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27th November 2012

Knowledge is the key to winning in beer says Innis & Gunn.

Dougal sampling (2).jpg

Edinburgh brewer, Innis & Gunn, has put its entire staff through the Beer Academy Foundation training course. Thirty five people from the business from as far afield as the USA and Canada attended the full course run by the Beer Academy’s George Philliskirk in Edinburgh and all passed the NVQ level one Beer Academy qualification.

Dougal Sharp, CEO of Innis & Gunn, says: “Success in the highly competitive world beer market is all about differentiating your brands from the competition. Beer knowledge is essential if you are going to do this.  Everyone in the company needs to be able to explain what your beers taste like; what raw materials are used; how the beers are brewed and what makes them distinctive.

“Obviously this comes naturally to our technical experts, but it’s our sales and marketing team that need to be armed with the knowledge to inspire people about our beers.  The Beer Academy training has given everyone in the company the confidence to talk beer to customers, colleagues and friends.  This Beer Academy makes what could be a very arcane subject easy and fun to follow for the non-scientist.”

The Innis & Gunn portfolio has been growing rapidly in the UK and around the world.  Dougal adds “Our beers are just that little bit different.  Now our team is even better equipped to explain why.”



 Photograph – Dougal Sharp sampling.

For further information contact or +44 (0)7808 096250


Notes for Editors.

The Beer Academy is an educational body that was founded by a small group of beer enthusiasts in 2003 to help people understand, appreciate and enjoy beer sensibly.  To date over 10,000 people have attended Beer Academy courses and tasting events such as the BBC Good Food Show, the Great British Beer Festival and the British Museum as well as in pubs and bars up and down the country.  The Academy offers a range of courses and qualifications ranging from a 90 minute tutored introduction to beer through to the two day Advanced Course for serious beer connoisseurs.

Full details of all Beer Academy Courses and events can be found    or follow us on Twitter @TheBeerAcademy and Facebook


Innis & Gunn was first established in 2003 as a joint venture with a leading drinks firm, who had approached Dougal Sharp, then head brewer at Caledonian, to create a beer that would lend the perfect finish to a Cask Ale Reserve whisky. The beer was too good to throw away so Innis & Gunn (the middle names of Dougal Sharp and his brother Neil) was formed. Dougal led an MBO in January 2008 and the business is now privately owned. Since then Innis & Gunn has become Scotland’s leading independent beer company.  Ranked number four in sales volume and value in the Specialty Beer category in the UK off-trade, Innis & Gunn has enjoyed average growth of 56% year on year since its formation. It is now the best-selling British bottled beer in Canada and the number two bottled import ale in Sweden.