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12th September 2017

All SIBA breweries trading on Beerflex are now ‘SIBA Food Safety & Quality Scheme of Improvement’ (FSQ) enrolled 

All SIBA brewing members trading on SIBA Beerflex* now hold a valid SIBA FSQ certificate or other professional accreditation commissioned themselves such as SALSA, NSF, STS or BRC. This is a total of 494 independent craft breweries and is a huge step forward for SIBA’s Beerflex members who can now provide necessary food safety and quality assurance demanded by many retailers. This also give consumers confidence they are drinking beer from the very best professional craft breweries in the UK.


The SIBA FSQ is a scheme of improvement and was launched in 2015. It provides members with a practical means of access to an independent quality-driven audit and delivers genuine benefits to the brewery. SIBA recognised that not all members were ready to step up to schemes such as SALSA or BRC and it was right SIBA, as the leading trade association for British craft brewers, created a first step towards the likes of SALSA.


Nick Stafford, SIBA’s Operations Director said, “Modern consumer culture and many retailers demand food safety and quality assurance from professional brewing businesses. Retailers wish to identify professional brewing businesses who are seen to have an ongoing process of raising food safety and quality standards. Any brewing business aspiring to be a professional concern should be able to provide independent evidence of standards achieved. The FSQ does just that and has been created as a cost-effective way of achieving this for those brewers not ready for the likes of SALSA or BRC.”


The FSQ scheme of standard includes HACCP, Raw Materials, Brewing Processes and Record Keeping, Packaging Process and Record Keeping, Cleaning Regime, Premises Maintenance, Testing Procedures, Beer Quality and launch just this month, Health & Safety At Work (a legal requirement). This additional of Health & Safety At Work now sees the standard named as FSQII.


The compulsory FSQ enrolment (or other accreditations mentioned above) for those trading on Beerflex is the first step towards SIBA making the FSQ audit a requirement of SIBA full brewing membership by 2020.


Mike Benner, SIBA’s CEO said, “SIBA members have always agreed to abide by the FSQ Standard (previously named SIBA’s Manual of Good Brewing Practice) when joining SIBA, and although written into our rules,  we have not been good at promoting quality by enforcing this rule and our new scheme provides a means to do that.  In a crowded marketplace, it is important that SIBA as a trade association for independent craft breweries, creates a clear path for our members to differentiate themselves to retailers when selling their beer as they can prove they are professionally compliant. This accreditation will also give consumers confidence they are drinking the very best beer brewed by independent British craft breweries.”


Mr Benner continued, “We understand that it is important for some our smaller members who do not trade on Beerflex to witness the true value of the FSQ before making that decision to enrol into the audit and for that reason SIBA has given these breweries until 2020 to make that business decision. Within two years SIBA will be able to prove and assure to all retailers and consumers that SIBA represents professional brewing businesses.”


Additional quotes from enrolled breweries:

“You don’t just get a certificate that tell others that you are compliant, the whole process makes you look at your business holistically and gives you the confidence that you are in full control. You know your product, staff and plant are safe.” Idle Valley Brewery.

“The booking process was seamless, and the time scales involved were reasonable. The auditor allocated was very helpful and supportive and all in all the whole process was informative and essential for our operation as we endeavour to be the very best we can and that is why we chose to join SIBA in the first place.” Priors Well Brewery

“We have never undertaken an Audit & were unsure as to what to expect. The auditor was hugely knowledgeable & helpful. He guided us through the whole process. We understand more about what is required, have a few areas in which we need to improve. In a strange way – we enjoyed every minute of it & left the Audit with greater knowledge & understanding.” Consett Ale Works

Notes to Editors:



Beerflex currently buys over 3,500 draught and bottled beers from around 500 participating SIBA brewers and sells them on to national pub companies and off-trade retailers – companies with which, until the establishment of Beerflex, brewers of local beers found it extremely difficult to trade.
A wholly-owned subsidiary of SIBA, Beerflex operates without profit and ensures that its customers – over 2,300 pubs and stores across Britain – receive the best possible prices, delivered in the freshest, most cost effective and environmentally friendly way.
The operation is very simple. Beerflex receives orders from a company or outlet direct via EDI, e-mail, telephone or text and we distribute them on a daily basis to Beerflex members.
Brewers access their orders through the Members area of the website, the Toolbox, and deliver the required products direct to the outlet according to the SIBA Delivery Charter.
SIBA Beerflex reports centrally on all deliveries made and provides consolidated invoices to the company Head Office, which will then produce any appropriate documentation for the individual outlets.
For More Information:

For more information on the FSQ please visit –

Neil Walker, PR & Marketing Manager – 07493 883273


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