Bottled beers gain sales for SIBA members

07 April, 2015

A report from the Society of Independent Brewers shows bottled beer taking an increasing share of its members’ sales.

The report, based on a survey of members, showed that more small brewers are producing beer in bottles and cans, with cask ale as a proportion of total SIBA production falling from 84% in 2013 to 71% last year.

The figure is forecast to drop again, to 68%, by the end of 2015.

But there is still plenty of room for take-home growth with less than 10% of SIBA members’ total production going into bottles. Only one in 10 makes bottle-conditioned beers.

The report came as SIBA launched its first strategic plan, which outlines the further development of the organisation’s Direct Delivery Scheme in the off-trade as part of aims to assist the commercial performance of members.

The scheme currently buys beer from more than 500 breweries and sells it on to 18 pubcos and off-trade retailers. The SIBA strategic plan also includes a scheme to provide a canning service for members as part of the body’s vision to “deliver the future of British beer and become the voice of British brewing”, through campaigning, providing commercial opportunities for members and expanding its membership reach.

Managing director Mike Benner said: “The independent brewing sector is in excellent shape, with volume growth, investment and job creation.

“SIBA is uniquely placed to represent this thriving industry, and this feels like the right time to be launching our first ever strategic plan to take our organisation forward over the next three years.”

According to the SIBA report, its members increased production by 15.8% in 2014, with more than 80% of volume sold within 40 miles of the brewery.

SIBA said the feedback from the survey led it to estimate that 1,600 jobs were created at member breweries in 2013 and 2014, with an additional 840 more expected to be added this year.

One in five members plan to double current levels of production and turnover by 2018. The survey is based on responses from 270 SIBA companies, representing 35% of its membership.

n Cornish brewer St Austell won the Supreme Champion award for bottled beer in SIBA’s National Beer Competition.

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