The majority of real ale consumers value independently owned breweries, with nearly three out of four (74%) ale drinkers who expressed an opinion saying they are concerned that small independent breweries are being bought by larger multinational drinks companies in the UK, according to new research conducted by YouGov.
The respondents expressed further concern that breweries that have been bought out are still marketed with the same branding from when they were independent, regardless of the change in ownership.
The research demonstrates the continuing shift in consumer preferences away from global brewers and towards beers that are considered to be of local provenance, highlighting why beer festivals such as the Great British Beer Festival continue to be so popular.
In light of this, CAMRA will be teaming with the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) to ensure that festival-goers know which beers have been brewed by independent craft brewers. The assured ‘seal’ will appear on festival bar banners next to truly independent craft brewers, as well as in the event guide’s tasting notes.
Catherine Tonry, organiser of the Great British Beer Festival says: “The Great British Beer Festival has remained incredibly popular for over 40 years, with 50,000 visitors coming through our doors each summer. The reason for our enduring popularity is that you can try nearly a thousand different ‘local’ beers from across the UK and abroad all under one roof.
“One of the delights of beer appreciation is the unexpected alchemy that comes from the skill and creative input of individual brewers, which is why local, artisan brews have sustained popularity over the years. We are pleased to work with SIBA to ensure consumers get as much information as possible about their beers at this year’s festival.”
Mike Benner, SIBA’s Chief Executive adds: “Beer drinkers want to know the brew in their glass has been made by a truly independent craft beer and SIBA are delighted to see CAMRA backing the ‘Assured Independent British Craft Brewer’ initiative at their flagship event and the UK’s biggest beer festival.