Category Archives: Drink

Message in a bottle: Newcastle Brown Ale

Newcastle Brown Ale became the highest selling bottled beer in Britain, and came to make significant sales in the United States.

John Barras & Co
Bells, Robson & Co established the Tyne Brewery on Bath Lane, Newcastle in 1867. It was said to be the largest brewery in the North of England.

Bells, Robson & Co entered into financial difficulty, and the business was acquired by John Barras & Co of Gateshead, after their own brewery site was subject to compulsory purchase by the North Eastern Railway in 1884.

John Barras & Co was managed by Charles John Reed (1820 – 1908), who had leased the brewery since 1861, after marrying into the founding Barras family.

Reed appointed Thomas Watson Lovibond (1849 – 1918) as head brewer and manager from 1887. Lovibond had received scientific training during an era when almost all brewers lacked such formal education. He was to have a significant impact upon the future success of the business.

John Barras & Co traditionally brewed mild ale, but under Lovibond’s direction, pale ale was being produced by 1889, in order to compete with rival products from Burton upon Trent and Edinburgh. Lovibond also introduced greater standardisation of product quality.

Newcastle Breweries
John Barras & Co merged with four local brewers in 1890: W H Allison of North Shields, J J & W H Allison of Sunderland, Swinburne of Gateshead and Carr Brothers & Carr of North Shields to form Newcastle Breweries.

The Tyne Brewery was regarded as one of the largest and best equipped breweries in the North of England, and all production was centralised there. As a result, the output of the brewery was doubled from 900 to 1,800 barrels a week.

Newcastle Breweries controlled an estate of nearly 300 public houses by 1897.

The amalgamation was to prove highly successful. Forster’s Bishop Middleham Breweries was acquired in 1910.

Colonel Porter and the introduction of Newcastle Brown Ale
James Herbert Porter (1891 – 1973) was the son of a master brewer in Burton upon Trent. He joined Newcastle Breweries as a trainee brewer in 1909.

Porter was a highly courteous and mild-mannered man, a model of an English gentleman. He saw action during the First World War, and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.

Newcastle Exhibition, a cask beer, was introduced from 1920.

Sales of bottled beers began to increase after the war, influenced by the inconsistent quality of cask beer. Colonel Porter determined to develop a high quality bottled beer of his own. Newcastle Breweries opened one of the largest and best-equipped bottling plants in Britain in June 1925.

Colonel Porter, by now promoted to assistant brewer, and Archdale Mercer Jones (1881 – 1954), manager of the bottling works, laboured for three years to perfect the recipe for Newcastle Brown Ale. Porter created its distinctive taste by blending a strong, crystal malt-influenced aged beer with a light pale ale.

Newcastle Brown Ale was launched in April 1927. The sole ingredients were malt, hops, sugar and yeast and it boasted an ABV of 6.25 percent. It was filtered but was not subject to pasteurisation.

Newcastle Brown Ale would have been seen as a rival to Bass Pale Ale, a comparable beer in terms of strength and quality. Another similar beer, Whitbread Double Brown, had been launched in London just a month earlier.

Newcastle Brown Ale was to enjoy immediate success. It was a quality product brewed to vigorous scientific methods and high standards, and sold at a reasonable price. Colonel Porter’s role in improving the beer sold by Newcastle Breweries saw him promoted to head brewer by September 1927.

Newcastle Brown Ale was named as the best bottled beer in Britain at the 1928 Brewers Exhibition in London. Newcastle water had long been considered an inferior brewing liquor, but Colonel Porter disproved this notion.

The blue star logo was introduced in 1928. Each point on the star represented one of the five businesses that combined to form Newcastle Breweries.

The brewery produced six million bottles of beer a year by 1928.

Newcastle Brown Ale had seen its ABV reduced to around 5.5 percent by 1931.

Colonel Porter was promoted to the Newcastle Breweries board of directors in 1931.

Newcastle Breweries encountered material shortages during the Second World War, and as a result brewed lower strength beers out of necessity. However the company refused to compromise on the quality of Newcastle Brown Ale, which went unchanged, although sales were by necessity highly rationed.

Although sales remained confined to the North East of England, 300 million bottles of Newcastle Brown Ale had been produced by 1952.

Colonel Porter was appointed chairman of Newcastle Breweries in 1955.

The Tyne Brewery occupied 6.5 acres by 1956.

The crown cork bottle cap replaced the old screw cap from 1958 in order to help preserve freshness.

It was claimed that Newcastle Brown Ale was the highest selling bottled beer in the North of England by 1959. That year, “the one and only” was introduced as an advertising slogan.

Production of Newcastle Brown Ale had continued to grow and the brewer’s bottling facility had reached capacity. A new bottling plant entered into production from 1959.

John Rowell & Son of Gateshead was acquired in 1959 to bring the total number of Newcastle Breweries controlled premises to around 700.

Scottish & Newcastle
Newcastle Breweries merged with Scottish Brewers to form Scottish & Newcastle in 1960. Colonel Porter was appointed vice chairman. Newcastle Brown Ale was a leading product of the new company, alongside McEwan’s Export and Younger’s Tartan Special. The merger afforded Newcastle Brown Ale a wider network for distribution.

In the early 1960s Scottish & Newcastle began to produce Newcastle Brown Ale in brown bottles instead of clear ones. This was to protect the beer from UV rays, which can have a negative impact on taste. However drinkers complained about the change, and the decision was swiftly reversed.

Newcastle Brown Ale had been introduced in cans by 1964.

Distribution of Newcastle Brown Ale throughout the Midlands and the South of England had begun by the late 1960s. The beer found particular favour among university and polytechnic students.

The Tyne Brewery produced over one million barrels of beer a year by 1972, however increasing national sales of Newcastle Brown Ale saw the facility struggle to meet demand.

Newcastle Brown Ale had earned a near legendary reputation in its local area by the mid-1970s. It garnered colourful nicknames, based on its supposed strength, such as “lunatic’s broth” and “journey into space”. However an independent analysis in 1974 found the beer to have an ABV of five percent, and an original gravity of 1047.

Domestic sales of Newcastle Brown Ale peaked in 1974, after which sales of bottled beers began to enter into a steady decline. The appeal of bottled beer had been its consistency, but with the increasing distribution of keg beer its unique selling point was lost.

By 1977 a total of 7.5 million barrels of Newcastle Brown Ale had been produced since it was introduced in 1927.

Newcastle Brown Ale was the highest selling packaged ale in Britain by 1980. It was sold in over 97 percent of off licences in England and Wales and more than 90 percent of supermarkets and grocers.

