SIBA passes 800 membership milestone

  • Cathedral Heights Brewery in Lincoln becomes SIBA’s 800th brewer member
  • Trade organisation sets 20% membership growth target for the next year
Photo of Steve Marston, founder of Cathedral Heights Brewery, SIBA’s 800th brewer member

Steve Marston, founder of Cathedral Heights Brewery, SIBA’s 800th brewer member

The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) now has more than 800 UK breweries signed up to the trade organisation and set itself a target of a further 20% growth over the next year.

During 2014, 100 independent brewers joined SIBA. Members are located across the UK from Scotland to Cornwall, and range in size from microbrewers producing fewer than 1,000 hectolitres (176,000 pints) per year through to regional brewers with an output of up to 200,000 hectolitres (35,200,000 pints) – the limit for full brewer membership.

SIBA managing director Mike Benner said, “With 800 members, SIBA represents more than half of the estimated 1,400 brewers in the UK.  Over recent years, SIBA has become a more effective and high-profile organisation, thanks in large part to our successful lobbying for the three cuts in beer duty, which have benefited every brewer in the land. This, along with our BeerX event celebrating British beer, has led to a wider appreciation of the benefits of belonging to SIBA and an upturn in recruitment.

“As part of our first Strategic Plan, unveiled last month, we are looking to grow our brewer membership by 20% over the next 12 months. To achieve this, we are reviewing and improving our services to existing members and developing initiatives to attract new ones.”

Tony Jerome joined SIBA earlier this year in the new role of Director of Communications & Membership and is currently looking at the entire SIBA membership offer, not just to full brewer members, but also the 250+ supplier associates and handful of brewer associates producing more than 200,000 hectolitres per annum. He is also investigating new membership categories for the organisation so it can truly become the ‘voice of British brewing’

Cathedral Heights Brewery, near Lincoln, became SIBA’s 800th full brewing member when they joined in March this year. Steve Marston, who founded the brewery with wife Sammi, said, “We’ve grown from small beginnings in 2011 to a more sizeable operation now, and have ambitions to grow further. Joining SIBA will help us to realise those ambitions, by providing help and guidance in a number of areas such as cask recovery, legal and brewing advice.

“Through SIBA’s DDS service, we hope to get our beers into a number of local pubs that have been closed to us. We’re also keen to enter their beer competitions, as having a SIBA award gives your beers a point of difference and helps secure new distribution, and we’re interested to see how they can help us with our plans to start exporting.”

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Winners from the South West Beer Competition 2015

SIBA South West Region Beer Competition 2015

DATE OF JUDGING & ANNOUNCEMENT           16th April 2015

Overall Champion of the Competition

Sponsored by:  GOLD Tuckers Maltings – SILVER Jim Laker Memorial – BRONZE SIBA

Brewery Product ABV
Gold Plain Ales Brewery Ltd Inncognito 4.8
Silver St Austell Brewery Big Job 7.2
Bronze Coastal Brewery Merry Maidens Mild 4.0

Champion Small Pack Beers

Sponsored by ABUK

Brewery Product ABV
Gold Palmers Brewery Bottled Palmers 200 5.0
Silver Cheddar Ales Ltd Summer Pale Ale 4.4
Bronze Moor Beer Company Old Freddy Walker 7.4

For the full list of the winners please visit:


Photo of SIBA South West Region Beer Competition Winners 2015

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SIBA welcomes sponsored guide dog

Photo of SIBA guide dog

image (l-r): Adrian Wood, SIBA South West treasurer; Amyas Holroyd, Devon Earth Brewery & Maltings Festival committee member; Paul Dimond, Branscombe Vale Brewery & chairman SIBA SW Maltings Beer Festival committee; SIBA chairman Guy Sheppard holding Siba; Richard Wheeler, chairman of Edwin Tuckers & Sons (behind bar); Paul Davey, RCH Brewery, SIBA SW trustee and past chair of the SIBA Maltings Beer Festival committee and Mayor of Newton Abbot, Councillor Mike Hocking

The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) welcomed a recent visit from Siba, the guide dog whom it is sponsoring, as he nears the end of the first stage of his training.

