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Craft beer craze continues as former Magners sales head joins Scottish brewery

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The craft beer industry was given huge support in September, as Heineken bought a 50 per cent stake in Californian brewer Lagunitas, which also hosts bars, grills and festivals.

While the move may have been in America, it’s a global play as Heineken will deliver scale to the company and take the “US craft beer vibe” worldwide into markets rivals are yet to reach.

“This alliance with the world’s most international brewer represents a profound victory for American craft. It will open doors that had previously been shut and bring the US craft beer vibe to communities all over the world,” said Tony Magee, founder of Lagunitas.

Of course, the UK has seen increasing growth in the craft beer sector also, prompting community pubs minister Marcus Jones to say “Britain is back on the map as a global ‘brewing powerhouse’ with three breweries opening up every week”.

With that in mind, Scottish craft beer brewery Inveralmond has hired the former head of on-trade sales at Magners GB, Stephen Annand, as business development director to provide develop the firm’s commercial arm as it looks to scale.

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Based in Perth, Inveralmond has been brewing craft beers since 1997 and Ossian has become its flagship product. Since that time, the firm has expanded the team significantly and abandoned its original site in favour of a custom-built brewery.

Using his experience from Irish cider giant Magners, as well as AB-Inbev – home of Stella Artois, Budweiser and Corona – Annand will be in charge of supporting Inveralmond’s efforts to achieve on-trade distribution with bars and pubs. His time with the brands saw him deliver revenue growth and expand the market share, while improving profits

And in May, shortly after leaving Magners, Annand launched his own venture, Glasshouse Drinks. The sales and marketing agency is out to drive growth of emerging and established brands, supporting both on and off-trade environments.

“We are excited by his fresh and energetic approach to the role and we have every expectation that he will be a key driver of the brewery’s next phase of planned growth,” said Fergus Clark, Inveralmond MD.

“We are absolutely delighted that Steve has moved into the exciting and fast moving craft sector and are sure that his contribution will be significant, particularly in driving forward our on-trade sales of cask and, increasingly, keg.”

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