Anstruther Brewery

Business: William Key

Location: Anstruther

Type: Brewery

The Anstruther Brewery was sold to James Rodger in 1795 by the heirs of James Johnston. David Rodger then inherited it from his father in 1817. When David died in 1836 the brewery was offered for sale by public roup along with a number of associated properties.

The advertisements indicate that the brewery was a substantial concern with an "excellent dwelling house of three stories … brew house, malt barn, kiln, granary, cellars, close and pertinents" being offered together with "the whole machinery and fixtures within the premises, including the malt mill and steep, copper, boiler, mash tun, two fermenting tuns, two coolers and a water cistern" as well as the "water which is collected in that field to the north of the churchyard of Anstruther Easter".

The brewery remained unsold until 1839, when it was bought by John Russell, who established the partnership of John Russell & Co. John’s son William Russell ran the brewery from 1852 until 1858 when it was offered to let. The brewery was then acquired for £1,150 by James Key, who owned the Crail Brewery. James put his eldest son, John Melville Key, in charge of the Anstruther Brewery and established the partnership of James Key & Son.

When John died in 1874, management of the brewery passed to his brother William. Brewing ceased in 1905 when William sold the company’s aerated water interests to the Anstruther Aerated Water Company and put the brewery up for sale.

Map of 1893 showing the layout of the Anstruther Brewery
Map of 1893 showing the layout of the Anstruther Brewery
© National Library of Scotland, 2016

Active: 1780s - 1905

Address: Burial Brae

Status: Converted

Current Use: Residential property


Sadly we do not have a picture of the Anstruther Brewery. Please contact us if you have one!


Much of the brewery complex, which has been converted to housing, can still be seen at the junction of Burial Brae and Cunzieburn (now Cunzie) Street.


Other Sources of information

Books and periodicals

Anon. Desirable brewery, houses, lands and others, in and near Anstruther and Pittenweem, for sale. Caledonian Marcury, 21st May 1836.

Gibb, F. The brewers and breweries of Fife. Stirling: Lomax Press, 2012.