Following the launch of a new seal for independent brewers by the American Brewers Association (BA) (inside.beer, 28.6.2017), the UK counterpart Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) highlighted that it has the same for their British members. In a press statement published on Monday, SIBA Chief Executive Mike Benner said: “SIBA want to see far greater clarity in the market place and as such launched the Assured Independent British Craft Brewer campaign, whereby truly independent craft breweries and the beers they brew, can carry a seal highlighting them as such. It’s a simple accreditation which can be instantly recognised by beer drinkers on bottles or cans on supermarket shelves or on pump clips at the bar.”
SIBA’s ‘Assured Independent British Craft Brewer’ seal was launched in August 2016 to make it easier for UK consumers to differentiate truly independent craft beer from that of the global beers, or other non-craft products.
Around 350 brewers pledged their active support for the campaign, many of whom have begun to incorporate the seal into their packaged beer or pumpclip artwork. SIBA have now extended the initiative to all of their 850 independent craft brewing members across the UK, following overwhelmingly positive feedback from the industry.
The Assured Independent British Craft Brewer logo assures consumers the beer they are drinking has been brewed by a British Brewer who: 1. has agreed to abide by SIBA’s Manual of Good Brewing Practice, 2. is truly independent of any larger controlling brewing interest and 3. is brewing less than 200,000hl annually.
Especially in the light of buyouts of previously independent craft breweries in the UK by global beer companies, including Camden Town, Meantime, Sharp’s, and most recently London Fields brewery, which was last week purchased by Carlsberg, consumers should know about the origin of their beers.
In relation to the US seal, Mr. Benner said: “We are aligned with the Brewers’ Association that independence is a hallmark of craft brewing with our own ‘Assured Independent British Craft Brewer’ seal and welcome their commitment to driving forward beer from independent craft brewers with this new certification. Now, whether beer drinkers are in the UK or the US, they will in future be able to easily differentiate between truly independent craft-brewed beers, and mass-produced brews.”
SIBA, the Society of Independent Brewers, was established in 1980 to represent the interests of the growing number of independent breweries in Britain. The association was instrumental in campaigning for Progressive Beer Duty (PBD), which came into place in 2002. This beer duty system allows smaller breweries to pay less tax on their products and has led to an explosion of new breweries in the last decade. SIBA currently represents more than 850 independent craft breweries.