It is believed that Newcastle Brown Ale ceased to be a blended beer from the early 1980s onwards.

Newcastle Brown Ale was known as “Dog” on Tyneside by the 1980s, arising from the “going to walk the dog” euphemism, which implied a visit to the pub.

A new £3.5 million bottling plant was opened in 1984, the fastest in Europe. The Tyne Brewery had grown to cover 14 acres by 1985. 1,200 people were employed there in 1988.

Scottish & Newcastle was the fifth largest brewer in Britain by 1988.

Newcastle Brown Ale had settled on its current ABV of 4.7 percent by 1989.

Newcastle Exhibition was the highest selling draught ale in the North East of England by 1989.

A resurgence for Newcastle Brown Ale
Newcastle Brown Ale underwent a resurgence in the late 1980s and early 1990s with increased distribution in the South of England, as well as a strong presence in student union bars. Marketing efforts dissociated the drink from its working class roots and repositioned it as a premium product. The product was sold in thirty countries.

Scottish & Newcastle took direct control of its United States product distribution from 1990 onwards. Major European import rivals such as Bass, Guinness and Heineken had strength on the East Coast, so Scottish & Newcastle established its American headquarters in San Francisco.

American sales increased by 300 percent between 1989 and 1991, and a further 75 percent in 1993.

25 percent of Tyne Brewery output was dedicated to Newcastle Brown Ale by 1994. 120 million pint bottles (not including cans) of Newcastle Brown Ale were produced every year.

Newcastle Brown Ale had gained significant traction in the United States, with over a million cases of the beer sold in that market during the 1994-5 financial year.

Scottish & Newcastle acquired Courage in 1995 to become the largest brewer in Britain.

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The United States represented the largest market for Newcastle Brown Ale by 2001, with annual sales of over 300,000 hectolitres. However sales in Britain were “well down”, according to a Scottish & Newcastle executive.

The Tyne Brewery was closed in May 2005. Production of Newcastle Brown Ale was relocated to the Federation Brewery in nearby Dunston, Gateshead.

Newcastle Brown Ale was among the top fifty highest-selling beers in the United States in 2006.

Bottling of Newcastle Brown Ale was relocated to the John Smith’s Brewery in Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, from 2007.

Heineken ownership
Scottish & Newcastle was acquired by Heineken in 2008.

Heineken closed the Federation Brewery in May 2010, and production of Newcastle Brown Ale was relocated to the John Smith’s Brewery.

Caramel, used to darken and flavour Newcastle Brown Ale since its inception, was replaced with roasted malt from 2015, amid United States health concerns.

Production of Newcastle Brown Ale for export was relocated to the Zoeterwoude Brewery in the Netherlands from 2017.

Global sales of Newcastle Brown Ale declined from nearly seven million cases in 2014 to around two million cases in 2019.

Production of Newcastle Brown Ale for the United States market was relocated to the Heineken-owned Lagunitas Brewery from 2019. The recipe was subjected to significant changes, including the addition of Centennial and Chinook hops.

The highs and l’eaus of Perrier

Perrier is the best known sparkling mineral water in the world. The iconic French product was introduced to the global market by an Englishman, St John Harmsworth.

St John Harmsworth discovers Perrier
William Albert St John Harmsworth (1876 – 1933) was born in London, the son of an unsuccessful alcoholic barrister and a strong-willed mother.

St John Harmsworth was a slight and nervous child. He attended Henley House School at St John’s Wood, London, where he was a pupil of H G Wells (1866 – 1946), later the author of The Time Machine (1895) and The War of the Worlds (1898). Harmsworth was not the most academically-minded of pupils, but he did grow to be athletic, charming, and likeable.

William Albert St John Harmsworth c.1900

St John Harmsworth joined Amalgamated Press, a newspaper empire created by his elder brother Alfred Harmsworth (1865 – 1922), as a director. The company was responsible for the Daily Mail, the highest-selling newspaper in the world.

Alfred Harmsworth suggested that his brother travel to France in order to learn the language in 1902. He visited a carbonated spring at Les Bouillens, Vergeze, in the South of France, where Dr Louis Eugene Perrier operated a commercial spa. Perrier also bottled a small amount of the water for his guests and some local sales.

Harmsworth believed in the potential for the bottled water, which was lighter, crisper and had a lower sodium content than most waters sold on the British market at the time. To the horror of his family, he sold his shares in Amalgamated Press in order to acquire the Les Bouillens estate in early 1903.

Harmsworth closed down the spa, which catered to a declining market, and began to distribute the bottled water, which he branded as Perrier. It was sold at Monte Carlo and throughout the South of France during the 1903 season.

Following this successful trial, a London office was established at 45 and 46 New Bond Street. The water targeted the premium segment of the market, and was sold at the Savoy, Claridge’s and the Berkeley hotels, as well as classic City of London pubs and restaurants such as Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese and Slaters.

Perrier was advertised as an ideal mixer for whisky. Sir Thomas Lipton (1846 – 1931), a friend of Harmsworth, introduced the water to King Edward VII, who granted it a Royal Warrant in 1904.

The market for imported European sparkling water had been well-established in Britain by Apollinaris since the 1870s. Harmsworth packaged his water in a distinctive bulbous green bottle, inspired by an Indian club used for exercises.

This image illustrates the distinctive “club-shaped” Perrier bottle

French culture was considered aspirational, and the water may have benefited from an assumed link with the champagne houses of Perrier-Jouët and Laurent-Perrier, to which it had no affiliation. Perhaps to encourage the association, the water was originally marketed with the “champagne of table waters” slogan.

The London office was relocated to 45 and 47 Wigmore Street from 1905.

Harmsworth was involved in a tragic motor accident in 1906. He broke his spine and was permanently paralysed from the waist down. A keen sportsman, Harmsworth was able to maintain his interest in swimming, and had a pool installed at his London address of 7 Hyde Park Terrace.

United States sales were pursued from 1907.

Perrier was registered as a private limited company to acquire the share capital of La Compagnie de la Source Perrier in 1908.

Perrier was granted a Royal Warrant from King George V in 1911. Millions of bottles were sold every year by 1912.

A glassworks was established in Vergeze from 1912.

Perrier was a well-established rival to Apollinaris by 1914. Perrier was able to take market share from Apollinaris during the First World War by using advertisements to highlight the German origins of its competitor.

Much of production was distributed to the Allied armies in France, Salonika and Egypt during the First World War.

