Craft brewer Innis & Gunn has appointed a former Pernod Ricard marketeer to help accelerate its push into the huge US market.
Neil Sharp – brother of the Edinburgh firm’s founder Dougal – played a key role in establishing the brand in Canada which is now its largest export market and went on to help develop Innis & Gunn’s business in Sweden where the brand is now the top imported ale.
He is now re-joining the firm as its US general manager after a spell with global drinks business Pernod Ricard, where he worked in strategic consumer marketing roles on brands including Chivas Regal, The Glenlivet, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Absolut Vodka and Beefeater Gin.
Dougal Sharp said he was “thrilled” to have his brother back on board. “Neil has a wealth of experience in the drinks business and was integral to our early launch of Innis & Gunn into the Canadian and Swedish markets. His appointment comes at a time when we are gearing up for a period of accelerated growth in the US,” he said.
“It’s a hugely competitive market and Neil will be instrumental to driving our business strategy. It’s exciting times for the brand.”
Sharp will work closely with US managing director Dan Deluca and newly appointed importer United States Beverages.
Innis & Gunn now employs 50 people and has seen 30 per cent average annual growth over the last two years with annual turnover of £11.8 million in 2014. The brand is now available in 20 countries.