional Director) presents the gold award to Tim Dunford

Neil Walker presents James Vernon with the gold award

Marcus Beecher (Regional Chair) presents Daryl Sleeman with the gold award

GOLD Nethergate Brewery Old Growler 5.5 SILVER Mauldons Black Adder Stout 5.3 BRONZE Woodforde's Brewery NOG 4.6

GOLD Green Jack Brewing Co. Ltd. Flower Power 6.0 SILVER Nethergate Brewery Lemon Head 4.0 BRONZE Wolf Brewery Straw Dog 4.5

Small Pack Premium Lager & Pilsners Sponsored by

Saxon Packaging

GOLD Mauldons Blackberry Porter 4.8 SILVER Nethergate Brewery Umbel Magna 5.0 BRONZE Elmtree Beers Ltd Winter Solstice 4.6




North West Region Cask Winners


SIBA North West Region

Overall Champion of the Cask Beer Competition

Bolton Whites Hotel, Macron Stadium, Bolton 4th October 2017

Sponsored by

Napthens Solicitors

Malcolm Ireland, Napthens, presents the gold award to Gemma Greenbank, Alex Brodie & James Turner

Cask Standard Bitters & Pale Ales Sponsored by Rankin Brothers & Sons

Cask Best Bitters & Pale Ales Sponsored by

SPASoft Ltd

Cask Standard Mild & Brown Ales Sponsored by Rankin Brothers & Sons

Barry Jones, Rankin Brothers & Sons, presents the gold award to Rory Walker

GOLD Hawkshead Brewery Windermere Pale 3.5 SILVER Hooded Ram Brewing Company Conrod Hoppy Pale 4.8 BRONZE Northern Monkey Brew Co Underdog 6.0

GOLD The Borough Brewery Summertime Dark 4.0 SILVER Coach House Brewing Co Ltd Gunpowder Mild 3.8 BRONZE Watermill Inn & Windermere Brewing Co Blackbeard 3.7

Cask Premium Bitters & Pale Ales Sponsored by

Cask Strong Bitters & Pale Ales Sponsored by

Charles Faram & Co Ltd

Rankin Brothers & Sons

Barry Jones, Rankin Brothers & Sons, presents the gold award to Alex Brodie

Nigel Hoppit, SPASoft Ltd, presents the gold award to Steve Briscoe (proxy)

Mark Lovegrove, Charles Faram & Co Ltd, presents the gold award to Robert Storey

Barry Jones, Rankin Brothers & Sons, presents the gold award to Jonathan Christopher

GOLD Hawkshead Brewery Windermere Pale 3.5 SILVER Blackedge Brewing Company Ltd Session 3.5 BRONZE Prospect Brewery Ltd Whatever! 3.9

GOLD Spitting Feathers Brainstorm 4.0 SILVER Barngates Brewery Tag Lag 4.4 BRONZE Hophurst Brewery Ltd Cosmati 4.2

GOLD Hooded Ram Brewing Company Conrod Hoppy Pale 4.8 SILVER RedWillow Brewery Wreckless 4.8 BRONZE Blackedge Brewing Company Ltd IPA 4.7

GOLD Prospect Brewery Ltd Big Adventure 5.5 SILVER RedWillow Brewery Shameless 5.9 BRONZE Peerless Brewing Knee Buckler IPA 5.2

Cask Porters, Stouts, Old Ales, Strong Milds & Strong Brown Ales

Cask Speciality Light Beers Sponsored by

Cask Speciality Mid to Dark Beers

Barry Jones, Rankin Brothers & Sons, presents the gold award to Liam Convey & Ryan Bailey

Carolyn Uphill, SIBA Non-Exec Director presents Samantha Wood with the gold award

Buster Grant, SIBA Chairman presents Mel Mason with the gold award

GOLD Northern Monkey Brew Co Underdog 6.0 SILVER Brewsmith Beer Oatmeal Stout 5.2 BRONZE Keswick Brewing Co Dark Horse 6.0

GOLD Fool Hardy Ales Riptide 5.0 SILVER Coach House Brewing Co Ltd Elderflower 4.1 BRONZE Blackedge Brewing Company Ltd Ginger 4.5

GOLD RedWillow Brewery Smokeless 5.7 SILVER Lancaster Brewery Chestnut Red 4.5 BRONZE Cumbrian Legendary Ales Vanilla Oatmill Stout 4.8



CBI Insurance

North West Region Bottle & Small Pack Winners Overall Champion of the Small Pack Competition Sponsored by

Beatson Clark Ltd

Small Pack Standard Mild & Brown Ales


Small Pack Standard Bitters & Pale Ales

Small Pack Premium Bitters & Pale Ales

Sponsored by

Sponsored by

Muntons Plc

Rastal GmbH & Co KG

Chris Palmer, Beatson Clark Ltd, presents the gold award to Gemma Greenbank, Alex Brodie & James Turner

Dave Sweeney, North West Chairman presents the gold award to Adam Williams

Jake Mortiboys, Muntons Plc, presents Andrea & Bev Cox with the gold award

Shane Swindells, SIBA Trustee presents Andrea & Bev Cox with the gold award

GOLD Hawkshead Brewery Brodie's Prime Export 8.5 SILVER Wily Fox Brewery Karma Citra 4.3 BRONZE Brightside Brewing Company Amarillo Single Hop IPA 5.0

GOLD Brimstage Brewery Scarecrow 4.2 SILVER Southport Brewery Ltd Dark Night 3.9 BRONZE Keswick Brewing Co Keswick Bitter 3.7

GOLD Wily Fox Brewery Karma Citra 4.3 SILVER Bollington Brewing Co. White Nancy 3.6 BRONZE Brimstage Brewery Sandpiper Light Ale 3.6

GOLD Wily Fox Brewery Black Pearl Black IPA 4.9 SILVER Keswick Brewing Co KSB 4.8 BRONZE Hawkshead Brewery Sundown 4.5

Small Pack Strong Bitters & Pale Ales

Small Pack Premium Strong Beers

Small Pack Premium Lager & Pilsners

Small Pack Porters, Stouts, Old Ales, Strong Milds & Strong Brown Ales

Buster Grant, SIBA Chairman presents Maxine Friedrich & Lance Friedrich with the gold award

Dave Sweeney, North West Chairman presents the gold award to Gemma Greenbank

Shane Swindells, SIBA Trustee presents the gold award to James Turner

Buster Grant, SIBA Chairman presents the gold award to Mark Dickman

GOLD Hawkshead Brewery Hawkshead Lager 5.0 SILVER Joseph Holt Ltd Crystal Gold 4.6 BRONZE Brightside Brewing Company Helles Lager 4.8

GOLD Blackedge Brewing Company Ltd Black Stout 4.0 SILVER Windmill Brewery Liverpool Porter 4.5 BRONZE Weetwood Ales Maori Sidestep 4.4

GOLD Brightside Brewing Company Amarillo Single Hop IPA 5.0 SILVER Hawkshead Brewery NZPA 6.0 BRONZE Weetwood Ales Oregon Pale 5.0

GOLD Hawkshead Brewery Brodie's Prime Export 8.5 SILVER Watermill Inn & Windermere Brewing Co Shih Tzu Faced 7.0 BRONZE Spitting Feathers NSFW 7.5

Small Pack Speciality Light Beers

Small Pack Speciality Mid to Dark Beers

Dave Sweeney, North West Chairman presents the gold award to Gregory Bolton

Shane Swindells, SIBA Trustee presents the gold award to Jonathan Christopher

GOLD Coach House Brewing Co Ltd Blueberry Classic Bitter 5.0 SILVER Joseph Holt Ltd Humdinger 4.1 BRONZE Hawkshead Brewery Chuckleberry Sour 3.5

GOLD Prospect Brewery Ltd Clementine 5.0 SILVER Hawkshead Brewery Tiramisu Imperial Stout 10.0 BRONZE Alphabet Brewing Co Flat White 7.4 WWW.SIBA.CO.UK




Premier Systems have been working hard during 2017 developing new BrewMan features. This year we have completely re-written BrewMan, it no longer uses Microsoft Access programs. We still use a Microsoft Access database or SQL for larger customers.

