Innis & Gunn launches brewery investment scheme

A DRINKS firm is set to establish its own brewery – with a little help from beer bonds.

An artist's impression of the new Innis & Gunn brewery. Picture: Contributed

Bosses are in “advanced negotiations” to buy a piece of land in south-east Scotland, fuelling speculation that it may be based in Edinburgh or the Lothians.

The company was unable to confirm a timescale or rough area but revealed that it is expected to create 35 additional jobs over the next four years.

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The “BeerBond” offers those investing upwards of £500 over four years a return of 7.25 per cent per year, so those paying the minimum stake could make more than £160.

Founder Dougal Gunn Sharp said the decision to start 
brewing inhouse rather than continuing to use external breweries had come on the back of continued global sales growth for the Capital 

Since its foundation in 2003, Innis & Gunn has grown to have an annual turnover of £11.8m in 2014 – up from £10.5m in 2013.

Mr Sharp said: “When we launched the company in 2003 we took the decision to invest in developing the brand and the oak-ageing process rather than building our own brewery.

“Now the brand is very well established the time is right to bring our activities under one roof.

“The BeerBond is all about inviting our fans and the craft beer community to invest to help us build this brewery – and we hope they will join us on this exciting new venture for Innis & Gunn.”

He added that the surge in interest in craft beer around the world also meant it was an ideal time to look to raise money to build the brewery, which will include a bottling line and barrel store and which would enable the company to brew small-run limited edition and seasonal batches.

Last year, the company sold more than 20 million bottles of beer and the company is the second biggest supplier of craft beer to the UK off-trade.

Exports made up 71 per cent of turnover last year and the brand is now the most popular bottled import into Sweden, and the most popular bottled British beer in Canada.

Applications for the BeerBond are due to close at 1pm on Tuesday, June 16 and will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis.

In its brewing heyday, Edinburgh had 35 breweries which contributed to its nickname of Auld Reekie.

Many of these are now long gone but the area’s brewing tradition appears to be experiencing a revival thanks to firms such as Stewart Brewing, Knops Beer and Innis & Gunn.