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8th March 2012

Local beers set for boost from new SIBA schemes

At its annual conference in Stratford-upon-Avon today (7 March), the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) unveiled a series of new measures designed to help its member brewers bring their beers to a wider audience.

Announcing the initiatives, SIBA’s commercial director Nick Stafford said, “SIBA is proud of its record in improving access to market for its members. Our Direct Delivery Scheme has put local beers on the bar in thousands of pubs which would have otherwise remained closed to small brewers.

“SIBA is continually exploring new ways to ease the route to market on behalf of its members, and we are delighted that our efforts are now bearing fruit. The solutions we are presenting today to our members will enable them to expand their distribution through on and off trade channels, and deliver their quality local beers to a growing number of appreciative drinkers.”

SIBA DDS, launched in 2003, now provides local beers to 2,150 pubs and bars. Sales volumes through DDS increased by 2.2% in 2011 and the number of pubs sourcing their local beers through the service grew by over 4%.

Opening new routes to market

New ‘‘intelligent wholesale’ business Ooberstock, which previewed its services at the conference, is being made available to brewers at an affordable price, thanks to SIBA’s negotiations on their behalf.

SIBA will manage and fund the initial set up to put member brewers onto the Ooberstock system.  Thereafter, brewers signed up to Ooberstock will be able to access it via a dedicated portal and manage the information about their beers, including price and promotional offers. A fee is paid by  brewers to Ooberstock for each litre of their beer ordered, meaning their costs are tied directly to their sales volume. Ooberstock launches in mid-April.

At the same time, the 75% of SIBA brewers who bottle their beers will benefit from a new partnership with Expect Distribution. The arrangement is designed to open up new opportunities to supply the independent off-trade and encourage more retailers in this sector to start selling local beers.

The initiative will work on the same principles as SIBA DDS, whereby SIBA buys the beer from individual brewers and sells it on to retail customers.  Expect Distribution will provide a consolidation service covering inbound delivery, storage, picking, assembling and onward delivery of SIBA members’ beers.

Finally, SIBA is looking at ways in which it can help brewers to open their own pubs, emulating the success of the first such initiative, Everards’ ‘Project William’, which has resulted in the opening of 23 pubs in partnership with a number of smaller brewers.

A growing number of operators now recognise that offering quality local beer is a vital ingredient in building a successful pub business and several, including Admiral Taverns, Enterprise Inns, Fullers, Greene King, JW Lees and Punch Taverns now offer flexible lease and tenancy packages tailored to smaller brewers. SIBA is acting as a ‘matchmaker’ in the process, and plans to start offering brewers a support package to aid their move into licensed retailing.

Caption to attached image: SIBA commercial director Nick Stafford


 Notes to editors:

  • SIBA DDS consolidates local ale orders from multiple pub operators, thereby making it easier and more attractive for them to buy from local brewers. Eighty-one percent of SIBA members sell beer through DDS and it represents, on average, 8% of a brewer’s turnover.
  • Ooberstock is a new ‘intelligent wholesale’ business, launching in mid-April. It aims to bring major cost and fulfilment efficiencies by outsourcing the core elements of its service to three industry-leading specialists: Kuehne + Nagel,  BCW Group and iTradeNetwork.  For further information, visit

Issued on behalf of:                Society of Independent Brewers

By:                                           ShielPorter Communications

For information:                      Ros Shiel: 07841 694137 /