Society of Independent Brewers
The Society of Independent Brewers was founded in the UK in 1980 as the Small Independent Brewers Association (SIBA) to represent the interests of the growing number of independent breweries. It was intended to fight the pub-tie system, under which large brewers owned 80% of the UK's pubs. It changed its name in 1995 to reflect better the changing aspirations of its members, but retained its original acronym.
Peter Austin was the prime mover in establishing SIBA, and its first chairman. Under his leadership, SIBA campaigned alone for 21 years, without the support of any other body, for a progressive beer duty system (smaller breweries to pay less tax on their products) to be introduced in the UK. Such a system was finally adopted by the then Chancellor Gordon Brown.
With growing credibility and campaigning success, SIBA has come to represent the broad spectrum of the UK independent brewing sector. There is no longer a ceiling on membership and SIBA is now one of the most authoritative and respected bodies in the brewing industry.
In 2010, The Guardian reported that SIBA members had seen sales rise by 4% in 2009, and smaller members (those brewing fewer than 350 barrels per week), who constitute the vast majority of SIBA's membership, saw volume sales rise by 8.5%.
SIBA aims to ensure that its members’ products are of high quality, and membership is conditional upon adhering to the Code of Practice and By-Laws. SIBA attends the Great British Beer Festival (GBBF) with a bar showcasing the winners of that year's SIBA National Beer Competition.
In December 2003, SIBA launched the Direct Delivery Scheme (DDS) to help small brewers promote, sell and distribute their beers to local pubs, pubcos and retailers. The Internet-based system facilitates trade between "micro-suppliers and macro-consumers."
- Protz, Roger. "Peter Austin obituary". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
- "Real ale sales on the rise as Britain's beer drinkers tire of lager". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
- SIBA Direct Delivery Scheme
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