Perry's Brewery

Messrs Robert Perry & Son Limited were registered as a limited company in 1877, but the brewery dates back to 1800 when it was started by the Perry family. The brewery was located in Rathdowney, county Laois. In connection with the Brewery were extensive maltings, with branches at Donaghmore, Brosna and Roscrea, and only Irish barley was used. It is claimed that they were the first brewer to chill and filter ale in around 1900. A unique feature of the business is the brewing of non-deposit ale under sole rights for Ireland and the company has the distinction of holding a Royal warrant as brewers to Queen Victoria. From 1950 their trade deteriorated and losses were incurred. The Dixon family (Green's of Luton and subsequently Flowers) had a controlling interest.

In 1956 Captain T.R. Dixon acquired the entire share capital of the company. In the same year, they were receiving assistance from Flowers in the form of a second hand plant to produce chilled and filtered beers. In June 1957 Cherry's Breweries Limited bought out a quantity of ordinary and preference stock. In August 1959 Cherry's made a successful offer for the outstanding stock, and Perry's became a wholly owned subsidiary of Cherry's Breweries Limited. In 1965 they were owned by Cherry's Breweries Limited (held by AGS(D) and IAB). The directors were D.O. Williams (Assistant Managing Director of AGS(D)), A.C. Parker and J.D. Hudson. The secretary was N.J. McCullough (he also held the position of accountant), the brewer W.St.J. Mitchell. They employed 5 male office staff, 37 male employees in the brewery and maltings and 8 drivers. The products included: Perry's India Pale Ale, Perry's Pale Ale, Perry's XX Ale, Perry's X Ale. There were no trademarks held.

The property comprised of the brewery premises held either on freehold or on fee farm grant. These were: adjoining property adjacent to the brewery in two small plots - one held freehold let at 3 per annum, the other held on lease for 500 years from 1854 at rent of 13.15.6d per annum, let at 7/6d per week; a house occupied by Mr. Mitchell (brewer) held on lease; a house in Rathdowney held on lease for lives; three fields held on fee farm grant; a licensed house at Ballyoskill, held freehold and let; and, water rights held in fee simple. The Directors of Robert Perry & Son Ltd decided that operations would cease at the brewery and maltings in Rathdowney from October 1966. All orders for Perry's Ale after that were to be directed to E. Smithwick & Sons Ltd, Kilkenny (Circular letter sent out by GGS(I) Ltd to all Perry's customer on 30th September 1966). Perry's Brewery was later converted into a successful meat processing plant, Meadow Meats, a subsidiary of Arthur Guinness Son and Co. (Dublin) Limited.

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