EDINBURGH brewer Innis & Gunn has revealed plans to open its first restaurant in the capital this summer.
The Beer Kitchen is set to open in July on Lothian Road, on the site of former cabaret and burlesque venue Club Rouge, and founder Dougal Sharp is hopeful of opening another five bars across the UK over the next two years, with some restaurants also offering boutique hotel rooms.
Founded in 2003, Innis & Gunn has grown to become a popular beer and has won a hatful of awards for its range of oak-aged beers and unoaked lager.
Dougal will be joined by David Hall, former manager of Edinburgh bars such as Rick's, Tigerlily and the Opal Lounge, as the bar gets off the ground.
Beer fresh from the Innis & Gunn brewery will be sold at the venue alongside a variety of wines and spirits, cocktails and food to match the booze.
The restaurant plans follow hot on the heels of the craft brewery's 'BeerBond', launched to help fund a new state-of-the-art brewery.
Dougal believes the concept will sit well with fans of the beer, who have been hopeful of a dedicated Innis & Gunn bar similar to those opened by fellow craft brewers BrewDog.
He added: "We’ve never been in better shape as a business and with our recently launched Innis & Gunn BeerBond, plus the launch of The Beer Kitchen, 2015 is set to be an incredible year for us.
"Our fans have been crying out for our own bars for some time now and this news has been a long time in the making.
"We’ve always been craft beer champions and this venture is our new soap box. We want to open beer drinker’s eyes to what craft means to us at Innis & Gunn and to our craft brewing compadres around the globe.
"We’ll only be serving incredible brews we absolutely love and believe in. There’s no room or excuse for second-rate, tasteless beer."
Dougal is hopeful that the venues will 'fly the flag for the craft beer movement' as well as appealing to 'everyone from beer geeks to the beer virgin'.
Architecture firm Morgan McDonnell, responsible for the redesign of Advocate's Close in the Old Town and Waterloo Place, are designing the new venue on Lothian Road.