Edinburgh-based brewery pays first dividend to investors

Dougal Sharp, founder of Innis & Gunn. Picture: contributed

Dougal Sharp, founder of Innis & Gunn. Picture: contributed

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A drinks firm which raised £3 million selling beer bonds has paid out its first annual dividend to investors.

Capital-based craft brewer Innis & Gunn used the cash from its supporters to buy the Inveralmond Brewery Limited in Perth in April.

Interest payments so far total £211,500 but hundreds of investors have opted instead to take their return in BeerBucks – redeemable in beer at the firm’s online shop.

More than 1000 investors bought BeerBonds in the business, with individual investments ranging from the minimum £500 to more than £100,000.

The first tranche of investors received their payment on Friday, and the second will receive theirs on August 12.

Launched last year, Innis & Gunn’s BeerBond campaign sought to raise £3m by offering a four-year, fixed-term bond, with an interest rate of 7.25 per cent for investments of £500 or more.

Investors could also opt for the equivalent of nine per cent interest in BeerBucks vouchers, though that is not the only honour they will receive for their support. As a thank you to all the investors, a mural on the brewery wall with all their names is set to be unveiled next year following a “significant investment” to double the capacity at the brewery over the next six months.

Additional beer tanks will be added to the brewery to facilitate the expanded production volumes and also to supply the growing number of Innis & Gunn Beer Kitchen shops already open in Edinburgh and Dundee with tank Innis & Gunn Lager fresh from the brewery.

Dougal Gunn Sharp, founder and master brewer, said: “The enthusiastic reaction to BeerBonds completely blew us away.

“We are invigorated by their passion and humbled by their belief in our mission to bring great beer to the world through innovation and experimentation. Our new brewing facilities simply would not have been possible without these supporters.”

Since its foundation in 2003, Innis & Gunn has become one of the UK’s most successful international craft beer businesses.

It has reported continued year-on-year volume and sales growth, with an annual turnover of £11.8m in 2015 – a 29 per cent increase since 2012 – and has almost doubled its volumes. In 2015, Innis & Gunn sold over 23 million bottles of beer globally.

Available in more than 40 countries, it is the second-biggest craft beer brand in the UK off-trade, the top imported ale brand in Sweden and the best-selling British bottled beer brand in Canada.

The company, which employs 50 people, has been recognised for its contribution to industry by winning the IGD Outstanding Small Business of the Year Award in 2013 and collecting two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in International Trade. Its bar and restaurant concept, The Beer Kitchen by Innis & Gunn, will soon be rolled out across the UK.

john.connell@jpress.co.uk