Belhaven Brewery is a well-known Scottish brewery located in East Lothian. Founded in 1719, it is one of the oldest breweries in Scotland and has a rich history of producing high-quality beer. Belhaven Brewery’s commitment to quality and tradition has helped it become one of the most respected breweries in the country.

Belhaven Brewery’s flagship beer is the Belhaven Best, a smooth and refreshing ale that has won numerous awards over the years. The brewery also produces a range of other beers, including pale ales, stouts, and lagers, all of which are made using the finest ingredients and traditional brewing methods. Visitors to the brewery can take a tour to learn more about the history and brewing process of Belhaven Brewery, as well as sample some of its delicious beers in the brewery’s taproom.

History of Belhaven Brewery

Belhaven Brewery, located in Dunbar, Scotland, is the oldest working brewery in the country. The brewery was founded in 1719 by John Johnstone and has been producing beer for over 300 years.

Belhaven Brewery has a rich history and has been a significant part of Scottish culture for centuries. The brewery has been through many changes over the years, but it has always remained true to its roots.

In the early days, Belhaven Brewery was a small operation, producing beer for the local community. However, as the popularity of its beer grew, the brewery expanded, and it became a major player in the Scottish brewing industry.

Today, Belhaven Brewery is one of the largest breweries in Scotland, producing a wide range of beers and ales. The brewery has won numerous awards for its beers, including the prestigious World Beer Cup.

Despite its size and success, Belhaven Brewery has never lost sight of its heritage. The brewery still uses traditional brewing methods and only the finest ingredients to produce its beers.

Belhaven Beers

Belhaven Brewery is renowned for its range of high-quality beers that have been crafted using traditional methods. The brewery has been producing beer for over 300 years and has won numerous awards for its brews. Here are some of the top Belhaven beers:

Belhaven Best

Belhaven Best is a classic Scottish ale that is brewed using a blend of pale and crystal malts. The beer has a smooth, malty flavour with a hint of caramel and a subtle hop finish. It has an ABV of 3.9% and is a perfect session beer.

Belhaven Black

Belhaven Black is a rich, dark beer that is brewed using a blend of roasted malts. The beer has a smooth, creamy texture with a hint of chocolate and coffee flavours. It has an ABV of 4.2% and is perfect for those who enjoy a full-bodied beer.

No.1 Stout

No.1 Stout is a classic Irish-style stout that is brewed using roasted barley. The beer has a rich, creamy texture with a hint of chocolate and coffee flavours. It has an ABV of 4.2% and is perfect for those who enjoy a full-bodied beer.

Craft Beers

Belhaven Brewery also produces a range of craft beers that are brewed using non-traditional ingredients and methods. These include blonde ales, IPAs and fruit beers. The brewery is constantly experimenting with new flavours and ingredients to create unique and exciting brews.

Brewing Process at Belhaven

Belhaven Brewery is known for its high-quality beer, and the brewing process is a crucial factor in achieving this. The brewery uses traditional methods to create its beers, ensuring that each pint is packed with flavour and character.

The brewing process begins with the selection of the finest ingredients, including local barley and choicest hops. The brewery also uses its own strain of Belhaven yeast, which has been carefully cultivated over the years to produce unique flavours and aromas.

Fresh water is sourced from the brewery’s own well, which is located on site. This ensures that the water used in the brewing process is of the highest quality and free from any contaminants.

Once the ingredients have been selected, they are carefully measured and combined in the mash tun. The mash is then heated to extract the sugars from the grains, which will later be converted into alcohol during fermentation.

After the mash has been completed, the liquid is transferred to the copper, where it is boiled with hops to add bitterness and flavour. The length of time the hops are boiled and the amount used will vary depending on the beer being brewed.

Once the boiling process is complete, the liquid is cooled and transferred to fermentation vessels. Here, the yeast is added, and the liquid is left to ferment for several days. During this time, the yeast will convert the sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide, creating the beer’s unique flavour and aroma.

After fermentation is complete, the beer is transferred to conditioning tanks, where it is left to mature for several weeks. This allows the flavours to develop fully and ensures that the beer is at its best when it is finally bottled or kegged.

Tour of Belhaven Brewery

Belhaven Brewery is a historic brewery located in East Lothian, Scotland. It offers an excellent brewery tour that takes visitors through the brewing process and the history of the brewery.

The tour begins at the Monk’s Retreat, which is a historic building that dates back to the 16th century. The building was originally used by the monks who brewed beer for the local community. Today, it serves as the starting point for the brewery tour.

During the tour, visitors can see the brewing process in action and learn about the ingredients used in Belhaven’s beers. The tour guides are knowledgeable and provide interesting insights into the history of the brewery and the beer-making process.

The tour also includes a visit to the brewery’s beautiful garden, which is a great place to relax and enjoy a pint of Belhaven beer. The garden features a variety of plants and flowers, as well as a pond and a gazebo.

Visitor Experience

Belhaven Brewery in East Lothian offers an immersive experience for visitors who want to learn about the brewery’s history, brewing process, and taste their famous beers. The visitor experience is designed to cater to the needs of all types of visitors, including families, groups, and individuals.


