The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) wants greater clarity for beer drinkers following a number of buyouts of previously independent UK craft breweries by global beer companies. The comments come after the recent purchase of the London Fields brand by Carlsberg.

SIBA chief executive, Mike Benner, said: “Buyouts such as that of London Fields by global beer company Carlsberg are made in the hope of capturing the original customers and target market of an established, previously independent craft beer brewery — customer bases which were built on the back of the brewery being relatively small, independent and brewing quality, flavoursome beer.

SIBA craft brewer“Consumers deserve to know that what they are buying is a genuine craft-brewed beer, as research clearly shows that most beer drinkers believe craft beer to be produced by relatively small, independent brewers.

“SIBA wants to see far greater clarity in the market place and, as such, launched the Assured Independent British Craft Brewer campaign, whereby truly independent craft breweries and the beers they brew, can carry a seal highlighting them as such. It’s a simple accreditation which can be instantly recognised by beer drinkers on bottles or cans on supermarket shelves or on pump clips at the bar.”

The campaign will be a major feature of the Great British Beer Festival in London this summer, where all of the beers from independent breweries will be highlighted on bar banners and in the festival programme. The festival attracts more than 50,000 people across the four-day event and is run by CAMRA.

SIBA’s South East regional director, Ed Mason, who also runs Five Points Brewing Co, in London, said: “London’s thriving independent craft beer scene has been built on the passion, investment, sweat and tears of genuine independent brewers, and we know that beer drinkers care about the provenance of their beer.

“The purchase of the London Fields brand by Carlsberg raises a number of questions about genuine independence and ethics in the brewing industry. SIBA’s Assured Independent Brewers’seal will help ensure that customers can tell which beers are truly independent.”