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Mon 12th Jun 2017 - SIBA highlights important role independent craft brewers play in UK communities
SIBA highlights important role independent craft brewers play in UK communities: Independent craft brewers are playing an important role in communities across the UK – creating jobs and opening brewery taps to help fill the void left by the closure of pubs, according to a new report by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA). The Brewers In The Community report, compiled from results of SIBA’s Annual Members’ Survey, also pointed to the hundreds of thousands of pounds brewers raise for local charities, with more than four-fifths (84%) carrying out fund-raising work and more than one-fifth (21%) supporting at least five good causes. SIBA pointed to figures supplied by the British Beer & Pub Association showing the sector creates 900,000 jobs in the UK, with one single job in brewing creating “one in agriculture, one in the supply chain, one in general retail and 18 jobs in the pub sector”, helping other sectors to thrive as independent brewing grows. SIBA added that independent breweries also employed “mainly local people”, with two-thirds of employees living within a five-mile radius of the brewery. The report revealed one in ten of those employees are aged between 16 and 24, with the recently launched Brewer Apprenticeship Trailblazer initiative uniting brewers, trainers and professional bodies to create a cross-industry set of standards for the Brewer Apprenticeship Scheme. The report also said brewery taps, shops and visitor centres were becoming an important factor in the success of independent brewers, creating their own revenue streams. More than 30% of businesses that own a brewery tap, shop or visitor centre said the facilities accounted for more than a quarter of trade. The report also revealed 10,000 pubs have closed in the past 15 years, with many of them rural and suburban community pubs. SIBA said tap rooms could fill a void for a community to socialise in, particularly when the last village pub had closed. The report found more than four-fifths (84%) of independent brewers regard their relationship with their local community as “important” or “extremely important” to their business. SIBA said the increase in the number of brewers building tap rooms to serve fresh beer direct from the brewery had helped cement companies as “centres of their communities”. SIBA managing director Mike Benner said: “Britain’s small brewers are now a common feature of communities across Britain and are just as much a part of the local social and economic fabric of the communities they serve as pubs – creating jobs, supporting local charities and providing a place for the community to come together in the brewery tap.”

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