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Thu January 23 2020

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University research park picked as site of new brewery

18 Dec 19 Innis & Gunn Brewing Company has picked Heriot-Watt University’s Research Park as the location for its new brewery and will be offering hands-on experience to students.

The research park to the west of Edinburgh is already home to the International Centre for Brewing & Distilling, which part of the School of Engineering & Physical Sciences. Students will be given opportunities for gaining experience across all aspects of brewing operations.

The development, which is subject to planning permission and other approvals, will be the first major brewery to be built in Edinburgh for 150 years, said Innis & Gunn.

A £3m crowdfunding campaign, called Beer Money, is aiming to help fund the new brewery, which will be built on a two hectare site at Riccarton and is planned to be operational in 2021. The crowdfunding period has been extended 31 January 2020. The plan is for the brewery to be part financed by a £15m loan which is currently being progressed.

The new development will be used for brewing the core range beers and will also house a canning, bottling and kegging capability, streamlining several outsourced brewing and packaging sites in one location. It will also house a visitor centre and offer tours; a taproom will be added at a later date.

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Innis & Gunn and Heriot Watt University will announce details of the academic collaborations between them.

Founder and master brewer Dougal Gunn Sharp said: "Building this brewery is a big step for Innis & Gunn in delivering our ambitious growth plan, from which we can capitalise on the existing strong performance of our craft lager and portfolio of IPAs and barrel-aged beers. We are creating a centre for brewing, collaboration and applied learning on the world stage.

“Working with the International Centre of Brewing and Distilling opens up endless opportunities by combining our creative abilities and the talent pool at the university with our new world-class, modern brewery. We hope to be able to research new beers and brewing techniques, develop pioneering carbon and water saving technologies and create new products that respond to changing demands from consumers, as well as facilitating in-work learning for students.”

Professor Stephen McLaughlin, head of the School of Engineering & Physical Sciences at Heriot-Watt University added: “Heriot-Watt has a long and distinguished history of excellence in research in brewing and distilling built on a foundation of collaboration with the brewing and distilling industries. The choice of Innis & Gunn to locate their new brewery on our research park is an affirmation of our role in this vitally important Scottish industry. We look forward to welcoming them on to our research park and to successfully collaborating with them.”

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