Innis & Gunn to open first in new group of craft beer bars

Dougal Sharp Innis & Gunn Lager

Innis & Gunn, the Scottish craft beer brand, is to launch its first-ever bar, The Beer Kitchen, in Edinburgh with plans for another five in the UK.

It is converting a 3,000 sq ft site in Lothian Road into the new bar and restaurant which will offer craft beers including its own oak-aged cask beers as well as premium wines and spirits. It will also have a menu of beer-based cocktails, or “hop-tails”, using specially selected IPAs.

The Beer Kitchen concept is being spearheaded by David Hall, previously of Edinburgh’s Tigerlily, Opal Lounge and Rick’s, and Innis & Gunn’s founder Dougal Sharp (pictured).

They plan to open another five around the UK by 2017, with some sites including boutique-style hotel rooms.

The first bar, due to open in July, will house three 2.5-hectolitre beer tanks, guaranteeing drinkers fresh, flavoursome pints of unpasteurised lager delivered straight to the venue from the brewery.

Special two-litre “growlers” will allow people to take away fresh tank or cask Innis & Gunn beers to enjoy at home.

It will offer high-quality food, with the brand woven throughout, such as pub classics with a beer twist, seasonal dishes matched to specific beers and “low and slow-cooked” food.

Established in 2003, Innis & Gunn has won many awards for its range of oak-aged beers and its unoaked Scottish lager.

It is currently raising funds through the Innis & Gunn BeerBond: a four-year, initial fixed-term mini-bond offering an interest rate of 7.25% gross interest per annum for investments from £500.

The business aims to raise £3million for the creation of a new state-of-the-art brewery in south-east Scotland.

Dougal said: “We’ve never been in better shape as a business and, with our recently launched Innis & Gunn BeerBond plus the launch of The Beer Kitchen, 2015 is set to be an incredible year for us.

“Our fans have been crying out for our own bars for some time now and this news has been a long time in the making.

“We’ve always been craft beer champions and this venture is our new soapbox. We want to open beer drinkers’ eyes to what craft means to us at Innis & Gunn and to our craft-brewing compadres around the globe.

“There’s no room or excuse for second-rate, tasteless beer and we’ll only be serving incredible brews we absolutely love and believe in.

“Our venues will be about giving everyone, from the beer geeks to the beer virgin, the ultimate craft beer experience and flying the flag for the craft beer movement.”

The premises at 81-83 Lothian Road are being designed by architects Morgan McDonnel.

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