Click for Bookshop

Dr. William McEwan
1827 - 1913

Dr. William McEwan
©2013 Gazetteer for Scotland

Dr. William McEwan

Brewer and philanthropist. Born in Alloa, the son of a ship-owner, McEwan began his career as a commercial clerk and book-keeper, before joining his uncle's brewery in Edinburgh in 1851, to learn the business of beer-making. He set up his own company, the Fountain Brewery, in Edinburgh in 1856, (which eventually closed in 2004). He made his fortune by successfully developing a local market while achieving a significant export trade to the British Empire by the 1860s.

In 1886, he entered parliament representing Central Edinburgh and gave significant donations to the City, including money to build the McEwan Hall as a graduation hall for the University of Edinburgh, which was designed by Sir Rowand Anderson (1834 - 1921).

Through mergers and acquisitions, McEwan's company grew to become Scottish Brewers Ltd. (1931), and then Scottish & Newcastle Plc (1960), still based in Edinburgh, and finally by a consortium involving Danish multinational Carlsberg and Dutch giant Heineken. McEwan is perhaps best remembered today for McEwan's Export beer, now brewed in England.


Use the tabs on the right of this page to see other parts of this entry arrow
If you have found this information useful please consider making
a donation to help maintain and improve this resource. More info...

By using our site you agree to accept cookies, which help us serve you better