Raise a Glass!

The British drinks industry is on the rise – from favourite traditional ales, to exceptional ciders and the upsurge in mircorbreweries they are enjoying tremendous success. Furthermore our wines are being recognised as some of the best in the world. So, we’re raising our glasses to British Drinks!

British beer at its best

SIBA, the Society of Independent Brewers, was established in 1980 to represent the interests of the growing number of independent breweries in Britain.

SIBA launched a three year Strategic Plan in March 2015. To help achieve the vision ‘to deliver the future of British beer and become the voice of British brewing’, SIBA highlighted four strategic aims: to promote and campaign for  our members, to provide and enhance commercial opportunities, to grow and develop our membership and to develop our capability.

It is paramount for SIBA to increase its number of brewing members. This improved representation of the independent beer market will help the association have more influence when lobbying politicians.

The genuine consumer-led interest in and demand for craft and local beers has created the most exciting environment for British beer in a generation. Today’s discerning drinkers demand the highest quality beers, wide choice, innovation, beers with genuine provenance and a range of styles and brands in all formats.

This demand, together with a favourable regime of tax relief via Small Breweries’ Relief introduced in 2002 has led to an explosion in the number of small independent brewing businesses.

But with the overall UK beer market is in long- term decline, this has led to larger brewers squeezing prices and routes to market to maintain market share.

The effect is that SIBA members and other small brewers have only around 7-10% of the total beer market and this share is being carved up by more and more brewers with the inevitable consequences of more business failures, lower profitability, reduced investment and a less sustainable marketplace for professional brewing businesses.

The UK’s top craft beer and brewing businesses have been named as Finalists in the SIBA Business Awards 2018, with winners due to be announced on the 14th March at BeerX in Liverpool.

The prestigious awards received a huge 60% increase in entries this year and include a wide range of categories across Marketing Implementation, Green Business, Business Innovation and Commercial Achievement, as well as design awards and industry awards which highlight the best pubs, bars, restaurants and retailers for independent craft beer in the UK.

Mike Benner, SIBA Chief Executive commented on the awards: “I would like to congratulate all of the finalists that have been shortlisted for the SIBA Business Awards 2018, making it this far is a huge achievement as the quality and quantity of entries this year was extremely high. The brewery awards name the very best brewing businesses – whether it is fantastic can or bottle design, efforts to be more environmentally friendly or innovative – and the industry awards were introduced to congratulate those companies doing the most in the UK to sell, promote or serve fantastic independent craft beer. This year’s awards are set to be our biggest ever and take place in our new home at Exhibiton Centre Liverpool.”

Let’s celebrate English Wines

Imagine strolling through a leafy vineyard, gazing down row upon row of vines, then sipping a chilled glass of wine whilst enjoying a delicious dish from locally-prepared ingredients. A  holiday in France, Tuscany, California perhaps? Nowadays, this scenario could just as easily be in England.

With vineyards stretching across the South of England, the Midlands, East Anglia and up to Yorkshire, as well as Wales, you are sure to find some local wine on your travels at home.

English wine is now widely acclaimed, boasting awards in wine competitions across the world. They are found on the lists of many top restaurants; supermarkets and wine merchants alike are stocking more and more – and why? Quite simply, English wines now have popular appeal and we wine buyers have a thirst for them.

Which brings us back to the delicious prospect of visiting a vineyard and seeing where it all starts. There are over 100 vineyards across the country open to visitors, some offering accommodation, others shops, cafés and restaurants as well as guided tours. This spring, an interactive map of vineyards will be launched by English Wine Producers, the UK wine industry’s marketing body. The map will help visitors plan a trip to England’s wine regions, with an added layer featuring places to eat and stay that stock English wines. If you want to take the strain out of planning your own visits, there are companies now offering tours of vineyards in southern England.

In May, English Wine Week is celebrated (Saturday 27th May to Sunday 4th June) across the country and will include tastings, offers and promotions at vineyards, retailers and restaurants.

A staycation has never looked so appealing!