A brewery and distillery were established in Ormiston in 1726, when John Cockburn encouraged Mr Alexander Wight, one of his tenants, to set up a malting brewery and distillery. The distillery soon developed a reputation, and promoted the growing of grain in the area.
Mr William Foot, distiller, had 2,026 bushels (1 bushel = 34lb or 15.4221kg of malted barley) of malt lodged in the distillery malt room in 1824.
The Hopetoun Arms Hotel was established in 1739 as a coaching house and wine merchants. As a coaching house, it was one of the first places for the Stagecoach to stop on its journey from Edinburgh to London.