Nine organisations from European countries, all of whom represent smaller, independent craft brewers, have met in Brussels, Belgium, last week to found the Independent Brewers of Europe (IBE).
The IBE aims to become a “central point of contact for the European institutions” in order ”to promote and advance the mutual interests of their members with the European institutions and media”. It will allow its representatives and members to lobby on issues, such as regulation, taxation and access to a market.
With approaching two thousand member breweries, the nine organisations represent a growing proportion of Europe’s brewers, producing local, artisanal beers of quality and character that drinkers demand. They employ local people and encourage the responsible consumption of their beers in social settings in their communities. “The IBE intends to convey its message both politically and commercially in Europe, where the small independent producer’s voice is often not heard,” according to statement published by the IBE.
The nine organisations joining the European union of breweries include:
- ICBI, Independent Brewers of Ireland, Ireland
- AECAI, La Asociacion Española de Cerveceras Artesanas Independientes, Spain
- SIBA, The Society of Independent Brewers, UK
- SNBI, Syndicat National des Brasseurs Indépendants, France
- Czech and Moravian Microbreweries Association, Czech Republic
- CRAFT, Craft Brewers Netherlands,Netherlands
- Unionbirrai, Italy
- Scanian Beverage Producers, Sweden
- Det Fri Øl, Denmark
Mike Benner, Chief Executive of SIBA said: “We’re very pleased to see progress in establishing a much-needed voice for independent brewing organisations across Europe. The craft beer revolution has spread across the continent and with well over 5,000 breweries the sector is well-placed to supply the diverse range of high quality beers demanded by today’s discerning drinkers. We know that beerdrinkers in the UK care about the provenance of beers and it’s clear that the same applies across Europe.”
“As the UK’s exit from the EU draws closer I’m pleased that we will be able to work with groups similar to SIBA to the commercial benefit of our members, sharing best practice and ideas to help develop the sector for all,” Benner added.