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

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The Future of Small Breweries’ Relief

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An ‘Assured Independent British Craft Brewer’ is a brewery which has agreed to abide by SIBA’s Food Safety & Quality standard – meaning you get a beer of the highest quality, crafted with the utmost care.

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SIBA’s Five Strategic Directions

SIBA’s Five Strategic Directions aim to create a better beer market for independent craft breweries in the UK and give our member brewers the platform to grow and flourish. They are:

1. Enable sustainable access to market

2. Reduce taxation and red tape

3. Alleviate member costs

4. Promote our member businesses collectively

5. Create product excellence


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[1] 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.

There is a need to balance the positive opportunities created by consumers with the need to improve supply-side conditions. While the craft beer bubble has not burst, there is excess capacity in the independent brewing sector and the only positive way to address this is through growing market share through improved access supported by a favourable tax regime, focused promotion of our member beers and driving quality and excellence in
a practical and meaningful way.

SIBA’s revised focus will be on our professional brewing business members regardless of size. We will not represent brewers who do not sign up to our members’ charter, values and rules and do not aspire to reach the standards we expect of our brewing members. While new brewery members are very welcome to join us on our journey, our renewed focus will shift away from recruiting new members and towards delivering value to our existing members. We now represent 80-85% of the independent beer market.