Bodies from France, Italy, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden, the UK, Spain, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic – all of whom represent smaller, independent craft brewers – agreed their plan at a meeting in Brussels recently.
Representing nearly 2,000 member breweries, the nine represent a growing proportion of Europe’s smaller independent brewers and the new organisation aims to become a “central point of contact for the European institutions”. The IBE also intends to convey its message both politically and commercially in Europe, where the small independent producer’s voice is often not heard.
The organisation has invited similar bodies in other countries to join it in becoming a central point of contact for the European institutions and to field representatives to make their case on issues of concern such as regulation, taxation and access to market.
“This is going to give small independent microbreweries in Europe, who face a number of challenges – some market specific to the regions they’re operating in – a united voice,” says Peter Mosley, a Director of Porterhouse Brewing Company and Chairman of the Independent Craft Brewers of Ireland, “Some issues are more universal such as access to lines and to market. The European grouping gives us a chance to raise those issues on the European stage and have them addressed.”