The Edinburgh-based brewer has maintained a relationship with Sharp, brother of Innis & Gunn’s founder and master brewer, Dougal Gunn Sharp, from 2007 where he was instrumental to the brand’s launch and early success in its largest export market, Canada.
Sharp also went on to help develop Innis & Gunn’s business in Sweden, where the brand is now the top imported ale in the market. As a long standing supporter and advocate of the company, Neil’s return is welcomed wholly by the team at Innis & Gunn and by his brother, Dougal.
Dougal said: “Neil has a wealth of experience in the drinks business and was integral to our early launch of Innis & Gunn into the Canadian and Swedish markets. His appointment comes at a time when we are gearing up for a period of accelerated growth in the US.
“It’s a hugely competitive market and Neil will be instrumental to driving our business strategy with the support of our newly appointed importer United States Beverage. It’s exciting times for the brand and I am thrilled to have my brother back on board.”
Sharp returns to Innis & Gunn from Pernod Ricard, where he worked in various strategic consumer marketing roles on brands including Chivas Regal, The Glenlivet, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Absolut Vodka and Beefeater Gin.
He will work closely with Innis & Gunn USA managing director, Dan Deluca and newly appointed importer United States Beverages on an accelerated growth programme to further develop and strengthen Innis & Gunn’s position in the market.
Sharp added: “Innis & Gunn is a truly entrepreneurial business and I am incredibly proud of the huge success my brother and the team have achieved to date. The company is renowned for its brewing quality and craftsmanship and is fast becoming a global success story.
“I am delighted to return to the business at a time when craft beer has never been more popular or exciting, to help strengthen our position in the USA, a leading craft beer market.”
Innis and Gunn's chief executive Dougal Sharp told BQ's Peter Ranscombe why his company is moving into the on-trade – and building its first brewery last September.