Innis & Gunn cheers 2017 profit jump

Dougal Gunn Sharp said the firm will continue 'evolving and innovating'. Picture: contributed.
Dougal Gunn Sharp said the firm will continue 'evolving and innovating'. Picture: contributed.
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Edinburgh-based craft brewer Innis & Gunn has seen profit and income soar during what it has described as a “transformational” year.

The business, which started out in 2003, has cheered a 22 per cent jump in turnover to £22.4 million in 2017, with gross profit up by nearly a fifth to £10.1m. Volumes were up by 13 per cent, marking the 14th consecutive year of double-digit growth.

The year also saw the firm sell 2.5 million cases of beer in more than 40 countries with a range including its flagship beer Original, Innis & Gunn Craft Lager, recently launched Gunnpowder and Session IPAs, and a limited-edition range of barrel-aged beers.

And it said it is the number two craft brewer in the UK off-trade, the number one craft lager in Scotland, and the top imported craft beer in Canada. It sold 100,000 hectolitres of beer last year.

The business also said it invested more than £1m in developing the capability and capacity of its brewery, invested in a rebrand and new packaging launch, and opened its largest Beer Kitchen to date in Glasgow.

Dougal Gunn Sharp, Innis & Gunn founder and master brewer, said: “Achieving our 14th year of consecutive double-digit volume growth is down to the hard graft of the team, our commitment to innovation and the quality of our beers.

“In the UK, Innis & Gunn Lager has continued its stellar growth, having doubled in size in the last two years. Our ambition is for it to become the UK’s number one craft lager, an achievement we have already reached in Scotland.

“We maintained our position as the largest imported craft beer in Canada and one of the leading imported craft beers in Sweden.

“Investing in our people, brewery, bars, and beer, in particular our packaging re-launch and barrel-ageing innovation, was essential last year to strengthen our brand and drive the growth potential of our business.”

The firm has also launched a limited-edition beer called 15 to celebrate the same number of years since its foundation and mark the “transformational” year, according to Sharp.

The brewer said it has spearheaded barrel-ageing since it launched its first beer in 2003. It added that 15 is a barrel-aged double IPA that has been matured in specially selected 15-year-old whisky barrels from the Highlands in the barrel store at the Innis & Gunn brewery in Perth.

Sharp added: “I started Innis & Gunn with our very first barrel-aged beer, The Original, and the discovery of the incredible flavour imparted by the bourbon barrels continues to inspire me every day.

“We will never stop evolving and innovating to change the world of beer for the better. Combining everything we love and have learned about brewing, this is our first barrel-aged double IPA. Here’s to the next 15 years!”

The first Innis & Gunn Beer Kitchen opened in Edinburgh in summer 2015, with its seventh and latest outlet recently opening in Glasgow’s Argyle Street Arches.

Innis & Gunn in 2016 took over the Inveralmond Brewery in Perth. The purchase was entirely paid for by £3.1m of capital raised through its beerbond crowdfunding programme.