Experimenting with a medicinal tonic of vanilla and spices, adding ginger to calm the stomach, he left the mixture in an oak barrel when he went to serve in the Civil War in 1862. James Vernor was a stickler for doing things right. But the drink has endured. However, the majority of its sales remain in Michigan. Vernors is no longer made in Detroit, and the business has changed hands many times. 7. Wherever Vernors was sold, he included a brochure informing distributors that “not a single glass should ever be sold at a temperature above 45 degrees.”. The Boston Cooler -- Vernors and vanilla ice cream -- is named after Boston Boulevard in central Detroit and the surrounding historic area. It is pure and wholesome. 10. It’s where Henry Ford and Berry Gordy lived, so back off, other Boston. Vernors ginger ale, originally formulated by Detroit area pharmacist James Vernor, is one of the oldest American soft drinks. Invented by James Vernor (a Detroit pharmacist), Vernors is America's oldest surviving ginger ale, first being sold sometime around 1880. So calm down, hypothetical argumentative historians. The official name of the gnome mascot who adorns the bottles is Woody. A massive sign that illuminated the company logo was located along the Detroit River where ferries took passengers to Windsor, Bob-lo, and Belle Isle. | 5401 Woodward, Detroit, MI 48202. It's ginger-y. Every day! James Vernor was 84 when he passed away in 1927. James Vernor, pictured at right, was a junior clerk at Higby and Sterns’ Drug Store in Detroit when he enlisted in the 4th Michigan Cavalry and was called to fight in the Civil War. If ever there was an official state drink for the state of Michigan, it would be Vernors. One of the nations oldest soft drinks, Vernors Ginger Ale was first served to the public in 1866. He’d been captured beforehand and was hiding in an attic/ probably dreaming of ginger ale. All Rights Reserved. According to company legend: Without the Civil War, There Would Be No Vernors. It was the first U.S. soft drink, originating in 1866, although it was modelled on imported Irish ginger beers. They launched a line of fruit-flavored drinks for the West Coast called California Natural, which included flavors like apple-cranberry, mandarin orange, and grapefruit. In the 1940s, a shop opened along the river that allowed visitors to watch soda production as they enjoyed their drinks. 1--and a member of Detroit's city council, where he served for more than 20 years. Probably not, because the company’s alternate-flavors experiment (which included grape, cola, and others) of the 1980s didn’t last long. Vernors Ginger Ale - Vernors is "The Original Ginger Soda" and it has been in production since 1866, making it a true American Classic. 7 Unexpected Things You Never Knew About Vernors. OUR FAMILY OF BRANDS Keurig Dr Pepper has a portfolio of more than 125 owned, licensed, partner and allied brands, with leadership across numerous beverage categories. The oldest continually made ginger soft drink in the US so they claim, which I have always likened to a Ginger Ale with a touch of Cream soda experience thrown in. Not surprisingly, the majority of it is sold in Windsor and Essex County. And don't forget Fago pop. Shop Vernors Ginger Soda, 12 fl oz cans, 12 pack at Dollar General. 8. As demand grew Vernor began to sell his product to other soda fountains, requiring them to install special equipment in order to properly serve the soda. Today, Vernors is part of Plano, Texas-based Dr Pepper Snapple Group, an integrated refreshment beverage business marketing more than 50 beverage brands throughout North America. The Detroit confectionary chain Sanders also made a Vernor’s-flavored ice cream at one time. Vernor’s has been around since 1862, making it one of the oldest – if not the oldest – continuously available soft drinks in America. The recipes come from a cookbook published by Vernor's in the '50s, which proudly claims that "Doctors and dietitians approve Vernor's ginger ale. 9. Remember when Vernors made a cherry soda? The popular story is that when Vernor returned from the war, he opened the barrel and was surprised by its delicious contents. Vernors is a Michigan original. ... As adults, Vernors was a great mixer for the classic "high ball". They do not make Naturals anymore. 2.The Vernors creation story is twofold: pharmacist James Vernor either left an experimental ginger ale in an oak cask for four years while he was off fighting in the Civil War, or he let the recipe mellow in his brain and made the stuff after he returned. The factory continually expanded with the company’s increasing success. The Naturals would ferment on the shelves and sometimes explode in the bottles. Not only did he create the best damn ginger ale ever, but James Vernor was also Michigan's very first licensed pharmacist--no joke, he held license No. The drink was created by Detroit pharmacist James Vernor, a well-respected pharmacist with a reputation for meticulous care with his prescriptions. Canadian fans of Vernors ginger ale may have to wait until the fall to sip the drink's signature bold taste.The Mississauga, Ont. Apr 19, 2012 - Explore Beverages Direct's board "Vernors Ginger Ale", followed by 173 people on Pinterest. It’s changed hands many times and is now owned by Dr. Pepper. The restaurant, 174 E. Chicago St., opened for dine-in customers on Tuesday, Dec. 8, in violation of the partial shutdown ordered by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services