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. Invented by James Vernor (a Detroit pharmacist), Vernors is America's oldest surviving ginger ale, first being sold sometime around 1880. The company’s last plant was at 4501 Woodward Avenue in what is now Midtown, and featured a block long glass front that revealed the bottling process. Vernors is an American brand of ginger soda that was created in 1866 by James Vernor, a Detroit pharmacist. His family joked that he did not retire until just hours before his death. Vernors is no longer made in Detroit, and the business has changed hands many times. According to company history, it was invented in 1866, though Serious Eats notes its 1911 trademark application says it … Wouldn't "Noble Fellows" have been a much cooler name? 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. Folklore has it, in an attempt to recreate the recipe for a Dublin-made ginger ale not available in the U.S., the good doctor began gathering ingredients and experimenting with flavors. 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. 3. The official name of the gnome mascot who adorns the bottles is Woody. View all items related to Vernor's Ginger Ale, © 2020 Detroit Historical Society. 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. 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.”. 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. | Save Time. The Vernor’s Company copyrighted the Boston Cooler name in 1967 when it was used for their Vernor’s flavored ice cream bar. But the drink has endured. 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. One of the nations oldest soft drinks, Vernors Ginger Ale was first served to the public in 1866. The Boston Cooler -- Vernors and vanilla ice cream -- is named after Boston Boulevard in central Detroit and the surrounding historic area. The Boston Cooler -- Vernors and vanilla ice cream -- is named after Boston Boulevard in central Detroit and the surrounding historic area. It’s sweet. According to company legend: Without the Civil War, There Would Be No Vernors. They do not make Naturals anymore. And don't forget Fago pop. Rather than simply chucking any old ginger ale into the mix for the Higby Double Barrel, The Emory decided to go with a Vernors reduction to add a sweet but concentrated kick. 8. James Vernor was 84 when he passed away in 1927. Vernors ginger ale, originally formulated by Detroit area pharmacist James Vernor, is one of the oldest American soft drinks. At the time (according to company lore), he was experimenting with a stomach calming tonic of vanilla, spices and ginger, which he left behind in an oak cask. For a few years in the 1970s, Vernors and Sanders Fudge teamed up to make Vernors ice cream. It was the first U.S. soft drink, originating in 1866, although it was modelled on imported Irish ginger beers. 1--and a member of Detroit's city council, where he served for more than 20 years. It was created by Detroit pharmacist James Vernor. Shortly after the company’s 100th anniversary, it was sold to a larger distributor. A highly carbonated beverage, Vernor’s is often used to cure stomachaches or mixed with lemon juice and served hot to nurse a sore throat or cough. Remember when Vernors made a cherry soda? ... As adults, Vernors was a great mixer for the classic "high ball". 6. Probably not, because the company’s alternate-flavors experiment (which included grape, cola, and others) of the 1980s didn’t last long. QUINCY, MI – Opening his Quincy Diner for dine-in service was not a decision Owner John Parney made lightly, But he said it was the decision he had to make. Sometime at the end of the 1950s, the name lost its apostrophe and became simply Vernors. The Detroit confectionary chain Sanders also made a Vernor’s-flavored ice cream at one time. Today, Vernors in Canada is produced at a plant in Mississauga, and is only sold in Ontario. We can only assume they had to cease production because of excessive deliciousness. It’s where Henry Ford and Berry Gordy lived, so back off, other Boston. James Vernor was a stickler for doing things right. VERNORS ginger ale is the oldest soft drink, VERNORS was invented in 1866 by James Vernor. 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. It’s where Henry Ford and Berry Gordy lived, so … We Michiganders swear by the this tasty elixir for its medicinal qualities…and for its delicious, bubbly taste. The artist who first drew him was named Noble Fellows. Vernors Ginger Ale - Vernors is "The Original Ginger Soda" and it has been in production since 1866, making it a true American Classic. All Rights Reserved. If you're from Detroit, you weren't at all surprised to see the Lions fall apart down the stretch, and you love Vernors. He opened his own pharmacy in 1866 and for several years, Vernor’s soda fountain was the only place where one could purchase the beverage. However, the majority of its sales remain in Michigan. A plant was soon opened in Detroit so that Vernor’s could be mass produced locally. The drink was created by Detroiter James Vernor, a well-respected pharmacist with a reputation for meticulous care with his prescriptions. In 1968, a Vernors advertising artist (Ron Bialecki) decided to grow out his beard and become the gnome (a.k.a Noble Fellows). However another claim, backed by a family member, is that Vernor did not create the formula for his drink until after the Civil War. James Venor began his career as an errand boy at Higby & Stearns Drug Store in 1858, later becoming a junior clerk. The Naturals would ferment on the shelves and sometimes explode in the bottles. 