Innis & Gunn will look at building major Edinburgh brewery when there is 'less uncertainty' after new deal with Tennent's owner

A new partnership has been struck between Innis & Gunn and Tennent’s maker C&C Group to sell and distribute the craft brewer’s products in the UK and Ireland.

Innis & Gunn has grown to become one of the most familiar beer brands in Scotland, and beyond. Picture: Cameron James Brisbane
Innis & Gunn has grown to become one of the most familiar beer brands in Scotland, and beyond. Picture: Cameron James Brisbane

Edinburgh-headquartered Innis & Gunn’s beers will continue to be produced and packaged at C&C’s vast Wellpark Brewery in Glasgow as part of a renewed agreement, as well as at Innis & Gunn’s brewery in Perth.

The move sees plans by Innis & Gunn to build a new brewery in Edinburgh – which would mark the first major brewery to be opened in the city for 150 years – put on ice.

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Company founder Dougal Gunn Sharp said: “We are retaining our independence and gaining a new distribution partner which can help us to introduce our brand to a much wider audience.

“The new manufacturing agreement leaves all options on the table to allow us to build our Edinburgh brewery when the time is right and when there is less uncertainty in the market caused by the current Covid-19 pandemic.”

The firm entered the planning application stage of the project last summer and that process remains ongoing. It expects to receive an answer on its planning application for a new brewery at Heriot-Watt University’s Research Park to the west of Edinburgh in the coming weeks.

The partnership will be formalised through investment in Innis & Gunn which will give Irish firm C&C an equity stake of 8 per cent. A long-term incentive scheme is also in place which will make a number of additional shares available to C&C based on performance targets being met.

The agreement builds on a long-term manufacturing relationship between the two companies which began back in 2010.

Under the new partnership, C&C will increase the distribution and availability of Innis & Gunn beers in the on-trade, wholesale and free-trade channels, through its distribution businesses Matthew Clark in the UK and through Bulmers Ireland and Tennent’s NI in Ireland.

Sharp added: “C&C’s strength in the on-trade across the whole of the UK and Ireland, and our long-term relationship, means we have solid foundations from which to build.”

Innis & Gunn will continue to be responsible for brand marketing and for sales and distribution to national pub chains, the off-trade and current international markets.

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