Brewery crowdfund will help fulfil Innis & Gunn's ‘ambitious’ on-trade vision

By Stuart Stone

- Last updated on GMT

Beer money overflow: Innis & Gunn has raised around £300,000 more than its crowdfunding target
Beer money overflow: Innis & Gunn has raised around £300,000 more than its crowdfunding target

Related tags Brewing Beer

A ‘Beer Money’ windfall, a new brewery and successful festive trading can help Scottish brewer Innis & Gunn fulfil “ambitious growth plans” in the UK on-trade according to founder and master brewer Dougal Gunn Sharp.

As reported by The Morning Advertiser ​(MA​), Innis & Gunn launched its ‘Beer Money’ whip-round on Seedrs on 11 November in the hope of raising £3m​ to fund Edinburgh’s first major brewery in more than a century.

However, after almost three months, the crowdfund closed with more than 3,000 investors from as far afield as mainland Europe and Scandinavia collectively pledging £3.3m in exchange for 2% equity in the business – exceeding the brewer’s initial target by around £300,000.

“We’d like to thank each and every one of our investors both old and new,” Dougal Gunn Sharp, founder and master brewer at Innis & Gunn commented.

“We’ve dreamt of building a brewery in Edinburgh since we started this business, and you’re all going to be playing a key role in making it happen.

“Our now 5,000-strong investor community are a part of our success, our proudest advocates and we can’t wait to raise a glass together in the new brewery.”

Innis & Gunn’s latest campaign comes three years after the Scottish brewer’s last round of fundraising, in which time the company’s turnover has increased to £25m.

With debt-funding already in place to cover structural work at the new brewery, Beer Money will fund the kitting out of Innis & Gunn’s interior brewhouse, warehousing capability and visitor experience. What’s more, everyone who contributed to the £3.3m pot will have their name displayed on the wall of the brewery – which will be built at Heriot-Watt University Research park.

It’s also expected that the new brewery will create around 30 new jobs when it opens in 2021.


We’ll grown on-trade numbers this year

Discussing the impact of its overflowing pot of Beer Money on Innis & Gunn’s presence in the UK on-trade, Sharp told MA​: “We’ve got ambitious growth plans at Innis & Gunn and the brewery will form a key part in delivering them.

“Being able to brew what we want when we want will allow us to be more experimental and simplifying processes like packaging and warehousing by bringing them all under one roof will be hugely helpful as we expand the business. This, of course, includes expanding our on-trade distribution.

“Innis & Gunn products are enjoyed in over 1,000 on-trade outlets UK wide. We’ll grow that number this year but, for us, it’s always been about finding the right places to sell our beer rather than concentrating on having as many accounts as possible. It’s a strategy that has worked well for us so far and will continue to be our approach to growing distribution.”

While Beer Money will fund the new brewery’s kit out, Sharp is interested in expanding the Innis & Gunn’s on-trade estate given the success of its taprooms – with plans currently afoot to roll out the concept at a rate of two new sites per year over the next three years.

Sharp added: “We had a great 2019 particularly over the festive period, which saw a 16% year-on-year uplift in sales, so we’ll be looking to continue the positive momentum we’ve built.

“As with growing our distribution, it’s important we select the right sites for our brewery taprooms so that will be our focus in the short-to-medium term. We currently operate three Innis & Gunn brewery taprooms in Scotland: Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee.”

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