Special ‘digital-only’ edition of SIBA Independent Brewer Magazine launches

Introduction by Caroline Nodder, Editor SIBA Independent Brewer Magazine. Link to full magazine below and here.

Welcome to this special digital-only edition of SIBA’s Independent Brewer Magazine.

As I sit down to write this column, I can’t believe it has only been two months since we launched the first issue of our newly renamed Independent Brewer magazine at BeerX UK in Liverpool in March.

In just those few short weeks our sector has changed beyond recognition as a result of the pandemic, with small brewers adapting their businesses rapidly and radically in order to reflect changes in consumer behaviour that might well prove, to some extent, to be permanent.

The situation has evolved daily, sometimes hourly, which puts enormous pressure on you as leaders to make quick and often painful decisions about the future of your business and the teams you lead. In a part of the market driven largely by cask and keg, on-trade sales and direct retail through shops and taprooms, the lockdown and closure of pubs and restaurants has hit small independent brewers harder and faster than most.

The thoughts of the whole SIBA team are with you, our members, as you face these enormous challenges head on. Our Chief Executive James Calder outlines some of the ways SIBA is working to support and represent small brewers through the current crisis in his column on page 7 in this issue and also in more detail in a Q&A on pages 30-35. And we have also produced

a summary of the key support and guidance that is available for small brewers in our special Coronavirus Support feature on pages 20-29.

We feature two SIBA members who are tackling the effects of the crisis in very different ways in our special in-depth Business Profiles for this issue, featuring interviews with Tom Bott from Signature Brew in London (see pages 52-59) and John Gyngell from North Brewing Co in Leeds (see pages 42-49) who tell us how they are not only adapting their businesses but also supporting their staff and local communities.

Elsewhere in this issue, three of the UK’s top beer writers and industry commentators offer their take on what the crisis might mean for independent brewing in the medium to long term. Claire Bullen, the Editor-in-Chief at Good Beer Hunting, looks at what brewers are doing to adapt their business models on pages 18-19, the Craft Beer Channel’s Jonny Garrett examines how the crisis may impact the whole structure of the beer sector on page 51 and on page 41, award-winning beer writer and author Pete Brown looks at how consumer behaviour is being affected.

Finally, please keep sending your press releases, updates, news and views to me at caroline.nodder@siba.co.uk so that we can share your experiences, thoughts and successes in future magazines – the deadline for submissions to our Autumn edition will be August 3rd.

Best wishes to you all in these challenging times. Happy reading!

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