Sunday, February 3, 2013

Barclay Perkins & Co. Ltd.

Barclay Perkins & Co. Ltd. was a major brewing company in Southwark, London from 1781 to 1955.

In 1781 David Barclay purchased the Anchor Brewery in Park Street, Southwark from Henry Thrale & Co. for the sum of £135,000. Barclay placed his nephew Robert Barclay in the firm together with John Perkins who had been chief clerk of Thrale's establishment.

The company name was changed to Barclay Perkins & Co. in 1798. By 1810, the production of beer at the Anchor Brewery had been increased to over 200,000 barrels a year, making it the largest brewery in the world at that time. By 1815, Barclay Perkins was the leading brewer in London, producing more than 330,000 barrels of beer a year. The company became famous for its Russian Imperial Stout which was widely sold on the continent. In 1832 a fire at the brewery destroyed many buildings resulting in considerable rebuilding of the site. Anchor Brewery employed around 430 men in 1830 and had the largest output of beer of any London brewer. Barclay Perkins became incorporated as a limited company in 1896.

In the 1950s Barclay Perkins & Co. Ltd. was the first of the large UK brewers to produce lager. Barclay's London Lager became the company's best seller, accounting for 20% of sales. In 1955 the company merged with Courage to become Courage Barclay & Co. Ltd. In 1981 the Anchor Brewery was demolished and the land was sold for housing.

by Mark Matlach

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