Three international drinks executives are ditching the global brands in favour of micro-brews with the purchase of one of Scotland’s oldest craft brewers.
The trio has paid an undisclosed sum for Broughton Ales, the maker of Greenmantle and Old Jock based in the Borders near Biggar. Founded in 1979, Broughton Ales is described as Scotland’s “original craft brewer” and was among the first in what has become a vibrant micro-brewing sector.
The new owners include David McGowan – previously a senior sales and marketing professional with both Diageo and Scottish & Newcastle – who becomes general manager.
He is joined by Steve McCarney, most recently a European portfolio director with Heineken in Amsterdam, and John Hunt, who has more than 20 years in the industry and was latterly director of global strategy for Heineken. McCarney will take responsibility for marketing while Hunt will be in charge of finance and strategy. All three are based in Scotland, and will lead the day-to-day management of the business.
The new owners want to increase production and sales of Broughton’s key brands, which include 13 permanent cask ales and a similar-sized range of bottled beers. There are also plans to invest in new packaging, as well as the creation of a local visitor and tourist attraction at the brewery.
Founders David Younger and James Collins launched the brewery 36 years ago with Greenmantle Ale, which is based on the eponymous John Buchan novel written while the author was living in Broughton. The portfolio expanded through the years, and in 1995 the business was bought by Giles Litchfield from Whim Ales in Derbyshire.
Hunt said the new management team is “delighted” to be taking over an operation rooted in the heritage and history of the Scottish Borders.
“We plan to invest in the business to build a stronger presence in the growing craft beer market in Scotland to make our brands more accessible to a wider audience, including younger consumers attracted to cask beers for the first time,” he said.