SIBA looks at changing ‘local’ to ‘craft’

SIBA, the Society of Independent Brewers, is discussing with its members the possibility of changing the words “local beer” in its logo to “craft beer”.

The proposal comes as one leading small brewer, James Watt of Brewdog, has called for an “official” definition of craft beer in the UK, to be endorsed by organisations such as SIBA and the Campaign for Real Ale, that would allegedly prevent big international brewers such as Coors from supposedly “passing off” beers such as Blue Moon as “craft” products.

Keith Bott, boss of the Titanic Brewery and chairman of SIBA, said the proposal to drop “local” from the organisation’s logo and replace it with “craft” had been raised at a SIBA council meeting and was now going out to regional members for discussion. He said: “We don’t believe it’s our role to define craft beer, though any member of SIBA is by definition a craft brewer. However, ‘local beer’ does define what most of our members do, and we don’t want to lose that for something less relevant. But ultimately the consumer is the right person to decide what is and isn’t craft. What matters to me is whether the consumer enjoys it, no matter what it’s called.”

Last week, Brewdog founder James Watt argued: “I categorically believe we need to define craft beer in order to protect the fledgling craft beer movement in the UK and in Europe. I believe if we do not look to put an industry-recognised definition on craft beer then the large, monolithic brewers will simply exploit all that we have worked so hard to build.”