SIBA to fund guide dog training
The Society of Independent Brewers’ south west region is sponsoring a guide dog as part of its ongoing community support. A cheque for £10,000 was presented to the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association at SIBA’s south west beer competition at Tuckers Maltings in Newton Abbot, Devon.
SIBA’s support will pay for the training of a guide dog, which takes around 20 months. The SIBA-funded puppy will be born within the next few months and its training starts almost immediately. The training is being funded by proceeds from SIBA’s south west beer competition and beer festival, which has been held since 1993 at the Tuckers Maltings premises.
Guy Sheppard, SIBA chairman and a long-standing south west region trustee, said, “We are delighted to be supporting this very deserving cause. When trained, the SIBA guide dog will transform a blind person’s life, giving them independence, providing company and, importantly, connecting them with their community.
“We can’t think of a better way to show our support for the local community, and we’re looking forward to watching the progress from puppy to trained guide dog.”
He added, “Community support is one of SIBA’s core values: our members rely on local pubs to stock their beers, and on local people to drink them. At the same time, we provide local employment, both directly in brewing, and through the supply chain in pubs and suppliers such as Tuckers Maltings.”
Tuckers Maltings chairman Richard Wheeler said, “We’re proud to have played a part in creating the south west beer festival and delighted that it has become such a popular event and a magnificent showcase for the fine beers brewed in the region. It has been especially pleasing to see medals awarded over the last 21 years to many of the brewers who use malted barley from Tuckers.
“The support of beer drinkers, publicans and others across the south west has been key to the event’s success and we applaud SIBA’s decision to show its gratitude to the local community through this sponsorship.”
The south west was the first SIBA region to stage a beer competition and festival. This year’s event, held from 24 – 26 April, showcased 270 draft and 150 bottled beers to around 5,000 enthusiasts from across the south west.