After 14 years in the drinks industry Steve Annand has worked with some of the biggest drinks brands in the country.
However his new role as business development director at Perth’s Inveralmond Brewery has taken him to the craft end of the spectrum.
Annand’s appointment, which was confirmed last month, is the latest in a career which began with AB InBev, where he worked with global brands such as Budweiser, Stella Artois and Beck’s.
That was followed by a spell at C&C Group, owner of Tennent Caledonian, where Annand was latterly head of on-trade sales at Magners GB.
His new role will involve growing Inveralmond Brewery’s beers and presence in the on-trade.
“Inveralmond have been around for 20 years, it’s not like they have just popped up,” he told SLTN.
“My role is about trying to get more consumers aware of the brands.
“They have that history of being cask producers, but in reality there is space to produce beers for the CAMRA set and the hardcore craft beer guys.”
Annand, who also runs his own consultancy business, Glasshouse Drinks, reckons craft beer has gone far beyond its ‘small-batch’ origins and is no longer a minority category.
“The idea that craft is still niche is well gone now,” he said.
“But I don’t agree that there needs to be a definition of craft.
“There’s now a greater interest in different types of beer. People have far more drinks in their repertoire and ‘repertoire drink’ across the evening.”
Part of his new role will involve increasing customer awareness of Inveralmond’s growing range.
This includes the brewery’s more established beers, such as Ossian, Lia Fail and Thrappledouser, as well as its newer Inspiration series, which includes De Mons, Sunburst, Rascal and Märzenfest.
The independent brewery is smaller than any of the previous brewers Annand has worked with. But he argued it’s not the scale of producer but the quality of product and the story behind the beer that matters.
“Moving from a big business to a smaller one is actually quite refreshing,” he said.
“You get involved in new aspects of the business.
“Whether it’s a global brewer or a small brewer, it’s all about the quality of the product.
“Hopefully what I can do with Inveralmond is build the story and the brand. It is really about helping them get to the next level of growth.”
Inveralmond managing director Fergus Clark is excited about Annand’s appointment and the potential for the expansion of the brewery over the coming year.
“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,” he said.