Real Ale Breweries

At the beginning of the twentieth century our branch region teemed with breweries, especially in Edinburgh itself, with its unique geography allowing a very favourable water supply of good quality for brewing. By the 1970s, as a result of commercial concentration and so called market forces, this once thriving industry had shrunk in size. For real ale the situation was even worse, with only a handful of businesses continuing to produce traditional beer.

In our branch region

Although the number of breweries within the branch area is small compared to, for example, the nineteenth century, they represent a good cross section of the different types of real ale breweries operating today. For example, Belhaven Brewery and Caledonian Brewery have both been in existence for a long time. They have continued brewing real ale during all the ups and downs of the Scottish brewing business. Pilot Beer, Top Out and Born in the Borders Brewery represent the wave of microbreweries that have helped to transform the brewing map of Scotland. Traquair House is the example of the revival of brewing after a long absence, while Andrew Usher & Co. is a rare example of a brew pub.

Real Ale Breweries in the Branch Area:
Some of the above breweries can be seen in the gallery.


Thistly Cross Cider in Dunbar make a range of ciders including Jaggy Thistle Real Cider.

Further afield, Waulkmill Cider in Westerkirk, Langholm, Dumfries and Galloway produce the traditional Muckle Toon Rosie Real Cider using only local apples grown in Dumfries and Galloway.

Note: links to commercial sites are in no way an endorsement of any vendor’s products or services.