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Plans for brewery at Edinburgh university

Added: Thursday, May 21st 2020

Innis & Gunn new brewery

Scottish craft brewer and retailer Innis & Gunn has submitted an application for planning permission for its major new brewery at Heriot-Watt University’s Research Park to the west of Edinburgh. When completed it will be the first major brewery to be opened in Edinburgh for 150 years.

The partnership is the UK’s first major collaboration of this type between a full-scale brewery and a university and will create a world-centre for brewing studies and applied learning. Built to meet demand for Innis & Gunn’s award-winning beers, the project will create up to 30 new jobs and see the brand’s 45 office-based staff relocate from its head office in Edinburgh’s Randolph Crescent. 

As well as brewing Innis & Gunn’s flagship Lager Beer and The Original, the brewery will include a high-speed canning and bottling line and will enable the company to consolidate all currently out-sourced production under one roof. By installing modern equipment and technology, the project will reduce Innis & Gunn’s carbon footprint by up to 30 per cent. 

Innis & Gunn’s founder and master brewer Dougal Gunn Sharp, says: "I am excited that we are submitting our planning application, which menas the project now enters a statutory phase, during which our application will be considered by the local authorities in Edinburgh.

"In normal times we would expect this process to take three or four months. But because of the COVID-19 situation we are unable to say how long this stage might take. This natural pause in the project comes at a helpful time. Right now, our priorities remain the welfare of our staff and ensuring the continuing supply of Innis & Gunn beers to our key customers in the UK and overseas, where we have seen surging demand since the start of this crisis.

"We have taken various steps to meet this demand, including launching a Quick & Cold beer delivery service on-line, which will get ice-cold beer to your home within 24 hours of ordering. We are currently trialling this across Glasgow and Edinburgh but this will be expanded in the coming days to include post codes once we are certain that service levels can be met.

"Building our own brewery will bring a raft of benefits to the business. It will allow us to take control of our currently our-sourced operations, expand our team and grow our production to meet the needs of our customers. On top of that, the Heriot-Watt partnership means their International Centre for Brewing & Distilling students will gain hands-on experience across all aspects of brewing operations in a large-scale brewery."

Pictured top: artist's impression of the new brewery.