A motion to change the membership criteria of the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) has been defeated at the organisation’s annual meeting.

The motion sought to open membership to any brewery which is independent, British and which has total production of no more than 1% of total UK beer sales. (A 1% share of the UK beer market would be a brewer making roughly 430hl per annum.)

The motion was challenged most vociferously by Dave Bailey, owner of Cumbria-based Hardknott. He broke a SIBA embargo to post a blog criticising the move, commencing: “SIBA started life as the Small Independent Brewers’ Association. Some people don’t think that matters. I think it matters a lot.”

Buster Grant, chairman of SIBA, said after the AGM vote: “It was disappointing that the members have voted against adding the new membership criteria into the SIBA Members’ Charter.

“This criteria reflects the members’ feedback we had received over the last 18 months, but the board will now consider its next steps.”


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