Scotland’s top alcohol brands: 6 & 7

Spotlight on the top Scottish alcohol drink brands of 2023 featuring brands six and seven

6. Innis & Gunn

ORIGINALITY can help a brand to stand out from the crowd and, when it comes to beer brands in Scotland, ensuring you do just this will inevitably pay off.

That’s been the take from Innis & Gunn, which is the No.6 entry on Kantar’s top 10 Scottish Alcohol brands for 2023 and marks the top performing Scottish premium lager on the list this year.

It has evidently been a strong year for the brand, celebrating a number of prestigious accolades, including a Gold Award for the firm’s The Original brew at the World Beer Awards.

Dougal Gunn Sharp, master brewer and founder of Innis & Gunn, reckons the brand’s appeal with consumers is just one of the reasons for its success this year.

He said: “Our brand is based on being original and authentic. We never follow the crowd and always strive to do things our own authentic way.

“I think this attitude resonates with the Scots mindset and personality, and you can see that in our performance.

“We have a multi-award-winning product range that is aligned with clearly defined drinking occasions, whether it’s our Lager, Original or Ossian, with each product delivering something unique for these occasions.”

This includes its core range options such as Innis & Gunn Lager, Innis & Gunn Original and Inveralmond Ossian Golden Ale.

This is also inclusive of its special edition selection such as its cask maturations range, which has inclu

ded the likes of a rum cask, Single Malt Whisky cask and Irish Whiskey cask finish options.

The firm certainly has plenty to celebrate this year, too, with 2023 marking the 20th anniversary of the Innis & Gunn brand.

The brand has secured sponsorships of world-class events from The Royal Highland Show, Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Edinburgh Castle Concerts to the Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival in Inverness and has just announced the contract for Edinburgh Christmas, the first time that a Scottish Brewer has sponsored the festivities.

Sharp said: “The cask maturation process, which is unique to Innis & Gunn, ensures consistent cask-matured beer that is differentiated, with a rich depth of flavour.

“Our single malt whisky cask-matured beer, The Original is what led the foundation of the business back in 2003, and this has been joined by beers like Caribbean Rum Cask, which sit within the speciality beer category and are packed with flavour and originality. These are very much for an ‘at home’ occasion to sip and savour.

“We have a strong and trusted brand that delivers on quality and will continue to build on our success by focusing on what we are renowned for – amazing beers imagined and brewed in our own original way.”

7. BrewDog

CRAFT beer options continue to grow in popularity right across the entire UK and this is no different for the Scottish market.

Marking the second craft beer brand to make it on to Kantar’s list this year, BrewDog has made sure its range is a definite winner across the off-trade.

With a core range including its top three products – Punk IPA, Lost Lager and Hazy Jane – the brand has gone from strength to strength across 2023, with each of these lines delivering positive growth in the impulse channel for BrewDog.

The brand’s biggest launch for this year saw the first entry into the stout market as well, with its new Black Heart Stout release.

This rollout recently went nationwide in September, offering a new contender in the already challenging Scottish stout market.

Stuart Harrison, UK sales director at BrewDog PLC, said: “Initially introduced as an exclusive with Tesco and Booker in March, then rolling out nationwide in September, Black Heart has already been hugely successful in attracting new and younger shoppers to the stout category, with 21% of shoppers new to the segment.

“It has also added £2.8million in incremental stout sales. Specifically in Scottish impulse, Black Heart has delivered just under £28,000 since the nationwide launch in September.”