Maclay and Co Ltd

Maclay & Co Ltd was established in 1896 (Scottish Company No. 3272), with a proposed capitalisation of £75,000 to take on the business of Maclay & Co. The purchase price was £55,000.

Amongst the beers produced by the firm were: Brown Stout, Dinner Ale,  Double Brown Stout, Empire Ale, Export Ale, Five Guinea Ale, Heavy Ale,  Imperial Pale Ale, India Pale Ale, Light Ale, Light Pale Ale, Mac's Double Brown Ale, Mac's Stout, Mild Ale, Nourishing Stout, Nut Brown Ale, Oatmalt Pale Ale, Oatmalt Stout, Porter, Scotch Ale, Sparkling Pale Ale, Sparkling Table Beer, Special Pale Ale, Strong Ale, Sweet Ale, Table Beer, Three Guinea Ale, and Wallace Brand Pale Ale.

The company's trademark was a thistle.

The business won a prize medal at the Newcastle Exhbition of 1898, and two medals at the Paris Exhibition of 1900.

In 1991 the business was acquired by the Matthew family, and in 1994 the name of the company was changed to Maclay Inns Ltd. In 1999 brewing ceased and the company focused its energies on managing its pub group.

Trademark for Maclay & Co Ltd
Trademark for Maclay & Co Ltd
© Forbes Gibb, 2015

Location: Alloa

Active: 1896 - 1994

Status: Dissolved

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 1920 showing the Thistle Brewery
Map of 1920 showing the Thistle Brewery
© National Library of Scotland, 2015


We have a number of images related to Maclay & Co Ltd, but would welcome any other information or images linked to the company.

Other Sources of information


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

Books and periodicals

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

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