Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Prestonpans Beer

Will you look at this. The Fowler's brewery in Prestonpans, a few minutes' train journey to the east of Edinburgh, was once famous. In more recent times it is only remembered for Fowler's Wee Heavy, which carried on as a popular bottled beer until InBev finally discontinued it in 2005, forty years after its home brewery had closed.

But I had no idea that Prestonpans beer was so famous that other brewers borrowed the name to sell their own stuff. Here's a Liverpool brewer in 1859 with Preston Pans Beer in his line-up. It's the same price as X Ale and slightly cheaper than his weakest IPA. I wonder what the difference was, and what it was like.

In 1862 the Lancet described Fowler's own version as "a very light, nice beverage, as pale as India ale, and suitable particularly for use in summer; its specific gravity was 1010, and it contained 3.80 per cent of anhydrous alcohol."


  1. Judging by the description and the price, I would guess the OG of Preston Pans Beer was around 1050.

  2. Even better news ... since 2004 we've had a microbrewery in Prestonpans that crafts the Fowler's Ales all year round and includes Wee Heavie once or twice a year. Roddy Beveridge is Head Brewer. It's all at The Prestoungrange Gothenburg 227/ 229 High Street, PRESTONPANS [closed Mondays]Ph 01875 919922 ... you can join the brewing too if you want to share in that ....
    Yrs aye

  3. Baron, I've been meaning to write about the Goth and the revival brewery for quite some time.