A HISTORIC brewery in Scotland’s capital city is shutting down after more than 150 years.

The Caledonian Brewery, established in 1869, produces brands Deuchars and Maltsmiths – however a deal in principle has been struck with Greene King to move production to the Belhaven Brewery in Dunbar.

The remaining 30 workers at the Edinburgh plant will now consult with management on their future.

Heineken owns the brewery after acquiring Scottish & Newcastle back in 2008. Matt Callan, the brand’s supply chain director, said the firm understands the importance of the brewery to Edinburgh.

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“We’re acutely aware of what the brewery represents in Edinburgh, and its role in the history and heritage of brewing in Scotland – this is something we’re incredibly proud of,” he said.

“Our primary focus is the 30 colleagues based there and we’ll now enter into a period of consultation.

“The sad fact is, its Victorian infrastructure means significant inefficiencies and costs, particularly as it is operating below capacity. To modernise the brewery, and to meet our own sustainability commitments, would require considerable ongoing investment, which would make operating the brewery economically unviable.”

Meanwhile Matt Starbuck of Greene King said the brands produced at the plant have been loved for a long time in Scotland and further afield.

“We are proud to be able to continue to brew them so they can be enjoyed by consumers and customers alike,” he said.

“This agreement underlines our commitment to Belhaven Brewery as Scotland’s oldest working brewery, and boosts our portfolio of already award-winning beers.”

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SNP MP Joanna Cherry (above) said she had been “shocked” by the news, calling the loss of jobs “greatly concerning”.

“Retaining brands by outsourcing production under licence to Deuchars/Green King in East Lothian is no substitute for the loss of jobs and the heritage of brewing in Edinburgh,” she told the Edinburgh Evening News.

“I am calling on the company to think again. Edinburgh has a proud history of brewing and a fantastic stream of highly qualified graduates from Herriot-Watt's international centre for Brewing and Distilling.”