The brewery offers tasting sessions where visitors can sample a range of beers and learn about the brewing process. These sessions are led by knowledgeable staff who can provide insights into the different types of beer and their unique characteristics. Visitors can also purchase beer from the brewery shop to take home.


Belhaven Brewery has recently opened a luxury hotel on its premises, offering visitors the opportunity to stay in a beautiful location surrounded by the brewery’s history. The hotel has 25 rooms, each designed with comfort and relaxation in mind. The hotel also has a restaurant and bar, serving delicious meals and a range of beers brewed on-site.


In addition to the brewery tour and tasting sessions, visitors can explore the surrounding area, which is rich in history and natural beauty. The nearby John Muir Way offers stunning coastal walks, and the East Lothian countryside is perfect for wildlife tours, bird watching safaris, and farm tours. Visitors can also take a short drive to Edinburgh, which is home to many attractions, including museums, galleries, and restaurants.

Belhaven Brewery is committed to sustainable tourism and encourages visitors to use electric vehicles or public transport when possible. The brewery also offers glamping getaways and motorhome hire for visitors who want to explore the area at their own pace.

Reviews and Ratings

Belhaven Brewery has received numerous reviews and ratings from customers and critics alike. Here is a brief overview of what people are saying about this East Lothian brewery:

  • TripAdvisor: Belhaven Brewery has a 4.5-star rating on TripAdvisor, with many customers praising the quality of the beer and the friendly staff. Some reviewers noted that the tour was informative and enjoyable, while others mentioned the beautiful location of the brewery.
  • Google Reviews: Belhaven Brewery has a 4.4-star rating on Google Reviews, with many customers praising the variety of beers available. Some reviewers noted that the brewery tour was well-organized and informative, while others mentioned the welcoming atmosphere of the taproom.
  • Untappd: Belhaven Brewery has an overall rating of 3.63 on Untappd, with many customers praising the quality and variety of the beers. Some reviewers noted that the brewery had a great selection of cask ales, while others mentioned the friendly and knowledgeable staff.

Belhaven Brewery in the Community

Belhaven Brewery has been an integral part of the East Lothian community for over 300 years. The brewery has a strong commitment to supporting local initiatives and events, and has established itself as a key contributor to the local economy.

Belhaven Brewery is a proud supporter of the East Lothian Food and Drink Festival, which celebrates the region’s rich culinary heritage. The festival features a range of local food and drink producers, and Belhaven Brewery is always on hand to provide samples of their award-winning beers.

Belhaven Brewery also supports local sports teams, including the Haddington Rugby Football Club and the Musselburgh Athletic Football Club. The brewery provides financial support to these teams, as well as providing refreshments for players and fans alike.

In addition to supporting local events and sports teams, Belhaven Brewery is committed to sustainability and reducing its impact on the environment. The brewery has implemented a number of initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint, including using renewable energy sources and reducing waste.

Belhaven Brewery is also committed to supporting the local community by providing employment opportunities. The brewery employs over 100 people in the East Lothian area, and is a major contributor to the local economy.

Eco-Travel and Sustainability at Belhaven

Belhaven Brewery in East Lothian is committed to sustainability and eco-friendly practices. The brewery has implemented several initiatives to reduce its environmental impact and promote eco-travel.

Green Energy

Belhaven Brewery sources 100% of its electricity from renewable energy sources, such as wind and hydro power. This helps to reduce the carbon footprint of the brewery and supports the growth of green energy in Scotland.

Waste Reduction

The brewery has implemented several measures to reduce waste, including recycling and composting. Belhaven also uses lightweight glass bottles to reduce the amount of packaging waste generated.

Sustainable Ingredients

Belhaven Brewery sources its ingredients from local suppliers whenever possible, reducing the carbon footprint associated with transportation. The brewery also uses organic malt and hops, which are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.


Belhaven Brewery is located in a beautiful coastal area of East Lothian, making it an ideal destination for eco-travelers. Visitors can take advantage of the nearby walking and cycling trails, as well as the stunning beaches and wildlife reserves.

Belhaven also offers brewery tours, which provide an opportunity to learn about the brewing process and the brewery’s commitment to sustainability. The tours include a tasting of the brewery’s award-winning beers, which are brewed using traditional methods and sustainable ingredients.

Visitor Information

Belhaven Brewery is located in the heart of East Lothian, Scotland, and is open to visitors throughout the year. Here is some useful information for those planning a visit to the brewery:

Opening Hours

Belhaven Brewery is open to visitors from Monday to Friday, between 10am and 4pm. Please note that the brewery is closed on weekends and public holidays.


The brewery offers guided tours, which provide visitors with an insight into the history and brewing process of Belhaven beer. The tour lasts approximately one hour and includes a tasting of Belhaven’s finest beers. Tours are available by appointment only, so it is recommended to book in advance.


Admission to the brewery is free, but donations are welcome. Visitors must be over 18 years of age to participate in the beer tasting.


Belhaven Brewery has a gift shop where visitors can purchase a range of Belhaven merchandise, including clothing, glassware, and beer. The brewery also has a bar where visitors can sample a variety of Belhaven beers, including some exclusive brews that are not available elsewhere.

Passport and Visa Requirements

Visitors from outside the UK may require a passport and/or visa to enter the country. It is recommended to check with the relevant authorities before booking a trip to Scotland.