UK now exporting beer to a record number of countries

A record number of countries are now pulling more than a billion pints of UK beer in bars and restaurants across the world including Belgium and Australia, Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss announced today.

New figures show the world has an ever increasing thirst for UK beer with our breweries exporting 1.1 billion pints to 113 countries in 2013 – more countries than ever before – generating £630 million for the UK economy supporting our long-term economic plan.

Today’s announcement coincides with the Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss’ visit to Ilkley Brewery in Yorkshire which reopened five years ago and now produces 50,000 pints a week, exporting to more than 10 countries.

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said:

There’s no doubt we’re world leading when it comes to our food and drink – Ilkley Brewery is a shining example – selling Yorkshire brewed beer to the bars of Tennessee and Georgia.

And as a country we’ve had huge successes selling £630 million worth of our quality ale, lager and stout to restaurants, pubs and supermarkets abroad, building a stronger economy for the UK.

We want to see British businesses build on this success. That’s why we’re supporting them, opening on average almost three new markets every week since 2010 and demonstrating to international companies how attractive it is to invest in the UK.

UK breweries are now selling pale ale and bitter to the far ends of the earth, including China, Bahrain and Mexico. More traditional beer nations are also supping up our pints including a record £147 million sold to the US and £93 million to Belgium in 2013.

Not only are UK breweries now quenching the thirst of millions of people across the world, but increasing their exports has also helped grow the UK’s Food and Drink industry, which remains the country’s biggest manufacturing sector, greater than cars and aerospace combined. The entire food chain contributes £97 billion a year to our economy and employs one in eight people.

There has also been a rise in micro-breweries across the country. In the last four years the number has almost doubled from 739 in 2010 to 1,403 in 2013 with UK supermarkets stocking an ever increasing variety of brands as consumers place a premium on home-grown British produce.

Mike Benner, managing director of the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) said:  “Consumers’ thirst for interesting, craft beers is growing across the world and, with British brewers at the forefront of brewing innovation, it’s no surprise that export is on the rise.   Around a fifth of the 800 brewers belonging to SIBA are already exporting and many more are eyeing up the opportunity.  At SIBA, we are now putting more resource into helping our members with export, and in March next year will be bringing buyers from around the world to meet brewers at our BeerX event in Sheffield. We expect many more SIBA brewers to start selling their excellent beers into foreign markets.”

Richard Shelton, Managing Director of Ilkley Brewery, said:

We are proud of our local heritage and that we’re are able to capitalise on the strength of the ‘Yorkshire’ brand.

“Whilst we already distribute across the UK, and export to more than 10 countries, thirst for our beer continues to grow. Our small and dedicated team is working flat out to satisfy demand for our high quality beers and we’re really pleased the Environment Secretary is championing us as a success story in British production.

“Ilkley Brewery is seen as a great success in America after its specially developed products for the US market are now widely available in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, North & South Carolina, Florida and Washington. The company was recognised as one of the fastest growing companies in the UK and saw production increase from 6,000 to 50,000 pints per week in the last three years.”

Brigid Simmonds OBE, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said:

“It is great to see British beer exports at an all-time high. The quality and diversity of our beers is creating new export opportunities, and after two consecutive cuts in beer duty, Britain’s brewers are growing in confidence and looking to invest, both within the UK and overseas.”


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Strategic team changes mean exciting times as Purity looks to new markets

Photo of the Purity team at the breweryPurity Brewing Company continues to go from strength to strength with an expanding team, impressive end of year growth numbers and exciting forays into new territory.

The Warwickshire based craft brewery has made a number of key appointments since the beginning of September as it embarks upon a new strategic direction, with five new colleagues joining the Purity family on the farm in Great Alne, near Stratford upon Avon.

Purity is making a commitment to offer direct deliveries into London and Bristol to grow its geographic portfolio and has bolstered its sales team accordingly. Elaine Moffatt has joined the team as East Midlands Account Manager, whilst Matt Surridge has been appointed Account Manager for London. A third appointment to the sales team has seen Sam Doughty brought in to support with telesales.

Mark Johnson has also joined the Great Alne team as a new drayman, responsible for deliveries across the Midlands, whilst John Conod has been appointed as Front of House Manager. John will lead brewery tours and oversee the brewery shop and online store.

There have also been two internal changes to the structure of the team, with existing colleagues Darryl Hinksman and Simon Lewis being made Director of Sales and Key Accounts Controller respectively.

With another successful trading year seeing a 24% increase in sales, the brewery has fast become a household name in the region. Purity is now hoping it can enjoy similar success in the new geographical locations where it will introduce its beers, brand values and strong eco-friendly credentials to the London and Bristol markets.

And not to be outdone by additions to the brewery team, much-loved 5% hoppy beer Saddle Black is back in cask from 3rd November.

