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Latitude: 56.1151 / 56°6'54"N
Longitude: -3.7895 / 3°47'22"W
OS Eastings: 288825
OS Northings: 692809
OS Grid: NS888928
Mapcode National: GBR 1K.LLMG
Mapcode Global: WH5QD.RKNH
Plus Code: 9C8R4686+25
Entry Name: Thistle Brewery, East Vennel, Alloa
Listing Name: East Vennel and Old Bridge Street, Thistle Brewery
Listing Date: 25 January 1990
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 356240
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB21026
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: Clackmannanshire South
Traditional County: Clackmannanshire
1870, with elements of earlier buildings at Old Bridge Street and early 19th century maltings. Office added 1896. Medium sized brewery, primarily of polychrome red brick with yellow brick dressings. Some additions and alterations to the roof lines. Notable historic brewing plant still in use.
OFFICE, possibly by John Melvin, dated 1896, 2-storey and later attic asymmetrical curiosity. Ground floor bull-faced rubble with large portholes flanking arched office entrance with elliptical hoodmould and vermiculated imposts. Smaller entrance, similarly detailed, to former manager's house at right. Vehicular entrance formerly arched, widened and given concrete lintel. Single and biparte windows at 1st with scroll-pedimented datestone over goods entrance. 5 simple gabletted dormers. Brick rear. Ground floor open: upper floors carried on steel beams and twin cast-iron columns. Slate roof.
Interior: some period fittings and etched glass mirrors. Timber spiral stair and thistle mosaic at entrance.
1-storey and basement polychrome brick buildings - "Cellar No 1" adjoins to right.
MAIN BREWERY RANGE, FROM W TO E: 3-storey 5-bay malt and hop store, polychrome brick with rubble-built W gable. Central gabletted hoist. Piended slate M roof. Ground floor pend and hop store. 1st floor timber boarded malt bins. Open king-post roofed attic with traps for
pouring malt into bins.
4-storey 8-bay brewhouse, polychrome brick, small windows at top blocked. Square-section lift tower with weather vane. Square-section brick stack and sheet metal-clad extension at rear. Gabled slate roof replaced 1968 by flat roof except atW. Cooler tower stepped down to E, with original piended slate roof, ridge ventilator and louvred upper stage. Lower louvres now bricked up.
3-storey 3-bay tun room to E with central hoist doors. Gabled sheet-metal clad roof rebuilt circa 1968.
Interior: from W to E: grist mill by Seck of London, line shaft-driven, timber stair balusters. 2 domed riveted coppers, at least one by Abercrombie of Alloa, now direct oil-fired, cast-iron mash tun.
8 oak fermenting tuns, copper-lined. Yeast plant installed 1969.
MALTINGS: 4-storey (ground floor now a basement). Lower 2 floors early 19th century, rubble-built, upper floors later polychrome brick. Kiln at SE taken down circa 1948. Harled gable to Old Bridge Street. Piended asbestos roof.
Interior: Lengthwise timber beams on early mid 19th century cast-iron columns with saddles, timber pads at 2nd (ceiling heightened during reconstruction of upper floors). Stone steps at 2nd floor. Basement area to S not of special interest.
ELEVATION TO OLD BRIDGE STREET: Gable of maltings as above, then curving low 1- and 2-storey range partially incorporating 17th/18th century domestic buildings. Marriage lintel dated 1668, probably relocated. Most openings altered. Lower part has asbestos roof, upper part has slate roof, chimneypieces and timber line-shaft brackets.
COOPERAGE: 2-storey brick-built with altered ground floor, between brewhouse and Thistle Bar.
Of special interest as one of three surviving small-scale traditional breweries in Scotland, the others being Belhaven and Caledonian Breweries. Its equipment, particularly the timber fermenting tuns, the cast-iron mash tun and the riveted coppers, is uniquely historic.
James MacLay began brewing at Mills Brewery in 1830, and erected Thistle Brewery in 1870-1. The firm became MacLay & Co Ltd in 1897.
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