BrewMan software features:

Outlet Telesales • Outlet Credit Chasing • Product Pricing and Discounting • Cask Tracking • Dray Planning • Dray Runs • Duty Calculations • Stock Control • Repeat Orders • Ullage • Beerflex Orders • Retail Orders • Comprehensive Reporting • SAGE and other accounting systems integration

Additional BrewMan modules:

BrewRep for your sales people on the road • BrewMan Production for your recipes, raw materials and traceability • Delivery App for your Draymen

Version 6 Version 6 was released earlier this year, about 80 breweries have upgraded already and are taking advantage of the new flexibility and features

Version 6 functions in the same way as version 5, so it is just as easy to use but has many new features requested by our users: •A  ll lists can be sorted, filtered and exported to Excel • All lists can be re-ordered by each user • There is a global search box which can be used to search for order or invoice numbers, outlets, products and menu options • Report writer • Purchase ordering • The menu system is displayed along the left‑hand side of the screen, so it’s easier to navigate • A new telesales screen • A new customer ordering website for Cloud or SQL users • A sales dashboard for Cloud or SQL users • A new Delivery App.

BrewMan Web Trade Ordering for Cloud Customers BrewMan can allow your trade customers to order on-line at any time. This gives your customers control of when and what they order and frees up your staff’s time from entering orders. You can allow selected customers and contacts to place orders on‑line. Your customers can then: • Review existing orders • Place new orders • Amend existing undelivered orders • Create repeat orders based upon previous orders • Print Order Acknowledgements • Print Invoices (for delivered or historical orders).

When an order is entered and a product selected, the system will check that there is enough available stock and will calculate the customer’s price based upon pricing and discount structures that have been defined in BrewMan. The delivery date is calculated for the customer based upon the customer’s route. Immediately the order is entered by the customer, it will appear in BrewMan’s Open Order List – all you need to do is organise the delivery. If you use BrewMan’s Web ordering in conjunction with BrewMan’s Mobile Delivery App, the time savings for your staff can be significant.

BrewMan Delivery Application The new BrewMan delivery application was released in 2017 and is proving to be very popular. The application holds all deliveries for a route along with any containers for collection. The driver can scan the containers out as they are delivered and scan empties that are collected. Any money paid is entered against each order and the customer signs for the payment and delivery. The driver can mark orders as complete as he goes. When the driver returns to the Brewery, all the delivery information is uploaded via WiFi to the BrewMan system. Signatures are added to invoices/delivery notes ready for emailing and a cash audit trail is produced. We are told that the Delivery App brings many efficiencies to the delivery and administration process.

If you are interested in any of the information outlined, please call:




Customer Feedback “I joined the industry and Acorn Brewery in March 2017, one of my quick win objectives was to implement efficiencies and put the WOW factor into our way of working. Following 2 months internal due diligence Acorn Brewery took the decision to invest further with BrewMan, we upgraded the System to version 6 and purchased 2 of the handheld PDA’s for the Draymen the view was to run 50% paper base and 50% PDA, to embed the new process. Let’s just say it was that simplistic to use and time effective for the Drayman, the office team and for our customers, it took less than 2 weeks to take the jump and give all our Drayman a device. We have now reduced our paper work by circa 70% we have decreased time on deliveries and saved around 4 hours a week on paper work in the office. It’s fair to say I can’t remember a time before the devices and nor do I want to. They have fundamentally changed our way of working and have definitely given us the WOW factor we were aiming for”. Christy Hughes – Acorn Brewery

“Since implementing the scanners into different departments across the business, we have found it has saved us hours of time. We have a had a few teething issues, which were resolved promptly by Premier support. As the business is constantly expanding, the mobile scanners are a great help for not only our Dray Drivers and Brewery Team but also our Admin Team”.

‘We have found the Delivery App to be an excellent tool for both drivers and administration, the system is quick and easy to operate, saving time and improving efficiency”. Janet Collins – Bays Brewery

“It was very simple to set up. It gives the drivers more autonomy to do their job without so much reliance on the office. The devices are easy to use & easy to update. Capturing information from our deliveries digitally, it omits the need to keep piles of delivery notes. I asked for a change to be implemented on the device: the dray notes were not being “checked off” when the driver had completed a task. My request was taken on board and the device now does what I asked for! The technical support is brilliant and I always get the help I need”. Lucy Glover – Wylam Brewery

Claire James – Purity Brewing

“We decided to bring in the BrewMan system after a recommendation from a fellow brewer. A demo was booked and Nigel took us through all the aspects of the main system and also the Production system. We were impressed with how comprehensive the system was. Our main focus had been to build a customer relationship database. The telesales function covered this and integrated into all areas of the brewery including our accounts system. One optional feature we were very impressed with was the BrewMan Delivery App. Using an industry standard rugged touch screen device our drayman was able to keep track of casks and collect a digital signature that would be included in any emailed invoices sent after delivery. It gives a very professional touch to our contact with customers. We’ve been very impressed with BrewMan and the Delivery App as a product and with Premier Systems excellent customer service”. Richard Padmore – Don Valley Brewery

“Just a quick one to say the new handheld delivery device is working really well for us. It cuts down on paperwork, saves us a considerable amount of time, and helps reduce errors. We would certainly recommend it to other brewers”.

“Significant cutback in administration due to BrewMan’s Delivery App, all signed POD’s/Invoices can be sent electronically, no more scanning. Delivery schedules easy to plan with each driver having access to all the routes. Cash and cheque payments easily recorded on the handset and a report produced at end of day for cashing up – environmentally friendly. One other very important advantage – no filing!” Mary Ruffell – Sambrooks Brewery

“From Saltaire’s point of view the Delivery App system has brought many benefits in terms of efficiency and professionalism. The system saves us approximately 75% processing time a week – we no longer scan signed delivery notes to add signatures, or scan casks in and out in the office. Upon the driver’s return, orders are automatically marked as complete and are ready for posting to accounts. As well as improving efficiency, the application looks good, work well, and is easy to use. Our customers tell us they appreciate having the name and signature of the person receiving the goods printed on their invoices. It’s win‑win all round”. Ewen Gordon – Saltaire Brewery

Jared Brown – Gloucester Brewery

Premier Systems Ltd


02380 811 100 or Email,








Shetland Isles




Brewman : software you can rely on. Premier’s Brewery Management System, Brewman, has been designed and written to allow your brewery to manage business in a more efficient manner and make the most of your best resource - your customers.

SYSTEM BENEFITS Brewman has the following major benefits: • Complete control of outlet ordering, pricing and history • Outlet telesales • Product pricing and forecasting • Cask tracking • Dray planning • Ullage • Dray runs • Beerflex  orders and Web orders • Duty calculations • Retail orders • Stock control • Comprehensive reporting • • Repeat orders Integration to • Mobile Delivery SAGE and other Application accounting systems

Local and Cloud versions available SQL Server version for larger databases CALL

02380 811 100


IBU, ABV, EBC & pH In One Analyser



l Quick and easy to use l No calibration needed l Other tests available

for liquor, wort & beer

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Simpsons Malt announces solid year end results 2016 with turnover dipping to £143.8 million Independent maltster, Simpsons Malt, has (£160.7m). reported a solid set of results for 2016 Simpsons Malt, which is headquartered in following ongoing infrastructure investment with another malting and global sales. The family owned company, Berwick-upon-Tweed plant at Tivetshall St Margaret in Norfolk, that includes agricultural trading divisions continued to invest heavily in the business. McCreath, Malt's Managing WE ARE INCREDIBLY POSITIVE FOR Simpsons Simpson & Director, Tim McCreath said: "The Group's malting Prentice (MSP), THE FUTURE OF SIMPSONS MALT business performed and John Guthrie as expected with malt Ltd, credited a positive end of year mainly volumes falling short of last year's record on increasing opportunities within the global performance. This was due to a marginal decline in distilling malt volumes not being fully brewing industry and continuing demand offset by growing brewing volumes. We are from distilling customers. incredibly positive for the future of Simpsons Tim McCreath, Simpsons Malt's Managing Director

The business reported a marginal decrease in profit before tax to £9.3 million (£9.9m) for the financial year ending on 31st December

Malt, and will continue to invest heavily in the business and our people to ensure we continue to be world leaders in our industry.”

