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Report - McEwans Fountain Brewery, Edinburgh - May 2009

Oxygen Thief

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Staff member
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#1
Visited with Raddog and Dweeb.


The brewery was once part of the McEwan drinking empire, founded by William McEwan (1827-1913) in 1856 with money borrowed from his family. Fountainbridge was a prime location with its excellent transport links provided by the railway and Union Canal (which still runs alongside the site and provides a nice urban amble). McEwan soon established a presence in the Scottish market, before setting his sights on colonial trade. By the turn of the 20th century, a gentleman could enjoy a pint of McEwans as far and wide as Australia, South Africa or India.

The company merged with William Younger & Co Ltd to form Scottish Brewers Ltd in 1931, before that company merged with Newcastle Breweries Ltd in 1960 to form Scottish & Newcastle Breweries Ltd. This led to a thorough updating of the plant and S&N opened a new Fountain Brewery at Fountainbridge on a 22 acre site beside the Union Canal in 1973, much of which forms the remaining site today.

At its peak, the brewery produced about two million barrels per year of well-known brands such as McEwans Export, Tartan Special, Kestrel Lager, Gillespies Stout and Youngers. Quality brands. But despite the always willing domestic market for such produce, the Fountain Brewery was closed by S&N at the end of 2004 due to the fierce competition of the beer market. About 170 workers lost their jobs.
Despite being told this was demolished, we were amazed to see pictures of it surface last month by Capn Polyester. We had to go there.

The first stop was the roof for dinner in the sun, and to get close to the laughing cavalier that had mocked us for some time...

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Some bread, cheese and ham later, we found ourselves sitting it out while our access point was sealed up in front of our eyes :eek:

Upwards !!!...

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All this is derelict...

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and most of this...

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Basically it's all there.

Down to the control room...

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and the hop stores...

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then the boiler room. Immense...

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On the other side of the site...

I think this is the project room for the plant decommissioning...

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Up to the roof...

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and then back down. Just about now we realised that this is where security take there breaks etc. And the door was open...

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Time to leave after a good days exploring.
 

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