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Brewer drops plan to build own facility

Innis & Gunn acquires Inveralmond to boost brewing

Dougal Sharp Terry picScottish craft brewer Innis & Gunn has acquired the Inveralmond Brewery, in Perth after dropping plans to build its own facility.

The Edinburgh company will invest in a new brewing and maturation facility at Inveralmond, using £3.1 million raised last summer through a BeerBond crowdfunding programme.

Its beers, formerly brewed at the Caledonia brewery in Edinburgh, are currently produced at the Tennent’s Wellpark brewery in Glasgow.

Founder Dougal Sharp (pictured) said that acquiring an existing brewery would allow the company to grow much faster than building a brewery from scratch.

The investment will grow both the Innis & Gunn and Inveralmond family of beers by developing new brewing equipment including a new oak maturation warehouse.

Additional beer tanks will be added to facilitate the expanded production volumes and the brewer is also assessing the feasibility of installing a small bottling line in 2017.

The Inveralmond brewing team will remain unaffected by the acquisition.

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Innis & Gunn has an annual turnover of £12 million in 2014 – against £10.5m in 2013. In 2014, It sold more than 20 million bottles of beer, making it the second biggest supplier of craft beer to the UK off-trade.

From its headquarters in Edinburgh and the new brewery in Perth, to be called The Innis & Gunn Inveralmond Brewery, the company will continue to expand its scale in the UK and abroad, where the business already exports to more than 20 countries.

Mr Sharp said: “The acquisition of Inveralmond gives us the dedicated brewing facility that we need to meet the growing demand for our beers.

“It gives us a home where we can innovate and experiment with some of the new brewing processes we’ve been dreaming up. This is more than an Innis & Gunn brewery; we’re building a totem for innovation and a launch pad for our continued expansion at home and abroad.

“We’ve been friends with Inveralmond for years and I have huge respect for the beers that they make. Ossian, their lead beer, is available on draft at all of our Beer Kitchen bar-restaurants and sells brilliantly because of its amazing flavour, clarity and consistency.

“As we searched for a site for our new brewery, it became clear there was an opportunity to combine the strengths of both businesses and for us to acquire their brewery and brands.

“Taking over an already fantastic brewery gives us a rolling start in the development of our new state-of-the-art equipment and processes, meaning we can grow much faster than if we started from scratch. It means we’ve avoided a lot of the red tape and planning issues around building a site from the ground up and we can concentrate on what we do best – brewing beer.”

Fergus Clark, founder and Managing Director at Inveralmond said: “To me this feels like a real win-win.

“Our Inveralmond beers will gain access to a sales and distribution infrastructure that will massively accelerate the growth of our beers both at home and Internationally, while at the same time Innis & Gunn gets the brewery they want 18 months earlier than if they had to build it themselves.

“We are really looking forward to starting to brew Innis & Gunn beers on site and seeing where this exciting stage of our combined development will lead.”

> Interview with Dougal Sharp

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