Old Town Brewery

Business: Thomson, Marshall and Co

Location: Aberdeen

Type: Brewery

The Old Town Brewery was located in the High Street in Old Aberdeen, near to King's College.

It was founded by Smith, Irvine & Co around 1790, who brewed there until the brewery and associated premises were sold in 1863. In an advertisement announcing the sale it was described as having malt barns that were capable of malting nearly 2,000 quarters (about 300 tons).

The brewery was acquired by Thomson, Marshall & Co and remained in their hands until 1890, when the partnership was dissolved and a new company - Thomson, Marshall & Co Ltd - was established to carry on the business.

At that point the brewery was described as having been largely rebuilt and extended in the 1880s. An artesian well had also been sunk "at considerable cost, giving a superabundant supply of water, excellent in quality".

The brewery then became known as the Aulton Brewery.

By 1913 much of the site had already been demolished in order to provide space for the New King's Building.

However, a small part of the brewery complex still survives on what is now the campus of the University of Aberdeen.

Map showing the layout of the Old Town Brewery in 1828
Map showing the layout of the Old Town Brewery in 1828
© National Library of Scotland, 2015

Active: 1790s - 1890

Address: High Street, Old Aberdeen

Status: Part survives

Current Use: University building


Old Town Brewery
This picture shows the surviving brewery buildings in the 1960s. The University of Aberdeen's Taylor Building can be seen in the background.
© John Hume, 2015


This picture shows the surviving brewery buildings today, which are known as the Old Brewery.

Other Sources of information

Web resources

Canmore has a record relating to the Old Town Brewery. Last accessed 19th July 2016.

Books and periodicals

Anon. Extensive brewery for sale. Glasgow Herald, 15th June 1861.

Anon. Brewers to Her Majesty the Queen and HRH Prince of Wales. Thomson, Marshall & Co Limited. Dundee Courier, 15th February 1890.