Siba, a Labrador-Golden Retriever cross, is now 11 months old and has been living with a puppy walker in the south west, learning basic commands and becoming socialised. The next phase of the training, starting in a couple of months, will see Siba moved to one of Guide Dogs’ specialist centres for six months of formal training before being placed permanently with a new, visually impaired owner.

The sponsorship is an initiative from the organisation’s south west region, with input from Tuckers Maltings in Newton Abbot. The £10,000 given by SIBA to Guide Dogs for Siba’s training was funded by proceeds from the annual, successful Tuckers Maltings beer competition and festival, as a way of thanking the local community for its support.

SIBA chairman Guy Sheppard, who has been involved with Siba’s sponsorship from the start, said, “It was a delight to meet Siba again and see how he has changed from an uncoordinated bundle of fluff to a calmer, more responsible animal who will make a wonderful guide dog after completing his training.

“We were particularly pleased to see that Siba was happy to spend time in the Tuckers Maltings bar, and hope that he may be able to lead his eventual owner to the local pub. One of the vital roles played by guide dogs is to connect their owners with their communities and there’s surely no better place to do this than in the pub.”

Tuckers Maltings chairman Richard Wheeler said, “The Tuckers Maltings beer festival has grown into a hugely popular event, thanks to the support of beer drinkers, publicans and others across the south west. We’re pleased that SIBA chose to show their gratitude to the local community through this sponsorship and are, like them, delighted with Siba’s progress.”

In 1993, SIBA’s south west region became the first to stage a beer competition and festival. The event was held at the premises of Tuckers Maltings, who have generously hosted it ever since. Last year’s event showcased 270 draft and 150 bottled beers to around 5,000 enthusiasts. The 2015 festival runs from Thursday, 16 April to Saturday 18th.


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Wadworth makes a big push for stockists in the capital

Photo of Simon Tomkins, the new London Key Account Manager for Wadworth.

Simon Tomkins, the new London Key Account Manager for Wadworth.

Wiltshire-based brewers Wadworth have their sights firmly set on a bigger slice of the London market, with the appointment of a new London Key Account Manager and ambitious plans to bring their famous heritage ales to pubs around the city.


Simon Tomkins, has come to Wadworth from SAB Miller Brands, and is leading the assault on the capital. “Craft ales are the beers of the moment, but it is a mistake to think that only recently established breweries brew them,” says Simon.


“Wadworth have been brewing the best quality ales in Devizes for over 125 years and this heritage and experience should not to be taken lightly. Brewing is indeed a craft and it takes years of experimentation with different ingredients and methods to get the best results. Great brewing heritage equals great beer. It’s my job to get this message across to London publicans.”

“With many pubs rotating beers very quickly to satisfy the trend for ’the next’ craft beer, the danger is that quality can suffer. At Wadworth we concentrate on creating innovative beers that deliver on taste and consistency and so pubs can ensure they offer quality as well as originality. GM’s are seeing the importance of having a mix of interesting but still sessionable beers on the bar and being well established we can also offer solid support to bars and retail groups which is an important factor if you are running a business and want a dependable supplier”.

Wadworth is now listed as a supplier of guest ales on rotation in over 60 of Mitchells and Butlers Nicholson pubs in London, and it is not just pub groups which have been stocking Wadworth beers. A number of freehouse pubs are seeing the benefits of offering quality craft ales that have some staying power and not just novelty value.


The Hillgate in Notting Hill and The Larrik in Marylebone are both offering Wadworth’s oldest and most famous ale 6X a permanent home. James Corbett, owner of The Hillgate,  says “Quite simply 6X is a great beer. Full bodied and distinctive, it’s been extremely well received by customers -and I’ve no doubt it will continue to prove a popular choice. It goes down a treat!’’

Simon intends to build on this growing client base and is targeting fashionable, high volume sites that that have a reputation for quality. He has also planned a ‘Tap Takeover’ at the Bree Louise, a multi-award winning ale, cider and pie house in Euston – details to be announced.

Simon intends to build on this growing client base and is targeting fashionable, high volume sites that that have a reputation for quality. He has also planned a ‘Tap Takeover’ at the Bree Louise, a multi-award winning ale, cider and pie house in Euston – details to be announced.
“We’ve got so many great ales to shout about, and until now it has not been easy for Londoners to try some of them,” he explains. “Once they’ve tasted them we have every confidence that the London drinkers will enjoy them just as much as those back home in the West. There are no boundaries for really great beer!”

