Rammy News!

17 Feb

It’s more than David v Goliath

Some of you really buy into the idea that this craft movement is all about small craft brewers taking a piece of flavour out of the big brewers pie.

….while that is true it is over simplistic of the situation.

Medium size brewers are more terrified of the craft beer movement than the biggest brewers. Why? The biggest brewers are not about brewing for gods sake. They own property! They can survive any length of time of beer flavour madness. They will always be wealthy! Making money from selling beer has always been a marginal activity of all big brewers.

But for medium sized brewers without such huge collateral – craft brewers on mass are a real threat. These medium sized businesses make mediocre beer but don’t have a huge asset bank to rely upon for their future. They need to restrict the entry of new brewers who brew beer better than them.

So what do they do? They abuse an independent brewing association designed for smaller brewers (sorry – that isn’t true actually- it was really designed for big brewers but brewers who were not quite as big as the really BIG guys. So its basically a system that benefits you if you are big but not THAT big.)

Yes. That means if you are really small and crafty then SIBA is not for you. What a shame.

So to put this simply – I am announcing that Rammy Craft is withdrawing from SIBA. SIBA does not promote small craft brewing. SIBA promotes only medium sized breweries with a small line of permanent beers. It is not possible to be a craft brewery and supply pubs through SIBA. Why?

Because to sell a beer through SIBA it has to be tested and flavour assessed. EVERY different beer ever made! At a cost to the brewer. (Never going to be economical on small batch – so forget it!)

Brewing margins are already tight and the medium sized brewers know that by adding costs to imaginative brewers who brew lots of different beers they will put them out of the SIBA system because it will not be economical for them to list their beers. Just one of many new requirements designed to put strain on brewers who brew great beer in great variety – that drinkers want to drink.

Oh did I forget to mention that SIBA is an association that is controlled by the people who own the medium sized breweries in the area? (FACT)

Anyhow, the latest straw to break the camel’s back is some nonsense about following “Best Brewing Practice”. This is now mandatory if you are a SIBA member…you now have to pay in addition to your membership fee a £30/month fee to allow a biannual food safety visit! Totally unnecessary and is something your local Council Officer is trained and responsible for.

My objections to this are mainly that:

1.Beer has been recognised by local Council’s as a low hazard environment for some time. There is v little risk to the end product from food safety angle. Most of the big breweries who will all pass this test still produce beer that is not great to drink. The two things have zero correlation! History proves that beer is a really safe product. It only spoils in a way that makes it taste like shite. It can’t kill you for being off.

2.It is not a fair charge. A complete rip-off! SIBA is ‘on the make’ yet again!

3. Those medium sized breweries in competition with me find a way to get someone into my small brewery to snoop around under the guise of Food Safety while recording all the ways I am brewing beer. That’s really quite clever.

Let’s be clear – there are many small breweries who produce great beer. In fact – often the smaller the brewery the higher rated the beer! Adding annual costs that are not warranted onto to every brewery regardless of size only benefits the medium sized breweries and higher up the really big breweries. It is protectionist in the name of consumer protection.

You will not get craft beer in mainstream pubs any longer. As I warned in a previous blog…things are tightening up. If you want good local craft beer you will only find it in FREE HOUSES. Support these and boycott the big brewer pubs who will not allow beer bought direct from brewers and who are strategically squeezing locally brewed beer off their bars in favour of their own lower quality products.

Pubs buying through SIBA will soon have only medium sized brewery offerings on the bar and not the true craft beer offerings that small microbars are currently sourcing. this is important enough for you as a craft beer drinker to take seriously and boycott those pubs in the system that don’t let the smaller brewer in.


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