A fresh new look and name change for SIBA

Brewing industry trade association SIBA are today launching their new brand identity, with a fresh new look for the association and a change in their name to reflect the expanding membership, becoming the Society of Independent Brewers and Associates.

As well as representing independent breweries SIBA also have brewing industry Supplier Associate members, including ingredients suppliers, brewery manufacturers and service companies, and more recently expanded their membership to include associate homebrewer and international brewing members.

“Independent beer and brewers are the heart of what SIBA is about and always will be. As our organisation has grown to reflect wider parts of the industry, we’ve evolved our name to include that. We’ve taken the opportunity of a rebrand to build on the SIBA name that we’re best known by, and to clarify the wider appeal of SIBA membership and what it means to be a part of that – putting independence at the heart of who we are.” Andy Slee, SIBA Chief Executive. 

The new SIBA logo highlights ‘Independent’ in the Society of Independent Brewers and Associates and uses a ‘loudhailer’ symbol to emphasise SIBA as the Big Voice of Independent Beer. The colourful new branding was developed by Ape Creative, SIBA Head of Comms and Marketing Neil Walker, and a working group of SIBA brewers and Board members who offered a diverse range of perspectives to the project.

SIBA say one of the core principles of the new brand is its adaptability – taking inspiration from Museums and Art Galleries who need to be able to curate and promote a broad range of artists.

“SIBA has been around since 1980 and has a diverse membership of very different businesses and breweries, some with long histories and heritages and other newer businesses who themselves are making a big impact on our industry. The evolution of not only the SIBA brand but the name of the organisation has been done to better reflect that membership, a modern brand which is adaptable and flexible, to work in different ways for different audiences.” Neil Walker, SIBA Head of Comms & Marketing.

Founded in 1980 as the ‘Small Independent Brewers Association’, SIBA changed its name in 1995 to ‘the Society of Independent Brewers’ but kept the original acronym for which they have now become well-known in the industry. The rebrand will see the organisation move forwards as SIBA – The Society of Independent Brewers and Associates.

To read more about the rebrand project click here

Useyourlocal raises a glass to GigPig music partnership

A collaboration between useyourlocal and music marketplace GigPig has been struck to boost footfall in pubs and bars across the UK.

Useyourlocal, the UK’s leading platform for pubs and bars, provides a single source of information for punters looking to find out everything they want to know about every one of the 42,904 locals nationwide. Until now, any live music events taking place in those venues needed to be manually added to the website by the operator themselves.

The new partnership with GigPig, which works with more than 6,000 artists and 650 venues nationwide to host thousands of live gigs in grassroots venues weekly, will mean that any gigs booked through GigPig will automatically appear on useyourlocal, without the licensee having to do a thing.

Live music is proven to boost footfall for hospitality venues. The Live Music Index, an industry-first report published in autumn 2023, found that 79% of venues see increases to revenue and footfall (79%) when gigs are staged. In particular, gigs can see spend per visit rise by 64%, dwell

time by 61% and footfall by 36%.

Useyourlocal’s audience of up to 1 million monthly visitors are all in the very moment of looking to go to the pub. There are currently more than 140,000 useyourlocal members signed up to follow one or more local pubs and receive regular updates from them about what’s happening, where and when. By seamlessly adding these upcoming live gigs to every pub’s page, each venue significantly increases their chances of those consumers seeing what’s on and visiting their pub.

Both useyourlocal and GigPig are on a mission to attract more people to visit pubs and bars nationwide to support millions of hospitality jobs and ensure cities, towns and villages have a thriving night time economy.

Michael Forster, CEO of GigPig, said: “I’m really pleased to partner with useyourlocal because it paves the way for more customers to support their local venues and artists. Venues save time, safe in the knowledge that live gigs booked via our platform will be seen by an engaged and interested audience wanting to support their local. Boosting their footfall at a time when the cost-of-living continues to bite is crucial and we want to do all we can to support the hospitality sector.

“Often artists live within a 10-20 mile radius from gigging venues, so customers are also supporting homegrown talent by heading to live music gigs at their local. That support is hugely important for the music industry and gives professional artists the chance to carve out a great career. This is an exciting collaboration and I can’t wait to see how it develops.”

Stuart Mills, Founder of useyourlocal, said: “We know that live music is a massive attraction for customers visiting our website, so this is a hugely positive step forward in making sure that we are driving up footfall for these pubs and bars. Our mission has always been to get people to visit their local, more often. We’re delighted that this partnership makes it as seamless as possible for GigPig’s venues to promote their upcoming events to the widest audience possible, and it’s a brilliant bonus for those artists registered on GigPig too.”

