Scottish & Newcastle Brewery is an international brewer operating in more than 50 countries. The company’s origins in modest but ambitious family businesses in 18th-century Edinburgh, Scotland, and Newcastle in the north of England evolved into one of the UK’s most successful corporations, eventually owning three of the best- selling beers in Europe—Baltika, Kronenbourg 1664, and Fosters—plus the smaller but well-known Newcastle brown Ale.
In 1931 Edinburgh, the William Younger brewing business, formed in 1749, amalgamated with that of William McEwan (established 1856) to form Scottish Brewers Ltd. A union of five family brewing companies operating around Newcastle had given birth to Newcastle Breweries Ltd in 1890 and the merger of both concerns in 1960 not only created Scottish & Newcastle Breweries but also launched a formidable force in British business.
By 1995 Scottish & Newcastle was the country’s number one brewer (and in Europe’s top six) through takeovers of Courage and Theakstons and was listed on the London Stock Exchange as “Scottish Courage.” Relentless expansion produced a major leisure industry player, developing separate beer and pub divisions while expanding significantly as an international organization through acquisitions of French conglomerate Danone (makers of Dannon yogurt and other food products) and Fosters of Australia and brewing interests in Russia, Finland, the Baltic states, China, and throughout Asia.
In April 2008, Scottish & Newcastle UK Ltd was jointly taken over by Heineken NV and Carlsberg A/S and now operates as a subsidiary of both, with the assets split between the two parent companies. As of 2010, the UK brewing division traded under the name Heineken UK, with the leased pub division operating as the Scottish & Newcastle Pub Company.