Just for Fun

Irn Bru - Did you know?

Irn Bru - Did you know?
By Sophie

This iconic soft drink sits alongside Whisky and haggis as Scotland's most famous exports. Not only enjoyed in the homeland, Irn-Bru has worldwide popularity. Synonymous with Scottish culture, most Scots will admit that they couldn't live without it. Many also claim that it is the best cure for a hangover, in the world. Think you know everything there is to know about Irn-Bru? Think again!

1. Originally, Irn-Bru was called 'Strachan's Bru'

Founded in Falkirk, by Robert Barr in 1875, Irn-Bru was initially sold as an 'aerated water', which is how soft drinks were known back then. When Robert's son Andrew launched the soft drink in 1901, he launched it under the name 'Strachan's Brew'.

2. In 1946 most of the vowels in Irn-Bru were dropped

Originally meant to be called Iron Brew, Barr's hit an issue with branding laws. As the drink wasn't actually brewed, they were forced to change the name. The new Irn-Bru trademark was initially registered on Thursday 18 th July 1946 and in doing so Irn-Bru was born!

3. Irn-Bru's initial advertising campaigns were comic strips

When Irn-Bru initially started advertising their new invention, they constructed a campaign in the form of an on-going comic. Featuring the adventures of Ba-Bru and Sandy, who were inspired by Rudyard Kipling's book 'Sabu The Elephant Boy'. Introducing generations of Scots to Barr's Irn-Bru, Ba-Bru and Sandy were the longest running advertising cartoon characters in history. As well as the comic, a neon sign that feature Ba-Bru was erected outside Glasgow Central Station for many years, eventually being removed in the 70s.

4. Irn-Bru beats Coca Cola to the number 1 spot in Scotland and the Middle East

Coca Cola might give Irn-Bru a run for its money in being the world's number one selling drink, however, in Scotland and the Middle East, Irn-Bru has remained number one for the last 100 years. Although Coca Cola has made up the gap in the last few years, it still stays as a close second.

5. As the name suggests, Irn-Bru does actually contain Iron

In the 1980s, Irn-Bru's advertising tag line was 'Made I Scotland from girders'. Though the 'girders' were often assumed to be a reference to the 'rust' colour of the drink, Irn-Bru has a 0.002 per cent ammonium ferric citrate listed among its ingredients, which is a food additive that contains iron hydroxide.

6. There are only 3 people in the world who know the recipe

Reportedly, only 3 people in the world know the recipe for making Irn-Bru. The Former company chairman Robin Barr, his daughter Julie Barr and one other A.G Barr, who is a board director and who's identity remains confidential. Some claim that the trio will never travel on the same plane as each other, just in case.

7. Irn bru is not just made in Scotland

Several other countries around the World manufacture Irn-Bru, with five factories being located in Russia alone. The world famous drink has also been produced in the Canada, USA and Norway since 2008.

8. Irn Bru is loved by celebrities

Referenced in Elvis Costello's song 'The St Stephen's Day Murders', the lyrics state, 'There'll be laughter and tears over Tia Marias, mixed with that drink from the girders'. Those who drink Irn-Bru on a hangover swear by the drink's magical restorative powers, leading Billy Connelly to write an ode dedicated to Mr and Mrs Barr in which he claims he has Irn-Bru to thank for saving his life on so many Sunday mornings. In the national museum of Scotland's range of exhibits selected by celebrities, Sir Sean Connery chose a crate of Irn-Bru.

9. Most prefer to drink their Irn-Bru from a glass bottle, rather than a can

When fans were asked to vote on the Irn-Bru website, the statistics show a particular favor towards the glass as a vessel. 71 percent of those involved voted for the bottle, with only 29 percent of participants voting in favor of the can.

10. Irn-Bru are keen on recycling

Although the scheme recently came to an end, while it was running, 750ml glass bottles of Irn-Bru could be returned (empty) to the manufacturer in exchange for a 30 pence deposit paid. This scheme was widely available in shops across Scotland, first being established in 1905, with each bottle returned worth one halfpenny.

Well we feel we've learnt something new here today! Let us know if you know any more Irn-Bru related facts!