The region’s status as one of the main centres of the craft beer and micro-brewery boom has been given a boost as one of its most famous names has received the ultimate industry honour.
The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) has announced that local independent beer and bar legend Ian Fozard, of Rooster’s Brewery, is the organisation’s new national chairman.
Mr Fozard, who has run Rooster’s brewery in Knaresborough with his sons Tom and Oliver since 2011, has been a SIBA board member for more than four years.
Mike Benner, SIBA’s chief executive, said: “Ian’s experience of the British pub and beer market, both in owning and running a successful pub company with Market Town Taverns and the hugely respected Rooster’s brewery, is a truly valuable asset to SIBA members and his leadership and direction on issues such as the future of Small Breweries Relief and access-to-market could not come at a more important time.”
Before buying Rooster’s, Mr Fozard had a long career in pub estate ownership and man- agement, owning the Old Bell Tavern in Harrogate among others, and was a pioneer of the craft beer revolution.
He said: “I am delighted to be elected chairman of SIBA by my board colleagues and am proud to have the trust of SIBA brewers from across the UK behind me.
“I hope to help guide SIBA and its members towards a successful, vibrant future for British independent craft beer at a time when there are threats and challenges coming from various directions.
“I believe that SIBA’s strength is in being a ‘broad church’ and will do everything in my power to retain this status. I intend to be open and approachable to all SIBA members.”
SIBA successfully campaigned for the introduction of Small Breweries’ Relief and has been a fervent protector of it ever since. It is credited with helping to create a more level playing field for brewers in the UK, allowing smaller producers to compete with the purchasing power and access to market of the large national and global brewers.