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PM samples beer from new brewery

Photo of Prime Minister David Cameron sampling the beer

Prime Minister David Cameron enjoyed sampling the beer

Although they only started brewing in early 2015 Eight Arch Brewing Co. of Wimborne Minster, Dorset already have a famous customer.


During a visit to a BBQ in a nearby village on Easter Monday Prime Minister David Cameron enjoyed sampling the beer and would have stayed for more but had a speech to make later in the day.

Steve Farrell the owner of Eight Arch said ‘ I had a visit from the Conservative candidate Michael Tomlinson just before Easter and he asked if I could deliver some beer to a BBQ he was hosting on Easter Monday. I delivered a pin of our first beer, Prototype 1, and thought it was a wind up when I heard that the PM had tried it. Michael later tweeted me a picture of the PM to convey Mr Cameron’s enjoyment.’

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Emmerald to open 2nd Manufacturing Plant in Ireland for GreenKeg

Emmerald Polymers Ltd established in 2014 is set to open a new Keg manufacturing facility in Ireland. Our goal is to provide the brewing industry with a much needed alternative to the traditional stainless steel beer keg and cask used today in the Global Packaging Industry. Emmerald’s leadership team brings together a number of high profile brewing industry leaders with over 100 years of combined experience in blue-chip companies such as Diageo and Brand House. With knowledge of managing Global Brands such as Guinness, Carlsberg, Heineken, to name a few, we know exactly what’s needed for delivering your product.

The new keg manufacturing facility in Ireland will add to Emmerald’s existing facility in the UK for Cask production, already supplying over 300 Brewers in the UK, New Zealand and the USA. The team at Emmerald recognise the issues facing the brewing industry and agreed that there had to be a better solution. Emmerald’s GreenKeg and GreenCask offer an excellent alternative to steel with its range of fully returnable Kegs and Casks

To view the Global launch of Emmerald promotional offer, go to the SIBA classifieds.

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Rhys joins Moorhouse’s to build sales in Fylde and Lakes

Lancashire’s Moorhouse’s Brewery- the ‘north-west’s newest regional brewery’ – has signalled its commitment to grow business in the Fylde and Lake District with the appointment of Rhys Foster to the sales team.

Rhys Foster joins Moorhouse's as sales executive

With several years’ experience in the pub industry, Rhys, 24, previously worked in managerial roles with independent outlets in the Preston area – including Kuckoo, Stratos and the Camra (Campaign for Real Ale) praised New Continental music venue. He lives in Leyland and is a graduate of UCLAN (University of Central Lancashire) in International Business Management and Accounting.

Rhys joins the Burnley brewery in its 150th anniversary year to help with ambitious plans to grow sales for the much acclaimed ‘Pendle Witches’ brands, which include Black Cat, Pride of Pendle, Blond Witch and Pendle Witches Brew.

Rhys said: “Moorhouse’s has reached a very exciting stage in its long history and I relish the challenge of playing my part in its future as a leading north-west cask ale brewery. I aim to use my experience in the pub sector to develop business in areas where there is tough competition for cask ale sales.”

In recent years the Burnley brewery has enjoyed 10 per cent year-on-year growth to reach a turnover of £5m plus – despite the troubled economy and widespread pub closures in the north.

David Grant, Moorhouse’s managing director, said: “Cask ale sales are in growth as their popularity spreads to young people and females, who ask for quality and provenance. As a dedicated cask ale brewery, we aim to be in the forefront of that market growth. We offer award winning core brands and innovative seasonal brews combined with security of supply to help publicans grow their cask trade. Now, Rhys will be a great asset to us in developing business throughout the Fylde and the Lakes.”

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Special Desert Hero beer is launched as campaign for a national memorial to war heroes gathers pace

Thousands of JD Wetherspoon’s pub-goers will raise a glass of Titanic Brewery beer to the Sun on Sunday’s campaign for a memorial to Britain’s desert heroes.

Iraq Veterans Gill Heesom, from Clayton, Newcastle-under-Lyme, and Michael Vaughan, from Stoke.

The Sun on Sunday is calling for donations towards a £1 million Whitehall memorial for armed forces heroes who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now Stoke-on-Trent’s Titanic Brewery has joined forces with national pub chain JD Wetherspoon to back the campaign.