Long Service recognition at family-owned maltster Berwick-based Simpsons Malt ended 2017 by recognising the long service of 11 employees at the family-owned maltster. Committed to staff training and retention Simpsons Malt recognise the hard-work and dedication of its employees with the awarding of Long Service certificates.

Executive PA Shirley McCreath, Craigswalls Site Manager George Sykes and Malting Operator Terry Coulson have each worked at the company for 30 years.

Now in its fifth generation, staff at the family-owned firm were thanked by Simon Simpson OBE, Chairman, and his son and Vice-Chairman, Richard Simpson at a dinner marking the special occasion, which took place at Queens Head Hotel in Berwick upon Tweed.

Agrochemicals/Grass Seed Supervisor David Macvicar, Ian Mortan, a Process Controller and Senior Operator, based at Tivetshall Mark Flatt were also awarded for 30 years' service.

Recognised for 15 years' service were ICT Support Joy Brewis, Maltings Engineering Manager Callum Richardson and from the Transport Department, Manager Gareth Riddell and Driver David Clark. Grain Trade Director Gordon Wyllie was thanked for his 20 years of work, while

Speaking about the recognition Richard Simpson said: "Having been involved in the family business for 20 years, I am pleased to recognise the dedication that each of our long service employees has brought to their role and the company. We are committed to working with members of staff to facilitate personal development through support and training opportunities.


This is just one of the reasons we believe that so many of our employees choose to remain at Simpsons Malt." Executive PA Shirley McCreath, one of the maltster's longest-serving employees having started as a lab technician in 1987 commented: "It has been a real pleasure working with Simon, Richard, and all my colleagues at Simpsons Malt for the past 30 years. The long service of employees is absolute testament to the commitment the family-business has to running a successful business with a loyal team."

For more information go to



ng Marketi

Extraordinary Distinction

0141 226 3411


TECHNICAL SUPPORT ON-SITE TRAINING & RESIDENTIAL TRAINING COURSES NEXT COURSE: 18 - 21 MARCH 2018 David Smith or Rob Smith David: 07970 629552 / Rob: 07966 693097



esign on | D

oti | Prom



Picture Red Flame Comms.jpg

Crisp MD Adrian Dyter (left) Fengrain MD, Rob Munro (right) cutting ribbon.

Crisp Malt and Fengrain celebrate the success of their joint venture silos project One year and 120 million pints on from the installation of four new, state-of-theart silos in North Norfolk, and it’s clear the £1.8m investment is delivering on its promises. The venture between Crisp Malt and farming co-operative Fengrain has seen impressive results. These include improvements in environmental impact, expanded production and increased productivity. The silos, which opened in November 2016, have saved around 20,000 HGV miles and 27,000kg carbon monoxide.

grain in peak condition is available to the maltsters on site, on demand all year round.” The silos hold enough barley grain to produce 7,700 tonnes of premium quality malt a year. That quantity of malt has been used by brewers at home and abroad to create 120 million pints of beer. Britain is the world’s number 4 malt producer – and Crisp is one of the nation’s main producers and exporters. The company exports around 20% of the malt it produces here on its three sites in East Anglia and two in Scotland.

Graham Taylor, Crisp Production Director

“This is a significant environmental improvement by anybody’s measure,” says Fengrain managing director Rob Munro. “Grain no longer has to be taken to multiple locations for storage, then - at later dates - reloaded in numerous batches and transported to Crisp’s maltings in Gt Ryburgh.

“Our fine malt is sent to brewers and distillers in countries across the globe,” says Adrian Dyter, managing director, Crisp Malt. “We’re proud to play a part in the British food and drink industry’s huge contribution to export. And it’s great to think that people far and wide can be tasting a little bit of East Anglia as they sip their beer or whisky.”

different malts at home too. The 1,700plus breweries in the UK, including at least 70 in Norfolk and Suffolk, are between them producing over 10,000 different cask ales a year. The extra capacity provided by the silos is playing a key role in ensuring that the company can meet the needs of the growing craft beer market.

“Now, barley is taken direct to Crisp and stored in the new silos. This means local

The expansion of craft brewing is stimulating demand for Crisp’s many

For more information go to




The beer experts Courses for brewers We offer a range of courses suitable for the brewing industry. Intensive Practical Brewing Course

Craft Brew Packaging

Gain practical experience on this course, which takes you through the daily production process from the raw materials through to the finished product.

Craft Brew Packaging is an intensive one day course providing a comprehensive introduction to packaging techniques for cask, keg, bottling and canning. It is suitable for those looking to advance their knowledge and skills in packaging to ensure quality and consistency in their final products.

Craft Brew Quality Craft Brew Quality is an intensive one day workshop providing a comprehensive introduction to microbiology techniques and quality assurance as required by commercial brewing. It is suitable for those looking to advance their knowledge and skills to ensure quality and consistency in their brewing products.



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Figure 2


Brewing beer and fermenting with active dry yeast just became even easier The use of active dry yeast has been widely accepted in the brewing industry as both quality and diversity have been improved considerably in the last decade. In short, the production of active dry yeast starts from a vial with pure liquid culture followed by a series of propagation steps in aerobic fermenters of increasing volume. In the final production fermenter the yeast is grown aerobically. Next the yeast is harvested by centrifugation, concentrated to about 32% dry matter by rotating vacuum filters and dried in a so called fluidized bed dryer in which fast, homogeneous and protective drying is guaranteed. To permit a good resistance to rehydration, the yeast is coated with a protective agent (most times the vegetal emulsifier sorbitan monostearate (MSS)) just prior to drying. The final powder (see figure 1) consists of 94-97% dry matter and is vacuum-packed to protect against oxidation and moisture and allows preservation of up to 3 years. The long shelf life is one of the major advantages of active dry yeast. In addition, when considering production management there are several other advantages of active dry yeast as a replacement of liquid yeast propagation like e.g. significantly lower costs, no need for yeast quality management (done by supplier) and a massive increase in production flexibility. In comparison with yeast propagation, the preparation time of active dry yeast can almost be neglected. The statement (still circulating on the internet) that propagated yeast has a better fermentation performance and yields better quality beer than active dry yeast has been disproven in several academic studies. Actually, the fermentation and drying processes and related recipes have been designed to best shape-up the yeast in terms of vitality, viability and purity at time of rehydration and fermentation start. Nowadays many high quality and award winning beers are being produced with active dried yeast. Figure 1 Optical microscopy image of active dry yeast powder granules prior to packaging.

procedures (in triplicate). DP: direct pitch without rehydration. W: rehydration in water at 30°C with moderate agitation, 15°P: rehydration in 15°P wort at 20°C with moderate agitation

