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A legend is born

The origin of the Tennent family’s association with brewing dates back to 1556 when Robert Tennent, who believed “this place is perfect for brewing beer”, established the brewery in Glasgow.

A milestone in Scottish history

The Tennent family continued their tradition of brewing for generations. However, brewing on a commercial basis only started in 1740 when the two Tennent brothers, Hugh and Robert, established the H&R Tennent partnership. They were the sixth generation of the Tennent family to be involved in brewing.

In 1745, Bonnie Prince Charlie and his army lodged in the brewery following their retreat from England. In the Glasgow City Hall records, it is written that every man was refreshed and heartened by the Tennent’s brothers delicious brew.

Tennent’s goes to America

It was under John and Robert’s stewardship, in the 18th century, that the first recorded export of Tennent’s to America took place. They sent consignments of ale, which were high in strength in order to withstand the long voyage, to expatriate Scots in 1797.

Success in a bottle

In 1860, under the control of Hugh Tennent Senior, the firm became the world’s largest exporter of beer. In less than a century! A triumph by anyone’s standards.

Following their growing success, the iconic Red T logo is registered as a trademark across the British Empire in 1867. It goes on to become a symbol of ‘home’ to every Scottish person that sees it.

The find of the century

In the 1880s, during a trip in Bavaria, Hugh Tennent developed a passion for a lighter, sparkling beer
that he discovered whilst visiting – referred to as ‘German beer’ or lager. He wasted little time with the first bottles of Tennent’s lager rolling off the production line in 1885. The local press dubbed the success of his lager as “a madman’s dream” as it contrasted the darker, heavier ales that Scotland was accustomed to.