The fate of the iconic Caledonian Brewery in Edinburgh is now definitively sealed. As Scottish Housing News reported just before Christmas, real estate developer Artisan Real Estate has made an offer to purchase the historic site at the western edge of Edinburgh's city centre from the owner, Heineken, with a vision to redevelop the 1.9-acre site into a residential community.
As reported in May 2022, Heineken UK announced the closure of the brewery after over 150 years, relocating the production of Caledonian's brands, including Deuchars, Coast to Coast, and Maltsmiths, to Green King's Belhaven brewery in Dunbar, Scotland. (inside.beer, 25.5.2022)
Before its closure in 2022, the Caledonian Brewery stood as the last major brewery in the capital. Established in 1869 by George Lorimer and Robert Clark, the brewery and its collection of distinctive Victorian buildings listed as B-grade serve as a notable testament to the city's once thriving brewing legacy. Locally recognized as 'The Calley,' the brewery achieved renown for employing traditional brewing techniques and equipment, including open square fermenters and original direct-fired copper kettles.
Over the past two centuries, the brewery changed hands several times, with Heineken taking over operations in 2008 after acquiring the UK assets from the then owner, Scottish and Newcastle.
“We plan to create a much needed sustainable, low carbon residential community with around 170 homes providing a healthy mix of accommodation. This will include a mix of one, two and three-bed apartments through to duplex units and mews houses, of which 35% will be affordable housing in line with the City of Edinburgh Council policy,” explained Artisan’s Scottish regional director David Westwater.
“We will also, wherever possible, respect and reflect the original footprint of the brewery – including recreating the top-floor skyline of the maltings buildings which was demolished following a fire almost 30 years ago,” he added.