Saltcoats Brewery

Business: Hugh Watt and Co

Location: Saltcoats

Type: Brewery

The Saltcoats Brewery, also referred to as the Canal Street Brewery, was built by Robert Reid Cunninghame. In the New Statistical Account of Scotland of 1838 it was described as having been "established about fifty-six years ago" which, allowing for a possible gap between commissioning and publication, would suggest it was built at the beginning of the 1780s. It was let to Hugh Watt & Co from 1785, and then by Hugh Watt on his own account until his death in 1836.

The brewery was offered to let several times and finally in 1849, when it was described as being in good working order and as having "excellent water conveyed by lead pipes to a large cistern on top of house, and into boilers".

Although the brewery was still a named feature on later maps, brewing appears to have ceased after Hugh's death and the land around it was let to farmers. Intriguingly, there was a football team called Saltcoats Brewery XI who defeated Ardrossan Castlehill 4-2 in 1897.

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

Active: 1780s - 1836

Status: Demolished


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


The site is now occupied by commercial premises.

Other Sources of information


Ayrshire Archives hold a collection of miscellaneous legal papers of correspondence concerning mainly the Cunninghames of Auchenharvie from 1705-1843 which include documents related to Hugh Watt and the Saltcoats Brewery (Refs NRAS 1339 and NRAS 2522)

Books and periodicals

Gibb, F. and Close, R. The brewers and breweries of Ayrshire, Buteshire and Renfrewshire. Stirling: Lomax Press, 2013.