Anchor Brewery

From London's Ghost Acres

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1616 to 1986


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Located in




Used Raw Materials

Barley, Malt, Hops, Yeast


From To Owner
1616 1657 James Monger Sr.
1657 1670 James Monger Jr.
1670 1696 James Child
1693 1729 Edmund Halsey
1729 1758 Ralph Thrale
1758 1781 H. Thrale & Co.
1781 1955 Barclay Perkins & Co.
1955 1960 Courage, Barclay & Co
1960 1986 Courage, Barclay, Simonds & Co


From To Industry
1616 1986 Brewing Industry


The Anchor Brewery was established in 1616 by James Monger in Southwark, next to the Globe Theatre. Ownership of the brewery passed through a number of people over the centuries before being sold to Robert Barclay in 1781, who partnered with John Perkins to form Barclay Perkins & Co. Barclay and Perkins expanded the brewery, going from selling 35,579 barrels of beer in 1748 to 380,180 barrels in 1826. They also opened up exports past Russia and the West Indies into Europe, the Americas, and East Asia (Richmond 1990, 54).

A fire struck in 1832 that burnt down most of the brewery, but it was quickly rebuilt and operations continued (Times May 23, 1832). The new buildings and the extensive grounds became somewhat of a tourist attraction as the brewery became known as the largest in London - by 1862 the brewery extended across 14 acres (The Engineer April 18 1862, 233). Barclay Perkins & Co. merged with Courage & Co. in 1955, with the Anchor Brewery in operations until the 1980s. The brewery was demolished in 1986 (Oliver 2012, 270).

Anchor Brewery produced mostly porter before expanding to produce ales after 1840. The brewery was famous for their Russian stout, first produced for the Russian royal court in the 18th century (Oliver 2012, 84). These beers were primarily made from barley malt, which was mashed to produce a sugar extract known as ‘wort.’ The wort was boiled together with hops and then the mixture was cooled and combined with yeast to being fermentation, which creates the alcohol (The Engineer April 18 1862 233-234, The Engineer April 25 1862, 247-248).

Barley was imported from Russia, Denmark, Germany, France, and Turkey. Hops came from Germany, Holland, Belgium, and the United States of America. Yeast was shipped in from Holland and Germany.