Membership numbers soar at SIBA
A hundred new breweries joined the Society of Independent Brewers in 2014, taking membership numbers past the 800 mark.
SIBA has now set itself a target of increasing membership by a further 20% to 960 this year.
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.”
Members come from across the UK and range from microbrewers producing less than 1,000 hl a year to regional brewers producing 200,000 hl.
Cathedral Heights brewery in Lincolnshire became SIBA’s 800th member when it joined in March this year and founder Steve Marston 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.”