Scottish craft brewer Innis & Gunn has announced Heriot-Watt University’s Research Park to the west of Edinburgh - home to the world-renowned International Centre for Brewing & Distilling - as the location for its new brewery.

Subject to planning permission and further corporate and regulatory approvals, it will be the first major brewery to be built in Edinburgh for 150 years.

The tie-up is the UK’s first major collaboration of this type between a full-scale brewery and a university and will create a centre for brewing studies and applied learning on the world stage.

The collaboration will be on a par with other famed brewery universities like Weinstephan in Germany, and Heriot-Watt and Innis & Gunn anticipate a wealth of benefits to arise as a result.

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Innis & Gunn’s £3m crowdfunding campaign through the Seedrs platform will help fund the new brewery which the brewer plans to build on a two hectare site at Riccarton which is planned to be operational in 2021.

Now that the site has been revealed, the brand has chosen to extend the crowd fund period until 31 January 2020 to give as many people as possible the chance to invest. 

The brewery will also be part financed via a £15m loan which is currently being progressed, subject to due diligence.

As well as brewing Innis & Gunn’s core range of Craft Lager-Beer, Original, Session IPA and other unique barrel-aged beers, it will house a high speed canning, bottling and kegging capability, streamlining several outsourced brewing and packaging sites in one location, reducing Innis & Gunn’s carbon footprint.

It will also house a visitor centre and offer tours, a Tap Room will be added at a later date.

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Built to meet demand for Innis & Gunn’s award-winning beers, it is anticipated that up to 30 new jobs will be created, with Innis & Gunn’s existing 45 office based team relocating from offices in Edinburgh’s Randolph Crescent.

Heriot-Watt University’s International Centre for Brewing & Distilling students will benefit from the brewery through opportunities gaining hands-on experience across all aspects of brewing operations in a large-scale production brewery.

Innis & Gunn and Heriot Watt University will announce details of the academic collaborations between them including Innis & Gunn’s commitment to learning in due course.

Innis & Gunn’s 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 an centre 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.”

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He said: “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.”

Prof Stephen McLaughlin, head of the school of engineering and physical sciences, Heriot-Watt University, said: “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.”

Innis & Gunn’s brewery in Perthshire will continue to brew the award-winning Inveralmond Brewery range of cask and bottles ales and will focus on small scale experimentation and limited edition barrel-aged beers.