Innis & Gunn to build new Edinburgh brewery

Published: 21 January 2019

The Scottish craft brewer is planning to build the first major brewery in Edinburgh in 150 years. We spoke to founder and master brewer, Dougal Sharp.

Your business in brief?

I founded Innis & Gunn in 2003, the business is celebrating its 15th anniversary last year. We employ 120 staff across our Edinburgh headquarters at Randolph Crescent, our Innis & Gunn Brewery in Perth and three Beer Kitchen sites in Edinburgh, Dundee and Glasgow.

We also have a sales team in Canada and export to more than 35 countries. Innis & Gunn Lager is the No.1 Craft Lager in Scotland. We are the No.2 Craft Brewer on the UK Off-trade, the No.1 Imported Craft Beer in Canada and No.3 Imported Craft Beer in Sweden.

This is an amazing opportunity for a craft beer brand born in the capital to build the first major brewery in Edinburgh in 150 years.

Dougal Sharp, founder and master brewer, Innis and Gunn

 

In 2017, our turnover grew 22% to £22m. It was our 14th successive year of double digit volume growth, with 100,000 hectolitres sold

What's the rationale for the new brewery? What will it do?

The increasing demand for Innis & Gunn Lager and our portfolio of India pale ales (IPAs) and barrel-aged beers is driving the decision to build a large-scale brewery to support the growth ambitions for the business – our aim is to reach £40M turnover by 2021. 

Operationally, it’s good for our long-term business, as it will mean we can streamline several processes across brewing, packaging and warehousing to a single location.

The site will be developed to include a beer sampling taproom, tours and a visitor experience, welcoming people who want to come for a beer and have a look around the brewery.

Our existing Innis & Gunn Brewery in Perthshire would continue to brew the award-winning Inveralmond Brewery range of cask and bottled ales, and focus on small scale experimentation and limited edition barrel-aged beers.

What does it mean for your business and for Edinburgh? How does being based in Edinburgh help you?

This is an amazing opportunity for a craft beer brand born in the capital to build the first major brewery in Edinburgh in 150 years. 

From an emotional perspective, the brand is deepening its roots in the city where it started out. Edinburgh is the home of the brand, where I started the company and where I first discovered brewing from my Dad, who ran the Caledonian Brewery in the city. 

This is a significant development, demonstrating the confidence we have in our growth strategy to build our business in the domestic beer market and to continue to drive export growth, particularly in our key overseas markets in Canada, Sweden and the US. Up to 30 new jobs could be created at the new brewery.

Increasing global demand for the company's lager is driving the decision to build a large-scale brewery to support the ambition of £40m turnover by 2021.

What's the vision for your business?

We believe that, by 2025, the value of craft within the total beer market will almost treble. This would see nearly $1 in every $5 spent on craft beer, and we are ideally placed to benefit from this trend. 

We are one of the brands driving craft beer’s march into the mainstream, broadening our core and limited edition portfolio, because people want to try different types of beer.

Innis & Gunn Lager is the No.1 craft lager in Scotland and we believe its stellar growth in the past two years puts it well on track to achieve our vision of being the No.1 craft lager in the UK.

Our international sales and marketing focus is in key export markets in Canada, Sweden and the US, collectively where most of our overseas volume comes from.

There are exciting opportunities to take a long-term view in emerging markets such as France, where our sales doubled last year, and China, which we started exporting to last year and has enormous potential as the largest beer market globally.

 

If you would like to find out more about how we can help you and your business establish, relocate or expand within the city region, or would simply like more information about what Edinburgh has to offer, get in touch today.

E: invest@edinburgh.gov.uk

 

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