Birmingham's famous Davenports beer is being re-launched and, in time-honoured tradition, it's going to be delivered to homes.
s well as being available in local pubs, the famous Davenports vans will soon be making home deliveries for the first time in a generation.
Davenports was brewed in Birmingham from 1896 until 1987 when it was bought out by Greenall and the Bath Row brewery closed.
However, Walsall-based Highgate Brewery resurrected the brand in 2003 with Davenports top Brew Delux and Original as niche products. Now the demand has forced the brewery to think big.
Managing director Bob Norton said: "We started it off as a bit of nostalgia but our Davenports beers really caught the public’s imagination and we are now in the position to properly relaunch the brand with more new beers.
"The success of the Top Brew Delux in 2003 led to the launch of last year’s Davenports IPA Export which has been phenomenally successful."
After buying the trade marks and brands, the brewery hired ex-Davenports staff, including head brewer Neil Dain to ensure the taste was the same as before.
Highgate has spent £1 million on new equipment and is installing a new bottling plant to produce Top Brew Delux, Original, IPA Export and the new Continental Lager, which will be launched at May’s Publican Show at the NEC.
Mr Norton added: "This will be a fantastic summer for Birmingham as we will be using delivering vans to take the beer to customers because as everyone knows - Beer At Home Means Davenports. We have found some old footage of delivery vans and horses coming out of the Bath Row brewery in the 1920s which is just amazing to see."
Davenports started brewing beer in 1829 and from its headquarters in Bath Row, brewed millions of barrels of beer which was delivered across the country.
After a battle between Greenall Whitley and Wolverhampton & Dudley breweries, Davenports was sold in 1986 and production ceased in Birmingham within a matter of months.
"It was a sad day for the city when the brewery closed down and it will be a proud moment when the vans leave the factory and hit the streets of Birmingham for the first time," said Mr Norton
However, despite trawling through archives and searching high and low, the company cannot find a copy of the Beer At Home Means Davenports television advert.
And Mr Norton has promised: "I will give a year’s supply of beer to anyone who can find me a video of the advert so we can run it on television in the summer."
The Davenport’s advertising campaigns in the 1970s and 1980s on ATV and Central centred around the catchprase Beer at Home means Davenports.
"Whenever I mention Davenports someone usually pipes up with the tune that was on the advert," he added. "The trouble is that we have found copies and videos of most of the old adverts but we can’t lay our hands on the one everyone remembers.
The lyrics to the advert went:
Beer at home means Davenports,
That’s the beer!
Lots of cheer!
The finest malt with hops and yeast,
Turns a snack into a feast.
Straight from breweries to your home,
Soon you’ll know why folks all say:
"Beer at home means Davenports! "