‘Ginger Beer is Back’May 6, 2010 at 8:12 pm | Posted in Eating and Drinking, Fun and Games | 1 Comment
Tags: Fentimans, furtling, ginger beer, Grey Hens
… according to this article in the Daily Mail. Apparently nostalgic, recession-weary and health-conscious Brits are turning to the old-fashioned and naturally brewed drinks they enjoyed in their childhood – things like Dandelion & Burdock, traditional lemonade and ginger beer. Supermarket sales have risen by 5 per cent in the last year and various brands of properly alcoholic ginger beer have also appeared on the market. In the past home-brewed ginger beer could be as strong as 11 per cent. Soft drink brands like Fentimans are around 0.5 per cent (the fermentation process naturally produces alcohol) and alcoholic ginger beers such as the Scottish Crabbie’s are around 4 per cent.
Fentimans was established in 1905 and used to brew its ginger beer in ‘Grey Hen’ stone bottles (above left) before the company closed down in the 1960s in the wake of supermarket competition. It was re-launched in 1988 by Eldon Robson, great-grandson of the original founder, Thomas Fentiman. While the company’s drinks are no longer sold in Grey Hens, the aesthetic of Fentiman’s preserves the spirit of its Victorian/Edwardian roots. Its brews are now sold in attractive brown glass bottles, and the company has also launched a series of promotional cards based around the slightly naughty Victorian parlour game of ‘furtling’. What exactly is furtling, I hear you ask? Follow this link to find out…(NB this is probably not a game that Julian, Dick, George and Anne would play on rainy afternoons, but who knows?).