Thousands of pints of the specially brewed Desert Hero ale are to be shipped to hundreds of JD Wetherspoon pubs to be served during April and June.

The tan coloured ale is brewed using Yorkshire malt and English hops at Titanic Brewery, in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.

JD Wetherspoon chief executive John Hutson said: “We are delighted to be backing this campaign and are confident that our customers will welcome the opportunity to enjoy a superb beer from Titanic and raise funds at the same time.”

Keith Bott, Managing Director of Titanic Brewery, added: It is an honour to be chosen to support such a fantastic campaign. The whole country should get behind this campaign to provide a fitting tribute to the servicemen and women who saw action in the two Gulf Wars and Iraq.

“Titanic and JD Wetherspoon are making a donation from each cask of Desert Hero but, just as importantly, we hope the presence of our beer in hundreds of popular pubs will raise awareness and lead to the stepping up of fund raising efforts.
The Sun on Sunday has already raised more than £200,000 after it urged major companies to dig deep for the desert heroes.

The Treasury has also agreed to waive VAT and an announcement of £500,000 in the Budget from fines accrued through the LIBOR banking scandal means fundraising has now reached over £700,000.

Craig Woodhouse, Political Correspondent at The Sun, said: “It’s great to have Titanic and Wetherspoons involved in our campaign to make sure the service and sacrifice of troops and civilian personnel over 24 years of desert warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan is remembered forever. We’re almost at our £1m fundraising target so I’d urge everyone to enjoy a pint of Titanic’s special ale Desert Hero, toast our troops, and help bring this important memorial into being.”

More than 300,000 servicemen and women, supported by thousands of civilians, saw action in Iraq and Afghanistan between 1990 and 2014.

Tragically 679 paid the ultimate price while thousands more were injured in action.
Plans for the national memorial were announced by David Cameron in the Sun on Sunday last November.

Former Chief of the Defence Staff Lord Stirrup is heading a charity known as The Iraq/Afghanistan Memorial Project and the newspaper is leading the campaign to raise the funds.


BY TEXT: To donate £3 Text DUTY to 70080
To donate £10 Text DUTY to 70707
OR CALL: 0330 123 20 70 to donate over the phone
The Iraq/Afghanistan Memorial Project (charity number 1160028) will receive 100 per cent of your donation. Texts will be charged at your donation plus standard network rate.Text donations do not work from outside the UK and phone calls from abroad will be charged at international rates. Donation services are provided by Spoke, 0333 202 3390

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Hogshead and Rudgate Breweries Atlantic collaboration

Denver based Hogshead Brewery and UK based brewery Rudgate have combined over a 100 years of brewing expertise and knowledge to create their US/ Anglo collaboration ale Atlantic Crossing Best Bitter which will be launched at the Craft Brewers Conference 14th -17th April . The collaboration is a first for both of the craft breweries and has been a couple of years in the planning !

The two breweries initially met at the Craft Brewers Conference in Denver in 2013. As part of the conference Hogshead held its first cask festival along with sponsors UK Brewing supplies, Angram Ltd Beer Dispense and help from the BFBI ( Brewing Food & Beverage Industry UK). There were nine cask beers from the UK including Rudgate Brewery’s famous award winning Ruby Mild, four from bigger American brewers and eight from Hogshead.

Early 2015 Rudgate contacted Hogshead to discuss a potential collaboration – the rest is history!

“We’re like minded when it comes to producing quality beers – and felt that a collaboration ale would be a fantastic way to combine our talents and fuse our brewing styles” commented Craig Lee, Rudgate’s Managing Director.

“Atlantic Crossing Best Bitter brings together the passion of two world class breweries. It’s nutty, toffee, toasted malt character marries with a distinct earthiness from Hogshead’s house yeast.

Starting with a soft mouth-feel but finishing resinous and dry from the use of both England’s finest Challenger hops and the American Northwest’s prized Cascade hops, this ale pays homage to great bitters made on both sides of the pond!” says Cicerone Jake Gardener.

Both Breweries can be contacted for more information about the availability of Atlantic Crossing Best Bitter and will be present at the 2015 Craft Brewers Conference in Portland, Oregon. The beer with be available to try at the BFBI (Brewing Food and Beverage) and Brewers Supply Group (BSG) Beer Stations.

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