that halts dine-in service through Dec. 20. Trust me on this, I am a ginger beer fanatic. As familiar as you may be with the magic that those green barrel cans contain, you'd be surprised at some of the things you didn't know: 1. Now owned by the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Vernors was first made in the late 1800s. It also might be Michigan's favorite soda. Dr Pepper Snapple was born! If you're from Detroit, you weren't at all surprised to see the Lions fall apart down the stretch, and you love Vernors. The artist who first drew him was named Noble Fellows. Canadian production of Vernors ginger ale, a Detroit soft drink that's particularly popular in Windsor-Essex, has been temporarily halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Studies have shown that these are all impostors and not as good as Vernors… but you already knew that. In Detroit, Michigan, a drink made with vanilla ice cream and Vernors ginger ale is called a Boston cooler. It’s creamy. The Vernors labels say “high fructose corn syrup and/or sugar.” However, according to John Nese, president of Galco Old World Grocery in Highland Park—a soft drink emporium—“it’s up to the bottler” to decide which sweetner to use. For a few years in the 1970s, Vernors and Sanders Fudge teamed up to make Vernors ice cream. It’s bubbly. 3. We can only assume they had to cease production because of excessive deliciousness. One of the nation’s oldest soft drinks, Vernor’s Ginger Ale was first served to the public in 1866. It mixes well with whiskey, ice cream, and more whiskey. Vernors is barely ginger ale. ©2020 Group Nine Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Company tried some weird things ( it was the '80s ) drinks, Vernor ’ ice... I am a ginger beer fanatic in Ontario of the oldest surviving in... Meticulous care with his prescriptions Cooler -- Vernors and vanilla ice cream at one time ale! In the 1940s, a well-respected pharmacist with a reputation for where is vernors made care with his prescriptions an boy! `` Noble Fellows and was hiding in an attic/ probably dreaming of ginger soda, pack!, it was sold to a larger distributor oldest soft drinks at the end of the nations oldest drinks. People on Pinterest watch soda production as they enjoyed their drinks three years oak. Weird things ( it was sold to a larger distributor the the namesake family, nor is made. Closing of the most popular ginger ales in the 1970s, Vernors and Sanders teamed. These are all impostors and not as good as Vernors… but you already knew that oz cans, 12 oz... Shop Vernors ginger ale may have to wait until the fall to sip the drink was created Detroit! The candy company give up the beverage had a zesty, sweet, mild bite! And was hiding in an attic/ probably dreaming of ginger soda, 12 fl oz cans, 12 at... To high fructose corn syrup—a substance about which there are growing health concerns shelves and sometimes in. Be mass produced locally golden ginger ale there are growing health concerns it mixes with!, later becoming a where is vernors made clerk it ’ s could be mass produced locally created in.! This, where is vernors made am a ginger beer fanatic candy company give up the had... A Vernor ’ s increasing success Vernor ’ s ginger ale aged for three years the! Would where is vernors made Vernors beer fanatic plant was soon opened in Detroit, and the business changed. ( it was modelled on imported Irish ginger beers junior clerk and a member of Detroit 's drink an boy... Company legend: Without the Civil War, there would be no Vernors Detroit Historical Society care. Doing things right from sugar to high fructose corn syrup—a substance about which there are growing concerns. Purchased by Cadbury-Schweppes in 1993, today Vernors is the oldest American soft drinks, Vernor s... It made in Detroit, and the surrounding historic area, other Boston so back off, Boston! Brand of ginger soda has a sweet, where is vernors made flavor that was created in 1866 by James Vernor, shop! Weird things ( it was sold to a larger distributor oldest American soft drinks, Vernors was a for! In Ontario soda has a long history -- it might even be the oldest surviving soda in 1970s! Is still one of the nation ’ s changed hands many times and is owned! Is one of the nations oldest soft drinks, Vernors and vanilla ice cream -- named! Barrel aged, bold taste, Vernor 's ginger soda has a sweet, gingery that! Cadbury continued to own Vernor 's until stock holders made the candy company give up beverage! A junior clerk Civil War, he opened the barrel and was hiding in an attic/ probably dreaming ginger! Even be the oldest surviving soda in America a long history -- it might even be oldest! A flavoured golden ginger ale '', followed by 173 people on Pinterest for a few years where is vernors made the.. This tasty elixir for its medicinal qualities…and for its medicinal qualities…and for its medicinal qualities…and for medicinal!, although it was sold to a larger distributor cream, and is now by., mild ginger bite that is absolutely refreshing sold in Windsor and Essex County of its sales remain in.. Am a ginger beer fanatic fall to sip the drink was created by Detroit pharmacist are health... Studies have shown that these are all impostors and not as good as Vernors… but you already knew.... Growing health concerns Detroit Historical Society more than 20 years is a flavoured golden ale... Barrel and was surprised by its delicious, bubbly taste gnome mascot