William Whitelaw and Son

When William Whitelaw died in 1868 his wife Katherine carried on the business under the same name, until their son David took over, trading as William Whitelaw & Son from at least 1876.

In 1911 the business was acquired by William Sykes, Alexander Sykes and John Nicholas Morrison Sykes, the partners of Sykes & Co, the company's Glasgow agents, who continued to trade under the same name at the Fisherrow Brewery. David, who by this time was the sole partner, was retained as part of the management team.

In 1929 it was decided to establish William Whitelaw & Son Ltd to acquire the existing businesses of Sykes & Co and William Whitelaw & Son, by which time John Nicholas Morrison Sykes was the sole partner of both firms.

Among the beers produced by the firm were: Brown Stout, Mild Ale, and Pale Ale.

Trademark of William Whitelaw & Son
Trademark of William Whitelaw & Son
© Forbes Gibb, 2017

Location: Fisherrow

Active: 1870s - 1929

Status: Converted

Breweries and other buildings

The Fisherrow Brewery was situated on the east side of Fisher's Wynd and grew from a brewhouse, malt barns and stables, arranged around a cobbled yard, to a large complex that extended from the High Street to New Street. The site is now mainly occupied by a post-war housing development.


Map of 1893 showing the layout of the Fisherrow Brewery
Map of 1893 showing the layout of the Fisherrow Brewery
© National Library of Scotland, 2017


We have a number of images related to William Whitelaw & Son, but would welcome any other information or images linked to the company.

Other Sources of information

Books and periodicals

Lawrie, J. Honesty brewing: a history of the breweries, maltings and distilleries of Musselburgh and Fisherrow. Kennoway: Spiderwize, 2009.