BrewDog loses sales chief to West Brewery

BrewDog loses sales chief to West Brewery

BrewDog has lost its sales and trade marketing manager, Richard McLelland, to Scottish rival West Brewery, which is planning to build a new brew-house to meet growing demand for its beers.

BrewDog announced McLelland's departure last week and West Brewery today (11 August) confirmed that he would become the firm's sales director.
The appointment is something of a coup for West, with McLelland having helped BrewDog to become one of the fastest growing small brewers in the UK since joining the company in February last year. He has previously worked on brands such as Smirnoff Ice and at companies such as Red Bull and Liquide Ltd.

McLelland's initial task at West will be to front the Glasgow-based brewer's plan to invest GBP5m (US$7.5m) in a second brewery. The new brew-house is set to be operational in 2011.

"West is flying and to be honest this was one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever made," said McLelland. "Just look at the way it goes about its business and its reputation; a nimble outfit that’s not shy of sticking its neck out, but one that’s rooted in integrity, decent values and exacting standards," he added.

Volume sales of West's flagship beer, St Mungo lager, have nearly tripled in the last 12 months, said the firm, which brews according to Germany's Purity Law thanks to the influence of its founder and owner, Petra Wetzel.

Beer volumes are set to hit 400,000 hectolitres in 2010, a West spokesperson told just-drinks.

“With a quality sales director in place for our quality product, we can now fulfil our ambition to make West a major UK player,” said Wetzel. The brewer has also appointed Gemma Leisegang, previously of WaverleyTBS, as its sales manager for Scotland's on-trade. Further sales appointments are planned, said the group.

Read the just-drinks blog on McLelland's move.