New Scottish brewery to be located in Heriot-Watt University research park

SOURCE: Roberta Keiko/Unsplash
The new brewery will be the first major large-scale facility in 150 years for Edinburgh.

By U2B Staff 

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Scottish brewing company Innis & Gunn recently announced Heriot-Watt University as the location of their new brewery as part of a first-of-its-kind collaboration that will provide students with unique hands-on experience and job opportunities.

The new brewery will be located at Heriot-Watt University’s research park which is also home to its world-renowned International Centre for Brewing and Distilling. Students from the centre will be gaining hands-on experience across all aspects of brewing operations in the large-scale facility. 

Set to be Edinburgh’s first major Scottish brewery in 150 years, it will meet demands for Innis & Gunn’s award-winning beers by generating around 30 new jobs. 

This will add on to the company’s existing 45 office-based teams which will relocate from offices in Edinburgh’s Randolph Crescent to the new brewery. 

The partnership is UK’s first major collaboration in this manner between a full-scale brewery and a university that will be on par with other famed brewery universities such as Weinstephan in Germany. 


Set to be built on a two-hectare site at Riccarton, construction for the brewery is expected to cost around £20 million, with a £15 million loan currently being progressed to partly fund the project. 

The brewery company has also initiated a £3 million crowdfunding campaign in collaboration with Seedrs, called Beer Money, that will carry on until 31 January 2020 to help fund the project. 

“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,” said Heriot-Watt University Head of the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences Professor Stephen McLaughlin in a media statement

“We look forward to welcoming them on to our research park and to successfully collaborating with them.” 

Scottish Brewery
The brewery provides students with hands-on brewing experience. Source: Elevate/Unsplash.

In addition to brewing Innis & Gunn’s core range of Craft Lager-Beer and other barrel-aged beers, the brewery will house high-speed canning, bottling and kegging facilities. 

This will streamline several outsourced brewing and packaging sites into one main location, effectively reducing the company’s carbon footprint in the process. 

A visitor centre with tours and a Tap Room will also be included in the brewery. 

“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,” said Innis & Gunn founder and master brewer Dougal Gunn Sharp. 

“We are creating an epicentre for brewing, collaboration and applied learning on the world stage. Innis & Gunn and Heriot-Watt University are both highly respected international brands renowned for their quality and forward-thinking. This collaboration brings these two brands together in the most exciting way we can imagine.”


Sharp further elaborated that working with the International Centre of Brewing and Distilling will open up endless opportunities with both party’s combined creative abilities and the university’s extensive talent pool. 

Plans for the new brewery include researching new beers and brewing techniques, developing pioneering carbon and water-saving technologies, creating new products to answer the changing demands from consumers, as well as facilitating in-work learning for students. 

“Edinburgh was in the past a centre of brewing renown, with over 40 breweries in the capital. We are especially proud to be part of the revitalisation of Edinburgh as a world centre for brewing,” added Sharp. 

“Having our brewery here, where we first brewed Innis & Gunn, completes the journey I started back in 2003.  Building it next to a centre of excellence for brewing and distilling talent makes absolute business sense; cementing a long-standing relationship with the university and enabling us to add on-campus practical experience for students.”