24th March, 2014 by Lauren Eads
The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) has named Mike Benner, currently chief executive at the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), as its new managing director.
L-R – SIBA chairman Guy Sheppard and Mike Benner
Benner’s appointment follows a strategic review of SIBA which will see its management of the trade association come together with its commercial arm, effectively streamlining the organisation.
Guy Sheppard, SIBA chairman said: “I’m delighted that Mike is joining us to lead our expanded organisation. His political astuteness, proven campaigning ability and passion for great British beer make him uniquely well-placed to take SIBA forward.
“Our trade association and commercial arms have a shared goal of helping our members to thrive within a favourable political, social and trading environment for British beer. Aligning our activities into one unified structure puts us in a stronger position to realise this ambition.”
Benner has been chief executive at CAMRA for the last 10 years during which time the organisation’s membership has doubled and has had much success campaigning for the scrapping of the beer duty escalator last year and planning reforms to benefit pubs.
He said: “I’m very proud of CAMRA’s achievements and it’s been an honour to be part of such a great organisation. I leave in the knowledge that CAMRA is fit for purpose to continue its success. I am very excited to join SIBA at a time when there is such enormous opportunity for independent brewers and I look forward to working towards its vision to build the future of British beer.”
Colin Valentine, CAMRA’s national chairman said, “In his ten years as CAMRA’s Chief Executive, Mike has helped us achieve a great deal, both in our campaigns and in the growth of CAMRA. We are now in an excellent position to drive CAMRA forward. As Mike has decided to move on I’d like to thank him for his outstanding contribution and wish him the best of luck in his exciting new role.”
Benner will take over from current chief executive Julian Grocock, from 16 June, while Nick Stafford, SIBA’s commercial director, will continue to work with SIBA under Benner’s direction.
SIBA was founded in 1980 and today has 723 full brewer members, the majority classed as ‘micro’ or ‘local’ brewers.