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. The Vernor family sold the company to an investment group in 1966; it was later owned by American Consumer Products, United Brands and then A&W Beverages. He’d been captured beforehand and was hiding in an attic/ probably dreaming of ginger ale. He decked out a yellow AMC Pacer in Vernors swag, including a barrel, called it the Gnome Mobile, and became the unofficial mascot at James Vernor Elementary School. The factory continually expanded with the company’s increasing success. It’s changed hands many times and is now owned by Dr. Pepper. Vernors has a long history -- it might even be the oldest surviving soda in America. If any historian wants to argue with you, he’s probably never had a Vernors and is unaware that it deserves the title on deliciousness alone. Dr Pepper Snapple was born! Vernor’s and the City of Detroit grew together. So calm down, hypothetical argumentative historians. 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. Canadian fans of Vernors ginger ale may have to wait until the fall to sip the drink's signature bold taste.The Mississauga, Ont. Created by Detroit pharmacist James Vernor, this ginger soda has a loyal cult following. Save Money. It also might be Michigan's favorite soda. One of the nation’s oldest soft drinks, Vernor’s Ginger Ale was first served to the public in 1866. If you really want to know, put it up to the test: Order some online if … Vernor’s has been around since 1862, making it one of the oldest – if not the oldest – continuously available soft drinks in America. 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. If ever there was an official state drink for the state of Michigan, it would be Vernors. The drink was created by Detroit pharmacist James Vernor, a well-respected pharmacist with a reputation for meticulous care with his prescriptions. Vernors is NOT ginger beer. 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 popular story is that when Vernor returned from the war, he opened the barrel and was surprised by its delicious contents. It’s bubbly. Vernor was vigilant about each ingredient, including the carbonated water, which he also sold, with which the extract was mixed, reportedly treating the soda with the same consistency and attention that he paid to his prescriptions. One major change in Vernors is the switch from sugar to high fructose corn syrup—a substance about which there are growing health concerns. The beverage had a zesty, sweet, gingery flavor that was accentuated by the wood’s aging process. Ginger Beer is a totally different drink. It mixes well with whiskey, ice cream, and more whiskey. James Vernor II became president of the company in 1896, and the company remained in family hands until 1966. As its fame grew, Vernor’s became available throughout the Midwest. | 5401 Woodward, Detroit, MI 48202. Vernors ginger ale is still one of the most popular ginger ales in the country. 10. 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. Every day! ©2020 Group Nine Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Cadbury continued to own Vernor's until stock holders made the candy company give up the beverage firm. 9. The Emory Ferndale. Vernors is barely ginger ale. 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. 7 Unexpected Things You Never Knew About Vernors. The route took him past the vacant Vernor’s Root Beer plant, the Neo-Classical Detroit Institute of Arts and its Thinker statue, and the “New Center” Area, just as his radio played the station identity announcement for WJR, “The Great Voice of the Great Lakes, 50,000 Watts, 760 on your AM dial, Detroit, Broadcasting from atop the Golden Tower of the Fisher Building.” A popular dessert beverage, the Boston Cooler, pairing vanilla ice cream with Vernor’s soda, took its name from the generic term used in the early 20th century for any drink mixing ice cream and soda, not from Boston Boulevard. Vernors is no longer owned by the the namesake family, nor is it made in Detroit. Featuring a barrel aged, bold taste, Vernor's Ginger Soda has a sweet, mild ginger bite that is absolutely refreshing. Vernors Ginger Ale Ingredients It is pure and wholesome. 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. Now owned by the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Vernors was first made in the late 1800s. In the '80s, the company tried some weird things (it was the '80s). In Detroit, Michigan, a drink made with vanilla ice cream and Vernors ginger ale is called a Boston cooler. 7. It's ginger-y. 5. Studies have shown that these are all impostors and not as good as Vernors… but you already knew that. Even with all the changes, all the owners, and the closing of the bottling plant; Vernors remains Detroit's Drink. James Vernor was a member of the Fourth Michigan Cavalry, which captured Jefferson Davis on May 10, 1865 -- except Vernor wasn’t involved. Vernors is a flavoured golden ginger ale aged for three years in oak barrels before bottling. 4. Shop Vernors Ginger Soda, 12 fl oz cans, 12 pack at Dollar General. It’s creamy. First sold in 1866, Vernors is the oldest soda in the US. 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. See more ideas about ginger ale, detroit history, pure michigan. Vernors is a Michigan original. In the 1940s, a shop opened along the river that allowed visitors to watch soda production as they enjoyed their drinks. Purchased by Cadbury-Schweppes in 1993, today Vernors is part of Dr. Pepper Snapple, one of the nation’s largest beverage producers. The company has been very supportive of the Vernor's brand. Not surprisingly, the majority of it is sold in Windsor and Essex County. Dating back to 1866 (making it the oldest ginger ale brand in the country), Vernors was born in a Detroit drugstore to Dr. James Vernor. Apr 19, 2012 - Explore Beverages Direct's board "Vernors Ginger Ale", followed by 173 people on Pinterest. 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