Plan stalled

Innis & Gunn brewery on hold in tight market

Innis & Gunn brewery
Impression of the planned brewery

Innis & Gunn boss Dougal Sharp said the plan to build a brewery on the edge of Edinburgh remains on hold while the business works through a stormy consumer landscape.

The company won planning permission for the brewery on the Heriot-Watt University campus last year, enabling it to bring production back from Glasgow to the capital.

Mr Sharp, founder, said: “We feel now is not the time to be building this brewery although it is still part of our key strategic ambitions for the business.

“There are yet more storms to weather in the consumer landscape. We would dearly love to build this brewery but we think our focus has to be on continuing to build our brand out of this turbulent environment.”

The company has reported a 7.4% rise in gross profit as turnover fell 1% to £21.1m for the last year. It did not disclose a pre-tax figure.

“Like everyone we had our challenges but we found a way to keep going and weathered the storm reasonably well,” said Mr Sharp.

The US investment group L Catterton acquired a minority stake in the business in 2017 and has a distribution partnership with the Dublin-based C&C Group, the maker of Tennent’s lager.

Mr Sharp said: “We have focused on extending our distribution in Scotland and roll-out in selected locations in England. We are making good progress on both of those key strategic areas.

“We are going to show quite strong growth in this [2022] financial year but that is down to the fact we have made investments in prior years to build our brand health, our brand strength and increase distribution.”

The company, which moved its headquarters from the west end of Edinburgh to modern offices in Orchard Brae, has caught up with the industry trend for no-and-low alcohol by launching a premium 0.0% craft lager beer. Listings were secured with Tesco Scotland with further retailers are on board for 2022.

Export sales are also continuing with growth in Sweden and Canada as well as in Colombia and Switzerland.

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