Quality assured: head brewer, Jake Bartleet-Perry, and managing director, Simon Brooke, of Bradford Brewery
The Bradford city centre brewery had to pass SIBA’s strict food safety quality audit, which was set up to monitor the standards of professional brewing businesses in response to requests to retailers seeking consistent quality across the industry.
For Bradford Brewery, winning the SIBA seal of approval means that it can now sell its products to a much broader range of customers, including multiple outlet retailers and those who only buy from SIBA-enrolled suppliers.
Brewery managing director, Simon Brooke, said: “It’s an important landmark for the brewery to receive confirmation of our SIBA accreditation, and we are all very proud of the achievement.
“The whole team has been working really hard to make sure we had reached the best possible standards, so we felt that we were in the right place to put ourselves forward for audit.
“The SIBA approval makes it clear in retailers’ minds that we are 100% to be trusted. We’ve now launched an e-mail campaign telling potential customers that we’ve received the accreditation and we’ve already seen a spike in orders as a result.”
The brewery, off Westgate, Bradford, was visited by an independent auditor who scrutinised all its processes to check that everything was in order. Head brewer, Jake Bartleet-Perry, said: “We talked him through all our standard operating procedures, from brewing and packaging to deliveries and disposals. He inspected our equipment, our cold stores and dry stores, pest control methods, cleaning processes, water and product analysis, to name but a few things.
“The auditor got right down to the nitty-gritty detail, such as dilution rates of our cleaning materials and emergency recall procedures. No stone was left unturned!
“We were told that all our processes were in good order and the auditor was particularly impressed that our spent malt, hops and grain are distributed to local farmers for use as cattle feed or to gardening projects to enrich topsoil.”
Jake added: “However, we were picked up on one point before receiving certification — that was our paperwork. He reminded us that it was just as important to be able to fully demonstrate our standards through excellent documentation. With this in mind, we have taken our record keeping to another level that covers all the appropriate health and safety, risk assessment, duty payments, and standard operating systems.
“It was a lot of hard work, but well worth it in the end as we have now been fully accredited as SIBA suppliers which will open so many new doors.”
The accreditation also means that Bradford Brewery can now use the BeerFlex direct delivery scheme, which operates without profit to ensure that more than 2,300 pubs and shops across Britain receive the best quality products at a fair price.
BeerFlex buys more than 3,500 draught and bottled beers from around 500 participating SIBA brewers and sells them on to 17 national pub companies and off-trade retailers — big players who could otherwise be out of the reach of smaller local brewers.
SIBA managing director, Mike Benner, said: “FSQ is the best of its kind in the marketplace and operates on the basis that all breweries can become better at what they do, no matter how good they are.
“The fundamental concept is that a member enrols in a scheme of improvement, then adheres to the standards set by the board of directors, advised by independent food technologists, brewing and educational bodies, health and safety specialists, and SIBA’s HMRC executive staff.”
The high standards have to be maintained on an ongoing basis, with an independent assessor revisiting every two years to carry out an additional audit.