Fisherrow Brewery

Business: William Whitelaw and Son

Location: Fisherrow

Type: Brewery

The origins of the Fisherrow Brewery can be traced back to at least 1741, when Thomas Vernor ran a brewery on the east side of Fisher's Wynd. The brewery then passed into the hands of Thomas's son Robert in the 1780s, and in turn to his son, Alexander in 1809. The brewery was offered to let in 1820, and was taken on by David Whitelaw, an established Edinburgh brewer, who put his son William in charge.

William Whitelaw gradually extended the brewery until it occupied a site that stretched from the High Street to New Street. When he died in 1868 the brewery was run by his wife Kathrine, with the help of local brewer William Clark, until her son David took control in the mid-1870s, trading as William Whitelaw & Son.

The brewery was then acquired by the three partners of Sykes & Co, the firm's Glasgow agents, when they bought out the business of William Whitelaw & Son in 1911. They, in turn, sold their interests to William Whitelaw & Son Ltd, when it was established in 1929. The brewery was closed in 1939 after the Edinburgh firm of Archibald Campbell, Hope & King Ltd took over the trade of William Whitelaw & Son Ltd.

Map of 1893 showing the layout of the Fisherrow Brewery
Map of 1893 showing the layout of the Fisherrow Brewery
© National Library of Scotland, 2017

Active: 1740s - 1939

Address: Fisher's Wynd

Status: Demolished

Current Use: The site is mainly occupied by a 1940s hosuing development


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Other Sources of information

Books and periodicals

Lawrie, J. Honesty brewing: a history of the breweries, maltings and distilleries of Musselburgh and Fisherrow. Kennoway: Spiderwize, 2009.