Figure 1

To prepare active dry yeast for fermentation, it needs to be rehydrated. The standard rehydration procedure involves the sprinkling of the desired amount of yeast in 10 times its weight in sterile water or hopped wort within a specific optimal temperature range for each yeast and leave to rest for a set amount of time under gentle stirring. Next the yeast cream is pitched in the fermenter. Although this procedure has been proven to be effective, the first results of a new study in which 3 different rehydration procedures, i.e. rehydration at 30°C with moderate agitation, rehydration in 15°P wort at 20°C with moderate agitation and direct pitch without rehydration, indicate no significant differences in fermentation performance for all tested ale yeasts (SafAle™ S-04, SafAle™ US-05, SafAle™ K-97, SafAle™ S-33, SafAle™ WB-06, SafAle™ BE-256, SafAle™ T-58, SafAle™ BE-134) and lager yeasts (SafLager™ S-23, SafLager™ S-189 and SafLager™ W-34/70). At the end of fermentations, no significant differences in concentration of ethanol, residual sugars and volatiles (acetaldehyde, esters, higher alcohols and vicinal diketones) between rehydration procedures were observed (see figure 2). This indicates that the direct pitching procedure is adequate for fermentation. Figure 2 Fermentation performance of SafAle™ US-05 (Pitching rate 50 g/ hL, 15°P, 20°C) and the concentration of ethanol, residual sugars and volatiles (acetaldehyde, esters, higher alcohols and vicinal diketones) at the end of fermentation for 3 different rehydration


In practice, the consecutive steps for direct pitching are • Fill the fermenter with 1/3 of the wort volume (up to the top of the CKT cone) at a temperature of 21-29 °C • Sprinkle the active dry yeast cells directly in the fermenter • Add the remaining 2/3 of the volume of wort at fermentation temperature to allow for mixing of yeast and wort. The new direct pitch procedure further simplifies fermentation in practice as it eliminates the need for rehydration of the active dry yeast prior to the process. The complete study including all results of the EASY 2 USE™ yeasts will be publically available soon. To all brewers that still doubt the use of active dry yeast, you should use it at least once; believe me you’ll keep on using it once you discover the benefits.

Gino Baart (1973) is a brewing professional with strong expertise in microbial cell physiology & metabolism, has a background in Food, Nutrition & Biotechnology (PhD), Bioprocess Engineering (MSc) and Chemical Engineering (BSc) and loves fermentation. He is now working as Technical Sales Manager for active dry yeast specialist Fermentis –





owered by Lesaffre, one of the world’s largest yeast and yeast derivatives manufacturer, we offer you the highest quality standard of products for beer manufacturing. Through a dedicated range of active dry yeasts and fermentation aids, we deliver innovative solutions to give you the ability to create the beer you dream about.

make your packaged beer taste even better

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Thielmann UK handles all your container needs Based in Dewsbury, Thielmann UK Ltd. is one of the Industry’s leading experts in Brewery Container Services, including new, repairs and refurbishment of kegs, casks and spears. The firm has the capability to brand new blank kegs or casks in all sizes ranging from the very small (20L/4,5G) to the larger (50L/9G) - independent of quantity to your requirements. This includes embossing, paint banding, extractor of your choice in a standard 14tpi neck. Thielmann is also capable of re-branding containers with the removal of embossed, painted and printed markings to be replaced with silk screen printed logos/ painting/ identification plates/ and cleaning to make your acquired fleet look like new.

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Nielsen sales research shows rise in popularity for canned craft beer New research by Nielsen has revealed cans make up a quarter of craft beers sales in the UK in the Nielsen universe. The research demonstrates the booming growth for craft beer, with canned craft beer sales increasing 327 per cent from January to August 2017. The research includes data from Grocery multiples and Off Licences and shows that cans are now an increasingly popular choice for craft beer versus the bottle. Grocery multiples sold in can saw a 349 per cent and Off License sales in cans saw a 140 per cent rise. Part of this rise in popularity can be attributed to consumers’ changing attitudes. Consumers, particularly millennials, are increasingly looking for packaging that fits in with their own lifestyle and image: standout design, lightweight, easily recyclable; as well as a great quality

product kept in perfect condition.

recycling rate by 2020 (Alupro).

Additionally, brands are now able to choose the canning option best suited their needs. The recent introduction of lower volume contract lines in the UK, as well as a wide choice of mobile lines for hire and lines for purchase, has contributed to the growth. Brewers also understand that their customers are looking for greener packaging options so are being savvier by choosing the most recycled pack format on the market.

Martin Constable, Chairman of the Can Makers, says: “The growth of the canned craft beer market over the past year has exceeded expectations and has paved the way for other craft drinks’ makers to enter the market. We are beginning to see a trend of adult soft drinks and cocktails looking to achieve similar success.

Metal is a permanently available material that can be recycled again and again, without losing any of its structural integrity. This is known as ‘real recycling’. Around 38 million drinks cans are recycled in the UK every week . In 2016, seven out of every ten aluminium drink cans sold in the UK were recycled. This 70 per cent milestone makes a major contribution to the European metal packaging sector’s own ambition to reach and exceed an average 80 per cent metal packaging

“Craft brewers have understood that choosing the can is the best packaging option for retaining the product’s quality and authenticity, delivering those complex tastes that consumers love. It has inspired other drinks and majors to take a fresh look at their packaging and how they can use it to be innovative and stand out on the shelf to the consumer.”

To find out how to produce craft beer in cans and examples of success stories, visit

Cask Force builds relationship with Nene Valley Brewery With the keg market growing in the UK many of Cask Force’s existing customer base are getting in contact and asking about the keg equipment the brand is now building and has established in the UK market over recent years, this started with the K-series dual cask and keg washers and has continued with the KEG 2000 series of washer/fillers. The latest customer to make an enquiry was Nene Valley Brewery based in Oundle, Northamptonshire. They have been expanding their keg population and were washing; sterilising and filling 50 kegs a week by hand. This involved removing the spears washing and sterilising them

independently of the keg, which was then washed on the brewery’s 200 series Cask Force cask washer, purchased in the summer of 2012. The kegs were then reassembled and filled direct from one of the brewery’s conditioning tanks. This was slow, time consuming and inefficient, the risk of contamination also existed when the spear was removed. Considering this and with demand for their range of keg beers increasing, Dick Simpson, the brewery’s owner and founder, took the decision to invest in a keg washer filler and after doing the necessary research decided that a KEG2000 would best suit their needs. He said: ‘We’ve looked at other equipment but the simple, uncomplicated design, output


performance and previous backup received have lead us to this decision. From what I’ve seen so far I think it has been a good choice but time will tell!’ With production forecast to rise to one hundred kegs a week, time will certainly tell on that!

For more information on the Cask Force range of machines please call 0800 157 7198 and ask for Keith Trenton or visit our website or email For information and prices on the chemical range please call Chris Roll. Chris can be reached on 01493 750072 or via email at SIBA JOURNAL WINTER 2018


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New product data and image service unveiled for the retail industry A new service offering a universal format for retailers and suppliers – including Tesco, itsu and Unilever – to share and manage product data and images has been launched by GS1 UK. The not-for-profit standards organisation has been working with a group of grocery retailers and suppliers to develop an industry-governed service to deliver accurate and consistent data. The productDNA:hub sets out agreed processes and data rules, based on the common need to improve product data quality and efficient sharing across the retail industry. Members of the group will be implementing the service from early 2018, ahead of a full industry launch in spring 2018. The productDNA:hub service is based around three components. It enables suppliers to share product data and images with retailers in a consistent format with standardised attributes and data fields; it catalogues product data and images; and

product data is independently audited and verified for accuracy and quality. GS1 UK is managing productDNA:hub on behalf of the industry, through the Retail Grocery Advisory Board, whose members represent almost 80% of the UK retail grocery market. The service defines and manages more than 150 industry-agreed data attributes for products across the grocery sector, including physical product data such as dimensions, weight and volume, as well as ingredients, nutritional values and allergen information. The product data and images are owned by suppliers, without any third-party commercial constraints, and all the data attributes follow rules established by GS1 global standards, with further attributes to cover additional retail sectors planned for later in 2018. Gary Lynch, Chief Executive of GS1 UK, said: “Retailers and suppliers have spent years wrestling with the challenges of managing and sharing product data and images. Historically, there has been a huge problem with incompatible systems

and multiple processes. This has led to inaccurate and unreliable data across the retail sector, which has affected the shopper experience. “Only by working together has the industry finally been able to solve the problem with productDNA:hub, a single source of trusted product data and images for every retailer and supplier, including the smallest suppliers and start-ups.” He added: “Shoppers today are hungry for information about the products they are buying. They’re not only looking at nutritional values but they also want to know where their products are coming from and whether there are any allergens present that they need to be careful of. “productDNA:hub will benefit the entire grocery industry when it comes to managing data and will also allow them to deliver on their promise to their customers, while enabling them to turn their attention to other important areas of innovation.”

