The founder of an Edinburgh-based craft gin company has accused BrewDog of producing a ‘knockoff’ version of its award-winning bottle design.

Ian Stirling of Lind & Lime Gin has said he was left ‘numb with shock’ after mistaking BrewDog’s new Casa Rayos tequila for his own product and claims that the ‘similarities’ between the two have ‘crossed the line’.

The newly launched Casa Rayos is multinational brewery and pub chain BrewDog’s first foray into tequila and is made in partnership with the Orendain family in Mexico.

The Herald: Pictured: Lind & Lime GinPictured: Lind & Lime Gin (Image: Lind & Lime Gin)

Mr Stirling told the Herald of how he discovered BrewDog's new product by chance yesterday afternoon, saying: “I was on the sofa scrolling through Instagram when I came across a picture posted by one of the presenters of Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch.

“At first I thought ‘That’s amazing, Lind & Lime was on TV’, but then zoomed in to realise that it wasn’t our product, it was a knock-off.

“I assumed because it was a tequila that it might have been a company in Mexico that had copied us.

“Then I looked it up and was numb with shock to discover that BrewDog had done this.

“The Scottish drinks industry is an incredibly friendly, collaborative space.

“We all have many other challenges to deal with and we shouldn't be doing this to each other.”

The Herald: Pictured: Casa Rayos tequilaPictured: Casa Rayos tequila (Image: BrewDog)

Both bottles appear to share a long, slender neck as well as a textured glass design and cork stopper.

In response Mr Stirling’s claims, a spokesperson for BrewDog has said that they draw inspiration from the Blue Weber Agave plant from which their tequila is made and have highlighted several ‘obvious differences’ between Casa Rayos and Lind & Lime bottles.

They said: “The Casa Rayos bottle design is based on the colour and aesthetic form of the Blue Weber agave plant from which our tequila is made.

“The painted (as opposed to clear) glass colour, bottle shape and contour, glass text, label size and placement, fonts and colours, and embossed design are all obviously different.

“The bottle also has a real cork stopper and silver ring.

“And Casa Rayos is a super-premium tequila, not a gin.”

The Herald: Pictured: Lind & Lime founders Paddy Fletcher (left) and Ian Stirling (right)Pictured: Lind & Lime founders Paddy Fletcher (left) and Ian Stirling (right) (Image: Supplied)

Produced by Muckle Brig, Lind & Lime was first launched in 2018 as the company worked towards building the vertical Port of Leith Distillery, the first of its kind in the UK.

The bottle, developed in partnership with local design agency Contagious, is said to pay homage to the area’s history and the wine bottles which were made there in days gone by.

Mr Stirling went on to stress that this played an integral part in forming the Lind & Lime’s identity and questioned how any ‘similarities’ had not been noted by BrewDog.

He said: “We put our heart and souls into Lind & Lime and took 18 months to create our product with very little money behind us.

“The bottle itself really helped investors to get behind us and we were blown away by the response it received.

"I know we are all inspired to some extent by other brands, but this crosses that line with two middle fingers waving merrily in the air.

“BrewDog knew we'd notice, but simply don't care because they're a massive company and we're not.

“They wouldn’t have created a bottle that looked like Coca-Cola’s, but because of our size I don’t think they see it as an issue."

A spokesperson for BrewDog said: “There has been no attempt whatsoever to replicate anything and we wish Muckle Brig every success with their gin.”