Harmsworth negotiated a contract to become the exclusive supplier of bottled water to the restaurant cars of Wagons-Lits in France and Germany in 1927.

The London office had been relocated to Bear Wharf, 27 Bankside by 1931.

By 1933 Harmsworth had a small stake in the French company, the Compagnie de la Source Perrier, and a large holding in the English company Perrier Limited, which held the British distribution rights.

Death of St John Harmsworth and the Second World War
St John Harmsworth died in 1933 and left an estate valued at £82,976. His estate was left to his brother Vyvyan George Harmsworth (1881 – 1957) and his three sisters.

Perrier Ltd had an authorised capital of £110,000 in 1935. The directors were Vyvyan Harmsworth, M Harmsworth and H Banks, who had been secretary to St John Harmsworth.

Perrier had never been hugely profitable, and the rest of the family lacked the faith in the brand that Harmsworth had. The British and Irish distribution rights to Perrier had been licensed to Apollinaris by May 1939.

The Germans invaded France in 1940, and company capital was transferred to the United States to disguise the British origins of the firm. The Second World War isolated Perrier from its traditional markets of the British Empire, the USA and the French colonies. Sales to the German army represented 40 percent of turnover between 1941 and 1944.

Gustave Leven acquires Perrier
Following the war, Perrier was loss-making and required substantial investment. The Harmsworth family hired Gustave Leven (1915 – 2008), a Parisian stockbroker, to find a buyer for the business in 1946.

Gustave Leven (1915 – 2008) in 1990

Leven visited the bottling plant, which was in need of reorganisation. He witnessed workers fill bottles by plunging them into the spring by hand, and sometimes using their feet to help put the bottle caps on. However, he identified the Perrier brand as strong, with considerable scope for improvement. Leven found four partners, and acquired Perrier himself for £100,000.

Ten million bottles were sold in 1946. Annual sales had risen to 150 million bottles by 1952.

Perrier was able to gain considerable market share in France by introducing mass advertising to a previously staid industry.

Perrier was the largest mineral water bottler in the world by 1961. It was the highest-selling mineral water in France, with a 25 percent market share.

The bottling plant could produce nearly 2.5 million bottles of Perrier within 16 hours by 1967. The company held half of the French market.

Leven installed a glass bottle manufacturing plant at Vergeze in 1973.

Perrier was distributed in Britain by Schweppes and Grand Metropolitan by the early 1970s. The British market was limited to a few high-end establishments, as its distributors did not believe that there was a significant demand for bottled water. Perrier entered into British supermarket distribution for itself from 1974. Six million bottles were sold in Britain in 1978.

Leven then turned to the underdeveloped United States market to further increase sales. Three million bottles had been sold there in 1976. A large marketing push was introduced in 1977, with a price cut of 20 to 30 percent and a television advertising campaign featuring the actor Orson Welles. United States sales had risen to 200 million bottles by 1979. In Britain and the United States, Perrier tapped into an increasingly aspirational culture, and a growing health and fitness movement.

Rising sales in the United States saw a second factory opened at Vergeze in 1978. The new factory had an annual production capacity of nearly 400 million bottles, adding to the existing factory’s capacity of 350 million bottles.

The Vergeze site employed 2,500 people by 1983 and Perrier was sold in 119 countries. 25 percent of sales were in the United States by 1984.

Perrier acquired the Buxton mineral water company in Britain in 1987. Perrier held 60 percent of the British bottled water market by 1988. Nearly 100 million bottles a year were sold in the UK by 1990.

The brand peaked in 1989, when 1.2 billion bottles were sold, with half exported to the United States.

The benzene scare
In March 1990 it was reported that Perrier contained a minimal amount of a carcinogen because a charcoal filter meant to catch naturally occurring benzene from the spring had not been changed.

The United States Food & Drug Administration declared that the benzene content was harmless. A cancer specialist stated that an individual would have to consume a quart of Perrier every day for an entire lifetime to consume a harmful amount of benzene.

Despite this, Leven decided that a total product recall was essential to preserve the reputation of the brand. 160 million bottles were withdrawn from 120 countries, for which the company was not insured.

Production levels dropped by one third in the wake of the scandal. Leven was replaced as chairman of Perrier in June 1990.

Image used courtesy of Nestle

Perrier had lost over half of its United States market share by January 1991, due to its limited distribution during the product recall. The poor availability of Perrier allowed rival mineral water brands such as Evian to win market share. In Britain, Scottish mineral water producers such as Highland Spring and Strathmore won market share at the expense of Perrier.

1991-2 sales in the United States and Britain were at half their 1989 levels, due to the damage inflicted upon the Perrier brand by the benzene scare.

Nestle acquires Perrier
Nestle acquired Perrier in March 1992, in a deal which valued the company at £1.4 billion (US$2.7 billion). The acquisition transformed Nestle into the largest mineral water producer in the world. Nestle believed it could turn around the fortunes of the struggling business.

Perrier acquired San Pellegrino, its Italian rival, in 1997.

Nestle struggled against a powerful union at the Perrier plant. With rising sales, Leven had acquiesced to union requests throughout the 1980s. Faced with stagnant sales, Nestle found that it was unable to continue to accommodate union demands. Nestle failed to make a profit from Perrier between 1992 and 2004.

Production levels crossed the one billion bottle threshold again in 2013. According to data from Euromonitor, Perrier held six percent of the global carbonated bottled water market by value in 2016.

Nestle installed a new production line at the Perrier plant in 2017. Three more lines were added in 2020, bringing the total to 15.

Comfort for the table: Epps Cocoa

Epps was the leading brand of cocoa in Victorian Britain.

Dr John Epps invents an instant cocoa
Dr John Epps (1805 – 1869) was the son of a Calvinist London merchant.

Dr Epps became one of the pioneers of homeopathy in Britain. He established premises at Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury. He was joined by his brother, James Epps (1821 – 1907), from 1837.

Dr John Epps (1805 – 1869) inventor of Epps’ Cocoa Powder

The almost prohibitive duty on cocoa was greatly reduced in 1832, allowing the market to grow exponentially. Easily prepared cocoa had been difficult to procure, and the fat in the raw material was unpalatable for many. Dr John Epps discovered a way to make it more appetising, mixing the cocoa with 20 percent West Indies arrowroot and 13 percent sugar.

Epps’ cocoa was first sold in 1839 for the use of patients for whom tea and coffee were restricted. It was an instant cocoa powder, made by adding hot water or milk.

