Now, if you have browsed through our site you may have noticed our large and ever-growing catalogue of alcohol-free and non-alcoholic beers, ciders, ales, wines, and gin and tonics. But we don’t stop there and just sell those, it’s far more better to expand our catalogue for soft drink lovers. And what’s great about our selection of soft drinks? They contain natural ingredients, which means it is easy to know what is in the drinks instead of struggling to pronounce a word that contains about seven syllables.
So in this article, I will talk about a homegrown soft drink brand that has been produced in the western part of the country that still keeps to tradition when it comes to ingredients and the manufacturing of their glass bottles. I am, of course, talking about Fentimans.
The (ginger) roots of Fentimans
The Fentimans business began its journey in the north-west of the country of Cleckheaton in 1905 as a loan agreement between an iron puddler called Thomas Fentiman and a fellow worker. The worker, who approached Thomas, offered him a recipe for a botanically brewed ginger beer as collateral if he could not repay the loan back; the loan was never repaid. So Thomas took up ownership of the recipe and began brewing and selling the ginger beer in stone jars with the iconic dog image (Thomas’ pet dog, Fearless) door-to-door by horse and cart.
As the years changed - and so did the modern world - the Fentimans business knew that if they were to survive in this modern world, they had to quickly adapt.
Delivering and selling the product door-to-door transformed to delivering and selling to shops, bars and restaurants; horse and cart became obsolete with the arrival of the motorised vehicle and the idea of selling in stone jars was scrapped and replaced with glass bottles with the image of Fearless on the bottle’s neck.
Even as they adapted, the business fell on hard times in the mid 1960s which led to the closure of the business, until in 1988 Thomas’ great grandson helped revive the business by producing the drinks the traditional way as his great grandfather did 83 years, prior.
The 21st Century
With the introduction and success of their other soft drinks, Fentimans continues to grow, greatly, and have expanded their catalogue of drinks such as mixers, pre-mixed alcoholic drinks and craft beer. In the 21st century, with the rise of people now becoming more health-conscious of what they’re eating and drinking, it’s good to know that Fentimans still - and will - continue to use natural ingredients.
It is also good to know that this humble business that began in Cleckheaton is now enjoying huge popularity with our brothers and sisters across the pond and even the eastern corner of the globe, too.