Located in the Fountainbridge district of Edinburgh until its closure at the end of 2004, the Fountain Brewery was operated by Scottish & Newcastle plc, a brewing and leisure group based in Edinburgh, with an annual turnover of £3.5 billion.
The Fountain Brewery was built in 1856 by William McEwan (1827 - 1913), and by the turn of the century, his business had a commanding share of the beer market in Scotland and the northeast of England, together with a valuable export trade to Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and India. McEwan's nephew William Younger (1857 - 1925), brother of politician and brewer George Younger (1859 - 1921), ran the company from 1886, when McEwan entered parliament. The brewery grew to occupy a site of 4.9 ha (12 acres) was valued at £1 million when it became a public company in 1889.
In 1931, the company formally merged with William Younger's Abbey Brewery (not the family of Youngers related to McEwan) to form Scottish Brewers Ltd and, in 1960, merged again to form Scottish & Newcastle Breweries Ltd.
The Fountain Brewery was one of seven in the UK and Ireland operated by S&N. It had a capacity of two million barrels per annum, employed 390 people and produced well-known brands such as McEwans Export, 70/-, 80/- and Lager, Tartan Special, Kestrel Lager, Gillespies Stout and Youngers. Production of the Scottish ales has transferred to the Caledonian brewery and lager brands to elsewhere in the UK.