Innis & Gunn gets approval to build Edinburgh brewery

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

Artists impression of what the Edinburgh brewery will look like
Artists impression of what the Edinburgh brewery will look like

Related tags: Drinks, Finance

Innis & Gunn has secured planning permission to build a brewery at Heriot-Watt University’s Research Park from The City of Edinburgh Council - the first major brewery in Edinburgh for more than 150 years.

Spanning a two-hectare site, the new facility will provide increased brewing capacity which will ultimately support the brewer’s continued growth in the UK and overseas. 

The brewer’s multi award-winning core range, comprising of Innis & Gunn’s The Original, Lager Beer and Session IPA, as well as other unique, cask-matured beers will be brewed at the new site. Guided tours of the brewery are set to be on offer. 

Plans are being drawn up to ensure students undertaking undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at Heriot-Watt University's School of Brewing and Distilling spend time on placement in the brewery. They would engage in on-the-job learning at the site.

Low carbon brewing

Further collaboration between Innis & Gunn and Heriot-Watt University is envisaged in fields such as low carbon brewing technologies, product and packaging innovation, and new product development. 

Plans for the brewery were submitted in May 2020, following a successful crowdfund campaign, which raised £3.3m from more than 2,000 investors. The total budget for the brewery is £20m.

“I have wanted to build this brewery in Edinburgh for almost two decades and as the business has grown and gone from strength to strength, the importance has only increased," said Dougal Gunn Sharp, founder, Innis & Gunn. "Plans for the brewery have taken a natural pause as we all continue to deal with the impacts of the pandemic, but we are committed to building the brewery when the time is right.

Energy use, brewing and packaging

"Although we cannot give an exact date for breaking ground, the longer timeframe does have some positives including more options in the market for the best low-carbon equipment and technology, which have the potential to change the game in terms of energy usage in brewing and packaging processes. 

“Over the last year or so, everyone at Innis & Gunn has worked hard to ensure a strong supply chain for our customers and drinkers alike. Our latest published accounts show that our sales in the off-trade increased by almost 30% year-on-year and this success during a challenging time, only strengthens the business and our need to have our own brewery.”​ 

Lynda Johnstone, global director, estates and facilities at Heriot-Watt University said: “When fully operational, this will provide a significant benefit for the students taking our brewing and distilling courses, as well as offering many opportunities for us to work together to take advantage of the low-carbon and environmental sustainability expertise we have within the University."

Related topics: Drinks, Operations

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