All retailers and suppliers are invited to register their interest productDNAhub.


Vanity or Sanity – where does your brand sit? It seems that everyone in the brewing industry is chasing both volume and added value – is this an oxymoron in business terms? Many brewers are expanding their capacity and at the same time premium is still the Holy Grail. Whereas, the reality appears to be that the retailers are calling the shots and discounting is rife. Positioning your brand to be fit for your target market has become even more important. In the past 10 years there has probably been more change across the brewing industry than the previous 100 years. This has included a significant cultural change with beer becoming even more inclusive. So, in an ever more crowded category with a widening demographic,

it’s the brands that know their place in the market and market to the right places that will win through. It’s all about understanding your value proposition and giving the customer a reason to believe - building a fan base that buys into your beer philosophy. This needs to be supported by a beer portfolio that suits both your brand and your target market. For example, just because flavoured beer ‘is of the month’, doesn’t necessarily mean you should follow suit, you need to be credible and not just a ‘me too’. Remember, as consumers we like choice and think we are independent, whilst in reality we are tribal and favour the familiar. Whilst drinkers are happy to experiment, they tend to return to what they know and like. Where is the future growth? It appears that 80 percent of brewers are focusing



on craft and premium (less than 20% of the market). For those who are looking for volume the standard/session beer category is still to play for. Whilst at the other end of the scale, there is still growth in the super premium, special edition beers category and larger format packaged beers. Both need careful strategic consideration, in terms of the beers you brew and the branding that supports them. Whether it’s fame or fortune, or both, whatever your proposition and positioning, your brand needs to be fit for market – strategy and planning is key.

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



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

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






Coastal Brewery expands distribution It’s been another year of new markets for Alan Hinde’s Coastal Brewery, based in Redruth in the heart of Cornwall.

and Mosaic Gold, to strong dark brews, such as Erosion and Kernow Imperial Stout, which have gained quite a following.

A number of new pubs and bars have been added to the brewery’s weekly delivery routes, from Norwich and East Anglia up to Bristol, Manchester and Liverpool.

“We hand bottle in-house, which gives complete control over quality,” says Alan. “With a bottle store now on our website, we are seeing increasing orders from businesses, as well as bars and craft beer stores.”

But bottled beer has been a key area of growth, from session bitters like Angelina

With an average of 3.49 out of five on

Untappd, it’s clear the beers are being appreciated, with comments such as “very smooth and moreish” (Cornish Cascade) and “Boom! Hops in your face!” (Proper American Pale Ale). PAPA, as it is known, was one of a raft of new brews in 2017, with new hop varieties certain to lead to more innovation this year, down at the Home of the Hop Monster.

Go to for more.

New online shop for Dartmoor Brewery Leading South West craft ale producer Dartmoor Brewery launched a new online shop to cater for the Christmas shopping rush. The new online shop has been launched in response to demand from craft ale fans across the country, who have discovered Dartmoor Brewery ales as the Devon brewery increasingly markets its craft ales to a national audience.


Dartmoor Brewery branded gifts, clothing and merchandise head up the product list, with the famous Jail Ale brand featuring on many of the products. Richard Smith, Managing Director of Dartmoor Brewery, commented: “Our ales have always had a strong following in the South West, and we are now extending our coverage outside the region where the appeal of craft ales is just as strong. We have a great range of branded merchandise, clothing and gifts, and we wanted to make it easier for fans of our beers to buy our merchandise, wherever they might be in the country. With Christmas just around the corner, the timing couldn’t be better!”

The new online shop can be found at

Moor Beer Co’s Justin Hawke wins top accolade Justin Hawke, Head Brewer at Moor Beer Co in Bristol, and SIBA’s National Vice-Chairman, has been named the British Guild of Beer Writers’ Brewer of the Year 2017. SIBA Chief Executive Mike Benner attended the annual awards dinner in London and had this to say on Justin’s win: “On behalf of SIBA I would like to offer huge congratulations to SIBA Vice Chairman Justin Hawke on winning the British Guild of Beer Writers’ Brewer of the Year Award. Judges commented that Moor Beer Co expertly tow that tricky line between brewing both traditional and more challenging beers, and it is that dexterity which has surely made them a hit with beer drinkers across the UK. I can think of no more worthy winner of this prestigious award.”




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Exeter Chiefs and Otter Brewery lined up together for the 2017 Poppy Appeal England’s reigning Premiership Rugby champions and one of Devon’s leading breweries joined forces to help raise money for last year’s Poppy Appeal. Building on a strong relationship that pre-dates their promotion to top flight rugby, Exeter Rugby Club and long-time sponsor Otter Brewery are hoping fans will get behind their combined efforts and raise a glass for the Royal British Legion.

During the club’s Anglo-Welsh Cup match against Northampton Pictured from left to right are: Tom Hendrickson (Exeter Chiefs; Saints on 4th Centre), Luke Roberts (Otter Brewery) and Jack Maunder (Exeter Chiefs; Scrum-Half). November, between them they contributed 5p from every pint of ‘Hiawotter’ (the resident Otter beer at Sandy Park) sold across all of the bars to the Poppy Appeal.

Each autumn Otter’s Head Brewer Keith Bennett produces a specially created charity beer called ‘Poppy Otter’ for pubs and drinkers across the West Country. For 2017 the brewery and the rugby club put their heads together and, building on a mutual support for local charities, decided to make the Poppy Appeal a shared priority.

Patrick McCaig from Otter Brewery commented: “We share a very close personal affinity with the values the RBL hold dear and an added bonus for us is that all the money raised locally is then used locally. In the last seven years Poppy Otter has contributed £11,000 to their regional efforts.”

Stroud Brewery Achieves 100% Organic Production Stroud Brewery last year announced it is now dedicated to producing 100% organic beers.

year winning a Gold at the SIBA regional competition 2017.

Established in 2006, Stroud Brewery began bottling organic beers in 2008. The company’s flagship organic bottled beers, Budding and Tom Long came first, quickly followed by Big Cat and Teasel. The brewery also produces an organic premium lager – last

“We want to be recognised for producing delicious organic beers.” Says owner and managing director Greg Pilley. “As well as having clear biodiversity, health and social benefits, I have always believed that the organic standards are the perfect basis to produce high quality products.

The Soil Association’s organic standards, that the brewery maintains, not only determines production of the ingredients, but also how beer is made, packaged and traded.

We want to develop our business with integrity, building long term relationships with people we work with and sell to. For me, that’s what underpins an organic business. However, converting to 100% organic ingredients does come at a cost. We pay more for our hops and barley but we believe it is worth paying for.” Stroud Brewery are always open to working with like minded independents and distributors who share the same business ethos and values.