Dr John Epps was not the first person to invent soluble cocoa powder, but James Epps was largely responsible for introducing the product to the mass market. He heavily advertised Epps’ Cocoa, and had introduced a distinctive slogan, “grateful and comforting” by 1855.

Epps’ Cocoa was initially produced under contract by Daniel Dunn of Pentonville Road, who had invented instant cocoa powder in 1819.

James Epps begins to manufacture cocoa independently
James Epps had established his own factory at 398 Euston Road, London by 1863. He installed his nephew, Hahnemann Epps (1843 – 1916), as manager.

Epps & Co had grown to become the largest cocoa powder producer in Britain by 1878, with an output of nearly five million pounds (2.3 million kg) a year. To accommodate increasing production, a new steam-powered works was established at Holland Street, Blackfriars from 1878. At its peak the firm processed half of all cocoa imports into Britain.

Steam Cocoa Mills, Holland Street, London
Steam Cocoa Mills, Holland Street, London

A short and slight man, James Epps kept a low public profile, unlike his gregarious brother John. He was known only for his work in business, and had few outside interests. He allowed his portrait to be taken only once, and he never granted an interview or issued a public statement. He was a hard worker, keen on a bargain, and somewhat controlling. Despite his massive wealth he lived in an unfashionable area of London.

Epps & Co is converted into a private company; sale to Rowntree
The business was converted into a private joint stock limited company known as James Epps & Co in 1893. The directors were James Epps, Hahnemann Epps and James Epps Jr (1856 – 1905), and the company had a capital of £200,000. No shares were offered to the public, and the company remained under family control.

Epps’ Cocoa had been overtaken in sales by Dr Tibbles’ Vi-Cocoa and Rowntree by 1898.

James Epps Jr (also known as Willie James Epps), the only son of James Epps, died of a heart attack in Jamaica in 1905. His gross estate was valued at £162,422.

James Epps (1821 – 1907), date unknown

James Epps died in 1907 and his gross estate was valued at £735,387. This was a larger estate than contemporaries in the food industry such as the mustard magnate Jeremiah James Colman (1830 – 1898), instant custard producer Alfred Bird (1849 – 1922) or James Horlick (1844 – 1921).

The estate was inherited by his nieces and nephews, principally James Washington Epps (1874 -1955). Hahnemann Epps became chairman and James W Epps became managing director of James Epps & Co.

Taylor Brothers Ltd, a London cocoa manufacturer, was acquired in 1907.

Epps’ Cocoa powder had been reformulated to include 44 percent sugar, 40 percent cocoa and 16 percent West Indies arrowroot by 1924.

Rowntree of York acquired James Epps & Co for £70,000 in 1926.

The Epps factory was closed in 1930, and the manufacture of Epps products was transferred to Whitefields Ltd of Plaistow.

Quick-selling lime: L Rose & Co

L Rose & Co is best known for its lime juice cordial.

Lauchlan Rose establishes L Rose & Co
Lauchlan Rose (1829 -1885), was born to a family of shipbuilders at Leith, a Scottish port near Edinburgh. Rose became a merchant, importing products such as grain and wine.

Lauchlan Rose was a devoutly religious and disciplined man.

Rose developed and patented a process that allowed fruit juice to be preserved without alcohol. The juice was prevented from fermentation by the addition of sulphur dioxide.

The Merchant Shipping Act of 1867 made it compulsory for British ships to carry lime juice, as it was known to prevent the onset of scurvy. Advertisements for L Rose & Co’s lime juice and lime cordial began to appear from 1868. Rose’s lime juice appealed not just to sailors, but also the growing temperance movement in the domestic market.

The head office was relocated from Leith to Curtain Road in London from 1875.

Control over a source of limes was acquired with the purchase of the Bath and Elmshall estates in Dominica from William Davies in 1891. An old sugar factory was converted for processing: crushing the limes and transferring the juice into barrels for export.

L Rose & Co is incorporated as a limited company
L Rose & Co was incorporated as a limited company from 1898. Factories were operated at 11 Curtain Road, London and 41 Mitchell Street, Leith.

L Rose & Co had a capital of £150,000. John Barclay Rose (born 1861) was chairman. J B Rose, Charles Morrison Rose (born 1863) and Hugh Gilmour Rose (1865 – 1933) were joint managing directors.

L Rose began to manufacture calcium citrate from 1906.

The Dominica estates covered hundreds of acres by 1909, and the company was also supplied by independent growers across hundreds of acres.

John and Hugh Rose retired during the First World War, leaving Charles Rose as the sole managing director. He was assisted by his son, Lauchlan Rose (1894 – 1986), after he returned from the war.

A factory was established at the Bath estate for the production of citric acid  from 1921.

Lauchlan Rose II takes over management
Lauchlan Rose took over management of L Rose & Co from his father in 1924.

A lime estate was established at Asebu, Cape Coast (modern-day Ghana) from 1924.

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This was to prove a challenging time for the L Rose & Co. Bottled lime juice faced increasing competition from fruit squash, and the Great Depression affected sales.

The business was turned around by the successful introduction of lime marmalade from the mid-1930s, and the increasingly popular combination of gin and lime.

H G Rose died with a net personalty of £28,179 in 1933.

L Rose & Co dismissed 120 staff because they held trade union membership in 1939. Lauchlan Rose announced that only non-union labour would be hired.

The London premises were destroyed during the Blitz in 1940. Production was relocated to a new site on Grosvenor Road, St Albans.

Additional factories were opened at Boxmoor Wharf, Hemel Hempstead and Liverpool in 1948.

The lime juice was left to settle in 12,000 gallon oak vats at Boxmoor. The pulp and oils rose to the top, and the lime juice was drawn off from the bottom. After filtration and sweetening, the liquid was transported to St Albans for bottling.

L Rose & Co is acquired by Schweppes
L Rose & Co was acquired by Schweppes, a large manufacturer of soft drinks, in an exchange of shares which valued the company at £1.8 million, in 1957. Lauchlan Rose joined the Schweppes board of directors.

Lauchlan Rose retired in 1969.

Schweppes merged with Cadbury, a large chocolate manufacturer, in 1969.

L Rose & Co withdrew from Dominica in 1980, and transferred operations to Cameroon and Ghana.

High rent saw the Hemel Hempstead factory closed in 1983, and all production was relocated to St Albans.

Coca-Cola acquired much of the global Schweppes business in 1999.

The Rose’s brand in the United States is controlled by Dr Pepper Snapple, which has been independent of Schweppes since 2008.

The St Albans site has since closed.

As of 2018, Rose’s Lime Cordial in Britain is produced under contract for Coca-Cola by Princes Foods in Bradford.

