Heineken to close Edinburgh’s historic Caledonian Brewery after 153 years

Heineken is set to close the historic Caledonian Brewery in Edinburgh, one of the oldest in the UK.

The decision sees the loss of 30 jobs and looks to end 153 years of brewing tradition at the Slateford Road site following a fall in production in the last decade.

The Dutch beer brand has struck a deal to continue making the Caledonian’s main brands – Deuchars, Coast to Coast and Maltsmiths – at the Belhaven brewery in Dunbar.

Heineken’s UK supply chain director Matt Callan said the decision had not been taken lightly and the company was “acutely aware of what the brewery represents in Edinburgh and its role and heritage in the history of Scottish brewing”.

“This is something we’re incredibly proud of. Our primary focus is the 30 colleagues based there and we’ll now enter into a period of consultation.”

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Callan claimed modernising the site in Slateford to become sustainable was not seen as financially viable.

He said: “The sad fact is, its Victorian infrastructure means significant inefficiencies and costs, particularly as it is operating below capacity.”

“To modernise the brewery, and to meet our own sustainability commitments, would require considerable ongoing investment, which would make operating the brewery economically unviable.”

The Unite union national officer for food and drink, Joe Clark, described the planned closure as “devastating news for Caledonian Brewery which has a 150-year long tradition and history in Edinburgh.”

The union has confirmed it is scheduled to have talks with Heineken next week to discuss the potential impact on 30 workers currently employed at the brewery.

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