Although we enjoy IRN-BRU, many people are unfamiliar with the drink. So what is it?
IRN-BRU (pronounced Iron Brew for those unfamiliar). It only needs 1 word. Any visitor to Scotland will be familiar with this one-of-a-kind bright orange carbonated drink.
Unique to Scotland, IRN-BRU has a distinctive fruit and vanilla taste. It contains 32 different flavors and is still made with real sugar. The drink has become so popular it is now available at teadog.com, which offers the real thing. Make sure you get the authentic item. It is still made in Scotland and the spelling is capitalized and hyphenated: IRN-BRU.
Created in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1901, it is produced by the AG Barr Company. During this period, Iron Brew was the name of many mixed flavor drinks, with producers making each version a bit differently. Conditions during World War II caused the product to be unavailable in grocery stores for a while.
When the war ended, the government proposed changes to food label regulations. The names of all foods would have to literally be true. Iron Brew would have to be changed since it did not contain enough Iron and it was not actually brewed. AG Barr changed the name of their product to the phonetic pronunciation IRN-BRU in 1946.
Extensive advertising has helped it grow over the years. Starting in the 1930s and lasting until the 1970s, the adventures of Ba-Bru and Sandy ran in Scotland’s papers. Then, the still familiar “Made in Scotland from Girders” as well as the “Your Other National Drink” were used.
According to AG Barr, only 2 people in the world know the drink’s ingredients. The recipe is kept in a safe deposit box in Switzerland. Company chairman Robin Barr, now the sole family member of the company board, knows the recipe. Only 1 other member of the board (who is anonymous) knows the ingredients. Despite trying to be duplicated, IRN-BRU remains popular both in Scotland and across the world.