 

Scotched earth: Hiram Walker & Sons of Scotland

Hiram Walker was the largest whisky distillery in Canada. This article traces the history of its British subsidiary, which became the second-largest Scotch whisky producer.

Harry Hatch
Harry Clifford Hatch (1884 – 1946) sold whisky by mail-order in Montreal. He made a small fortune before the business was ruled illegal in 1921.

Hatch then acquired the Gooderham & Worts distillery of Toronto for $1 million in 1923. He then went on to purchase Hiram Walker & Sons of Ontario, the largest whisky distillery in Canada, for $14 million in 1926.

Harry Clifford Hatch (1884 – 1946)

Hatch merged Hiram Walker & Sons with Gooderham & Worts of Toronto to form Hiram Walker Gooderham & Worts, one of the largest whisky distillers in the world, in 1927. Its best known brand was Canadian Club whisky.

At the time Distillers held a virtual monopoly on the production of Scotch whisky. Hatch attempted to merge his business with Distillers. When this fell through, he decided to enter into the Scotch whisky industry for himself.

Hiram Walker acquired a 60 percent stake in James & George Stodart of Glasgow in 1930. The purchase included the Stirling Bonding Company (with the Old Smuggler brand) and George Ballantine & Son.

The Glenburgie and Miltonduff-Glenlivet malt whisky distilleries were acquired in 1936.

Hiram Walker & Sons (Scotland) was registered with a capital of £1 million in 1937. It was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hiram Walker Gooderham & Worts. Capital was increased to £1.5 million the following year.

Due to a growing export trade, particularly to the United States, Hiram Walker struggled to procure sufficient grain whisky for blending purposes. As a result, the company opened the largest distillery in Europe at Dumbarton in 1938. The £450,000 investment produced three million imperial gallons of whisky each year, mostly grain whisky, from a nine-acre site.

90 percent of Hiram Walker Gooderham & Worts sales were to the United States by 1939. Hiram Walker Gooderham & Worts was the fourth largest distiller in the world by 1946.

Thomas Scott expands the business
Thomas Scott was general manager and a director of Hiram Walker & Sons (Scotland) by 1949. He introduced a resident flock of geese to act as security guards at the Dumbarton distillery from 1950.

Workers at the Dumbarton distillery in the 1950s

Bloch Brothers (Distillers) of Glasgow was acquired in 1954. The acquisition included two distilleries (Scapa, Orkney and Glen Scotia, Campbeltown) and very large reserves of whisky, including some of the oldest in Britain. At that point it was the second largest acquisition in the Scotch whisky industry since the end of the Second World War. Bloch sales were strongest in North and South America.

Hiram Walker & Sons was the second largest producer of Scotch whisky by 1957.

Ballantine’s was a favourite Scotch whisky of John F Kennedy, and during his presidency it was the highest selling Scotch whisky in the United States.

1,100 people were employed at the Dumbarton plant in 1969.

Thomas Scott retired in 1969.

Continued growth
A new complex for Scotch whisky production was opened at Kilmalid, outside Dumbarton, in 1977. It was the most advanced whisky blending plant in Europe.

A new bottling plant was opened at Kilmalid in 1982. It processed more than 100 million bottles a year.

Hiram Walker was the third largest Scotch whisky producer in the world by 1984, with nine malt distilleries and one large grain distillery. Ballantine’s was its large international brand, and although sales had slipped in the United States, it was the market leader in Continental Europe, with particularly strong sales in Italy.

During the 1980s Hiram Walker received criticism for selling bulk malt whisky to Japanese distillers, who used it as the basis for their own blends.

Allied Lyons and Pernod Ricard
Hiram Walker was acquired by Allied Lyons, a British food and beverages company, in 1987.

Allied produced twelve million bottles of Ballantine’s a year from its Kilmalid and Dumbarton plants by 1992. 70 percent of production was destined for mainland Europe.

The Dumbarton distillery was closed in 2002, and demolished in 2008.

Pernod Ricard, a French distiller, acquired Allied Lyons, now known as Allied Domecq, in 2005. Some brands were divested to Fortune Brands and Diageo.

The geese were removed from Dumbarton in 2012.

Ballantine’s was the second highest-selling Scotch whisky in the world after Johnnie Walker as of 2014.

Notes
The British records of Hiram Walker up to 1940 are all believed to have been lost during the London Blitz.

Dunn & Hewett and the invention of instant cocoa

Daniel Dunn invented instant cocoa powder, and his products were widely imitated. Dunn & Hewett became one of the largest cocoa manufacturers in Britain.

Daniel Dunn
Daniel Dunn (1773 – 1862) was born at Netherton, Dudley, Worcestershire, to modest circumstances. His blacksmith father taught him the value of honesty, and his mother instilled in him a keen work ethic.

Dunn had to earn a living from the age of ten. He joined the Swedenborgian Church in 1796, and remained a keen member throughout his life.

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Dunn demonstrated a propensity for invention from early in life. He would eventually be granted eleven patents. One of his early discoveries was a method to improve the manufacture of horse nails. He established a horse nail factory in London, however the business failed following a recession in America.

Dunn counted among his London associates one John Isaac Hawkins (1772 – 1855), the inventor of the upright piano.

Dunn was to instead find success manufacturing instant coffee and instant tea from a factory at Bartlett’s Buildings, Holborn from around 1800. Expanding trade saw him relocate to a larger factory at Pentonville from around 1810.

Dunn invented instant cocoa powder in 1820. His method was to add sugar and arrowroot to cocoa to create a soluble powder. Hot cocoa could be made in one minute by adding boiling water, whereas previously chocolate had needed to be boiled for an hour or more.

Dunn & Hewett
Charles Hewett (1819 – 1869), also from Dudley, had been apprenticed to Dunn by 1841. Hewett had joined Dunn in partnership by 1857, and the business henceforth traded as Dunn & Hewett.

Iceland Moss Cocoa had been introduced by 1859. It was made from cocoa, moss, farina and sugar. The moss was believed to hold highly nutritious qualities. Competitors such as Rowntree and Fry would later introduce their own competing Iceland Moss Cocoa products.

Dunn employed 47 people in 1861, including 23 men, 14 girls and ten boys.

Dunn was a generous philanthropist throughout his life. He died in 1862, and his estate was valued at under £3,000 (equivalent to at least £260,000 today). His entire estate was inherited by his third wife, Mary Dunn (1810 – 1885).