Saddle Black’s return follows the successful launches of Purity’s first keg products, Longhorn IPA and Lawless Lager, reinforcing the brewery’s drinks range and ensuring the stars of the show are out en-force as the new strategic direction gathers pace.
Paul Halsey, Managing Director of Purity, said: “The new team members and deliveries into London and Bristol represent a truly exciting time for the brewery. We will continue building upon our relationships with local friends and customers, whilst further establishing Purity in the new regions with our commitment to deliveries. It’s good to see our old friend Saddle Black returning as well. We’re in for a great year and we can’t wait to get the wheels in motion.”

For more information about Purity Brewing or to order online, please visit or call the brewery shop on 01789 488007.

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Pubcos say statutory code ‘seeks to abolish the tie by the back door’

By James Wallin, 23-Oct-2014

Pubcos have ended their silence on the Government’s statutory code proposals, branding them potentially illegal and saying they would create “uncertainty and disruption” across the sector.


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Reuben does a runner

Photo of Reuben CrouchReuben Crouch, General Manager at Ludlow Food Centre for the past seven and a half years, has joined Hobsons Brewery as their new Commercial Director, swapping award winning local food for award winning local beer. Hobsons believe in sourcing locally, they use hops that are grown seven miles from the brewery and instigated a programme for local farmers to grow Maris Otter barley for their brews, so it made sense to hire locally as well.

The new boy is getting to grips with the brewery, but wasn’t quite expecting his induction to include the challenge of running to work after his company car got delayed. In his first week he has also experienced the role of a brewer, drayman and ‘dogs body’, with a day’s brewing, weighing out the hops to digging out a very steamy mash tun, delivering cask beer to pubs in Herefordshire and helping to assemble the new Green Hop Beer gift packs.

Reuben commented “I believe in mucking in, and there’s no better way of getting to know a business than completely immersing yourself in it. Hobsons has a small friendly team and it’s been a fantastic first week, I particularly enjoyed putting my swimming trunks on to clean out the copper!”

Reuben frequently ran the three mile commute to work at Ludlow Food Centre but the brewery is in Cleobury Mortimer, 16 miles from his home in Bromfield and with the daunting ascent of Titterstone Clee hill en route. At 1,749 ft above sea level this makes it Shropshire’s 3rd highest peak and a challenge for any regular runner.

“I gave myself 2 hours to do the run and not wanting to be late for work it was an early start. At around mile five my knee flared up and the pain slowed my pace. Not wanting to give up I stopped for a drink and Ibuprofen at Clee Hill Stores. In the end I was about half an hour late. On a positive note the carbon footprint of my commute must have been pretty minimal, which fits well with the environmental sustainability policy we have at Hobsons.” said Reuben.

Hobsons Brewery is passionate about sustainability and is a champion of green technologies and local sourcing. A wind turbine provides about a third of their power requirements and a ground source heat pump utilises natural energy to keep the bottle conditioning room and cold store at the right temperatures.

Asked whether this would become a regular means of getting to work Reuben replied. “I don’t think I’ll be doing it every day, but I’ll definitely do it again, reaching the top of Clee Hill was really rewarding and a few of the Team have suggested they might join me next time!

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New look Rudgate Bottled Ale but with same great award winning taste!

Photo of rudgate bottled beer rangeMulti award winning craft brewery Rudgate, have launched a new vibrant redesign for their bottled ales range.   Strong colours have been combined with “Viking “ imagery to tie in with the York heritage of their brand.


“The impact of the craft beer revolution on British ale has become increasingly visible in the premium bottled ale sector.  We felt we needed to capitalise on this movement and take some visual ownership of it given the hand made, small batch production of Rudgate.  “  said Mat Lazenby of Lazenby Brown Design.


It was important that the new design appealed not only to the core traditional ale drinker, but also engaged with the new “curious” drinker looking for new brands to try.  “The shelf stand out of the new design is just what I wanted for the Rudgate brand – I am looking forward to seeing the positive impact that I am sure the new look will have  upon sales going into the Christmas period” commented Craig Lee MD.


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Inveralmond Brewery Shortlisted for Food & Drink Award

Photo of Inveralmond Homecoming BeerPerth beer makers, Inveralmond Brewery have lots to say ‘cheers’ about after being shortlisted for an award at this year’s Perthshire Chamber of Commerce Business Star Awards 2014. The talented team will be battling it out in the Excellence in Food & Drink Produce Award against some tough competition from other high profile local businesses.

This shortlisting is another accolade for the Perth-based business where the team pride themselves on brewing ‘Beautiful beer from the heart of Scotland’. Since opening for business in 1997, Inveralmond Brewery has grown its popular beer range to one that now reaches an international audience with beer lovers enjoying their frothy creations as far afield as Russia and China.

