Local soft drink maker ‘stubborn as a bull’

By Taylor McClure, Special to The Record

In 1896, a beloved soft drink hit the shelves in the Eastern Townships and it has become a favourite for many locals. Bull’s Head ginger ale was created by Richmond local John Henry Bryant at the end of the 20th century. While Bull’s Head experienced some ups and downs over its 124-year history, its ginger ale remains a staple in many households in the region. Present-day owners Dominic Pearson and his brother Carl Pearson understand the importance Bull’s Head’s history in the Townships. They have continued to carry out the legacy of John Bryant the best they can while expanding the company along the way. John Henry Bryant was a beer brewer at the Silver Springs Brewery on Abenakis Street in Sherbrooke with Seth Nutter before he created Bull’s Head in 1896. He believed there was too much competition when it came to brewing beer, so he decided to come up with an original drink for his own family business. While it wasn’t easy, it took a lot of trial and error, Bryant succeeded in creating a Belfast-type ginger ale. The original flavored ginger ale was called Bull’s Head after John’s wife called him ‘bull-headed’ for wanting to start his own business. The name stuck and it hasn’t changed since. This marked the beginning of his own soft drink bottling company J.H. Bryant Ltd. The company’s ginger ale experienced plenty of success in the Eastern Townships from the get-go. As the drink grew in popularity, it could also be found in Quebec City, even during the First World War. See full story in the Tuesday, Jan. 28 edition of The Record.

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