Independent brewing in full flow, as new research shows four out of five brewers predict increase in turnover for 2016
The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) annual members’ survey, the results of which are being presented at SIBA’s BeerX today in Sheffield, paints a confident picture for the brewing industry, with four out of five brewers expecting their turnover to increase in 2016 and one out of six breweries making ambitious plans to double turnover by 2018.
The fact that SIBA’s membership has now reached 850 independent breweries is also being cited as a positive sign for the industry.
“More and more drinkers are discovering the huge range of fantastic beer brewed by Britain’s independent craft brewers. SIBA’s members brewed 532 million pints in 2015 and this demand for quality, locally brewed beer has helped our membership grow to 850 brewers, approximately 60% of all independent breweries in Britain”. Mike Benner, SIBA’s Managing Director.
Growth in keg, canned and bottled beer
SIBA say that whilst traditional cask beer still makes up the majority of the beer being brewed by their members, there is a growing demand for quality beer in other formats such as bottle, can and keg. Currently just over a quarter of SIBA’s members produce some keg beer, something which is sure to grow in coming years.
Mike continued, “Although the majority of our members’ beer is brewed in cask (78.9% in 2015), it is exciting to see that more production is planned for excellent, flavoursome beer brewed in keg, bottle and can in 2016 (predicted 23.4%). These formats now allow independent brewers the opportunity to offer great beer to new markets that may not have a cellar such as bars, restaurants and hotels. It is definitely an exciting time for Britain’s independent breweries.”
Breweries brewing more variety
SIBA’s British Beer Report also shows that brewers are increasing the number of beers they brew regularly. In 2014 29% were brewing seven regular beers or more, but in 2015 this grew to 34%. In addition to the regular brews, 1 in 4 breweries brew more than 10 seasonal beers a year.
Mr Benner added, “The range of styles now available is staggering and we’re seeing our members lead the way in expanding what people think of when they envisage ‘British beer’ – with everything from sour Belgian styles and powerfully hopped American style IPAs, to English classics such as Barley Wine and Imperial Stout being brewed in the UK right now.”
The report also showed that despite SIBA members selling over 80% of their beer within a 40 mile radius, 16.8% were now exporting, with an additional 53.6% stating they want to export in the future.
It seems that the renewed popularity of beer is also leading to a renewed confidence amongst those running craft breweries, which SIBA say means more jobs being created in the industry over the next 12 months. 73% of independent brewers say they expect to recruit at least one new employee over the next 12 months, which equates to 930 new jobs being created solely by their members by next year.
SIBA’s membership has grown by 49 breweries in the last 12 months from 786 to 850.
Dr Ignazio Cabras from the University of Northumbria in Newcastle, who conducted the research, commented,“Figures gathered from the survey reveal the good state of health of SIBA members and of the British beer and brewing industry overall. Levels of production and employment are continuing to increase, with younger workers probably benefiting most from the training schemes offered within the industry. Breweries are also increasingly looking overseas to place their beers, and this is likely to bring multiple opportunities for the wider supply chain which support the industry, other than increase the level of recognition and appeal of British craft beers worldwide”.
An introduction to some of SIBA’s newest brewing members:
Jeb Galaun, Brixton Brewery:
“We were started in 2013 by two couples, but our shared passion for beer started years before that, when we met in a pub and bonded over newborn babies and a dream of opening a local brewery. We reckoned that every great neighbourhood deserves a great brewery, and we wanted to bring one to Brixton.”
“We’re a family-run community business. We started in a railway arch in Brixton’s resurgent market district. We’re proud of the fact that we make our local deliveries on foot to shops and restaurants. The personal touch means that we know our area and our customers well so we’re confident that
our beers stand out, and that our business is a part of the community.”
“We’ve joined SIBA because it’s a great network and it works hard for the interests of independent breweries, supporting and promoting quality beer and the people that make it.”
John Magill, Powderkeg Brewery:
“Starting my own brewery wasn’t really a leap at all. It was a five-year plan that took eight years in the end – but it was worth the wait. When the time came, the real clincher was the emergence of craft beer –it has a sense of irreverence and derring-do that suits me and I felt Devon beer needed a bit of a refresh – none of the main breweries are really pushing the boundaries, it’s all a bit safe.”
“The idea behind Powderkeg is revolution, but it’s a laid back one. The beers, the brand, the general approach is a real shift away from the status quo – revolutionary in its own right. But we also encourage ‘personal revolution’ – that might sound a bit grand, but Powderkeg is my own move away from being a square peg in a round hole – towards freedom and living the life I want to live. We’re trying to gently encourage other people to do the same, if that’s the way they feel. It’s presented as a brand, but it’s also very ‘us’; it’s something we feel strongly about. Beer has inspired countless artists and great thinkers – sitting down with a beer in good company is a great catalyst to thinking outside the box.”
Adrian Chapman, Wishbone Brewery:
“I set up the brewery because I wanted to brew beers my own way and my previous job at Saltaire Brewery was steadily increasing in responsibility so I thought I might as well be responsible for my own brewery.”
“Put simply, Flavour in beer inspires me, the massive palette of malt & hops available make for lots of interesting experiments.”
“We are a 10bbl brewery with capacity to brew up-to 5 times a week between 5-10bbl per brew. We have an on-site cask ale bar which we open to the public once a month and plan to move onto keg eventually, adding a mobile keg bar which we can use in the brewery and take to outside events, we make beers ‘Not’ brands.”
To read the full report please visit www.siba.co.uk/beerreport2016
For further information contact PR & Marketing Manager Neil Walker on 07493 883 273 or email