Who makes my beer? Logo will tell you the an­swer, and where it’s made

Southport Visiter - - Camra Column -

CAMRA is call­ing on brew­ers to end mis­lead­ing mar­ket­ing that fails to tell drinkers the ori­gin of their beers,

Ac­cord­ing to re­search by the in­de­pen­dent brew­ers’ as­so­ci­a­tion SIBA, 60% of beer drinkers want to know who brews their beer and whether it is owned by a global brewer.

Buy­outs of for­merly in­de­pen­dent brew­ers by in­ter­na­tional brew­ing cor­po­ra­tions have greatly in­creased the de­mand to be told more.

To give an ex­am­ple, Sharp’s, brew­ers of the pop­u­lar Doom Bar, was taken over by Mol­son Coors in 2011.

There was a big fuss two years ago when drinkers dis­cov­ered that since 2013, bot­tled Doom Bar had been brewed in Bur­ton-on-Trent, 267 miles from the Sharp’s Brew­ery, even though the bot­tles still said “Rock Corn­wall”.

Brew­ers are en­ti­tled to brew their prod­ucts where they wish, but equally their cus­tomers have the right to be told about it.

Takeovers and mov­ing beer pro­duc­tion are of course noth­ing new.

For ex­am­ple, Hig­sons of Liver­pool, a once pop­u­lar re­gional brewer, was taken over twice, fi­nally in 1990 be­ing owned by Whit­bread, who quickly closed the Liver­pool brew­ery and even­tu­ally moved pro­duc­tion to the North East, 150 miles from its Mersey ori­gins.

To­day global brew­eries are keen to ac­quire a share of the UK’s suc­cess­ful real ale and craft beer mar­kets.

The eas­i­est way for them to do that is to take over ex­ist­ing small, in­de­pen­dent brew­eries such as Mean­time by SABMiller, Cam­den Town by ABInBev and Lon­don Fields by Carls­berg.

As a re­sult, many drinkers do not re­alise that what looks like an in­de­pen­dent lo­cal beer can be owned by one of the global brands.

In re­sponse, SIBA is in­tro­duc­ing a scheme whereby their mem­bers can add a logo to their beers’ point of sale to demon­strate they are in­de­pen­dent, an ini­tia­tive that Camra wel­comes.

On a hap­pier note, SIBA’s re­search also showed that half of beer drinkers are now drink­ing lo­cal beer, ris­ing to 61% for 25 to 34-year-olds, which sug­gests a healthy fu­ture for Bri­tish brew­ing.

FES­TI­VAL NEWS

The 7th Long­ton Beer Fes­ti­val will run on Septem­ber 22 and 23 with beers from Lan­cashire, York­shire and be­yond. Long­ton VM Sports & So­cial Club, School Lane, Long­ton, Pre­ston, PR4 5YA.

See the web­site at www.long­tonvm. co.uk.

The South­port and West Lancs Camra web­site is at: www.south­port. camra.org.uk.

For pre­vi­ous Camra ar­ti­cles in this pa­per, please go to: tinyurl.com/vis­pubs.

Long­ton Beer Fes­ti­val is now in its 7th year

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