‘Beer at Home means Davenports’, a slogan made popular in 1939, has been given new life today (Friday 3rd December), as Davenports, the Midlands historic brewing house that was established in 1829, launches their ‘Beer At Home’ service. Inspired by their pioneering delivery service of 1902, and in line with the changing attitude of people towards drinking at home, it is hoped that it will be as popular as it was over a century ago.
Whilst in the early 1900s a dray and shire horse were used to deliver bottles of ale directly to customers homes, today the product will be ordered online, and arrive in Beer At Home boxes courtesy of a courier service.
Davenports has a reputation for being pioneering throughout history, boasting so many firsts. The first to install bottling plants harnessing the latest technology and pioneers of early recycling, in 1905 the company fought a significant legal battle to enable them to sell beer directly to customers in their home! Early leaders in the concept of marketing – many will recall that famous jingle that transformed the company’s fortunes, and continues to be recalled by generations today.
In 1902, Baron Davenport, a very private man, was said to be so disturbed by the sight of children waiting outside public houses whilst their parents drank inside, that it sparked the idea of delivering bottled cask beer to customers’ houses to persuade them to drink at home with their families. Today, the impact of the pandemic has certainly changed people’s drinking habits, with many wanting to drink in the comfort of their own home – benefitting from the cost advantages of ordering online and consuming at their leisure.
Baron W Davenport added; “Wherever we go, people recite stories of their own experience of Beer At Home – be that grandparents, or parents who bought Davenports products. We’ve even had people call-in to radio shows to sing that famous Beer At Home jingle! Pioneering throughout history, Davenports has led the way in terms of innovative brewing technology and practices, delivery services and creative marketing. We really haven’t had to look far, or think too hard about our Beer At Home service. It is wonderful that the passion for the brand is still strong after so many lifetimes, and it is still relevant and on-trend for today. Whilst we won’t be using drays to deliver our product, more’s the pity, we still have that jingle!”
The European Beer and Cider market is one of the largest in the world and due to recent events has seen changes in shopping habits, which have accelerated the way people buy beer and cider. People are looking for greater convenience in accessing their chosen drinks, and greater value.
Cen Hayward, Associate Sales Director of Davenports explains; “More purchases are being made online, people want quick, secure delivery to their home to suit their lifestyle. Europe now consumes 20% of the world’s beer, and this is expected to grow annually. Industry insiders suggest that Covid-19 may have advanced the evolution of online alcohol sales by up to 3 years – in just 3 months! Ecommerce is hugely important and the time is right to launch our own dedicated Beer At Home service.”
With sustainability in mind, Davenports have focused on removing plastic where possible from the supply chain of Beer At Home, hence the minimal packaging approach which eliminates void fill, improves operational efficiency and lowers transport costs (lower CO2), yet it is designed to withstand the rigour of transport – and of course is made from recycled material.
Consumers can order their Beer at Home online via www.davenports.co.uk and it will be delivered direct to their door.
Notes To Editors:
Davenports was established in 1829.
1902: A new branch of the business started – manufacturing, bottling and delivering Davenports non-deposit ale and stout.
1904: Davenports C.B Ltd, registered to supply ‘pure bottled ale and stout at the cheapest possible price’. Quickly reaching delivery to 15,000 homes.
Famous Legal Battle: In 1905 Davenports was accused of ‘Beer Hawking’, selling beer by retail at a place where they were not authorised (beer at home), It was viewed as a hugely important prosecution, fought brilliantly, and won by the very theatrical barrister, Mr Marshall-Hall K.C, on behalf of Davenports in the Victoria Law Courts. Marshall-Hall was later knighted. Davenports had paved the way for other brewers to follow a similar scheme.
The Co-operative beer bottle…A Double Inducement: Within a month of the dismissal of the beer hawking accusation, C.B Ltd launched its prospectus to potential shareholders in the company, which already had proven ‘progressive, substantial, and satisfactory’. Half of the shares were Ordinary and were divided equally between the three directors and John Davenport and Sons brewery, and half were advertised as customers’ shares. Those who bought them had to commit to buying ten shillings’ worth of bottled ale (CB) or Stour (CS) over a six-month period; if they didn’t do this, they had to sell their shares at the paid-up value. Holders of these shares were entitled to a 5% cumulative preference dividend and half of the surplus profits of the company in proportion to what they had spent in the year after 5% had been paid to the Ordinary shareholders. The FT wryly dubbed the scheme ‘A Co-operative Beer Bottle’, more seriously and optimistically, Davenports advertised it as ‘devised to give EVERY shareholder a double inducement to further the interests of the Company’.
Early pioneers in advertising. By 1910, it was obvious that much thought was put into making them lively, pertinent, and appealing.
1922 Motorised lorries expanded delivery capability.
Technology: in 1930, The Birmingham Daily Gazette stressed that few of Davenports’ rivals could claim to be as modern in equipment as Davenports which boasted ‘The very latest appliances that science and mechanics have evolved’. In total, three batteries of machines with ten machines in each turned out 120,000 bottles of beer every day!
Continued Investment: More investment in the bottling plant meant that a few years later, Davenports were capable of 24,000 bottles per hour.
Pioneers of Recycling: In the 1930’s, Davenports championed recycling bottles that were returned by customers. Scrupulously cleaned and chilled for reuse in two automatic bottle washing machines the rate of 12,000 per hour.
1937: More than 250,000 regular customers.
Famous Slogan: In 1939, the ‘Beer At Home Means Davenports’ slogan was first introduced.
That Jingle: Davenports gained much publicity from an advert that featured marketing director Carl Daniels and a catchy ditty:
Beer at Home means Davenports,
That’s the beer, lots of cheer.
The finest hops with malt and yeast
Turns a snack into a feast.
Straight from brewery to your home,
Why collect, we’ll deliver.
Soon you’ll know why folks all say,
Beer at Home, means Davenports.
Costing little to make, it was credited with boosting sales to such an extent that in 1973 Davenports’ profits reached just under £1million compared to £86,000 in 1961.
2021: Despite the terrible impact of the pandemic on the industry, Davenports managed to acquire new pubs and venues, refurbish existing pubs whilst also launching ‘Beer At Home’.
Making A Difference:
Reducing box size and lessening void fills all adds to reducing lorries on roads each year.
Press release from Davenports