UK – Heineken UK, a subsidiary of the Dutch brewing giant Heineken N.V., has confirmed the sale of the iconic Caledonian Brewery site in Edinburgh to property developers Artisan Real Estate.  

The 1.9-acre site, in operation since 1869, has been dormant since May 2022 and was officially listed for sale in November of that year. The closure led to the relocation of the production of Scottish beers previously brewed on-site to Belhaven Brewery. 

Artisan Real Estate, a firm with offices in Edinburgh, Isle of Wight, and Leeds, plans to transform the historic site into a residential development, delivering approximately 170 homes.  

A public consultation on the project is slated to commence in February 2024. Artisan Real Estate has a track record of successful urban regeneration projects, including the New Waverley development in Edinburgh’s old town. 

The Caledonian Brewery, acquired by Heineken in 2008, was Edinburgh’s last major brewery before its closure in May 2022. The site holds historical significance, founded in 1869 by George Lorimer and Robert Clark.  

The brewery, featuring B-listed Victorian buildings, was known for its use of traditional brewing methods, including open square fermenters and direct-fired copper kettles. 

Heineken UK’s spokesperson acknowledged the brewery’s rich history, stating, “This is a hugely significant site which has played a key role in the development of brewing in Edinburgh for more than 150 years. 

We are pleased to see that David Westwater, Artisan’s Scottish regional director, has expressed the intention to honour the brewery’s unique heritage and character throughout the development process. This includes preserving and restoring listed buildings, such as the brewhouse and maltings.” 

David Westwater, Artisan’s Scottish regional director, sees the site’s potential to become a vital part of the city’s future.  

He outlined Artisan’s plans, stating, “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 duplex units and mews houses, of which 35% will be affordable housing in line with the City of Edinburgh Council policy.” 

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