Records of Meiklejohn's Brewery Ltd, brewers, Alloa, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Directors's annual report to shareholders 1895;
  • Shareholding records 1897;
  • Production records 1873-1884;
  • Public relations 1874;
  • Historical notes c1869-1884.

Administrative / Biographical History

Robert Meiklejohn established his first public brewery in Alloa, Scotland , in 1774  . In 1787 the company moved to new premises in Candleriggs, Alloa and the Candleriggs Brewery was established. Around 1800, Robert Meiklejohn took on a partner, a Mr Connel, and the firm became known as Connel, Meiklejohn & Co . When Robert Meiklejohn's son James joined the company the name changed to Robert Meiklejohn & Son .

Robert Meiklejohn died in 1829 and was succeeded by his son James. After James Meiklejohn died in 1837 the company passed to Hugh Kennedy , who moved the firm to the Grange Brewery on the western outskirts of Alloa which was eventually acquired by Meiklejohn's in 1852. In the same year the old Candleriggs Brewery was leased. It was sold in 1871 to George Younger & Son , brewers, of Alloa. After Hugh Kennedy's retirement the company, while still trading under the name of Robert Meiklejohn & Son, came under the ownership of Morrison & Co , then Kidd & Blair and finally, in 1856, Maitland, Gorrie & Moyes .

Charles Maitland was the senior partner and managing director of the company and took into partnership William Gorrie of Leith, Scotland , and Robert Moyes of Edinburgh, Scotland , who was soon replaced by James Peebles of Alloa. Under the new ownership the company prospered greatly and agencies were established in all leading towns in Scotland as well as in London, Newcastle, Middlesborough and Hull, England; Dublin and Cork, Ireland; and Belfast and Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

Charles Maitland had adopted for the brewery his family crest of the Bass Rock and the motto "Non Fluctuo, Fluctu". The use of the name Bass Crest Brewery and the bass label was objected to by Bass, Ratcliff & Gretton , brewers, Burton-on-Trent, England,as it was similar to their own label, but in 1876 Maitland was able to register the trade mark of the Bass Rock and a label design incorporating the Bass Rock with the inscription "Bass Crest Brewery".

By 1889, both William Gorrie and James Peebles had died and Charles Maitland became the sole surviving partner. In 1890, the company was purchased for GBP 35,000 and on 12 March 1890  was registered as a limited liability company under the title Meiklejohn's Brewery Ltd . The subscribers to the new firm were Charles Maitland, brewer, William Gorrie Maitland , brewer; Chas. Pearson , cooper; James McDonald , cooper; Archd. Carmichael , hotel keeper; Angus Maule , commercial traveller; and Robert Paterson , brewer. In 1898 Charles Maitland died aged 80 and in June 1899 the Bass Crest Brewery was sold to a consortium of Newcastle-based hotel owners and publicans. The firm of Meiklejohn's Brewery Ltd was voluntarily would up in April 1900  . However, a new company was formed that continued to trade under the name of the Bass Crest Brewery Co , which never became a registered limited company. In 1918 Bass, Ratcliff & Gretton Ltd purchased the Bass Crest Brewery Co with its trademarks and the brewery building was sold in 1919 to Alloa brewer George Younger & Sons Ltd , who re-christened the brewery Grange Brewery. The Grange Brewery was closed in 1941.

Source: McMaster, Charles . Alloa Ale. A History of the Brewing Industry in Alloa ( Edinburgh: Alloa Brewery, 1984 )


The material is arranged according to the Scottish Brewing Archive classification scheme used within all SBA collections.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Deposited by various individuals in 1986

Other Finding Aids

File level list available in searchroom

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Archivist

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use & condition of documents

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 0248 procedures

Custodial History

The collection was previously housed with the rest of the Scottish Brewing Archive at Heriot-Watt University. It moved to the University of Glasgow in 1991. Custody of the Scottish Brewing Archive was transferred to Glasgow University Archive Services in 2008.


None expected

Related Material

GB 0234 BT2: Dissolved Companies Files (National Archives of Scotland)

GB 0248 ARTEFACTS: Scottish Brewing Archive Artefacts Collection


McMaster, Charles . Alloa Ale. A History of the Brewing Industry in Alloa ( Edinburgh: Alloa Brewery, 1984 )

Additional Information

This material is original

Fonds level description compiled by Natalie Milne, Archive Assistant (Hub), Wednesday 7 November 2001. Catalogue converted to Encoded Archival Description, 8 June 2005. Catalogue revised and administrative history added by Wiebke Redlich, Archive Assistant (Hub), 20 February 2002. Catalogue revised by Emma Yan, Assistant Archivist, 19 December 2008; and Michelle Kaye, Archives Assistant, 10 May 2012.

Geographical Names