More than 100 million pints of craft-brewed beer sold thanks to Beerflex

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Beerflex: delivery scheme is triumph
Beerflex: delivery scheme is triumph

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Following the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) Beerflex delivery scheme, more than 100 million pints of independently craft-brewed beer have been sold.

Now in its 14th​ year, Beerflex​ was set up to get SIBA​ members’ beers into pub chains and with 101 million pints having been sold, the proof is in the figures.

Operations director at SIBA Nick Stafford said: “Beerflex has been a hit with pub companies as it allows them a simple, cost-effective way to gain access to a huge range of beers brewed within a short distance of their pubs, which means they can offer their customers genuinely local, fresh-tasting draught beers.”

Stafford added that it is not just the pub companies that benefit from the scheme: “Consumers are happy as they are being given greater choice and brewers are happy as their beers are getting into pubs that were previously a closed door to small-scale producers.”

When the service was launched back in 2002, there were only 200 beers available through the service, which has rocketed to 3,500 due to the craft-brewing boom of recent years, and 37 different pub companies have worked with SIBA during the years to sell beer from independent breweries in their pubs.

Local beer

SIBA statistics also showed that almost three quarters (70%) of their brewing members sell the majority of their beers within a 40-mile radius of the brewery.

Stafford said: “The craft brewing revolution has not only led drinkers to seek out more flavoursome, interesting beers like those made by independent craft brewers but also beers that are from their local area. With more than 850 SIBA breweries across the UK, everybody can have a pint of locally brewed beer, something we should be extremely proud of.”

Best initiative award

Beerflex was originally set up as the ‘Direct Delivery Scheme’ that won the BBC Radio 4 Food and Farming Award for ‘Best Retail Initiative’ in 2007.

Stafford said: “The award recognises the unique facilitating role a not-for-profit organisation could achieve for the common good – brewers, licensees and drinkers.

“It was and still is a win-win scenario but with the changing beer world, there was a need for the service to evolve and be able to supply other sectors of the industry such as hotel, clubs, restaurants, coffee shops, off-licences and even catering services.

“Our vision is to make independent craft-brewed beer available to those that want to drink it, no matter the setting.”

He concluded: “Beerflex is, at its heart, about ensuring any retailer will always be able to serve beer from the independent breweries, as it is these brewers that are producing some of the UK’s most exciting beer.

“SIBA is extremely proud to have reached this 100 million pint milestone and hope the scheme will continue to connect beer drinkers with full-flavoured, independently brewed craft beer, no matter what pub they’re visiting.”

Related topics Beer Other operators