For more information go to

South West ‘SIBA Rail Ale Trail’ takes place South West Brewer’s Pub wins Visit on longest heritage railway in the UK England’s Tourism Pub of the Year 2017 A historic real ale trail took place on the UK’s longest heritage railway featuring beers from 23 different South West breweries, spread across train ‘pop-up’ beer bars on a 20 mile route. Brewing members of the South West Region of SIBA came together to create the ‘SIBA Rail Ale Trail’, with ‘pop-up’ beer bars placed along the West Somerset Railway, the longest heritage railway in the UK. The unique ale trail aimed to attract over 4,000 thirsty beer lovers across the three day event last year. “This is the first time any heritage railway has featured an event such as this anywhere in the UK. Attendees purchased a ticket which includes two free halves and they can sample the beers on offer at whichever end they board the train. We had brewers from Devon ready to pour their beers from custom ‘pop-up’ beer bars at the Minehead stop, Wiltshire & Dorset brewers at the Stogumber stop and Somerset brewers at the Bishops Lydiard stop,” said Event Organiser and SIBA South West Secretary, Carl Beeson.

A seaside pub owned by independent brewery Palmers in the South West has won VisitEngland’s Tourism Pub of the Year. The Anchor, in Seatown, West Dorset – owned by SIBA member Palmers Brewery and run by Landlord Paul Wiscombe and his hard-working team – took home the top spot in the pub category of the “VisitEngland Awards for Excellence”. “SIBA would like to congratulate The Anchor’s Landlord Paul Wiscombe and his team, as well owners Palmers Brewery, on winning this prestigious tourism award. A traditional English pub is still top of tourists’ must visit list and where could be better than The Anchor, which is still going strong after 160 years of serving fantastic British brewed beer!” said Mike Benner, SIBA’s Chief Exec. The Anchor, which serves a full range of beers from independent craft brewer Palmers, edged out The Howard Arms in the West Midlands and The Tankerville Arms in the North East, who were named runners-up.




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Can Packaging with Cattitude The Five Points Brewing Company is based in Hackney, East London, and has been brewing bold, flavoursome beers in a Victorian railway arch since March 2013 under the guidance of Head Brewer Greg Hobbs and Owner/Director Ed Mason. Saxon Packaging has been working with The Five Points since producing their first three bottle gift pack nearly four years ago, which is still in use today. When Five Points had another brew that needed packaging “there wasn’t really a question of working with anyone other than Saxon”, said Doreen, Marketing Manager of The Five Points. “We’ve already had such a brilliant and longstanding relationship with Saxon Packaging, it would be hard to work with anyone else,” she added.

In March last year, Five Points approached Saxon about producing high quality can packaging for their new Field Day Citrus Pale Ale which is the second beer they have prepared especially for Field Day Festivals (an East London music and arts festival). The artwork for the packaging was put together by Kate Lyons, the Graphic Designer behind all of Five Points’ design work and branding. However, The Field Day Citrus Pale Ale product design had a little more cattitude than previous products. Field Day Festivals had used images of cats throughout their own marketing material and it was Doreen’s idea to continue this theme onto their own product design. After a brain storm with Kate, they then decided to not only feature

cats but to use images of cats owned by The Five Points team! “We are incredibly pleased! The packaging is wonderful and has a great feel to it. The print quality of the colour and the cats is excellent and really compliments the design” said Doreen.

If you have a packaging requirement get in touch on 01502 513112 or email

What value do you place on your brand? YOUR BRAND IS YOUR BUSINESS AND YOUR BUSINESS IS YOUR BRAND, SO IT’S CRUCIAL TO PROTECT IT AT ALL COSTS. Imagine the scenario: your idea for a business becomes reality when you develop something that people want and it creates demand. All you then need to do is make sure people remember what it is and recognise it next time they see it. The other aspects of consistency, reliability and even taste should be taken for granted. So how do you find that subliminal reminder? Well that’s the power of developing a brand. Your brand can stand for many things: Who you are, what you are, what you look like and even hint at an experience you are likely to receive from its consumption, in the case of food and drink. So just how far can you go to protect the image of your product? Would it cover a name?

Legally speaking you can do battle over a Name. Your brand is your business and your business is your brand, so it’s crucial to protect it at all costs. A current example of what can happen is the battle raging between ‘Iceland’ the country and ‘Iceland Foods’. This shows just how important it is to seek expert advice to secure your brand name. Seeking expert advice should occur at the earliest possible time in the lifecycle of your product as leaving it late is open to risk in many forms as we have seen with the Iceland branding. Iceland - the country has taken legal proceedings against Iceland- the food company saying it restricts Icelandic companies from using their country name as a descriptor because the food company has secured a EUTM (European Trade mark) for the word ‘Iceland’.


SUPPLIER viewpoint

The battle fiercely continues and even a food giant has much to lose if just one ground of the Country’s case is upheld. The outcome of this ongoing dispute is eagerly awaited but it just goes to show that even a country or a food giant can at risk of legal intervention if the IP protection sought is not sufficiently robust. It’s a case of watching this space and at the same time watching your brand. Is it safe?

Additional information about IP protection can be found via www. Nucleus IP will be speaking and have a stand at the SIBA Beer X 2018 Event, 14-15 March 2018, and will be available for questions at the event. Please feel free to visit us at the event.




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The Northwest Brewers Meetup As Beer enthusiasts themselves Zoedale love getting involved in the communities of the industries they supply so they decided to run an event for Brewers in Manchester. The event raised funds and awareness for Mustard Tree Charity, helping Manchester’s Homeless and people trapped in poverty. The event was held in the Beer House of local Brewery Seven Brothers. It was an informal affair and delegates were met with free beers on arrival and a chance to catch up with industry peers before the sessions kicked off. First up was Steve Dunkley from local brewery Beer Nouveau. Steve told us he has been brewing beer since the age of 14 (yes, it is legal to brew and consume your own beer at this age) then moved on to how he made the jump to commercial brewing. Steve’s session was in depth and provided a step by step guide to setting up a brewery from a regulatory point of view. Next was one of the Seven Brothers Keith McAvoy who talked about crowdfunding.

James Bleakley from Kegstar delivering a session

Having successfully raised a sum of money to invest in their own Brewery Keith talked about the different platforms available, how to prepare a pitch, how to decide what equity to give away, what rewards to offer and how to plan to invest the cash. The session was interesting and very useful to anyone thinking of crowdfunding. James Bleakley from Kegstar UK took the next session and discussed how you can upscale your brewery to meet demand without investing in a fleet of kegs and casks. Missing or lost Kegs and Casks cost the industry £50M per year. James explained how Kegstar works – Pre order the kegs you think you will need, the kegs get delivered to you to fill with your produce then distribute to your outlets, they scan the code on the kegs once they need them collecting and the whole cycle starts again Lastly, Ben Crow from Orchestrated Beer talked about how this clever software, based on market leader SAP Business One, can streamline your brewery production and make you more efficient.

This is the software used by the likes of BrewDog, Camden Town and many more and is now available in an affordable pay monthly package that is scaled to your brewery. The software handles everything from Accounting, Stock Management & Recipes, Production, Purchasing, Sales & Shipments, Planning & Scheduling, Quality Control and Brewery Reporting. There were more beers and a raffle! Prizes were donated by Zoedale and ranged from a set of Marsden B100 Bench Scales to boxes of Seven Brothers Craft Beer. The event raised nearly £350 for Mustard Tree and all the delegates said they enjoyed it and got some use out of the afternoon. Next year Zoedale plan to run a similar event in London. Zoedale is an Experienced Technical Supplier Of Valves, Actuators & Hygienic Products.

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Beatson Clark taps into Italian craft beer market The craft beer sector is booming in Italy, so the New Craft Beer Italy conference and exhibition in Milan was a perfect opportunity for Beatson Clark to showcase its products and services.