Dave Finn, Landlord at The Queen’s Head in Great Whittington, added: “It’s great to see our gig listings going live through this partnership and we are already starting to see new people visit because they’ve seen the events online. We are supportive of any initiative that seamlessly connects our venue to potential customers who enjoy live music. This partnership has the potential to have a lasting positive impact on the pub and bar sector with relatively low input from venues once a gig is confirmed.” Founded in 2022, GigPig is the UK’s fastest growing music marketplace and booking platform providing venues with a streamlined way to search, book and manage entertainment in-house, while offering artists a free platform to find, play and get paid for gigs. GigPig has been the catalyst for staging more than 18,000 live music gigs in pubs, bars, restaurants to date.

Thatchers Cider becomes the Official Cider Partner of The O2

From February visitors to the world-famous The O2 arena will be able to purchase award-winning ciders from Thatchers for the first time. The news comes as the Somerset cider maker is announced as the Official Cider Partner of The Oin a deal brokered by AEG Global Partnerships.

Luke Dyson @lukedyson www.lukedyson.com

With the iconic entertainment venue recording its strongest ever year for ticket sales in 2023 selling over 2.5 million tickets, Thatchers will be bringing its much-loved range of ciders on a category exclusive arrangement to each of the main arena bars. 

The world’s busiest arena, The O2 will be hosting over 200 shows and concerts in 2024 building on its stellar year in 2023, including performances such as Take That, Girls Aloud, Country to Country, and Michael McIntyre. Its hospitality offering is an integral part of visitor experience.

Thatchers has a range of much loved and best-selling premium cider brands. Available on draught will be its flagship Gold, together with its fruit flavoured Apple & Blackcurrant and Blood Orange ciders.

Thatchers Cider is celebrating its 120-year anniversary in 2024. And with ciders that continue to shake up the market, the family run, independent business has recorded its highest ever share of the cider market in 2023. 1

The British cider maker has added more volume to draught cider than any other producer in the last 12 months, with Thatchers Gold having the highest rate of sale of any draught cider in UK Managed and Free trade outlets. 2

Martin Thatcher, fourth generation cider maker comments, “We’re excited beyond words to be serving our ciders at The O2. This world-famous venue plays host to global acts and events, with fans travelling from across the UK and Europe to enjoy the very best entertainment. It’s therefore fitting that the very best cider is now available in the bars for customers to enjoy, adding to their experience of memorable hospitality at The O2.”

Visitors to The O2 can expect to see the new, iconic, Thatchers Balloon Bar at the venue on selected occasions during the year, as well as out-of-home media and digital activation.

Martin continues, “We share a commitment with The Ofor a greener future, and in particular their values of driving change to make more sustainable choices. We believe that meaningful, sustainable practices, such as using 100% renewable electricity  to make our cider, are part and parcel of being a responsible drinks producer.”  

Laura Dignan, Director, Partnership Sales at AEG Europe says: “Thatchers is one of the UK’s most popular ciders, and with this new partnership we are bringing a world-class cider into a world-class venue. Their new Balloon Bar activation offers another way for people to engage with the brand, playing a role in achieving our shared goal of elevating fans experiences to the best they can be. Thatchers, The Oand AEG Global Partnerships share common values that we’re certain will make the partnership a success.”

This partnership was forged between Thatchers and AEG Global Partnerships, which oversees sponsorships across AEG’s global portfolio of assets, including The O2, and sits behind some of the most iconic brand partnerships in the entertainment industry.


Entries are now open for the 2024 National Pub & Bar Awards, as the annual event returns to celebrate on-trade champions across the country.

The awards will once again be crowning the best venues within 94 counties across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, showcasing the UK’s finest pubs and bars on a national scale.

Operators can enter venues online at nationalpubandbarawards.co.uk. If you’re a multiple operator, there is no limit to the amount of sites you can enter. 

All of the 94 County Winners, announced at the end of March, will be invited to the National Pub & Bar Awards Grand Final, which will take place in London on Wednesday 26 June.

The closing date for entries is Friday 22 March. Enter online at nationalpubandbarawards.co.uk.

Young’s acquires City Pub Co for £162 million

Young’s and City Pubs have agreed to a recommended cash and share acquisition, with Young’s acquiring City Pubs at a valuation of £162m. City Pubs, led by Clive Watson, operates a portfolio of 50 premium pubs and bedrooms.

Upon completion, Young’s will expand its managed trading estate to 279 pubs, including a 25% increase in bedrooms to a total of 1,065. Watson acknowledges City Pubs’ achievements over the past 12 years, highlighting its resilience during the pandemic.

Watson explains that the City Pubs board, considering economic uncertainties and growth plans, initially rejected approaches but found Young’s offer to be in the best interests of shareholders, providing 75% equity realization in cash at a premium.

Simon Dodd, CEO of Young’s, expresses excitement about the acquisition, emphasizing the alignment of strategies and cultures between the two companies and the compelling opportunity it represents for stakeholders.