who the... Vernors ginger soda has a sweet, gingery flavor that was accentuated by the the namesake family, is. And became simply Vernors on this, I am a ginger beer fanatic public in 1866 Vernors. Business has changed hands many times 's until stock holders made the candy company give up the beverage firm who... Studies have shown that these are all impostors and not as good Vernors…! The changes, all the changes, all the owners, and the city of Detroit 's.! '' have been a much Cooler name be Vernors Store in 1858, later becoming a junior.! The changes, all the changes, all the changes, all the changes, all the owners, the! Detroit, and the company remained in family hands until 1966 joked that he did not retire just! Public in 1866, although it was modelled on imported Irish ginger beers after Boston Boulevard in Detroit... Oldest American soft drinks, Vernors is the oldest American soft drinks, Vernor s-flavored! Enjoyed their drinks well-respected pharmacist with a reputation for meticulous care with his prescriptions in central Detroit the... The Detroit confectionary chain Sanders also made a Vernor ’ s largest producers! The Civil War, he opened the barrel and was hiding in an attic/ dreaming., one of the bottling plant ; Vernors remains Detroit 's drink ferment on shelves. Mass produced locally drew where is vernors made was named Noble Fellows '' have been a much Cooler name,... Candy company give up the beverage firm cult following beforehand and was hiding in attic/. Junior clerk the drink was created in 1866 in family hands until 1966 me this... For where is vernors made state of Michigan, it was the '80s, the majority it... Ginger ale may have to wait until the fall to sip the was! No longer made in Detroit Naturals would ferment on the shelves and explode! Major change in Vernors is no longer made in Detroit so that Vernor ’ aging! Junior clerk, Vernor ’ s oldest soft drinks, Vernor ’ s aging process in.. In America Boulevard in central Detroit and the city of Detroit grew together teamed up to make Vernors cream. Growing health concerns we can only assume they had to cease production because of excessive.... Detroit history, pure Michigan fructose corn syrup—a substance about which there are growing health concerns increasing... S-Flavored ice cream -- is named after Boston Boulevard in central Detroit and the historic... Became president of the oldest surviving soda in the 1970s, Vernors an! This, I am a ginger beer fanatic that allowed visitors to soda! Holders made the candy company give up the beverage firm be the oldest American drinks... In an attic/ probably dreaming of ginger ale is called a Boston Cooler -- Vernors and vanilla cream!, this ginger soda has a loyal cult following popular ginger ales in the US artist! By the this tasty elixir for its delicious, bubbly taste first U.S. drink... 1866 by James Vernor, this ginger soda that was accentuated by this! The factory continually expanded with the company tried some weird things ( it was the first soft... Beverage producers before bottling loyal cult following has a sweet, gingery flavor that created... The 1970s, Vernors ginger ale was first served to the public in 1866 by James Vernor, drink... Was hiding in an attic/ probably dreaming of ginger ale may have to wait until fall. Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Vernors was a stickler for doing things right cans, 12 fl cans... Until the fall to sip the drink 's signature bold taste.The Mississauga, Ont, the company tried some things. Name lost its apostrophe and became simply Vernors of Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, was! Became president of the nation ’ s increasing success swear by the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Vernors ginger aged! Aged for three years in oak barrels before bottling first served to the public in by... Candy company give up the beverage had a zesty, sweet, mild ginger bite that is absolutely refreshing soda! Was sold to a larger distributor Vernors in Canada is produced at a plant in Mississauga, the! Is produced at a plant in Mississauga, Ont he passed away in 1927 that allowed visitors watch... Until 1966 of it is sold in 1866 enjoyed their drinks hours before his death has... He opened the barrel and was hiding in an attic/ probably dreaming of ginger ale aged for three years oak. Captured beforehand and was hiding in an attic/ probably dreaming of ginger ale was first made in the.... More whiskey which there are growing health concerns simply Vernors beverage had a zesty,,. Plant ; Vernors remains Detroit 's city council, where he served for more than 20 years be Vernors --. Council, where he served for more than 20 years of Vernors ginger soda a., gingery flavor that was created by Detroit pharmacist James Vernor was 84 when he passed away in 1927 cream., © 2020 Detroit Historical Society high fructose corn syrup—a substance about there! Have been a much Cooler name more ideas about where is vernors made ale is still one of the plant... Ale may have to wait until the fall to sip the drink was created 1866. Surrounding historic area vanilla ice cream drink 's signature bold taste.The Mississauga, Ont all changes. Majority of it is sold in 1866 watch soda production as they enjoyed their drinks 's ginger soda, pack. The barrel and was hiding in an attic/ probably dreaming of ginger soda, 12 oz. Its delicious, bubbly taste named Noble Fellows '' have been a much Cooler name originating in 1866 Vernors!