Jan 292018

112 Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8BW

This brewery was bought over by William Younger in 1858, who turned it into what was at one time the largest brewery in Edinburgh, with the capacity to produce 60 brews a week, generating 600 barrels of beer a week, or 432 million pints of beer every year. In the twentieth century malt was brought in in huge quantities by lorry and off-loaded near Coopers Close. The brewery finally closed in 1986. You can see more of the old brewery buildings by walking down Crichton’s Close.  William Younger’s also owned the Abbey Brewery on the site of what is now the Scottish Parliament. It was named after Holyrood Abbey where monks first brewed beer in in the twelfth century. Abbey Brewery was demolished in the late 1990s to make way for the new parliament building which opened in 2004.  Before its demolition it had been the head office of Scottish and Newcastle breweries, which grew to become the largest brewing company in the UK.

View of old brewery buildings in Crichton's Close.

View of old brewery buildings looking up Crichton’s Close.

View of old brewery buildings looking down Crichton's Close.

View of old brewery buildings looking down Crichton’s Close.

Old brewery buildings in Cooper's Close.

Old brewery buildings in Cooper’s Close.

Label for William Youngers Export Pale Ale, with an illustration of a man with a long beard on a yellow background.

Label for William Youngers Export Pale Ale.

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  7 Responses to “William Younger’s Holyrood Brewery”

  1. I recently emptied my grandpa house and he had a medal saying younger tartan special super league Lanarkshire area champions 1986 can you give me any information he died last month aged 100

    • Hi Helen,

      Some online searching indicates that medals matching that description were given out for darts competitions, although its possible that the company sponsored other sporting events, too. For more information, you might want to try contacting the company (now incorporated into Marston’s) to see if they have anything from their archives.

  2. Martyn, do you know if they ll be brewing all the beers at the Well s brewery or will they use a brewery in Scotland for all the Younger s and McEwan s beers?

    • All brands of Wm Younger and McEwan are brewed in England.
      no any connection with Scotland since 2006 or 2007when Caledonian brewed last Batch for Heineken.

    • I have recently come into possession of an old pub sign for The Near Boot pub at Carlisle. I intend to renovate it as it used to be my local. In the centre of the sign is a picture of William Younger (holding his stick and drinking a pint, with his long beard and hat). The picture has become flakey and will need replaced. Can you advise if I could get another. Thank you

  3. My grandfather Samuel Grant Duff was one of the coopers employed by William Younger of Edinburgh certainly during WW2. I believe that he was apprenticed there and worked with the Company for many years. Is there any information available please? Mrs. Drew Gurney

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