'Monumental year' says Sharp

New brewery talks ongoing at Innis & Gunn

Dougal Sharp Terry picCraft brewer Innis & Gunn says negotiations over the site of its new brewery are “ongoing”, though it is believed to have narrowed its focus to two locations in the Edinburgh area.

The company, which began at the Caledonian Brewery in Slateford, wants to bring brewing of its beers back to the capital following their exile at Tennent’s Wellpark brewery in Glasgow.

It raised £3 million from a beer bond in the summer and said the past year has been “monumental”, resulting in a 12% rise in turnover to  £11.8m.

The company saw exceptional growth in its UK on-trade volume – an increase of 96% year on year, with the UK off-trade business also increasing by 31%.

The success of the brand’s lager beer has significantly contributed to this growth, with the product accounting for 10% of total UK volume.

In Canada, the company experienced continued growth, with volume up by 37% to 7.9million bottles sold in 2014. Innis & Gunn remains the best-selling imported beer in Canada, with total volume having doubled since 2012.

Development of new international markets in 2014 (including Asia, Brazil, France and South Africa) has been an ongoing focus for the business, taking the company’s international head count to 46, an increase of 31% from 2013.

The company opened its first retail outlet, the Beer Kitchen in Lothian Road, Edinburgh, and is looking at sites for its next outlets in Glasgow’s Ashton Lane area and in St Andrews.

Founder and chief executive Dougal Sharp, said: “Our continued investment in developing our international business and bolstering our global team was key for us in 2014 and these areas will remain integral to our long term strategy.

“Building on the success of last year, 2015 has been a monumental year so far.  We’ve opened our first bar, successfully raised over £3 million via our BeerBond and started planning the build of our state of the art brewery.  It’s been hard graft but there’s never been a more exciting time for the business.”

Photo: Dougal Sharp (by Terry Murden)

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