Blenheim Ginger Ale History-
The Blenheim Shrine*The following is reprinted from a company brochure.
We make Ginger Ale
the Old fashioned Way...
Welcome to the oldest, smallest and some say best, independent bottling company in America. Located next to the Blenheim Artesian Mineral Springs, the bottling plant is today much as it was when it began production in 1903.
The mineral springs were discovered in 1781 by James Spears, a Whig, who was trying to escape Tory troops. According to legend, Mr. Spears lost a shoe in a water hole. When he returned to retrieve his shoe, he tasted the water and noticed its strong mineral content. Word of the spring spread and soon people were coming to taste the cool refreshing water. Several wealthy plantation owners built summer homes in the vicinity of the springs.
In the late 1800's Dr. C. R. May advised his patients with stomach problems to drink the mineral water. When these patients complained about the strong taste of the mineral water, Dr. May added Jamaican Ginger to it.
In 1903, Dr. May and A. J. Matheson opened the Blenheim Bottling Company. The building which houses the bottling works today was constructed in 1920. While the Original Extra Pale was hot enough for some, our 1903 has surpassed it in popularity.
In the spring of 1983, PM. Magazine featured our company in a national broadcast. Charles Kurault heard about us and we were honored to be the lead story in the premier On The Road summer series. BLENHEIM GINGER ALE was featured in the August, 1985 issue of Playboy magazine. The original issue of Carolina Lifestyles also "extolled the virtues" of our products. The publicity did wonders for our company. We expanded, slowly but steadily. We remain today what we have always been: a small, independent, progressive company intent on quality products.
In 1993 the Blenheim Bottling Company was acquired by the Schafer Family, who also own Schafer Distributing Company, and South of the Border Tourist Complex. They immediately renovated the old plant to meet new standards, and began bottling this unique Ginger Ale.
Within weeks, however, it was clear that the old plant could never meet the demand that existed for BLENHEIM GINGER ALE, so a new plant was built with larger capacity, while maintaining the quality and uniqueness of the old facility.
The original Blenheim Plant still operates as a working Bottler's Museum, giving this company the Oldest and Newest bottling plants in the U.S.A.
The new owners consider this investment a Labor of Love. They firmly believe there is a place in America for a small, but different, bottling company with a totally unique product and have, on that premise, embarked on this project to bring BLENHEIM GINGER ALE in all its 93 year old goodness to anyone in the U.S. who loves and appreciates real, Old Timey Ginger Ale.
Blenheim Ginger Ale is bottled in four (4) different types:
Old #3 HOT
#5 NOT AS HOT*
#11 GINGER BEER (* #5 Not as Hot was not in the list in the brochure!)
All Blenheim products are now being bottled in 4/6 pack cases and shrink packed for safe and clean delivery.
BLENHEIM GINGER ALE is bottled ONLY in GLASS BOTTLES--not in cans--assuring that it never tastes "tinny".
A national advertising campaign began in 1993 with an ad appearing in The New Yorker Magazine. This was a successful beginning to our ad campaign and we still advertise in The New Yorker, as well as Chile Pepper, an up and coming publication for individuals who love hot and spicy foods & beverages.
Forbes Magazine's FYI featured Blenheim Ginger Ale as a selection in their "cream of the mail-order" section.
The September 1994 issue of Wired magazine featured a cover shot of Penn Jillette (Penn & Teller) wearing a Blenheim T-Shirt!
In January, 1995 New York magazine featured a restaurant sampler. Much to our surprise (and delight!) under the "Takeout" section, Blenheim Ginger Ale was touted as "best of the lot" and magnificently spicy". This article also featured a full color shot of a bottle of our 1903.
If you have questions about BLENHEIM GINGER ALE, please call or write. All serious inquiries will receive a reply.
You may call us at 1-800-270-9344 from anywhere in the U.S. to place an order (we accept Visa, Master Card, American Express and Discover) and we'll ship it out no later than the next business day. You may also fax orders to us at (803) 774-4018
If you are in South Carolina, on Interstate 95, you are welcome to come by South of the Border and visit one of the plants where Blenheim Ginger Ale is made. This plant is generally open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
P. 0. Box 452
Hamer, SC 29547