will pass to new owner Heineken
Caledonian Brewery has been bought -- lock, stock and barrel -- by Scottish & Newcastle, which means ownership of the Edinburgh brewery will pass eventually to Heineken. In 2004, S&N, which had closed its breweries in both Edinburgh and Newcastle, bought the Caledonian site in Slateford Road and also took a 30% stake in the company. The brewery continued to be run by the Caledonian management led by managing director Steve Crawley while S&N used its enormous muscle to promote the Caley brands in the free trade. Caledonian Deuchars IPA, far and away the biggest brand, is now available nationally as far away as Cornwall.
Steve Crawley will remain at the helm of Caledonian and will oversee a dramatic change of ownership when Heineken moves in. Earlier this year, Carlsberg and Heineken successfully bid for S&N, with Carlsberg taking over S&N's interests in Russia and the Baltic States, and Heineken becoming responsible for S&N's activities in Britain.
The Harviestoun Brewery, a subisidiary of Caledonian, will become independent: Heineken will have no involvement in the company but Steve Crawley will become a non-executive director.
It seems unlikely that Heineken will tinker with a brand as successful as Deuchars IPA, a past winner of CAMRA's Champion Beer of Britain award. The Dutch company might be tempted to cash in on the property potential of the Slateford Road site, on the road to Edinburgh Airport, but wise councils will point out that consumers tend to react against beers when they are moved from their original home : Deuchars brewed in Yorkshire or Manchester would take the gloss of a successful Scottish brand.