Recently in food and drink Category

When a new owner takes on an iconic brand thoughts quite quickly turn to what will happen next.

Under the control of Bedford based Wells and Young's it would appear McEwan's will be given a bit more attention than it was in the Heineken years.

The independent brewing firm seems a more natural home for the likes of 80 Shilling and Export than the vast machine of a multinational drinks company.

The new owners have promised "significant" investment in marketing and are in the process of setting up a dedicated Scottish office.

On Saturday I was lucky enough to be having dinner with my wife in the Rhubarb restaurant at Prestonfield House Hotel in Edinburgh.

A gift voucher we had which had been languishing on a shelf was finally being put to good use.

It was only the second time I had eaten at James Thompson's lavishly decorated and opulent sanctum.

Even though the decoration has the capacity to overwhelm what I noticed most was that when we arrived at 6.30pm the dining rooms and bar areas were extremely busy.

When I interviewed Dougal Sharp a few weeks ago he was really excited about the prospect of taking his beer company, Innis and Gunn, to America.

The day after our meeting he was off to see a strong candidate to lead the brand's move into the USA.

Now the contracts have been signed and a new operational arm, Innis & Gunn USA, has been formed.

Dan DeLuca, pictured below, is the man charged with leading the growth there and he comes with an impressive pedigree.

2009 in profile

By Greig Cameron on Jan 4, 10 12:01 PM in Events

What with holidays, snow, podcasts and magazine deadlines for Insider I didn't quite manage to round up 2009.

Rather than go through the big stories and events I want to do it a bit more personally and look back at the large profile interviews I did during the year.

Each chunk below has a link to the interview if you want to read a bit more.

The first one I did in 2009 was appropriately enough, given the current weather, in a snow covered Falkirk industrial estate with Jamie Rae of Redeem. He was extremely honest and open which for an interviewer is great.

Then I was off up to the Raploch to speak with Campbell Christie about the regeneration in Stirling, football and politics.

A slightly shorter journey saw me going downstairs from my office to spend an hour with Margaret Laidlaw from Tenon to discuss accountancy, entrepreneurs and the recession.

Even though the print edition of Business7 isn't back until January 8 it has still been a really busy few days.

I would hope a few of you have listened to our podcast or downloaded it from iTunes.

We also did our first ever live web coverage of an event and our Pre-Budget Report updates, with expert opinions from Tenon, Henderson Loggie, Scottish Chambers of Commerce, McGrigors and Lesley Campbell, can be accessed here.

Throw in a strategy and planning meeting for the paper, Insider magazine and our whole web operation and it would have been easy to miss some of the really positive Scottish business news which has been announced in the past few days.


My nose might not be sensitive enough to pick up the difference between a Laphroaig and a Bruichladdich in a blind taste test but even I can smell what seems like a positive step for the whisky industry.

Further protection of the product is the main aim of new rules governing the making, bottling and labelling of Scotch whisky.

The regulations, which can be found in full here, are meant to provide strong legal protection against poor quality imitations and help customers receive clearer information on labels.

There are tighter guidelines on naming of products after distilleries (eg an Oban malt must be wholly made in Oban) and also in the use of the five traditional regional whisky producing regions - Highland, Lowland, Speyside, Islay, and Campbeltown.

But perhaps the most interesting development at a local level is requirement to only bottle Single Malts in Scotland.


Alasdair Northrop

Alasdair Northrop

Editor of Insider, editor in chief of Business7 and business editor of the Daily Record provides his take on the big stories.

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Scott McCulloch

Scott McCulloch

Delivering a no nonsense view on the Scottish business community.

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