The Society of Independent Brewers has appointed Campaign for Real Ale chief executive Mike Benner as its new managing director.

SIBA is set to combine its trade association and commercial arm as one unified organisation, led by Benner and an executive body, with the 24-strong board of trustees, drawn from eight SIBA regions, overseeing operations.

Chairman Guy Sheppard said: “I’m delighted that Mike is joining us to lead our expanded organisation. His political astuteness, proven campaigning ability and passion for great British beer make him uniquely well-placed to take SIBA forward. 

“Our trade association and commercial arms have a shared goal of helping our members to thrive within a favourable political, social and trading environment for British beer. Aligning our activities into one unified structure puts us in a stronger position to realise this ambition.” 

Benner has been chief executive of Camra for 10 years, during which time the organisation’s membership has doubled.

He said: “I’m very proud of Camra’s achievements and it’s been an honour to be part of such a great organisation. I leave in the knowledge that Camra is fit for purpose to continue its success. I am very excited to join SIBA at a time when there is such enormous opportunity for independent brewers and I look forward to working towards its vision to build the future of British beer.”

Camra national chairman Colin Valentine said: “In his 10 years as Camra’s chief executive, Mike has helped us achieve a great deal, both in our campaigns and in the growth of Camra. We are now in an excellent position to drive Camra forward. As Mike has decided to move on I’d like to thank him for his outstanding contribution and wish him the best of luck in his exciting new role.”

Benner is pictured, right, with Sheppard.