Records of Edinburgh United Breweries Ltd, brewers, Edinburgh, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Amalgamation and liquidation papers 1934-1936;
  • Directors' annual reports and accounts to shareholders 1924 and 1926;
  • Shareholding records 1889;
  • Financial records 1903-1908;
  • Production records 1908;
  • Appointments and contracts of employment 1907;
  • Correspondence related to staff issues 1928;
  • Promotional material 1900-1914;
  • Public relations records 1897 and 1983;
  • Family tree 1785-1878 of the Disher Family;
  • Biographical notes on William Stewart c1900;
  • Photographs 1900-1920s;
  • Historical notes 1922-1990.

Administrative / Biographical History

Bell's Brewery, 40 Pleasance, Edinburgh. Edinburgh United Breweries Ltd was registered as a limited liability company in December 1889 to take over four Edinburgh brewing businesses: Robert Disher & Co, Edinburgh and Leith Brewery; Ritchie & Son, Bell's Brewery, Pleasance; Robin, MacMillan & Co, Summerhall Brewery, East Meadows; and David Nicolson, Palace Brewery, Abbey Mount, at a purchase price of GBP 320,000.

The Summerhall Brewery was subsequently sold. Bell's Brewery ceased to brew in 1934, being closed down by Customs and Excise due to irregularities in brewing, and was acquired by  John Jeffrey & Co Ltd,  Edinburgh. Court orders were issued in 1934 to wind up the company which was finally dissolved in 1943 .

Source: Richmond, Lesley and Turton, Alison (eds). The Brewing Industry. A Guide to Historical Records (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1990)


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

Conditions Governing Access


Acquisition Information

Secretary of the Brewers' Association of Scotland

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 stored 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 0248 GR: Records of George Ritchie & Son

GB 0248 JJ: Records of John Jeffrey & Co Ltd

GB 0248 ARTEFACTS: Scottish Brewing Archive Artefacts Collection


McMaster, Charles. Nemesis on the Pleasance. The Edinburgh United Brewery Story. Scottish Brewing Archive Newsletter, No 16 (Winter 1989/90)

McMaster, Charles. Unlawful goings on at the Pleasance. University of Edinburgh. Department of Physical Education (ed). P.E. News. No 3 (October 1990)

Additional Information

This material is original

Fonds level description compiled by Natalie Milne, Archive Assistant (Hub), October 31 2001. Catalogue converted to Encoded Archival Description, 8 June 2005. Catalogue revised by Wiebke Redlich, Archive Assistant (Hub), 16 January 2002; Emma Yan, Assistant Archivist, 05 December 2008; and Michelle Kaye, Archives Assistant, 10 May 2012.

Geographical Names