Portal:Scotland/Selected article/Week 20, 2011
Irn-Bru is a carbonated soft drink produced in Westfield, Cumbernauld, Scotland. It is made by A.G. Barr of Glasgow since moving out of their original Parkhead factory in the mid-1990s and at a second manufacturing site in Mansfield, England. In addition to being sold throughout the United Kingdom, Barr's Irn-Bru is available throughout the world and can usually be purchased where there is a significant community of people from its native Scotland. Innovative and sometimes controversial marketing campaigns have kept it as one of the best-selling soft drinks in Scotland where it competes directly with global brands such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi.
It is thought that the name 'Irn-Bru' originated with the re-building of Glasgow Central Station in 1901. When workers from the William Beardmore and Company Steel Works in Glasgow were dying from the large amounts of beer drunk to quench their thirst from the heat of the steel works, an alternative was sought. A local soft drinks manufacturer, A.G. Barr, approached the steel works and a contract was created to provide the workers with this drink. This unnamed drink later went on to be known as 'Iron Brew' because of its connections to the steel (and iron) works.