R and D Sharp Ltd

R. & D. Sharp Ltd was established in 1884 (Scottish Company No. 1361), with a proposed capitalisation of £25,000 (about £2.5m in today's money), to acquire the business of R. & D. Sharp.

The price paid for the business was £10,000, plus the stock-in-trade at an evaluation provided by Hugh Baird of Hugh Baird & Sons, the Glasgow maltsters.

The trademark consisted of an arm clutching an arrow and the motto Bene Dirige (well directed).

Amongst the beers produced by the firm were Sparkling Pale Ale and Table Beer.

During its first fifteen years the company was relatively successful, but the decade from 1910 to 1919 was a difficult one as, like many other brewers, R. & D. Sharp Ltd. was impacted by the First World War and associated legislation and restrictions.

Things finally came to a head in 1924 when John Stewart, the manager and driving force behind the business, died.

Three new directors were appointed but the company went into terminal decline and elected to go into voluntary liquidation in 1927, with the final winding up process taking place in 1936.

Trademark of R & D Sharp Ltd
Trademark of R & D Sharp Ltd

Location: Blackford

Active: 1884 - 1936

Status: Dissolved

Breweries and other buildings

Parts of the Blackford Brewery dated back to 1610, and it is believed that brewing had taken place on the site over a hundred years before that.

The brewery was extensively modernised in 1888-1889 and occupied over two acres of land. It had a 15-quarter plant and around 400 barrels were produced per week including stout, table beer and pale ale.

The brewery was demolished in 1930, with the only surviving part being the office, which was taken on as a private house by a Mrs Scobie.


Map of 1899 showing the Blackford Brewery
Map of 1899 showing the Blackford Brewery
© National Library of Scotland, 2015


We have a number of images related to R. & D. Sharp Ltd, but would welcome any other information or images linked to the company.

Other Sources of information


The National Records of Scotland holds dissolved company papers (Ref : BT2/1361) for the period 1884-1936.

Perth and Kinross Council Archive holds a letter book of John Stewart (Ref :  Acc. No. 14/5) for the period 1910-1924.

Books and periodicals

Barnard, A. The noted breweries of Great Britain and Ireland. London: Joseph Causton, 1889.

Gibb, F. and Sangster, A. The brewers and breweries of Blackford, Perthshire. Brewing History, 2015, 161, pp.10-29.

McMaster, C. The breweries of Blackford. Scottish Brewing Association Newsletter,  1986, 7, pp.7-12.