Sharp's Brewery

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Sharp's Brewery
Private (subsidiary of Molson Coors Brewing Company)
Industry Brewing
Founded 1994
Founder William "Bill" Sharp
Headquarters Rock, Cornwall, England
Area served
Key people
Stuart Howe, Emma Bebbington
Products Beer, cider
Production output
> 100,000 barrels
Revenue £16.1m (2010)[1]
Number of employees
Parent Molson Coors Brewing Company

Sharp's Brewery is a British regional brewery company founded in 1994 in St Minver Lowlands, Rock, Cornwall, by Bill Sharp. Since 2011, the brewery has been owned by Molson Coors. It is best known for its flagship ale Doom Bar, named after the dangerous Doom Bar sandbank at the mouth of the Camel Estuary in north Cornwall.


The brewery has been through three phases - from a small micro brewery, to a larger facility within the same building and finally to the current phase that has seen the Brewery extend its premises to accommodate more vessels and increase its brewing capacity.

Unlike many breweries, they do not own or operate any public houses, hotels or restaurants. Their focus is solely on brewing beer.

On 2 February 2011 the brewery was bought by Molson Coors Brewing Company for £20 million.[1]


Sharp's produce regular cask ales, seasonal ales, and pasteurised bottled beers.

Doom Bar bitter[edit]

Doom Bar pump logo

Doom Bar bitter (4.0% abv), the brewery's flagship ale, accounts for nearly 90% of sales. Over 24,000,000 imperial pints (14,000 kl) of Doom Bar was produced in 2010.[2] In 2011, sales increased by 22 per cent, making it the UK's fastest growing ale for three years in a row.[3] The beer is named after the dangerous Doom Bar sandbank at the mouth of the Camel Estuary in north Cornwall.[4] Cask Doom Bar is brewed at Rock, but bottled Doom Bar has been produced, 267 miles (430 km) away, in Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, since 2013.[5] This ale can now be found across the UK as well as in Italy, Sweden and Japan.

Doom Bar bitter became the first official beer sponsor of the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race between 2008 and 2012.[6] Securing the "Doom Bar brand" was cited as the reason that Molson Coors spent £20 million on their takeover of Sharp's Brewery in 2011; Doom Bar is now the largest cask ale brand in Molson Coors' portfolio.[7] Doom Bar was awarded an International Beer Challenge World Top 50 Beer award in 2006, and a bronze award in 2011 and 2012. In 2010 it won a bronze in the Publican Licensees Choice Awards. It received a Taste of the West bronze award in 2013, along with a Brussels Beer Challenge (Pale and Amber Ale: Bitter) bronze and a PMA Publican's Choice award for national cask ale brand.[8]

A large, cylindrical tank with the words Doom Bar written on it, lying horizontal behind the fence of an industrial unit
Doom Bar yeast tank at Sharp's Brewery

Doom Bar is the preferred drink of Cormoran Strike, Robert Galbraith's private detective in the novel The Cuckoo's Calling. Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym of J. K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter novels.

Other ales[edit]

  • Special (5.0% abv) was named 'Beer of the Festival' at Chelmsford.
  • Cornish Coaster (3.6% abv) is named after a fishing vessel used by Cornish fishermen in the last century. Coaster is made from an all malt grist, English hops and an open fermentation.
  • Sharp's Own (4.4% abv) (occasionally known as Sharp's Original) was the first beer brewed commercially at Sharp's Brewery, gyle no. 00001 in July 1994. Own contains the highest percentage of roasted malted barley of all Sharp's beers and as a result is their darkest brew. The use of special malts gives Own a rich brown colour. Simpson’s Crystal and Roasted malts are used to give caramel and roast notes to the beer.
  • Atlantic IPA (4.9% abv) a dry beer which has a lower alcohol content than is typical of an IPA. Available in mini-kegs, from which a percentage of every sale goes to the RNLI
  • Eden Pure Ale (4.4% abv) is a lighter ale with more hop flavour. It is only available in bottles. Eden was named Supreme Champion Ale in the CAMRA Cornish beer festival 2000, and awarded a Silver award in the 2005 Taste of the West Awards.

Sharp's also produce four seasonal ales every year:

  • Spring – 6 Hop IPA (3.8% abv) is an amber beer made with six varieties of hops, including a variety grown at the Eden Project.
  • Summer – Honey Spice Gold (4.2% abv) is a pale straw coloured beer made with five varieties of hops combined with Cornish honey and subtle spices including Alecost, which was used to flavour beer before hops in the Middle Ages.
  • Autumn – Red Ale (4.1% abv) is brewed using amber malt for biscuit character and crystal rye for an intense red colour and a real depth of flavour. Classic English Northdown and US Cluster hops are added and the beer is matured over Cornish Oak.
  • Winter – Winter Berry Ale (4.3% abv) is dark ruby in colour with ripe fruit notes and a sweet taste. Five malts and four varieties of hops are used before the beer is matured for a month with a blend of sloes, rosehips and hawthorn berries.


Sharp's collaborated with Rick Stein to create two beers after challenges set by Stein.

  • Chalky’s Bark (4.5% abv) is triple fermented with ginger and continental hops.
  • Chalky's Bite (6.8% abv) is created with three hop varieties and wild Cornish fennel.[9]


Orchard Cider (4.5% alcohol by volume) was made in collaboration with Cornish Orchards in Duloe.[10] It is now made with Sheppy’s Cider, a family-run farm in Somerset, using only West Country cider apples, and matured in traditional oak vats.[11]


  1. ^ a b c "Beer giant Molson Coors buys Cornwall brewery Sharp's". BBC News. 2 February 2011. Retrieved 3 February 2011. 
  2. ^ "Doom Bar doubles to reach 24 million pints". The Publican. 9 December 2010. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  3. ^ "Doom Bar is the fastest growing beer 3 years consecutively by 2011". The Publican. 2 July 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2012. 
  4. ^ Tierney-Jones, Adrian (4 August 2009). "The rise and rise of Sharp's Doom Bar". The Publican. Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  5. ^ "Best-selling bottled ale Doom Bar not brewed in Cornwall". BBC News. Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  6. ^ "Doom Bar bitter sponsors The Boat Race til 2012". The Publican's Morning Advertiser. 27 March 2009. Retrieved 7 August 2012. 
  7. ^ McCann, John (2 February 2011). "'Sharp' Practice by Molson Coors". CAMRA press release. Retrieved 29 April 2012. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Doom Bar - A Natural Wonder". Wetherspoon News: 58. March 2014. 
  9. ^ "Brewing up tribute to famous dog". BBC News. 21 June 2007. Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  10. ^ "Orchard cider is launched". Sharps Brewery. Retrieved July 18, 2011. 
  11. ^

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