Bob Hogg, Commercial Director of Inveralmond Brewery, commented:
“Being shortlisted by the Chamber is great news and recognises the hard work, creativity and dedication of everyone who works at Inveralmond Brewery. It is particularly rewarding to be acknowledged by the local business community as we are very proud of our Perth connections and being based in such an exciting part of the country.”

The Business Star Awards will recognise the very best of local companies in Perthshire in what has been an outstanding year for businesses of all sizes in the area. The winners will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony taking place on November 22nd at Crieff Hydro.

To find out more about Inveralmond Brewery and their selection of world class beers, visit

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Entries from around the globe received for International Brewing Awards and Cider Awards

Photo of IBA champions group april 2013

Championship winners from the 2013 competition with chair of judges Bill Taylor (middle row, right)

The International Brewing Awards and International Cider Awards are living up to their name, with entries to the 2015 competition already received from brewers and cider makers on all five continents in the month since registration opened.

Awards organisers Brewing Technology Services (BTS) are confident of exceeding the level of entries received to the last competition, held in 2013, when medals and trophies were presented to winning brewers and cider makers from 25 countries.

BTS director Ruth Evans said, “Once again, we are witnessing the international appeal of our awards, which attract one of the most globally diverse set of entrants of any international brewing competition.

“We’re especially pleased to see entries coming in from brewers who haven’t participated before, and from several countries which don’t have a long tradition of brewing. The fact that both new and established brewers and cider makers want to benchmark the quality of their products in our competition speaks volumes for its reputation globally and particularly the integrity of our judging process.”

The International Brewing Awards and International Cider Awards are unique in requiring that all judges are commercially active brewers or cider makers.  A panel of around 40 judges is currently being recruited to assess the entrant beers and ciders in Burton-upon-Trent next February.

The cider awards have been expanded for 2015. Included in the 2013 event for the first time in many decades, the cider competition attracted a healthy response from cider makers, prompting the organisers to make it a standalone event. Next year, judges will make awards in 10 cider categories, with one overall cider Championship winner, as well as the nine Championships in the brewing competition.



Evans added, “We’re pleased with the level of entries coming in from cider makers, particularly from outside the UK. We learned a lot about cider judging from our expert judges in 2013 and, with the additional categories introduced for next year, we’re confident that the International Cider Awards will become one of the leading platforms for cider makers around the world.”

Entries to the International Beer Awards and International Cider Awards 2015 close on 31 December. The entry fee for 2015 is £160 (+VAT at UK rate) per beer or cider, with no duty payable on entries due to duty suspension.



31 December 2014:     entries close

30 January 2015:        deadline for beers and ciders to arrive in Burton-upon-Trent

10-12 February 2015: competition judging

12 February 2015:      medal winners announced

29 April 2015:              Championship Beer & Ciders announced, Guildhall, London

To enter and for more information, visit


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SIBA reaches out to MEPs at Brussels reception

Photo of Mike Benner, SIBA managing director, with Ashley Fox, MEP for the South West of England

Mike Benner, SIBA managing director, with Ashley Fox, MEP for the South West of England

SIBA extended its influence among parliamentarians in Europe earlier this month when managing direct Mike Benner joined a reception in Brussels organised by the British Pub and Beer Group in the European Parliament.

The event was designed to relaunch the group following the European elections earlier this year and ensure that newly-elected MEPs in particular are fully aware of the contribution made by breweries and pubs to the UK economy. Following the visit, several MEPs joined the Pub & Beer Group, meaning that more than half of the UK’s 73 MEPs are now members.

Mike said, “Europe has a significant and growing influence on many aspects of alcohol policy including taxation, labelling and promotion, so we need to make friends in Brussels as much as in London.

“The MEPs I spoke to were genuinely interested in finding out about Britain’s independent brewers and several are now planning to visit a SIBA member in their constituency, so the visit has been helpful in building positive relationships with this influential audience.”

In Brussels, Mike was representing British beer and brewing alongside Christine Thompson of SABMiller and Christine Cryne of CAMRA.

The British Pub and Beer Group aims to “promote British beer and pubs within the European Parliament and celebrate the benefits they bring to communities across the UK.” It is a sister organisation to the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group, which is one of the most largest industry groups in Westminster, with around 400 members.



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SIBA North West Beer Competition 2014 – Winners Announcement

SIBA North West Region Beer Competition 2014

DATE   OF JUDGING & ANNOUNCEMENT      15th October 2014

Overall Champion of the Competition

Sponsored by Napthens

  Brewery Product ABV
Gold Brewsmith Beer Brewsmith Bitter 3.9
Silver Woodlands Brewing Company Midnight Stout 4.4
Bronze Frederic Robinson Limited Old Tom Strong Ale 8.5


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