THE founder of craft brewer Innis & Gunn has hailed plans for a new £20 million brewery in Edinburgh as the return to the spiritual home of the brand.

Dougal Sharp, who first brewed Innis & Gunn lager in the Scottish capital, said the move would bring 30 new jobs and described the brewery venture as "large scale".

The firm currently brews in Perthshire - where it will continue its Inveralmond Brewery operation - and in Glasgow under a long term deal with Tennent’s, which is due to come to an end.

Innis & Gunn’s core range of Craft Lager, IPAs, and barrel-aged beers will be produced at the new brewery which will have a capacity of 400,000 hectolitres.

Read more: Innis & Gunn creates brewing operation in Canada

Mr Sharp was head brewer at the Caledonian Brewery in Edinburgh during a period when it was run by his father Russell, winning industry accolades for its Deuchars IPA, before setting up Innis & Gunn.

He says: "From my perspective and the family perspective, dad led a management buyout at Caledonian and cemented our links with Edinburgh brewing back in 1987 and for me Edinburgh has always been the spiritual home of Innis & Gunn.

"It was where I first discovered the beer-making process and now for me to have the opportunity to build the city’s first major lager brewery for over 150 years, it really does feel to me like we are coming home as a brand."

The Herald:

Mr Sharp, above, said: "I hope mum and dad are really proud of the fact we are going to build it in Edinburgh."

The location of the new brewery has not been revealed yet but "it wilI be in Edinburgh with good transport links and will be easy to get to".

"People who want to come for tours, have a drink, have a look round in our sample cellar, our tap room, will be able to do that,” said Mr Sharp.

Read more: Saturday Interview: Innis & Gunn chief reflects on decade of growth

"I can’t wait to get the project done."

The firm is to end its partnership with Tennent’s, but not until 2020.

Mr Sharp said: "Tennent’s and Innis & Gunn have had a longstanding relationship back since 2011, but from our perspective we just feel that the time is now right to build our own brewery to bring all the brewing and packing operations we have under one roof."

But he added: "I think for me it goes way beyond that.

"There’s the operational reasons, that it’s a good investment and it’s great for the long term of our business and our shareholders and the brand, but I think from an emotional perspective, finally coming home to Edinburgh, putting our roots down, is absolutely the best thing to do with our business.

"I feel incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to be able to do this."

He said: "The project is going to be up to £20m.

"What we are about to go and do in building a brewery demonstrates the confidence that we’ve got and the backing that we’ve got from our shareholders L Catterton and the shareholders who invested in the crowdfunding we have done."

Read more: Tennent’s and Innis & Gunn brewing deal ends

Among its fundraising, the firm raised £15m from L Catterton, the US-based private equity firm, and £2.4m from nearly 2,000 crowdfunding investors.

The plan to build a new brewery comes as Innis & Gunn celebrates the 15th anniversary since its foundation in 2003.

It follows a "transformational" year that saw turnover grow by 22% to £22.4m, gross profit rise by 19% to £10.1m, and 13% volume growth.

Mr Sharp said that "the trajectory, the growth of lager and the growth of the brand internationally, is there for all to see.

"I think we can be confident for good reason that this is the right thing for our brand and our shareholders."

The firm, titled using Mr Sharp and his brother Neil's middle names, is also setting up a brewing operation in Toronto, Canada.

Once the new breweries are operational and with the company’s Beer Kitchen outlets in Glasgow, Dundee and Edinburgh the total workforce would be about 240.