Entrepreneur looks beyond Midlothian

Stuart Dinning
Stuart Dinning

Just three months since launching his business idea and an entrepreneur who kick-started his career at Newbattle Abbey College is already considering expansion.

Stuart Dinning is the founder of Growler Beers UK, a purveyor of beer and cider based on an American concept whereby customers purchase large glass bottles and re-fill them at a fraction of the cost of buying already-bottled and canned alcohol.

Stuart (38) attributes his career’s change in direction – he was previously a car salesman and cruise ship sales assistant – and subsequent business success to the decision he took, aged 33, to retrain at Newbattle Abbey College with a qualification in Arts and Humanities.

Now, following a consistently high-level of footfall and custom at his shop on Morningside Road in Edinburgh, he is aiming to expand to opening a second store in the capital as well as franchising the business, with an entrepreneur in the north-east of England already having expressed an interest in taking the Growler Beers name over the border.

Stuart explained: “Until five years ago, I’d been on cruise ships and was back to selling cars in Yorkshire. I decided to retrain, and Newbattle Abbey College opened up a whole new world of options I’d never had before. No matter what I’d wanted to become – a care worker, teacher, whatever – Newbattle gave me the springboard.

“It was really good for me to go back into education and have a way of progressing to university.”

After gaining his qualification at Newbattle Abbey College, Stuart went on to complete a four-year university course, graduating in Summer 2013 before launching Growler Beers UK a few months later.

Having gained his inspiration for the business idea during a spell in the United States, Stuart opened his premises in the Morningside area of Edinburgh in October last year.