Brewing & Distilling in Scotland & the UK continues to grow at a fast pace with the number of new boutique microbreweries accelerating. In 2017 the number of breweries in the UK rose to its highest level in over 70 years. Over the next five years, revenue is projected to rise at a compound annual rate of 1.2%, reaching £5.5 billion in 2022-23. This remarkable growth has been driven by increasing numbers of start-ups eager to join one of the fastest growing sectors. In Scotland over 50 new craft gin distilleries opened for production in 2017 alone

With this rapid growth companies require specialist, experienced advice from advisors with a strong, working knowledge of the market and the key issues affecting businesses operating within this important sector to the economy.

At Campbell Dallas we have developed an industry focused team with expertise across a number of disciplines. They have developed a thorough understanding of the Brewing & Distilling sector from their own specialist field.

This collective  knowledge, experience and connections within the industry allow us to help all our Brewing & Distilling clients by providing informed advice on key areas and issues you are likely to encounter at different stages of growth.

Audit Tax & Reporting requirements

We can advise on; accounts preparation, audit, forecasting and planning for exchange rate fluctuations, maximising available tax benefits such as capital allowances on any expenditure on new plant, managing supply chains and industry by-products.

Buying a company

It is clear that there is a very fragmented Brewing and Distilling market out there in Scotland currently and sometimes one of the ways to deliver your growth programme is to look for a strategic acquisition of a competitor or mothballed production capacity. Campbell Dallas can help you identify a target, raise the finance necessary and carry out an investigation into the financial health of your target and the strategic compatibility to help you deliver your growth targets.

Debt Advisory

Existing businesses in the Brewing and Distilling sector will normally have a debt facility from either a mainstream or a specialist funding source.  Campbell Dallas has retained a highly experienced team which has extensive knowledge in the financing of Brewing and Distilling companies. We can advise on refinancing or restructuring your existing banking facilities and negotiate or re-negotiate with your existing lender on your behalf. We not only know how to drink beer and spirits, we know how to provide them with the correct debt structure!

Due diligence

Whether you are a trade buyer or an institution looking to provide debt or equity finance to a Brewing and Distilling company it is likely that you will need someone to carry out an independent investigation into the financial suitability of the company.  Campbell Dallas has a strong track record of providing commercially focussed opinion-rich due diligence for trade buyers and financial institutions alike.

We know that you need someone to assist you in your decision making and we work hard to make our due diligence offering an integrated part of your deal process.

Exporting & Internationalisation

Many breweries and distilleries will already be or planning to export globally and Campbell Dallas can help by offering strategic advice in the following areas:-

• Indirect taxes

• Customs & excise duty

• Customs warehouse duty

• VAT planning and review

• Import procedures


Whether it is the creation of maturing stock levels, the construction of a new Brewery or Distillery or the working capital required to promote a new or existing brand, we recognise that the financing environment for a Brewing and Distilling company is unique.

The long production cycle of whisky and the high capital costs of breweries and distilleries mean that you have to ensure you have the correct capital and debt structure in your business if it is to succeed.

Campbell Dallas has access to a wide network of funding sources from mainstream and specialist debt providers, private equity funds interested in this area and, in some cases, grant assistance available to the sector.  We will work with you to produce a plan which we believe to be investor ready in order to optimise your ability to raise the finance necessary to allow your business to reach the next stage of its development.

Intellectual Assets and Valuations

With the rise in number and variation of brands within the Brewing and Distilling sector it is important to be able to rely on an accurate valuation of a brand or number of brands as part of a company’s assets. Campbell Dallas has experience in carrying out business valuations for a variety of reasons from shareholder disputes to business acquisitions and sales.

R&D Tax Credits

There is generous relief available from HMRC in relation to research and development tax credits which can be reclaimed for areas such as investments in new recipes or products and process improvements through technology change. In particular small boutique distilleries are often eligible for R&D tax credits which can provide a company with welcome tax relief or cash payments where costs are incurred when creating a new product, for example.

Selling a company

In a fragmented market such as Brewing and Distilling sometimes the best way to realise the value of your hard work is to sell your company, whether this is a strategic decision or a retirement sale.

Campbell Dallas are well positioned in the Brewing and Distilling industry to identify purchasers.  We make it our business to know who is active in the sector and maintain databases of recent and rumoured activity.

We will provide a joined up tax and corporate finance advisory service to you to ensure that your disposal runs smoothly and is carried out in a tax efficient manner.

Murdoch Maclennan Campbell Dallas Chartered Accountants Partner

Murdoch MacLennan

Partner and Head of Brewing & Distilling

Murdoch has gained his sectoral knowledge over the last 12 years through funding and advising new and mature distillers, bottler blenders, brokers and investors. He has secured funding and re-financing for many of the Independent operators totaling in excess of £65m enabling them to grow their business and achieve their aspirations. He is hugely passionate about the sector, promoting and creating connectivity wherever possible for mutual benefit.

Ian Williams

Ian Williams


Ian has been advising clients in the spirits and distilling sector for over 20 years, with strong experience in brand valuations, importation of wines and spirits into the UK and international experience of advising investors on foreign joint ventures coming into the UK market.  Ian has a wide network of professional contacts with industry-wide experience and is also co-owner of an Argentinian vineyard.

Donald Boyd

Donald Boyd


Donald has over 20 years’ experience in advising a diverse range of owner managed businesses. He looks after a portfolio of clients, providing not just accounting and tax advisory but commercial advice. Donald has considerable experience in large company audit, corporate finance and transactional work, business start-up and planning, and shareholder disputes. He plays an important role in many of his clients’ businesses, assisting in their growth. Donald works closely with our brewing & distilling clients across Scotland.

Chris Horne partner at campbell dallas chartered accountants

Chris Horne

Managing Partner

Chris has been working in the Corporate Finance sector for over 20 years; he has extensive experience in all forms of fundraising and has completed many acquisitions and disposals for clients. Chris is excited about the opportunities that are available in Brewing & Distilling in Scotland and would be delighted to hear from you to find out more about your business or project.

Veronica Donnelly

Veronica Donnelly 


Veronica has worked with clients in this sector for over thirty years. She has dealt with HMRC reviews of warehouses, assisted with setting up VAT and duty accounting systems, advised on issues including Alcohol Wholesaler registrations, import /export declarations, completion and correction of warehousing returns, and more general queries relating to property, advertising, entertainment and overseas registrations.

Her team is very experienced and pragmatic in dealing with HMRC and its requirements.

Craig Coyle

Craig Coyle


Craig has been a tax professional for 17 years, and in that time has provided advice to the two largest independently owned distillers on matters such as the structuring of acquisitions, correspondence with HM Revenue & Customs, and minimising their annual tax liaibility. Craig has significant experience of helping Scottish companies trade overseas in a tax efficient manner, and works on a daily basis in optimising the tax position of companies and their shareholders.