Management of Dunn & Hewett after the death of the founder
Charles Hewett took over as senior partner of Dunn & Hewett following the death of Daniel Dunn.

Dunn & Hewett employed 60 to 70 workers by 1864. Hewett would continue the tradition of respect and equality with his workforce that Dunn had established. A workman would be presented with a sovereign coin upon the birth of a child. The firm organised an annual excursion or dinner for their workers. A company funded brass band was established from 1864.

Charles Hewett died in 1869, and management of the firm passed to Mary Dunn and two of Daniel’s adopted sons, Arthur Day (1843 – 1918) and John Holm (1840 – 1897), the latter a trained chemist.

Dunn & Hewett employed 65 people in 1871, including 36 men, four boys, 22 women and three girls.

Dunn & Hewett ranked among the largest cocoa manufacturers in Britain by 1876. The firm employed 70 workers in 1881.

Mary Dunn died in 1885.

Sale of Dunn & Hewett to the Nunn family
It appears that Arthur Day and John Holm sold Dunn & Hewett to Henry Saunders Nunn (1848 – 1925), a manager at a rubber manufacturer, following the death of Mary Dunn.

Arthur Day continued to work in a marketing role for Dunn & Hewett, appearing as a representative at International Exhibitions.

Dunn & Hewett continued to be one of the leading cocoa manufacturers in Britain as late as 1911.

A fire at the extensive factory caused an estimated £14,000 worth of damage in 1916, equivalent to at least £800,000 in 2016.

Henry Saunders Nunn died in 1925 and left an estate valued at £125,000. Control of Dunn & Hewett was passed to his son, Henry Thomas Nunn (1878 – 1927), who died two years later with a net personalty valued at just £17,880.

Control of Dunn & Hewett passed to Oliver Cromwell Nunn (1879 – 1971), who retired around 1930, upon which the Pentonville factory was closed down.

Soda, so good: W A Ross of Belfast

W A Ross was one of the largest soft drinks manufacturers in Ireland.

William Adolphus Ross (1817 – 1900) was born in Dublin, the son of Henry Ross, a banker.

W A Ross worked as managing director of the Belfast factory of Cantrell & Cochrane for nine years. The branch became the largest soft drink manufacturer in Belfast. Ross was described as “able and courteous” by a visitor from the Northern Whig in 1876.

A dispute arose between Ross and his employer. Cantrell & Cochrane were found to be in breach of contract, and Ross was awarded a settlement of £3,250.

Ross used the cash to establish his own soft drinks manufacturing business at William Street South, Belfast, in 1879. The site was chosen due to its access to spring water and proximity to the docks. He was assisted by his son George Harrison Ross (1845 – 1917), a former sailor.

W A Ross was producing nearly 30,000 bottles a day by November 1879, with production largely destined for export markets such as the United States, the West Indies and Africa.

A depot had been established at Glasgow by 1881.

Another son, William Adolphus Ross Jr (1843 – 1912), settled in Staten Island and worked as the sales agent for New York. 981,840 bottles were imported into New York in 1883.

W A Ross had become one of the largest soft drink manufacturers in Ireland by 1891. Ross’s Royal Ginger Ale was the firm’s principal product. That year the firm became a private limited company, W A Ross & Sons Ltd.

W A Ross & Sons employed 150 people in 1896. The company had depots at Glasgow and Liverpool by 1898.

William Adolphus Ross died in 1900 with an estate valued at £4,449. George Harrison Ross became managing director of the company.

The William Street factory was extended in 1902, and again in 1909.

William Adolphus Ross Jr died in 1912 with an estate valued at £65,000. He was succeeded by his son, Conway Ross (1883 – c.1975).

Brazil, Chile and Argentina were major export destinations by 1914, but the United States remained the most important foreign market. However, the disruption caused by the First World War was to damage the export trade.

The Republic of Ireland gained independence in 1919, and trade to this major market was damaged when import tariffs were introduced.

Conway Ross stepped down as managing director in 1973. He was succeeded by his son, Dermot Conway Ross (1915 – 1979) and grandson, Oscar C Ross (born 1948) as joint-managing directors.

W A Ross & Sons merged with Belfast rival Cochran’s of Ravenhill Avenue to form Ross Cochran in 1975. Dermot Conway Ross took the opportunity to retire, and Oscar Ross was appointed as sales director of the new company.

All production was centralised at Cochran’s. A £300,000 investment was made to double bottling capacity. Around 100 people were employed on a six acre site.

Ross Cochran was acquired by Cantrell & Cochrane in 1986. After a few years the Ross brand was phased out.

The sparkling history of Cantrell & Cochrane

Cantrell & Cochrane was the largest manufacturer of soft drinks in the world.

T J Cantrell establishes the business
Thomas Joseph Cantrell (1827 – 1909) was born in Dublin. He qualified as a medical practitioner and became a principal assistant at Grattan & Co, a Belfast firm of chemists. Grattan & Co also manufactured soft drinks, and introduced the first carbonated “ginger ale”.

Cantrell established his own chemists business with James Dyas at 22 Castle Place, Belfast from 1852.

Dyas & Cantrell manufactured mineral waters, ginger ale, lemonade and soda water, as well as other products. The firm began to manufacture sarsaparilla from 1856.

James Dyas left the partnership in 1859 to establish his own soft drinks and chemists business. Dyas & Cantrell continued to trade as T J Cantrell.

Perhaps no longer restrained by Dyas, Cantrell began to advertise extensively from the 1860s. The firm had depots in Dublin, Liverpool and Glasgow by 1862. The firm retained its headquarters at Castle Place, but expanding production saw soft drink manufacture relocate to 10 Arthur Place, Belfast.

Increasing demand for their products saw T J Cantrell relocate to 25 Bank Street, Belfast, a former brewery, in 1863. The firm commenced export of its ginger ale to America from 1866.

Cantrell & Cochrane is established
T J Cantrell merged with the soft drinks business of Henry Cochrane (1836 – 1904) of Dublin to form Cantrell & Cochrane in 1868. At this time the premises of the Hibernian Mineral Water Company of Nassau Place, Dublin were acquired.

From this juncture Cantrell became a sleeping partner at Cantrell & Cochrane.

Cantrell & Cochrane held contracts to supply several shipping lines, including Cunard, Inman, Montreal, National and City of Dublin by 1868.

Henry Cochrane continued to manage the Dublin site, and William Adolphus Ross (1817 – 1900) was appointed as manager of the Belfast factory from 1870. Under Ross’s leadership, the Belfast site was to prove far more profitable than the Dublin venture.

