Plan to build £1bn industry
Scots drinkers urged to back home-grown breweries
West Brewery in Glasgow is among the new generation in Scotland (pic: Terry Murden)
Scottish beer drinkers are being urged to ditch foreign brewers and support home-grown breweries to help grow the sector into a £1 billion industry.
Trade body Scotland Food & Drink said it hopes to make Scottish brewed beer the “most desirable in the world” and says brewing needs to be marketed as a career choice.
Promoting Scottish beer is among the recommendations of a plan to boost food and drink sales over the next decade. Scotland has more than 130 breweries, supporting more than 8,000 jobs as the craft phenomenon has been led by the likes of BrewDog and Innis & Gunn, both of which have substantial overseas operations.
Chairman of the Brewing Industry Leadership Group Hilary Jones said: “The strategy brings a collaborative approach between over a dozen agencies to tackle several challenges including infrastructure, tax, marketing, exporting and the availability of a ready-skilled group of people who see brewing as a desirable career of choice.
“We want to increase the perceived value of our beer by focusing on craftsmanship and quality. We want consumers to buy Scottish beer, rather than imported beer and to drink beer responsibly.
“We also want to plug into the new food and drink tourism strategy and improve our brewing destination experiences, educating our visitors and sending an international message that we are a high-quality brewing nation.”
James Withers, Scotland Food & Drink chief executive, said: “This strategy is important because it is the first time that our fantastic brewing industry has united to deliver a growth plan for the future.
“Working with many partner agencies with a common purpose means that we have a strong chance of success and this, in turn, will feed into our ambition for the Scottish food and drink sector to be worth over £30 billion a year by 2030.”