The Fantastic Factory Tour You Can Only Take In South Carolina
One of the best kept secrets in South Carolina is the tours now offered (again) at the Blenheim Ginger Ale Bottling Plant in Hamer, South Carolina. Before we get to that, a little background for newcomers on why this product and this tour are such a big deal. Blenheim Ginger Ale was born in Blenheim, South Carolina.
This "craft soda" was a craft soda before there even were "craft sodas."
It all started in tiny little Blenheim, SC in the 1800s when the local doctor prescribed his patients local mineral water for their stomach aliments. They complained about the taste so much he added some Jamaican Ginger to mask the flavor.
Fast forward to 1903 when the first Blenheim Bottling Plant opened.
The doc's "ginger ale" had gotten so popular they opened a bottling plant to start, well, bottling the mixture.
Over the years Blenheim Ginger Ale bottled two varieties of their Ginger Ales; a mild mix they cap with light-colored lids and....
...a spicy "hot" mix capped with red lids like the first photo above. Today, you can also get the craft soda in a diet version.
Now, fast forward to 1993. South Carolina Pee Dee native Alan Schafer, who had grown up with the local beverage, purchased Blenheim Ginger Ale and infused the company with new life.
He first renovated the original factory in Blenheim, but after he launched a huge nationwide advertising campaign to increase distribution the Blenheim facility was just too small to handle all the orders.
So, Schafer built a brand new plant closer to his other business just up the road in Hamer, South Carolina.
The whole operation moved to Hamer. But the history of the Blenheim product will always be preserved in its quality and goodness.
The Schafer family still imports special bottles they say keep the product more true to form and for longer periods.
You can take a tour of the Blenheim Ginger Ale Bottling Plant on any Friday of the year, barring holidays, as long as you call at least a week in advance to make a reservation. The tours last about 20 minutes if no one asks questions.
One of the best things about this tour?
If you take the tour, then you can purchase a whole case of fresh Blenheim Ginger Ale right out of production. The 24-bottle case will cost you just $26. The tour is free.
Blenheim Ginger Ale is located at 3346 Highway 301 North, Hamer, SC 29547.
Tours are offered on Fridays at 11:00 a.m. and require one-week advance reservation. Reserve by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: (843)774-0322.
What other fun factory tours have you taken in South Carolina? We’d love to know!
For more family fun in the Palmetto State, head to
the most beautiful campground in South Carolina.
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