From around this time the firm began to add a chemical preservative to their ginger ale, which allowed it to maintain its quality in warm climates.

Cantrell & Cochrane was numbered among the “Big Five” producers of soft drinks in Belfast by 1871.

Across both sites, Cantrell & Cochrane produced 432,000 bottles of soft drinks in a single week in 1876.

Cantrell & Cochrane was the largest soft drinks producer in Belfast by 1876. The Belfast factory employed hundreds of workers. The artesian well supplied 17,280 gallons of spring water a day. The bottle filling machine, which had been designed by W A Ross himself, could fill 48 bottles a minute.

Cantrell & Cochrane successfully trademarked the “Club Soda” name in Britain and Ireland in 1877.

Ross was fired by Cochrane in 1879. Ross was to later win a court hearing for unfair dismissal, and establish a rival soft drinks manufacturing business on his own account.

Cantrell retired from the partnership due to ill heath in 1883. Cochrane remained as the sole proprietor, although the Cantrell & Cochrane name was retained.

According to the Belfast Morning News, Cantrell & Cochrane was the largest soft drink manufacturer in the world by 1884.

The Dublin works employed around 500 people by 1885 and had an annual production capacity of nearly 30 million bottles a year. Almost all of Nassau Place was occupied. The city and suburban trade employed sixteen two-horse vans. The Belfast factory was of a similar size.

The Belfast Morning News claimed in 1885 that what Guinness was to porter, and Bass was to pale ale, Cantrell & Cochrane was to ginger ale, especially in America.

Cantrell & Cochrane became a private limited liability company in 1898. The company was awarded a Royal Warrant by the King of Great Britain in 1901. Cantrell & Cochrane was one of the largest Irish exporters.

Henry Cochrane died in 1904 with an estate valued at over £550,000. He was succeeded as chairman by his son, Ernest Cecil Cochrane (1873 – 1952).

Cantrell died in 1909 with an estate valued at £70,045.

The Dublin factory employed around 1,000 people by 1914.

The First World War threatened the firm’s large and valuable American trade, so a factory was established in New York.

Sale to E & J Burke
Cantrell & Cochrane was sold to E & J Burke, bottlers of Guinness in America, in 1925, and Ernest Cecil Cochrane stepped down as chairman, although he remained as a director.

Cantrell & Cochrane had a capital of £200,000 in 1930.

The end of Prohibition in the United States damaged the Cantrell & Cochrane export trade.

E & J Burke was acquired by Guinness in 1950.

The American subsidiary, with a factory at Englewood, New Jersey, had been sold to National Phoenix Industries by 1953. The business became the first company in the United States to sell canned soft drinks from 1953.

Cantrell & Cochrane opened a new factory on Castlereagh Road, Belfast in 1956. The company employed a total of 1,100 people across the United Kingdom.

Allied Domecq and recent history
Guinness merged Cantrell & Cochrane with the Irish soft drinks operations of Allied Breweries (later Allied Domecq) to form C&C in 1968.

Cantrell & Cochrane (Dublin) had close to 60 percent of the Irish soft drinks market by 1974. Drinks were produced at a modern factory at Ballyfermot, Dublin.

C&C employed 1,600 people in 1997.

Allied Domecq acquired the 49.6 percent stake of C&C it did not own from Guinness for £270 million in 1998.

Allied Domecq sold C&C to BC Partners for £580 million in 1999.

C&C Group became a public company from 2004. C&C sold its non-alcoholic drinks business to Britvic in 2007.

Former C&C drinks are still sold by Britvic in Ireland under the “Club” brand.

The former American subsidiary still operates from New Jersey, and its products include C&C Cola and C&C Ginger Ale.

Welsh fire: Idris & Co

Idris became one of the largest soft drinks manufacturers in Britain. Idris “Fiery” ginger beer continued to be sold until 2019.

Idris & Co is established
Thomas Howell Williams (1842 – 1925) was born at Vallen, Pembrokeshire, the son of a Baptist farmer. His first language was Welsh, and he did not learn to speak English until he was eight years old.

From the age of twelve Williams was apprenticed to a cousin in Crickhowell who worked as a chemist. He was restless and ambitious, and emigrated to London to work for a well-known firm of chemists in 1863.

Williams entered into business for himself with a chemist shop on Seven Sisters Road from 1870. It was there that he first introduced soft drinks under the Idris brand, named after a Welsh mountain.

Thomas Howell Williams Idris (1842 – 1925), c.1905

Manufacturing chemists of the era often produced soft drinks, which were purported to have medical benefits. Ginger ale, Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper were all created by chemists.

The soft drinks arm was successful, and Williams divested his chemists business and established Idris & Co, soft drink manufacturers, on Pratt Street, Camden Town, from 1875. Lemonade, ginger ale and soda water were the principal products.

The business expanded quickly, and the factory site was repeatedly extended.

Idris & Co introduced a generous profit-sharing scheme for its 500 employees in 1891. Workers received wages 10 to 15 percent higher than the industry average, and conditions at their factory were described as superior. Workers received overtime pay during the peak summer season, and maintained full time hours during the slack winter period.

Idris & Co is incorporated
Idris & Co was incorporated with a nominal capital of £100,000 in 1892. The company was one of the largest soft drinks manufacturers in the world, and operated the largest soft drinks factory in England.

Williams added Idris to his surname by deed poll in 1893.

Idris & Co employed two automated carbonated soft drink filling machines, which were designed by Thomas Idris himself.

The business nearly doubled in size between 1895 and 1897. Additional factories had been established at Southampton by 1896 and at Liverpool by 1898.

A public offering raised company capital to £150,000 in 1897. The company held a Royal Warrant to supply Queen Victoria by 1897.

Cadair Idris in the Snowdonia National Park, Wales, after which the soft drink brand was named. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Idris & Co had a share capital of £216,000 by 1900. The company employed almost 1,000 people, including nearly 200 at the Camden Town factory. Five million bottles of carbonated soft drinks were sold, as well as millions of non-carbonated drinks. There were depots at Teddington, Watford, Reigate, Folkestone, Portsmouth and Bournemouth. That year, an additional factory was opened at Canterbury.

Horse-driven carts limited distribution to within a 17 mile radius. Motorised transportation was introduced from 1901.

Politically, Thomas Idris was a radical and a progressive. He invited representatives of the Social Democratic Federation and the National Democratic League to inspect his wages bill in 1902. They declared that Idris & Co paid the highest wages in the industry, that retired workers received pensions and that the profit-sharing scheme had distributed thousands of pounds to staff.

