The UK’s Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) has called for more clarity to distinguish between craft beer and brewers owned by multinational companies.
A new independent seal will be introduced for craft brewers to place on their products on supermarket shelves and in pubs.
The launch follows a series of buyouts of previously independent craft breweries in the UK by global beer companies, including Camden Town, Meantime, Sharp’s, and most recently London Fields Brewery.
The decision follows a wave of discontent among smaller breweries which aim to keep their craft identity. Last month the US Brewers Association unveiled a similar seal to remove confusion among drinkers about which products are made by independent brewers and which come from ‘big beer’.
And the Australian Independent Brewers Association elected not to admit members that are more than 20% owned by large brewing companies or overseas interests.
SIBA chief executive Mike Benner believes consumers deserve to know what they are buying is genuine craft beer.
He said: “Buyouts such as that of London Fields by global beer company Carlsberg are made in the hope of capturing the original customers and target market of an established, previously independent craft beer brewery – Customer bases which were built on the back of the brewery being relatively small, independent and brewing quality, flavoursome beer.
“SIBA want to see far greater clarity in the market place and as such launched the Assured Independent British Craft Brewer campaign, whereby truly independent craft breweries and the beers they brew, can carry a seal highlighting them as such.
“It’s a simple accreditation which can be instantly recognised by beer drinkers on bottles or cans on supermarket shelves or on pump clips at the bar.”
The campaign will also be a major feature of the Great British Beer Festival in London this summer where all of the beers from independent breweries will be highlighted on bar banners and in the festival programme.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2017