The Caledonian was built in 1869 after George Lorimier inherited his father’s fortune. Working with his friend and brewer, Robert Clark, the pair decided to add another brewery to Edinburgh’s 41 breweries and chose Slateford Road due to it’s location within the ‘Charmed Circle’ of wells and next to the main railway line.
Scottish beers became very popular in Northern England in the early 1900s and Vaux, a Sunderland based brewer, takes a stake in Caledonian in 1919. They buy the brewery over completely in 1947, gaining full control and then acquiring other Edinburgh breweries to add to their portfolio.
After celebrating its centenary in 1969, the 1970s were less kind with Caledonian beginning to suffer from neglect through lack of investment from Vaux, its small size and restricted location weighing heavily against it. It does however escape the closures going on elsewhere in the city.
In 1986, as consumer tastes shift to bigger keg beers Vaux decide to cease brewing in Edinburgh. Head brewer Russell Sharp and Lorimer & Clark’s Managing Director Dan Kane lead a management buy-out eventually relaunching the business in the empty Victorian brewery as the Caledonian Brewing Company.
The business grows despite suffering major fires in 1994, which destroyed the original maltings and 1998, which damaged one of the coppers.
Caledonian Brewing Company Ltd
42 Slateford Road
Phone 0131 337 1286
Fax 0131 313 2370