The Innis & Gunn Brewing Co., one of Scotland’s largest independent brewers, recently announced the acquisition of The Inveralmond Brewery Limited, in Perth, Scotland. Innis & Gunn, famous for its oak-infused beers and unoaked Scottish lager, will be investing substantially to further develop the Perth Brewery and to create a new state-of-the-art Innis & Gunn brewing and maturation facility. This will also extend the capacity available to grow both the Inveralmond and Innis & Gunn family of beers. This investment marks an exciting period of growth and evolution for both businesses.
“The acquisition of Inveralmond gives us the dedicated brewing facility that we need to meet the growing demand for our beers,” said Dougal Gunn Sharp, founder and master brewer at Innis & Gunn. “It gives us a home where we can innovate and experiment with some of the new brewing processes we’ve been dreaming up. This is more than an Innis & Gunn brewery; we’re building a totem for innovation and a launch pad for our continued expansion at home and abroad.”
“We’ve been friends with Inveralmond for years and I have huge respect for the beers that they make,” he continued. “Ossian, their lead beer, is available on draft at all of our Beer Kitchen bar-restaurants and sells brilliantly because of its amazing flavor, clarity and consistency. As we searched for a site for our new brewery, it became clear there was an opportunity to combine the strengths of both businesses and for us to acquire their brewery and brands. Taking over an already fantastic brewery gives us a rolling start in the development of our new state-of-the-art equipment and processes, meaning we can grow much faster than if we started from scratch. It means we’ve avoided a lot of the red tape and planning issues around building a site from the ground up and we can concentrate on what we do best – brewing beer.”
The purchase has been entirely funded by £3.1m of capital raised through the Innis & Gunn BeerBond crowdfunding program, whereby craft beer ‘fanvestors’ invested in the business last year. Those BeerBond holders will now see Innis & Gunn’s ambitious expansion plans accelerated by the brewer choosing to invest in developing an existing brewery, rather than building a new facility from scratch. The Inveralmond brewing team — longstanding friends of Innis & Gunn — will remain unaffected by the acquisition.
Innis & Gunn will embark on significant investment in the Perth facility to support its innovative brewing processes and continue its reputation for experimentation with ingredients and flavors. The new brewery will be fully equipped with a brand new oak barrel maturation warehouse as well as Innis & Gunn’s unique proprietary infusion equipment, which in the past has been used to infuse beers with aromas and flavors from oak, bergamot, coffee beans and other artisanal ingredients. The company is also planning to install new ‘Hop Gunns’ to maximize hop aroma in certain beers through an amplified dry-hopping technique, and is assessing the feasibility of installing a small bottling line in 2017.
Additional beer tanks will be added to the brewery to facilitate the expanded production volumes, but also to supply the brewers’ growing number of Award Winning Beer Kitchen retail outlets, already open in Edinburgh and Dundee and soon to arrive in Glasgow, with unpasteurised Innis & Gunn Lager fresh from the brewery. The new production scale will allow Innis & Gunn to meet the growing demand for its beers, and the site offers room and flexibility for further expansion in the future as the company continues to grow — making the purchase an integral component of its long term growth strategy.
“To me this feels like a real win-win,” said Fergus Clark, founder and managing director at Inveralmond. “Our Inveralmond beers will gain access to a sales and distribution infrastructure that will massively accelerate the growth of our beers both at home and internationally, while at the same time Innis & Gunn gets the brewery they want 18 months earlier than if they had to build it themselves. We are really looking forward to starting to brew Innis & Gunn beers on site and seeing where this exciting stage of our combined development will lead.”