Historical County: Renfrewshire
Modern County: Renfrewshire
Paisley was the largest town in the historic county of Renfrewshire, and became an important centre for weaving.
The earliest reference to brewing in Paisley is in 1294 when Thomas the Brewer was granted a portion of holy land (Sauserland, later known as Saucel) and grazing rights for his cattle. In 1598 the Bailies and Burgh Council set the maximum price of a pint of ale at fourteen pence per pint, with a fine of twenty shillings for a first offence, rising to five pounds for a third offence. By 1651 the maximum price that could be charged had risen to two shillings and three pence, and in 1666 a sliding scale was introduced based roughly on the strength of the beer. The Council reverted to a single maximum price of twenty pence in 1706.
The maltmen had been granted a charter for their trade in 1703, but in 1781 a separate Brewer's Society was formed, which was eventually dissolved in 1841.
It was home to a number of breweries, the largest of which was the Sacell Brewery. Breweries were also established in the Brahehead, Croft and Ferguslie districts.