SIBA launches first ever strategic plan setting a path towards the future of British beer

21 March 2015

The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), the trade organisation that represents 800 independent brewers, has launched Delivering the Future of British Beer, a strategic plan setting out its aims for the next three years.

The plan, the organisation’s first, has been developed to ensure continued success for the independent brewing sector, which has thrived in recent years thanks to growing consumer interest in quality British beer, innovation and diversity in the beer industry and support from the government, as was demonstrated by yesterday’s historic third consecutive cut in beer duty.Future of British Beer, a strategic plan setting out its aims for the next three years.

SIBA managing director Mike Benner presented the plan to an audience of hundreds of brewers and other industry delegates at BeerX, SIBA’s annual celebration of British beer in Sheffield. It sets out SIBA’s vision, to ‘deliver the future of British beer and become the voice of British brewing’, and shows how the organisation will achieve this through four key strategic aims: to promote and campaign for its members; to provide and enhance commercial opportunities for them; to grow its membership and to develop the organisation’s capability.

Against each strategic aim, the plan outlines some of the ways in which SIBA will look to achieve them. These include political measures such as protecting and extending Small Breweries’ Relief and campaigning for reform of relevant EU directives; commercial initiatives such as developing support for members to export and to start pub estates; developing membership by increasing awareness of, and introducing new, benefits and possibly launching new membership categories and, finally, a range of financial, training and other measures to develop SIBA’s capability.

Benner said, “The independent brewing sector is in excellent shape, with volume growth, investment and job creation, as demonstrated in our Beer Report 2015, published today. 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 help us take our organisation forward over the next three years.

“The vision to deliver the future of British beer and become the voice of British brewing, is supported with goals and actions, across all SIBA’s realms of activity from political campaigning to membership services.”

New British Beer report highlights the benefit of government support for the independent brewing industry
SIBA’s British Beer 2015 report, also launched at BeerX, shows production by SIBA members grew by an estimated 15.8% per cent in 2014 to 2.99 million hectolitres or 526 million pints. Added to the 9.4% increase in 2013, this broadly translates into a 25% uplift in production since the Beer Duty Escalator was abolished in March 2013. From 2011-2012, before the duty cuts, production grew by only 5.7%.

It is estimated that 1,600 jobs were created at SIBA member independent breweries during 2013 and 2014 and an additional 840 new jobs will be created in 2015. The sector creates much-needed local employment, often in rural and deprived areas, with around two-thirds of employees living within five miles of their brewery.

British Beer is based on survey responses from 270 SIBA brewers, around 35% of SIBA’s membership, and was written by Dr Ignazio Cabras, a leading economist with an interest in beer, based at Newcastle Business School at the University of Northumbria. This is the first time that the survey has been carried out independently using new survey methodology.