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In 1905 Thomas Fentiman was approached by a fellow tradesman for a loan - a deal was struck, as in those times an Englishman's word was his bond. All that was required was a hand-shake and some security - in this case a recipe for botanically brewed ginger beer.

The loan was never repaid, and so Thomas Fentiman became the owner of a unique and rather original recipe for success.

The botanical brewing is a time-honoured technique involving herbs and plant roots.

The original recipe saw them take ginger roots, mill them before tumbling them into copper steam jacketed pans and leaving to bubble and simmer, releasing all their flavour. Adding finest herbs, natural flavouring, sugar, brewer's yeast and fresh spring water the liquid was transferred to wooden vats where it is left to ferment.

The liquid goes on fermenting as it is bottled and corked in the old stone 'Grey Hens' - where it would fully mature and be ready to drink by the end of the week.

Today their processes have been updated through the addition of mild carbonation to replace the carbon dioxide lost in pasteurisation, which gives the product a longer life and keeps the level of alcohol to no more than 0.5%