Maclachlans Ltd

In 1923 Maclachlans Ltd was established (Scottish Company No 12914) to take on the business interests of G. & J. Maclachlan Ltd, which had gone into voluntary liquidation.

The company’s trademark was a castle with three turrets, and their motto was Fortis et Fidus (strong and trustworthy).

Amongst the beers produced by the firm were Brown Ale, Castle Ale, Edinburgh Ale, Export Ale, Extra Sweet Stout, Milk Stout, Stout, and Strong Ale.

The company continued to brew at the Castle Brewery in Edinburgh until 1960, when it was taken over by J. & R. Tennent Ltd. The Castle Brewery was finally closed in 1966, and the name of the company was changed to Kenneth Mackenzie (Wines) Ltd the next year.

The Maclachlans’ brand was briefly restored in the 2000s by Tennent Caledonian Ltd.

Trademark of Maclachlans Ltd
Trademark of Maclachlans Ltd
© Forbes Gibb, 2015

Location: Glasgow

Active: 1923 - 1966

Status: Taken Over

Breweries and other buildings

The Castle Brewery was located in Craigmillar, Edinburgh, and closed in 1966.

The company's offices were in Castle Chambers, a magnificent five-storey red sandstone ashlar office block at 57 West Regent Street, Glasgow.

Maclachlans Ltd also had a significant chain of pubs which operated under the Castle brand. This included the Castle Vaults, on Clarendon Place, Glasgow, which is still a pub today.

The company acquired the former Home Brewery in Glasgow, which was used as a depot and a bottling store.


Map of 1913 showing the Castle Brewery in Edinburgh
Map of 1913 showing the Castle Brewery in Edinburgh
© National Library of Scotland, 2015

Other Sources of information


The University of Glasgow Archive Services holds papers on Maclachlans Ltd in its Brewing Archive (Ref : GJM).

Books and periodicals

Dean, P. Maclachlan’s Castle Ales. Scottish Brewing Archive Newsletter, 1995, 26, pp.12-13.

Donnachie, I. A history of the brewing industry in Scotland. Edinburgh: John Donald Publishers, 1979.