INNIS & Gunn is set to “fast-forward” its growth in the craft beer sector with the acquisition of Perth’s Inveralmond Brewery.
The surprise deal comes less than ten months after the close of a “beer bond” crowdfunding campaign by Innis & Gunn, since when the firm had been looking for suitable locations to build a new brewery from scratch. Those plans have now been shelved.
Dougal Sharp, founder and master brewer at Innis & Gunn, said Inveralmond currently has capacity to produce 20,000 hectolitres annually, but only about half of that is used making its Ossian, Thrappledouser and seasonal brands.
Innis & Gunn will immediately take up the slack, and a review is underway to significantly expand capacity for both families of beers.
Innis & Gunn is currently made under contract at the Wellpark Brewery in Glasgow, with annual production at 90,000 hectolitres. About 80 per cent of this is accounted for by the company’s best-selling Original and Lager lines, which will continue to be made in Glasgow, while production of other staple and seasonal brands will transfer to Perth.
“This is a really exciting time for the business,” Sharp said. “Compared to building our own brewery, this acquisition brings our plans forward by two years, and we are now looking at the best way to grow both our brands and the Inveralmond family of beers.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the all-cash acquisition from Inveralmond’s owners – a trio of investors led by managing director Fergus Clark – has been funded from last year’s £3.1 million beer bond campaign. Some of that money, amounting to a six-figure sum, will additionally be used to install extra warehousing, beer tanks, a bottling line and other equipment at the brewery.
Inveralmond’s management team will remain in place, as will the 18 employees joining Innis & Gunn’s staff of 50. Sharp expects to have a clearer idea of the scope of expansion at the brewery once the current review is completed by the middle of this year.
“From a jobs perspective, clearly we are going to be growing capability and capacity on the site, so inevitably there will be job creation,” he said.
The deal comes just days after Innis & Gunn announced plans to enter the French market through the formation of a joint venture with Spanish distributor Grupo Diego Zamora.