Family run Edinburgh beer-makers toast success with Paolozzi

Breaking into Scotland's craft beer market is no mean feat but one family run brewer is enjoying intial success with its pop-art inspired lager.

Kirsty Dunsmore raises a glass of the Edinburgh Beer Factory's first beer, Paolozzi lager. Picture: Jon Savage/TSPL

The number of small breweries in the Scotland has reached levels not seen since the 1930s and industry estimates suggest Britain has more beer producers per head of population than any other nation in the world.

So what does it take to break into this crowded marketplace?

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For The Edinburgh Beer Factory (EBF), the brewers behind new craft lager Paolozzi, two of the ingredients to success are: a unique, pop-art infused brand and a history of brewing behind the firm’s founding family.

On the brewery floor at the Edinburgh Beer Factory. Picture: Contributed

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Family run Edinburgh beer-makers toast success with Paolozzi

The hops, brewed in the capital and inspired by Leith-born artist and sculptor Eduaro Paolozzi, have made modest yet significant progress since the company brought their inaugural offering to market in October last year.

“We’re already supplying to bars and restaurants in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen,” said Kirsty Dunsmore, one of the founding members of the company, “ We’ve tentatively launched online sales and we’re speaking to people in London to try and get Paolozzi supplied there.”

A small victory in its own right, considering in 2015 The Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA) estimated there 1,424 small breweries battling for our buck in what is a highly competitive industry.

The brewery is situated in Edinburgh's Bankhead. Picture: Contributed

However beer runs in the veins of the Dunsmores and the family are by no means brewing novices.

Kirsty said: “From a young age I’ve been exposed to brewing. My step-mum and dad have a history in the industry.”

Her father, John, was formerly the CEO of drinks giants, Scottish & Newcastle and C&C Group - the owners of Tenants. Her step-mother, Lynne is also a co-founder of EBF.

Kirsty added: “Our approach is to really try and to treat the brewing process like art. We purposefully brew one type of beer at the moment so we can make sure we are really confident about the quality of the liquid.”

On the brewery floor at the Edinburgh Beer Factory. Picture: Contributed

Paolozzi which is a 5.2% lager brewed in a historic Munich style and - in a nod to its Scots-Italian muse - is created with contemporary Italian brewing technology.

One of the many challenges the young company has faced has been explaining the significance of their brand name to punters.

“Eduardo Paolozzi’s creativity and work is a huge inspiration for us. His art had a massive influence internationally,” says Kirsty.

The lager’s namesake the Edinburgh-born artist is often credited with the invention of pop art and deserves better recognition say EBF.

The brewery is situated in Edinburgh's Bankhead. Picture: Contributed

Kirsty added: “We approached the Paolozzi Foundation early on,” the charity responsible for preserving Eduardo Paolozzi’s legacy,

“The beer is now endorsed by the Foundation, and we make a charitable donation to them for every single bottle sold to help promote Paolozzi’s work and ideas to the general public.”

The Edinburgh Beer Factory has recently opened a shop and has started brewery tours with a possible bar/cafe in the pipeline for summer 2016.