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The Lager brewing industry in Britain sputtered to a start. The latter half of the nineteenth century and the early part of the twentieth century witnessed many new larger breweries were built in just a few months, not years. Most of the pioneers failed to develop a successful company. It was common for many to lose their shirts.

Investing in such an uncertain venture seems strange for one of London’s biggest porter breweries. A Danish brewer was hired to run the new lager brewery Barclay Perkins built in the early 1920s.

A few years earlier, when goods from Germany and Austria-Hungary were no longer available and from Denmark and Holland, Barclay Perkins appears to have gotten the idea. It was highly risky to export even to neutral countries during the war at sea. With this mashing technique, Barclay Perkins brewed lager and mild with decoction in their pilot brewery during 1915 and 1916.

A simple and honest “Barclay Perkins adopted London Lager” brand instead of a falsely Nordic name (unlike British lager brewers of the 1960s). Based on the style of its advertising, it seemed to have been intended to appear elegant.

History of the Barclay Perkins Company

There is a brief history of Barclay Perkins:

In Southward, London, England, there was a brewery named Anchor Brewery. A brewery founded in 1616, it was the largest in the world by the early nineteenth century. Barclay Perkins & Co, which operated it since 1781, merged in 1955 with Courage Brewery, which is owned nearby Anchor Brewing Company.

  • In 1616, James Monger Sr. founded the brewery in Southwark on the land around the Globe Theater.
  • After James Monger died in 1670, and the brewery became the property of his godson, James. Monger Jr. James Child purchased the company after James Monger Jr. died in 1670, and he owned it until his death in 1696.
  • After his father died in 1693, Edmund Halsey managed the company with James Child, then as a sole proprietor until he died in 1729.
  • Ralph Thrale, Ralph Halsey’s nephew, and the brewery manager bought the brewery for £30,000, paying it in installments for over 11 years.
  • Robert Barclay (of the banking family) financed the purchase of the Anchor Brewery for £135,000. John Perkins and Robert Barclay founded the company in July of 1781. A total of 85,700 barrels were brewed in 1782.
  • This made it the largest brewery in the world by 1809, with 260,000 barrels produced annually. Anchor produced more beer than any other brewery in London between 1809 and 1853. From 1834 until 1850, the brewery produced porter exclusively.
  • This occurred in May 1832, and the brewery was destroyed, resulting in £40,000. The site was greatly rebuilt in the aftermath of the fire.
  • 423,000 Barclay Perkins brewed barrels of beer in 1867.
  • By 1922, Anchor Brewery, a subsidiary of Barclay Perkins, had started brewing lager in the UK.
  • A rival London brewery, Courage, acquired Barclay Perkins in 1955.
  • In the early In 1970s, beer was still brewed at the Anchor site. The Anchor Tavern still stands as a former brewery tap, although the brewery building was demolished in 1981.
  • Courage and later, Scottish & Newcastle continued to make the beer until 1993. The brewery was particularly well known for its Russian Imperial Stout.
  • Located adjacent to the Globe Theatre stands the 1834 Anchor Terrace, built on top of Shakespeare’s original Globe Theatre following the fire of 1832.

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