I have been a lover of all things ginger as some of you will know form aprevious article I have written. My favourite soft drink is Fentimans Ginger Beer.I contacted the company to ask if they would be interested in being featured on the website and I have been sent a case of Fentimans drinks to evaluate.
Below is a brief outline of the history and the brewing process reproduced with permission from Fentimans.
"His ginger beer was stored in hand made stone jars known as 'grey hens' which were stamped with an image of Thomas' pet dog 'Fearless' who had won awards for obedience at the famous 'Crufts' dog competition."
In 1905, Thomas Fentiman, an iron puddler from Cleckheaton, England was approached by a fellow tradesman for a loan. A deal was struck and a recipe for botanically brewed ginger beer was provided as security. The loan was never repaid so Thomas became the owner of the unique recipe. Thomas began using the recipe and producing botanically brewed ginger beer which he delivered door-to-door using a horse and cart for transport. His ginger beer was stored in hand made stone jars known as 'grey hens' which were stamped with an image of Thomas' pet dog 'Fearless' who had won awards for obedience at the famous 'Crufts' dog competition. Fentiman's ginger beer quickly became very popular and the family business grew, with several production factories being opened in the North East of England. The world has changed a lot during the years since Thomas Fentiman founded the business and Fentimans have had to adapt to meet the demands of this world. Changes in the way people shop mean that we don't deliver door-to-door anymore and instead sell our beverages in retail outlets, bars and restaurants. We prefer to use motorised transport to make deliveries, rather than horses and carts and the old stone jars have been replaced by glass bottles. Some things have not changed however. The business is still in the Fentimans family and is owned by the Great Grandson of Thomas Fentiman and we still make our beverages by the time honoured method of botanically brewing the finest natural ingredients. Our production processes have been updated through the addition of mild carbonation to replace the carbon dioxide lost during pasteurisation, which gives the product a longer life.
"Thomas Fentiman's original recipe involved milling ginger roots before tumbling them into copper steam jacketed pans and leaving them to bubble and simmer releasing all their flavour."
BOTANICAL BREWING Botanical brewing is a simple process involving herbs and plant roots. Thomas Fentiman's original recipe involved milling ginger roots before tumbling them into copper steam jacketed pans and leaving them to bubble and simmer releasing all their flavour. The finest herbs, natural flavourings, sugar, brewer's yeast and fresh spring water were then added to the liquid which was transferred into wooden vats where it was left to ferment.The liquid went on fermenting after it was bottled and corked in the old stone jars where it would fully mature and be ready to drink by the end of the week. Our production processes have been updated through the addition of mild carbonation to replace the carbon dioxide lost during pasteurisation, which gives the product a longer life.
So, from the case I have been sent, I would like to share my comments with you. All of the dinks are gluten free and suitable for Vegans.
Ginger Beer. As I have stated, my all time favourite Ginger beer. The flavours of ginger and herbs in every sip, not too fizzy, perfect on it's own or in my case, my accompianment to my Sunday roast without fail every week!
Shandy. The perfect flavours in a shandy, beer and lemon juice blended together to create a taste of shandy as I remember from my teens.
Victorian Lemonade, The flavour of real lemons certainly comes through on the taste buds, not surprising as there are one and a half lemins used in every bottle! Memories of home made lemonade drank on the lawn during my childhood.
Dandelion and Burdock. These flavours have always intrigued me and I must admit I am not a fan of some of the companies that make this product. However, Fentimans have managed to add a spicy kick to the drink. I prefer this on its own, rather than with food.
Mandarin and Seville Orange Jigger. Quite simply, a splendid drink! One that I shall be buying along with my usual purchase of Ginger Beer. The combination of ginger and oranges is addictive!
Curiosity Cola. This is one of the most flavourful colas I have ever tasted. The rich caramel taste and ginger overtones were almost overpowering at times, so sipping this drink slowly is the best way for me to enjoy it. Overall ,although not my favourite Fentimans drink, I would buy this drink again and think it would go well with lots of ice.
Cherry Tree Cola. A drink with an unusual combination of cherries and cola. Ginger comes through with each sip and again, a drink to be sipped on its own in my opinion, rather than with a meal.
Fentimans are certainly worthy of their Best Drinks Award in 2013 and hopefully the award will be repeated many times. I'm thrilled to announce that a mixed case of drinks is being donated as a raffle prize for one lucky winner to receive!