Fort Brewery

Business: Charles Guthrie

Location: Ayr

Type: Brewery

The Fort Brewery was established in the Citadel built by Oliver Cromwell in 1657. A brewing syndicate acquired the Citadel in 1687 and brewing and malting were undertaken on the site until the early eighteenth-century. In 1734 premises were built for distilling and were later used variously for wine storage, soap-making, the curing of beef, as a slaughter-house, malting, and briefly for brewing.

In 1785 the lease was taken on by the partnership of McConnell & McCracken after which the site was used for brewing by numerous businesses. These included:

  • McConnell & McCracken (1785-1808)
  • Andrew McCracken (1808-1812)
  • Andrew Walker (c.1812-1817)
  • Walker & Dobbie (1820s)
  • Peter Walker, who went on to become a major brewer in both Warrington and Liverpool (1820s-1827)
  • Reid & Walker (1827-1832)
  • John Reid (1832-1851)
  • John Miller (1850s)
  • Waugh & Co (1855-1856)
  • McEwen, Rolland & Co (1856-1858)
  • Rolland & Thomson, from which Peter Rolland went on to form the Bathgate Brewery Company (1858-1859)
  • James Grange (1860-1861)
  • Charles Guthrie (1864-1866)

Brewing ended in about 1866 when Charles Guthrie was declared bankrupt, and the premises were taken on by a dairy.

The buildings have since been demolished with the exception of the former brewery house.

Map of 1855 showing the layout of the Fort Brewery
Map of 1855 showing the layout of the Fort Brewery
© National Library of Scotland, 2023.

Active: 1785 - 1866

Status: Part survives


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


The site is now mainly occupied by late-Victorian housing.