Skip to main content
22nd April 2014

Indie Beer Can Festival launches for independent British brewers

Can Makers and SIBA launch competition to find the nation’s best independent beer – in a can


London, 10th April, 2014 – Indie Beer Can Festival, the first UK-wide search for the very best independent beer in cans has been launched by the Can Makers in partnership with the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA).  Every independent brewer’s beer, regardless of current pack format, is being offered the chance to be showcased in cans at the Indie Beer Can Festival final and potentially be crowned the winner. The competition opens today via


Selected judges will decide the 12 Festival finalists based on written entries. Then each of those not already in cans will receive an exclusive limited production run provided by the Can Makers.  In September, at a closed session, influential judges including Chiara Nesbitt, Beer Buyer for Tesco, industry experts Adrian Tierney-Jones and Jane Peyton, President of Cask Brewing Systems Inc, Peter Love and Graham Fenton, Chairman of the Can Makers, will put each of the 12 to the test. The winners will be revealed later in the day at the Indie Beer Can Festival.  One beer will take the gold and two runners up silver and bronze, with all winners receiving trophies and e-badges. 

Every finalist will have the opportunity to have their beers sampled by influential guests at the Indie Beer Can Festival.  The remaining cans will be delivered back to breweries after the event alongside a finalist’s e-badge. This will be a great way to let everyone know the beer is one of the 12 best independent canned beers in the country.


Chiara Nesbitt, Beer Buyer for Tesco and judge, comments, “I’m a huge fan of independently brewed beer. There has been a massive increase in the variety of independent beers on our shelves as customers tastes evolve and they look to discover new styles. Cans are a great way to achieve stand out on shelf and keep drinks tasting fresh. In my line of work I’ve seen a lot of canned speciality beers from the US and I look forward to seeing this happen in the UK too.”


Adrian Tierney-Jones, award winning writer and journalist said, “This competition is exciting and very timely, so I’m looking forward to the judging.  Nowadays cans are a great way to package good beers. On top of the benefits cans provide by being very portable, light and quick to chill, the whole of the can provides a great canvas for brewers to play with and communicate their brand messages on. Cans are cool.”


Nick Stafford, Commercial Director at SIBA says, “The Indie Beer Can Festival is a fantastic opportunity for independent brewers to showcase their beers to influencers in the business and gain recognition. Quite a few are already in cans and there are many more brewers keen to explore the potential for canning beer. This competition ensures that any independently brewed beer has a chance to win and we look forward to seeing how it unfolds and, of course, to the final event.”

Graham Fenton, Chairman of the Can Makers, comments “Independent beer is an increasingly important part of the drinks market. I’m delighted that we’re able to partner with SIBA to offer today’s growing number of brewers a chance to explore the can’s benefits and share the passion they have for beer with a wide audience. I hope that this helps to establish independent beer in cans as a key part of the growing market.”


Key information

·         Closing date for entries is midnight on Monday, 16th June 2014

·         For entry forms and full competition rules visit

·         Finalists will be contacted in July 2014

·         The Indie Beer Can Festival will take place in September 2014


– Ends –


For further information, high res images or to arrange an interview, please contact the Can Makers team or phone 0207 437 0227



UK Can Makers

Members of The Can Makers work together specifically to promote the benefits of the drinks can and aid communications between the industry and its customers: the brewers and soft drinks manufacturers and the retailers, as well as the packaging industry, the media and consumers.

The Can Makers Information Service acts as the reference point for data and advice on the beverage can and the can manufacturing industry. Amongst its services is the issue of a regular newsletter and the publication of special reports on research activities. Consumer opinion and industry research forms an important part of the Can Makers programme.

The Can Makers was the first organisation in Europe formed to promote drinks cans. It is part of a European network set up under the auspices of Beverage Can Makers Europe (BCME), which includes similar country organisations across Europe.


The Society of Independent Brewers
SIBA was formed in 1980 as the Small Independent Brewers’ Association, to represent the interests of the emerging new wave of microbrewers.

With growing credibility and campaigning success, SIBA has come to represent the broad spectrum of the independent brewing sector. Renamed in 1995, SIBA is now one of the most authoritative and respected bodies in the brewing industry.

Adrian Tierney-Jones

Adrian Tierney-Jones is an award-winning journalist and writer who specialises in beer, food and travel with his work appearing in the likes of the Daily Telegraph, Sunday Times Travel Magazine, All About Beer (USA), Publican’s Morning Advertiser and Beer Magazine amongst many others. He is the editor of 1001 Beers to Enjoy Before You Die and has written several other books on beer (as well as contributed to many others). He is an experienced speaker on beer and a long-standing beer judge in the UK, Belgium and Italy. To make things even more interesting he has produced collaboration beers with the likes of Brains, Sharp’s and Otley. 


Jane Peyton

Jane Peyton is a beer sommelier, writer, alcohol historian and after dinner speaker.  She founded the School of Booze and produces and hosts beer, cider, wine tasting events. 

Beer is Jane’s passion and she is an enthusiastic evange-ale-ist. She has created beers in breweries including Fuller’s, Brewster’s, and Ilkley Brewery where her spruce beer ‘The Norseman’ is an award winner.  Her most recent collaboration with Ilkley Brewery was a Gruit ale (containing medicinal herbs) called ‘Doctor’s Orders’ – the style of ale consumed in England before hops were introduced circa 1362.

Jane has written several books including ‘School of Booze’ and ‘Beer o’ Clock’. Her work has appeared in newspapers including the Guardian and Independent.  Jane is a regular guest on BBC radio & TV.