Beatson Clark is a leading UK manufacturer of glass packaging and already makes beer bottles for a number of breweries, including Drive Beer and Birrificio Antoniano in Italy, Brooklyn Brewery in the United States and BrewDog and Robinson’s in the UK. The company, which was founded in South Yorkshire in 1751, exhibited the show on 22nd and 23rd November 2017. Alongside demonstrations of embossing techniques and samples of standard and bespoke beer bottles, Beatson Clark also

ran a pub quiz and invited brewery representatives to win a free trial pallet of glass or free sample mould equipment for their own customised bottle. “The craft beer sector is growing exponentially across the world, and while the US and the UK are leading the way other European countries are now getting on board,” said Charlotte Taylor, Marketing Manager at Beatson Clark. “We already work with two craft breweries in Italy and we’re looking forward to meeting many more at this exciting event. As well as water, barley, hops and yeast, all brewers need beer bottles! We have an outstanding range of bottles in our general sale range that are perfect for small breweries, including our new champagne-


style 500ml and 330ml Skittle bottles. For breweries with a larger budget we have an expert team of in-house designers who can create stunning bespoke designs for customers. And we can even add embossing to our standard bottle shapes to reduce the overall cost of a unique bottle.”

To find out more about the show visit




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Introducing the new Gutsherren Pint Brimful Tankard!


For more information or a quotation contact the MASTERBREW team on 0115 947 0032 or email


Rastal is proud to launch a new brimful pint Gutsherren tankard, created especially for the UK market! · Modern, practical and very robust · Flat sides allow multiple decoration options · Bespoke nucleation available · Packed in boxes of 6 pcs · 196mm high, 116mm diameter (including handle) · Glasswasher proof Rastal, as SIBA’s glassware Silver Sponsor offers all SIBA members free artwork origination and first decorated sample subject to receiving a confirmed order.


Best practice powers Australia’s newest independent brewery Australia’s newest, most technologically advanced and efficient brewery, Brick Lane Brewing Co., will be powered by technology that delivers best practice processes. Brick Lane Brewing Co., a brand-new independent Australian brewery, will be the most technologically advanced and efficient brewhouse of its size. The Brick Lane brewery is under construction in Melbourne, Australia, and is expected to be fully commissioned in early 2018. Brick Lane is already producing a Lager and Pale Ale that have received tremendous feedback from the market and are available at selected venues in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. “We developed the Lager in the Munich Helles tradition following a brewing trip to Munich by Jon Seltin and the Brick Lane team in early 2017. The Pale Ale is a new world expression of the style using Australian and US hops,” said founder Paul Bowker.

Striving for operational excellence with technology

Brick Lane Brewing Co. is determined to build a world class brewery that is best in

class for a brewery of its size. For Brick Lane this includes the ability to streamline, simplify and automate business processes – from receiving raw materials to delivering beer to customers. The ambitious brewery decided to overcome these challenges by ensuring that all of their business processes are based on best practices. Therefore, they set out to find a brewery management solution that could tie together their entire value chain into one efficient, seamless and intelligent workflow. They chose Drink-IT.

Backed up by industry expertise

“There has been a huge investment of capital, time and seasoned industry expertise in bringing the project together,” noted Bowker. Brick Lane was brought to life by founders Paul Bowker and Andrew Scrimgeour, who were joined shortly after by head brewer Jon Seltin. The company has substantial financial backing through a network of investors based in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Extensive industry expertise comes from investors

and staff with backgrounds across all the major Australian beer companies.

Delivered by local Drink-IT partner Dialog Dynamics

“We´re proud to see that yet another ambitious brewery like Brick Lane has chosen Drink-IT as their brewery management solution. Brick Lane´s Drink-IT project will be fronted by our local Australian Drink-IT partner Dialog Dynamics, and we are excited to see the solution go live early 2018,” says Dominique Cnockaert, International Business Development Manager at Drink-IT.

Get more information about Drink-IT here:

Brewology craft comes to the aid of London Pride brewery Innovative Leeds design and manufacturing company Brewology has completed a major project for London’s leading independent brewery – Fuller, Smith and Turner (Fuller’s).

A specialist supplier to the brewing industry, Brewology won a £200,000 plus contract to support the famous brewer’s investment in a state-of the-art packaging line at the historic Chiswick brewery home to the celebrated London Pride premium ale. Brewology was tasked to devise a dekeystoning and de-shiving solution for used casks which would achieve 380 casks per hour as an integral part of the new ‘robot line’ to streamline cleaning efficiency. The company designed, trialled and

built the Keystone Extractor (KSE) - the first of its type to be produced by three year old Brewology on a fast-track system which saw designs finalised with Fuller’s in just two months, production commenced and the KSE commissioned ready to hit the demanding scheduled launch date on time. More than 2,000 parts were tooled, with 1,200 crafted by Brewology engineers. The KSE and can handle a variety of cask sizes and has achieved 480 firkin (72pints) casks per hour. Managing director David Grant said: “As a young, fast growing, Leeds business of engineering craftsmen supplying to beer craftsmen, we were especially delighted


to help London’s most historic but forward thinking brewery with their investment for the future. “This is a fine example of Brewology working with the customer to create a bespoke solution to a complex challenge on time and on budget. From our Leeds base we are offering cutting edge brewing technology to a burgeoning industry nationwide.”

For more information go to SIBA JOURNAL WINTER 2018



Nitro-canning system - new from American Beer Equipment (ABE)/Vigo Ltd Craft breweries in the US are really embracing nitrogencarbonated beer – it’s being called ‘Nitro-mania’. Whether nitro white ale, IPA or stout, the smoother mouth-feel, evenly distributed flavour, and cascading bubbles add a whole new level of complexity to craft beers. Producing nitro beer in cans is now possible with ABE’s Nitro Canning Systems, available from their UK partner, Vigo Ltd. ABE are proud to work with Chart Industries (a renowned global brand for the design and manufacture of highly engineered cryogenic equipment used in the liquid gas supply chain) to provide the quality dosing technology for their Nitro System. Apart from introducing microbubbles, nitro canning brings additional packaging and processing benefits, including can rigidity, which reduces panelling and improves contact surface for labelling, and oxygen reduction. ABE’s Nitro Canning System options include:

• Nitrogen doser with or without widget option • Adjustable parts to prevent nitrogen burn-off • 180° can inverter for nitrogen widgets • Patent pending servo seamer for seam accuracy monitoring Andy Pegman, Sales Manager at Vigo, said: “We’ve installed 16 canning lines in the UK and Ireland to date and this has enabled our customers to open up additional markets for their products. They have reported that their supply and export channels have grown exponentially as a result. We’re excited to be offering this new addition to the ABE range, which will offer craft breweries greater scope moving forward. We look forward to hearing from brewers who are keen to explore the advantages of canning and brewing with ABE systems.”

To discuss nitro canning, call Andy or Rich on 01404 892100 or go to for more information.




Independent Family Maltsters since 1809 Manufacturers of the finest Pale Ale, Crystal and Roasted Malts All Malts delivered ON TIME to your specification, crushed or whole. Main products include: Maris Otter, Pearl, Propino and Golden Promise Ale Malts together with the complete range of Speciality Crystal and Roasted Malts including Wheat, Oat and Rye products. Thomas Fawcett & Sons Limited Eastfield Lane, Castleford, West Yorkshire WF10 4LE Tel: 01977 552490/552460 Fax: 01977 519076 E-mail:


Bring your material handling process into the 21st Century, automate your system with a Collinson silo and conveyor and eliminate heavy bag handling. • Silos: - Storage from 1-30t - Fully Galvanised - Choice of 6 Plasteel™ colours - Any discharge height • Conveyors: - To suit various lengths or speed - Pick up from existing store • Material weighing facilities • Solutions for all business sizes

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With over 125 years of manufacturing experience, Rudd Macnamara is your perfect choice for pump clips. Available in any design and finish!