Thomas Idris was appointed Mayor of St Pancras in 1904-5. He served as the Liberal Member of Parliament for Flintshire from 1906 to 1910.

Idris & Co held a Royal Warrant to supply Edward VII by 1905.

120 women and girls at the Camden Town factory came out on strike in protest at the dismissal of an employee in 1911. The strikers agreed to an independent review of the case by the Board of Trade. The review cleared Idris & Co of any wrongdoing.

Idris & Co was distributing soft drinks within a 50 mile radius of its Camden Town factory by 1912. Depots were situated at Watford, Teddington, Enfield and Southend. The company had over one million bottles. The company had 21 lorries by 1914.

Idris “Fiery” ginger beer (2018)

Idris & Co held a Royal Warrant to supply George V by 1916.

Thomas Idris died with an estate valued at £30,317 in 1925. He was succeeded as chairman by his son, Walter Howell Williams Idris (1875 – 1939).

Idris & Co established a new depot at Chelmsford, Essex in 1936.

Walter Idris died in 1939, with a gross estate valued at £20,230.

Later history and acquisition of the business
Ivor Trevena Idris (1911 – 1993), the grandson of the late founder, was appointed company chairman from 1943.

The first female board member was elected in 1949.

Coca-Cola Bottlers of Scotland was acquired in 1961.

Idris ranked among the second-tier of national soft drinks producers, behind Schweppes, J Lyons and Beecham, but alongside R White & Sons and Tizer.

Idris entered into a joint venture with Fuller Smith & Turner, the London brewer, for the 7 Up bottling franchise for London and the South East in 1964.

The antiquated Camden Town factories were closed in 1965, and production was relocated to a new site at White Hart Lane, Tottenham.

Idris & Co made a loss of £348,000 in 1965-6, following problems establishing the new factory, and a fire at the Coca-Cola Scotland plant.

The loss-making company was acquired by Beecham, which owned the Lucozade, Ribena and Corona soft drinks brands, in 1967.

Britvic acquired the Beecham soft drinks business in 1987. Idris “Fiery” ginger beer continued to be sold until 2019.

On the rocks: H D Rawlings

H D Rawlings was one of the largest and most prestigious soft drinks manufacturers in Victorian England.

The Rawlings family
Rawlings & Co claimed an establishment date of 1815 in a press advertisement from 1860.

John Rawlings (1771 – 1848), ginger beer manufacturer, was certainly based at Nassau Street, Fitzrovia by 1827. The exact address is confirmed as 2 Nassau Street by 1831.

Ginger beer was supplied in stone bottles.

John Rawlings died in 1848 and the business was inherited by his sons, John Rawlings (1806 – 1853) and James Rawlings (1814 – 1882). In 1851 James Rawlings lived at 2 Nassau Street and was a ginger beer manufacturer employing 20 men. John Rawlings lived at 3 Nassau Street, and was also a ginger beer manufacturer.

John Rawlings died in 1853 and his stake in the business was inherited by Sarah Rawlings (1819 – 1863), his widow.

Henry Doo (1836 – 1904) joined the business as a clerk from 1855.

The business occupied 2-4 Nassau Street by 1856, and the range of drinks had been expanded to include lemonade and soda, as well as ginger beer.

H D Rawlings
Sarah Rawlings married Henry Doo in 1857, and he took on the name Henry Doo Rawlings.

Premises had extended to include 8 Charles Street, Fitzrovia by 1860.

At the instigation of James Rawlings, a works’ brass band was established in 1862. The firm enjoyed a strong relationship with its workforce, which it treated to an annual dinner or excursion.

Sarah Doo (nee Rawlings) died in September 1863, with an estate valued at under £7,000. H D Rawlings became principal partner in the firm, although James Rawlings also had a stake, and the firm traded as H D & J Rawlings.

Less than four months after the death of his wife, Henry Doo Rawlings married Jane Sewell in Paris.

H D & J Rawlings held a Royal Warrant to supply Queen Victoria with soft drinks by 1864.

Henry Doo Rawlings was described in the Marylebone Mercury in 1866 as “lively, open-hearted and genial, easily approached, with no manifest sense of self-importance”. James Rawlings was described as more reserved, “but thoroughly cordial and kind when the ice was broken”.

Henry Doo Rawlings was described as “large- hearted to a fault”. The firm was a generous contributor to the Licensed Victuallers Asylum, a charity for retired victuallers.

The firm supplied the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Emperor of France by 1869.

James Rawlings retired in 1870, and the firm was continued under the name H D Rawlings.

Following a gas explosion at the Nassau Street factory in 1877. Henry Doo Rawlings and two other men received burns to their faces and hands, and had to be taken to Middlesex Hospital. Rawlings was examined by Sir James Paget (1814 – 1899), who believed it unlikely that the man would survive; to the doctor’s astonishment, he fully recovered.

The firm was based at 2 Nassau Street and Berners Street in 1879.

Henry Doo Rawlings was granted the Freedom of the City of London in 1886.

Draught ginger beer was introduced from 1887.

H D Rawlings is sold to R White & Sons
R White & Sons of Camberwell acquired H D Rawlings in 1891.  The business was incorporated as a limited company at this time. The Rawlings brand continued as the premium offering alongside the standard market R White’s soft drinks.

Henry Doo Rawlings retired from the business, but was appointed vice chairman of Meredith & Drew, a biscuit manufacturer.

H D Rawlings advertised that it could supply up to 120,000 stone bottles of ginger beer within a few hours notice in 1892. The Rawlings factory was on Neate Street, Camberwell by 1894.

Henry Doo Rawlings died from erysipelas in Paris in 1904. He left an estate valued at over £47,000.

H D Rawlings was based at 8 Mortimer Street, Fitzrovia and Neate Street, Camberwell in 1914. The company employed about 400 people.

The licensed trade in the London area was the principal customer for H D Rawlings products by 1952.

R White & Sons was acquired by Whitbread, a national brewer, in 1969.

H D Rawlings was based at Winsor Terrace, London by 1975. By this time the brand was primarily being marketed as a mixer for spirits, and was largely affiliated with the on-trade of clubs, hotels and public houses.

Whitbread and Bass merged their soft drinks operations to form Canada Dry Rawlings in 1980. Bass owned 65 percent of the venture and Whitbread owned the remainder. The business concentrated on supplying the licensed trade.

Britvic acquired Canada Dry Rawlings in 1986. Britvic phased out the Rawlings name in favour of the Britvic brand.

Britvic has been known to trace its origins to the establishment of the Rawlings business.