Published: 00:00, 09 August 2016
| Updated: 10:41, 09 August 2016
Several independent micro breweries in Kent have signed up to a campaign to give drinkers more information about where their craft beer has come from.
The Assured initiative, launched by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), is backed by 152 companies which want to make it easier for consumers to tell the difference between mass-produced ales and ones made by small niche manufacturers.
With the craft beer market moving into the mainstream, the body wants to give its 850 members the best chance of capitalising on their local roots by carrying a stamp of authenticity.
Market research commissioned by SIBA shows 46% of beer drinkers regard craft beer as “made by small brewers rather than large corporations”, with 22% associating the term with “small” and 14% with “local”. It claims all its full brewing members fall into these definitions.
SIBA managing director Mike Benner said craft beer makers have revitalised the UK market.
He said: “However, as the craft beer market has grown it is being flooded with beers from across the world, often from large global brewers.
“We have launched our Assured initiative to help consumers make informed decisions about where their beer comes from and who has brewed it.”
Tony Williams, owner of Musket Brewery in Linton, near Maidstone, is among the micro breweries backing the campaign.
The company, launched in 2013, sells its real ales in more than 200 pubs and clubs across the county.
He said: “I am very proud to own and to brew in an assured independent micro brewery.
“Musket Brewery is a small family business and just part of numerous such breweries located here in Kent, producing great and highly sought-after real ales.”
Micro breweries Canterbury Ales, Kent Brewery in West Malling and Old Dairy Brewery in Tenterden have also backed the campaign.
To qualify for the stamp of approval breweries must show their independence and pledge to abide by SIBA’s Manual of Good Brewing Practice.
Breweries signed up to the initiative will be able to use the stamp on their pump clips, bottles, cans, point of sale and websites making it clear for consumers that what they are drinking is a genuine independently brewed craft beer.