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Hightech boosts craft brewers’ creativity GEA’s versatile technology give craft brewers the freedom to convert their creativity and passion into market-winning beers. In 2018, London-based Fourpure Brewing Co., named UK Brewery of the Year 2017 by SIBA at its annual awards in 2017, will install its new CRAFT-STAR™ brewing system from GEA as part of a £2million growth project that will see its production capacity increase by 400% to 14 million pints a year. The GEA brewing technology will reduce the time it takes for Fourpure to brew each batch of beer allowing it to improve quality control while expanding production to meet demand. “They are a very progressive and innovative company. CRAFT-STAR™ is exactly the right system to take the company through the next stage of its development,” said John Aitken, GEA Head of Beverage Solutions Sales UK, pleased to present GEA’s first reference site for this technology in the UK. “Craft brewers mature, their customers get demanding and that is the point when technology is needed to create high quality beer with reliable consistency.”

Meet us at SIBA BeerX

At the annual SIBA BeerX event in March 2018, GEA will present its expertise in separation technology with the Plug & Win 20.

Visit stand 136 at BeerX 2018 to see the Plug & Win 20 or got to for more information.


New bottling line opens in Mid Sussex BevPack, a craft beer and wine bottling facility, has opened in Mid Sussex, outside of Haywards Heath. David Cowderoy and his team have established a state of the art bottling line and processing facility to bottle craft beer, cider and wine. BevPack will offer a flexible service, supported by over 30 years of industry experience, to ensure your product is in the best possible condition when it reaches consumers. The site has capability for settling, filtration, carbonation, bottle conditioning, filling, capping with a range of closures, labelling and packing. BevPack will offer clarification with centrifuge, to reduce losses, and, where possible, carbonation using membrane technology, resulting in finer bubbles and superior quality of the finished product. The GAI patented isobaric filler reduces oxygen pick up and helps to maintain product quality and shelf life. The facility has capability to cap with 26mm crown cap, cork/wirehood and 30x60 ROPP cap. The BevPack labelling line applies front, back and neck labels. Lot marking or best before dates can be applied to front or back labels. Flourescent UV printing on the bottle neck can be used instead of, or as well as, lot marking on the label. With process volumes starting at 1000L (smaller volumes to be discussed) and fair, flexible pricing, BevPack will offer a bottling solution for small scale wine, beer and cider producers alike. The brand new facility is a showcase for equipment supplied by BevTech, the sister company of BevPack.

For more information or to schedule a visit to see filtration, labelling and bottling in action, please contact or visit their website











John Gray

Frances Maud Frances.Maud@

Paul Corbett paulcorbett@

Malcolm Ireland Malcolm.Ireland@

Emily Plowman eplowman@

Jackie Smith Jackie@


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THOMAS FAWCETT & SONS LTD James Fawcett JFawcett@

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MEET the regional tEam NAME: Dave Sweeney REGION: North West Chairman

NAME: Ian Fozard REGION: North East Chairman

CONTACT: / 07973 478104 How long have you been involved with SIBA and why did you join?

My predecessor John Feeney registered Bank Top Brewery with SIBA in July 1998, and once John retired I continued the membership due to the benefits I felt SIBA offers the brewing industry. SIBA is a strong political voice, with a direct channel of communication to the British Government.

CONTACT: / 07957 371757 How long have you been involved with SIBA and why did you join?

My sons and I bought Rooster’s Brewery in 2011. The brewery was already a member of SIBA. When a trustee vacancy arose in early 2014, I put my name forwards and was elected.

What do you do outside your SIBA role?

I am passionate about music, and attend numerous concerts throughout the year when my schedule allows me to do so; for those who don’t know me particularly well I am a very big Springsteen fan, having watched him play only seven times in the US in March and August 2016. I play golf regularly and can honestly say having golfed in all weathers in my younger years, I am now most definitely a fair-weather golfer. My preferred hole at all golf courses, and I have visited a few, is always the 19th!

My sons, Ol and Tom, run our brewery on a day to day basis. My main involvement is in overseeing all financial issues plus all strategic and investment decisions and some high level sales activity as necessary or via contacts from my previous pub chain business. I also occasionally broker peace negotiations between my sons! Other than that, I try to stay fit and active; I read a lot and have an eclectic music taste. For leisure, I am a passionate supporter of Burnley Football Club , am aiming to climb to the summit of all the 214 “Wainwright” Lakeland peaks - only 34 to go! I also really enjoy skiing but my knees are beginning to let me down.

What is the main focus of your SIBA role?

What is the main focus of your SIBA role?

What do you do outside your SIBA role?

Being the main channel of communication between the Board and the NW members and vice versa.

How do the regions support SIBA members?

At regional level, I would say friendships have been borne that will last a lifetime over a mutual love of beer. The North West members are a very friendly bunch which makes it easier for new members or members who are a little shy to interact in meetings and have their voice heard.

How can Members get more involved in SIBA locally?

I would encourage a stronger attendance at regional meetings, whilst we generally hit around 40 attendees, this equates to less than 50% of the NW full brewing membership. I also regularly encourage members to support other regions where possible by attending their Beer Competitions as a judge, this then helps forge new friendships and business transactions and potentially showcase members beer further afield than their regular distribution radius.

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

Following the announcement of the switch of venue from Sheffield Ice Arena to the Exhibition Centre, Liverpool, we are delighted that the North West will be the new destination for this prestigious event. We very much look forward to welcoming Brewers, Associates and Suppliers from far and wide.

If you could drink any beer anywhere in the world what would it be and where? That’s an easy one, I would be drinking a Little Creatures Pale Ale, brewed by Little Creatures Brewing, sat on the harbour at Freemantle, Western Australia - which I very much hope to be doing as you are reading this article!

I chair the North East region and, as well as contributing to SIBA Board decisions, I also sit on SIBA’s Policy Committee where we consider all sorts of contentious issues such as Beer Duty Reform and many Government or industry initiatives that could impact on our members.

How do the Regions support SIBA members?

I and my two fellow North East trustees are always available to assist and advise as necessary, pointing members in the appropriate direction within SIBA. There is often sharing of information between region members. We are also the link between the Board and members and often end up explaining Board decisions or SIBA policy to members.

How can Members get more involved in SIBA locally?

Firstly, by attending as many regional meetings as possible and participating in discussions. Secondly, by entering and helping in the Region’s annual beer competition / beer festival.

What is new in your area of SIBA this year?

In 2017,for the first time we ran our own Beer Competition – the Region having previously “piggy- backed” on to York CAMRA Beer Festival. To overcome some temperature issues we’d had in the past we used SIBA’s mobile Beer Cellars and held the event in a brand new venue – York Barbican. In order to fund the extra costs we ran a Beer and Music Festival over the weekend immediately after our Competition. This was a success and we will be repeating this (with hopefully more SIBA volunteers!) in 2018.

Tell us something SIBA members might not know about what SIBA does?

I suspect that the average SIBA member has little idea about the incredible amount of work that goes on behind the scenes in political lobbying and policy making on behalf of small brewers trying at all times to act in the best interests of all our members in what is a fairly hostile world!

If you could drink any beer anywhere in the world what would it be and where? It would be a weissbier in a sunny outside bar overlooking the Matterhorn after an exhilarating day’s skiing.




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



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

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

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

BOARD OF ELECTED DIRECTORS Existing members wishing to contact your regional representatives can use the relevant regional e-mail addresses listed below. For individuals, just type 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 Isle of Arran Brewery Gerald Michaluk Harviestoun Brewery Stuart Cail

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

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

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

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

NORTH WEST Shane Swindells Cheshire Brewhouse Bank Top Brewery Dave Sweeney Prospect Brewery Patsy Slevin

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


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Siba journal winter 2018  
Siba journal winter 2018