Barr’s soft drinks business was started by former Chairman Robin Barr’s great grandfather Robert Barr in 1875 at Burnfoot Lane in Falkirk.
In 1887 his son Robert Fulton Barr started a second Barr Soft Drinks business in Glasgow which was taken over by his brother Andrew Greig Barr in 1892.
Like any business we have had our fair share of good fortune and challenging times.
In 1903 Andrew Greig Barr, from whom the Company took its name, died suddenly aged only 31. Under his guidance construction started on a major factory complex at the Parkhead site in Glasgow. He saw the launch of Barr's 'IRON BREW' in 1901 and instigated the formation of the Limited Company, A.G. Barr & Co. Ltd, which took place in 1904. Sadly he was not to live long enough to see all his plans for the business come to fruition.
After Andrew's untimely death his younger brother William Snodgrass Barr, Robin Barr’s grandfather took over charting a course for growth from 1904 to 1931 when he handed over the Chairmanship to his nephew Colonel Robert Barr.
Under Colonel Barr’s control the Company continued to progress. During the later part of the War years the challenge became one of operating as a unit of the Government’s ‘concentrated’ soft drinks industry.
In 1947 Robert Barr, Robin Barr’s father became Chairman on his return from war service. Under his stewardship Barr’s IRON BREW was renamed ‘IRN-BRU’ in 1947; the company was floated on the Stock Exchange in 1965 and Tizer Limited was purchased in 1972.
His son former Chairman Robin Barr joined the company in 1960 and became Chairman in 1978 until he stepped down from the role in 2009. Under his guidance the company has developed sales and market share in England whilst consolidating IRN-BRU’s position as the soft drinks choice of the Scottish Nation. In recent years the company has expanded its portfolio to include products within other categories of the soft drinks market. Strathmore Spring Water was acquired in 2006 and in the same year the energy drink brand IRN-BRU 32 was launched. In 2008 TAUT sports drink, Vitsmart functional water and Rubicon juice drinks brands were also acquired.
In 1875 Barr's were one of hundreds of soft drinks businesses operating in Scotland; today we are the leading independent soft drinks business in the UK.