Dougal Sharp, the founder of Innis & Gunn, has told MCA he is in advanced discussions to bring the group’s Beer Kitchen pub model to England this year.
Sharp, speaking as the group’s opens the fourth iteration of the format – in Ashton Lane, Glasgow, said he was also close to securing a deal for sites in Canada and Sweden, where Innis & Gunn is respectively the number one and two most imported beer brand.
He said he would be seeking to replicate the successful partnership with G1 Group in Scotland.
Sharp, who said beer volumes were up 25% in Q1 and lager sales up 100% year-on-year, also gave his view on BrewDog’s sale of 23% of its company to a US private equity firm.
On Beer Kitchen, Sharp said: “The model continues to evolve as we learn more from our customers in each area. Glasgow is really exciting because it’s about twice the size of Edinburgh and we’ve been able to include a microbrewery. That means we can give people and even better experience and means we can also try out some interesting new ideas and experiment a bit more.
“We’ve also evolved the menu – we’ve taken the best bits from other menus and also added a Glaswegian twist.”
On the rollout, he said: “We’ve got advanced conversations in England, Canada and Sweden and expect to conclude some in the next few weeks. These conversations take time. We set out clearly that we’re ambitious to roll Beer Kitchen out in areas where Innis & Gunn brand is strong and we’re seeing some real progress.”
“The great thing about the G1 arrangement is that they have a bank of great sites and some great back of office functions. We are looking to replicate that in England and in our international markets.”
On BrewDog he said: “I think it’s brilliant news for them and for the industry. It was testament to the quality of the beers and clear evidence of the success of the sector and the validity of crowdfunding.”