1. ITV Report

Plan to make Scottish brewing £1bn industry by 2030

Scotland has more than 130 breweries, supporting over 8,000 jobs Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA

Beer drinkers are being urged to support Scottish breweries over the festive season as a new strategy is launched to grow the sector into a £1 billion industry.

The national agency for the food and drink industry, Scotland Food & Drink, said it hopes to make Scottish brewed beer the “most desirable in the world”.

It says brewing needs to be promoted as a career choice, and help should be given to beer companies to reach new markets.

They are among the recommendations of a plan drafted following the findings of a study by the Brewing Industry Leadership Group, commissioned by Scotland Food & Drink.

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Scotland has more than 130 operating breweries, supporting over 8,000 jobs.

Group chair Hilary Jones said: “The strategy brings a collaborative approach between over a dozen agencies to tackle several challenges including infrastructure, tax, marketing, exporting and the availability of a ready-skilled group of people who see brewing as a desirable career of choice.

“We want to increase the perceived value of our beer by focusing on craftsmanship and quality. We want consumers to buy Scottish beer, rather than imported beer and to drink beer responsibly.

“We also want to plug into the new food and drink tourism strategy and improve our brewing destination experiences, educating our visitors and sending an international message that we are a high-quality brewing nation.”

James Withers, Scotland Food & Drink chief executive, said: “This strategy is important because it is the first time that our fantastic brewing industry has united to deliver a growth plan for the future.

“Working with many partner agencies with a common purpose means that we have a strong chance of success and this, in turn, will feed into our ambition for the Scottish food and drink sector to be worth over £30 billion a year by 2030.”