New wave of socially conscious brewers emerging

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Giving back: brewers and pubs have been ensuring they are socially minded, according to the Good Beer Guide 2019
Giving back: brewers and pubs have been ensuring they are socially minded, according to the Good Beer Guide 2019
There is a resurgence of independent breweries, with many putting social responsibility at the core, according to a new guide.

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA)’s Good Beer Guide 2019 ​has reported that many new breweries are placing a greater emphasis on giving back to the local community by supporting charities or providing training and employment opportunities.

It also reported that smaller brewers are becoming increasingly aware and are introducing new processes to reduce their carbon footprint. They are also responding to consumer calls for more information on ingredients and niche products.

As a result, there has been more gluten-free, vegan-friendly and low-alcohol beers than ever before as many brewers work to fill previous gaps in the market by creating recipes for specific audiences.

The guide includes examples such as Ignition in Sydenham, south London, which employs and trains people with learning difficulties to brew beer.

Accessible for all

It also mentions the Tap Social Movement in Oxford, which provides effective rehabilitation for people serving prison sentences.

The Keswick Brewery in the Lake District, which uses sheep wool to insulate the brewing vessels and reduce its environmental impact is also included in the guide.

As is Stratford-upon-Avon Brewery, utilising a small solar farm, wind turbines and boreholes for their brewing and giving all spent hops and malts to their pigs.

The guide also highlights other pubs that have diversified to ensure they are accessible for all. Some offer a variety of glass sizes, others have become micropubs, taprooms, gastropubs and community-run pubs to cater to all tastes.

CAMRA chief communications officer Tom Stainer said: “It is fantastic to see such sweeping changes across the brewing and pub scene over the past few years."

Pubs are keeping pace

He added: “Brewing has become much more collaborative and socially minded for many brewers, with a new emphasis on giving back to local communities and creating beers suitable to all tastes and preferences.

“Many have even extended their offerings with dedicated tap bars, offering a direct route to market form any consumers.

“Pubs meanwhile, have been keeping pace. The emergence of gastropubs and community-run pubs has helped to diversify the traditional pub offering to make them more welcoming to all sectors of society.

“In addition, micropubs have played an important role in bringing real ale to new places, filling gaps on high streets, improving choice for drinkers and providing a catalyst for real ale revival.”

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