Tuesday, 7 December 2010

When Every Town had a Brewery


My interest in beer started a long time ago, but it wasn't until meeting Charles McMaster, the former curator of the Scottish Brewing Archive, that I found out my own home town had a brewery. Whisky of course, but a brewery? I didn't know. Charlie was able to give me photo copies of the labels, unfortunately in black and white, but I know where the originals are (in the University of Glasgow Archives) and I dare say colour copies could be obtained these days.

The brewery was Gillespie and it was taken over by Scottish Brewers (or maybe even McEwan's or Youngers pre merger)and inevitably closed, probably in the 1940's. My curiosity has been piqued though and I've written to the Scottish Brewing Archive (within Glasgow University) for more info.

The name was briefly resurrected in the 90's with a stout no less from S&N. God knows why.

9 comments:

Bob said...

I remember drinking waaaaay too much Gilespie's when it was released in the ninities. I was working in Edinburgh and it was a much better pint than Guiness...

Beer-Ritz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ghost Drinker said...

There was a im when every house brewerd beer. They said you didn't mary a woman who didn't know how to brew. Ahh how the times change.

RedNev said...

The downside of every town having a brewery was it usually meant that every pub sold the same beer. I was a student in Warrington in the 1970s: Greenall Whitley everywhere, with just the occasional Tetley pub.

As for reviving beers, Tetley Walker did quite a good job of reviving the Walkers name for a while: Walkers Warrington Ale and Walkers Winter Warmer were particularly good.

John Clarke said...

According to my copy of 'A Century of British Brewers', Gillespie Sone & Co (Brewers) Ltd closed down in 1953. No mention of any takeover.

Tandleman said...

I think it was Scottish Brewers that did the deed. I seem to recall Charlie telling me that. I've asked the SB Archive for details, so we'll see.

Tandleman said...

PS 3 years before my Dumbarton debut!

John Holland said...

As CAMRA's rep. attempting to liase with S&N I re-call well in about 1993 being taken by one of their PR men to sup it on draught; in that then new rambling pub at the junction of Rose St. and Hanover St.(?) in Edinburgh.

That was the only time I even saw it and judging by the taste and despite all the promotion that went along with it the launch and the beer seemed to be complete a flop.

Cheers,
John Holland.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am Alexander Gillespie's great great grandaughter, my mum was Joan Gillespie. If any one has any more info on the breweries in Dumbarton and Glasgow I would love to hear it! Moyra