J and J Maclay

The partnership of J. & J. Maclay was formed by James and John Maclay, following the death of their father James Maclay in 1875.

The partnership was dissolved in 1880, and the following year John died suddenly at the young age of 28.

The brewery and maltings were then offered for sale, and the business was eventually acquired by brothers Robert and John Ramsay, who ran a bottling business in Dunfermline. The business then traded under the name Maclay& Co.

Location: Alloa

Active: 1875 - 1880

Status: Acquired

Breweries and other buildings

The Thistle Brewery was established by James Maclay in 1875 in the East Vennel.

It passed through the hands of a number of owners until it was finally acquired by the Matthew family in 1991. It remained operational until 1999, when its closure brought a long history of brewing in Alloa to an end.

Part of the Thistle Brewery survives in Mill Road as a pub called, appropriately, the Old Brewery.


Map of 1899 showing the Thistle Brewery
Map of 1899 showing the Thistle Brewery
© National Library of Scotland, 2015


We do not currently hold any images of items related to J. & J. Maclay, and would welcome any information or images related to the company.

Other Sources of information


The University of Glasgow Archive Services holds papers in its Scottish Brewing Archive from 1824-1993 (Ref : GB 1127 M)

Books and periodicals

McMaster, C. Alloa Ale: a history of the brewing industry in Alloa. Edinburgh: Alloa Brewery Company, 1985.