33 amazing pictures that show Edinburgh’s rich brewing past

We take a look back at some of the amazing pictures in our archive of beer and whisky consumption, production and sales in the Capital.

Thursday, 31st January 2019, 3:43 pm
Updated Thursday, 31st January 2019, 3:45 pm
Eric Morecambe and (left) Ernie Wise enjoy a pint of Tennent's lager with Erica, one of the 'can models' when they visited the Heriot brewery at Roseburn, Edinburgh, in 1978.

From distilleries like Glenkinchie and North British to breweries like Usher’s and McEwan’s, Edinburgh has an incredibly rich history when it comes to beer and whisky.

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Vats and casks of whisky in the warehouse in Bath Street in Leith.

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Two workers shovelling coal into the boilers at the old McEwans Brewery in Fountainbridge.
The Beer Bottling hall.
Loading of whisky and beer at Leith docks.
Workmen rolling barrels at Drybrough's Brewery at Craigmillar in 1955.The brewery closed in 1987 and the site was subsequently demolished and replaced by flats.
The exterior of the brewery.
The Brewery Horses in 1961.
Casks in waiting.
Grey Percheron horses pulling a dray delivering beer to a bar in George Street in May 1960.
A Tennent's lorry has an accident on Leven Street in Tollcross Edinburgh.
A beer tanker leaves the Holyrood depot in 1958
Coopers tighten hasps on barrel of beer in St Leonards in 1957
The floor maltings at Roseburn Terrace in 1957.
Drinkers from The Diggers pub on Slateford Road were so upset that McEwans decided to cease production of their 80 Shilling drink that it prompted the pubs owners to have a new 80 shilling beer brewed.
Lord Provost Kenneth Borthwick, in Tyrolean hat with feather, conducts the band at the Munich Beer Festival in Princes Street gardens, July 1979, commemorating 50 years of Edinburgh being twinned with Munich.
Liz Neil from the Greemantle pub serves up real ale at the Scottish Traditional Beers exhibition held in the Caledonian brewery in Slateford Road Edinburgh, May 1981.
Rose St Brewery's Ken Bannister brewed a special 'Grand Slam Ale' in anticipation of Scotland beating France at Murrayfield in the Five Nations tournament, March 1984. Scotland won 21-12.
Cindy Breakspeare, the Jamaican winner of Miss World 1976, enjoys a beer in the Abercorn Inn in February 1977.
A McEwan's Beer lorry overturned in 1972.
Exterior of the production site.
Dr Chris Greig in one of the whisky quality control laboratories of Invergordon Distillers, Leith, August 1992.
Mr W S Robertson, distillery manager stands in front of the distillery in 1962
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and husband Denis Thatcher sample the beer at Scottish & Newcastle brewery in Edinburgh during a visit in June 1987.
Men in an unidentified Edinburgh pub welcome the end of the brewers' strike with a pint of beer in October 1972.
The Bow Bar in the early 1990s, not much has changed.
Two workmen relax in the beer garden of the Sheeps Heid Inn
Horse and carts carrying beer barrels along Holyrood Road in 1928
Guy Touzeau followed Robert Louis Stevenson's book 'Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes' by taking Rose his donkey on a 15-month journey from France to Edinburgh in 1978
Edinburgh's Oxford Bar and Cambridge Bar held their own version of the Boat Race to raise money for charity in March 1987 - a customer on a rowing machine is tempted by a pint of beer.
Two men having a cigarette and a pint of beer in the Boundary bar in Leith, Edinburgh. Picture taken September 1993, when the licensed trade were calling for a smoking ban in pubs.
Scottish Brewers' chairman Alastair Mowat and Hercules the bear at the offical opening of the Beck's beer tent in the Meadows during Edinburgh Jazz Festival 1986.
John Robertson with his cup final beer in 1998
Assistant brewer Karen Heatherington with the Hibee Happiness Green Beer which celebrated Hibs promotion in 1999.