Temperance Bars

5 June 2008

It’s hard to imagine a bar with no alcohol, but just 50 or so years ago, Temperance Bars were all the rage. Often based in herbalist’s premises, they sold not alcohol but soft drinks. Their little wooden drawers would be filled with all manner of herbs and potions, including those used to brew their most popular beverages- Sarsaparilla, Dandelion and Burdock and Cream Soda.

Sadly, the majority have now closed down, but the tradition lives on. Mawson’s started in Oldham in 1933 and still produce these drinks today, some sold in the original stone flagons.

Fentimans, based in Northumberland, was established in 1905, selling ginger beer. Their range now includes “properâ€? still lemonade and tonic water as well as the old-fashioned drinks such as Dandelion and Burdock. They are brewed in the traditional manner using 100% natural ingredients.

As we say in these parts, “what goes around comes aroundâ€?, and Fentiman’s bottled drinks can be found in some of Manchester’s bars, being used for cocktails; and a new “Temperance Barâ€? has opened , the Halal Inn, selling non-alcoholic drinks, in Oldham, where Mawson’s set up business all those years ago.

Halal Inn