Craft beer retailers across the UK are being invited to join the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) in an effort to create closer ties between brewers and ‘bottleshops’, as well as offer these specialist retailers representation and support.
SIBA Bottleshop Membership is open to independent bottleshops and beer retailers all across the UK, and provides a range of membership benefits including a free legal helpline, legislative support and advice, networking and promotional opportunities and more.
“SIBA have introduced this new membership category to build on the relationships we built with Bottleshop owners looking for advice and guidance regarding various issues over the last few years, particularly during periods of Covid lockdown where we fought for Bottleshops and brewery shops to be allowed to remain open as essential retailers.” Neil Walker, SIBA Head of Comms.
The Society of Independent Brewers was founded in 1980 and represent around 750 independent craft breweries across the UK; they lobby Government on key issues such as beer duty and support, promote independent craft breweries via competitions and awards, create opportunities for brewers to connect with colleagues, as well as offer members tools and advice to improve their businesses.
The new SIBA Bottleshop Membership is the final launch of three new membership categories as part of a remit expansion for the trade association, who represent independent breweries and supplier companies, and this year broadened their membership to include international breweries and UK-based homebrewers.
There has been a huge growth in independent beer shops in recent years, with many offering new local delivery and subscription services during Covid as people sought to support local independent businesses.
Linda Birch from Brewery Market in Twickenham, Surrey, has pledged her support and joined as one of the organisations first Bottleshop Members.
“We are delighted to be one of the first businesses to become a SIBA Bottleshop Member and are fully behind SIBA’s move to bring the Independent Craft Beer industry closer together. We work closely with a huge range of breweries and look forward to engaging more with them to shape the beer industry for the better.
On a business level the support and member benefits SIBA offer are hugely valuable and for us it’s a no-brainer to become a member – we will be encouraging other beer shops to do the same. I also look forward to working with SIBA to deliver even more opportunities and benefits for us and other members in the future.”
A Hoppy Place, a craft beer bottleshop and tasting room with outlets in both Windsor and Maidenhead, Berkshire, have said SIBA’s support through Covid was a huge benefit to the sector and are joining as a founding member of the SIBA Bottleshop Membership. Co-Owner Dave Hayward commented,
“We are a relatively new business, launching August 2019. Through the COVID lockdowns we’ve seen the huge benefits SIBA has brought to the sector, battling for the necessary grants and support our industry needed to survive. As a business we took impetus from their work, as well as learning from their panels, and went on to win the UK’s Best Independent Craft Beer Retailer (single) category in 2021. We are sure the health of the bottleshop sector is better as a result of SIBA’s efforts and are proud to join as one of their founder bottleshop category members.”
SIBA have been real supporters of beer shops in recent years through their SIBA Business Awards, where for a number of years a “UK’s Best Independent Craft Beer Retailer” (separate single and multiple retailer awards) has been given. In 2021 this was complimented by a new Online Retailer award, again seeking to highlight those businesses selling a superb range of independent craft beers and offering a great customer experience