The Civil War lasted four years and Vernors is traditionally aged four years in an oak barrel. Coincidence? No, sir!
The plant's location proved to be as fortuitous as
James Vernor Sr kept a close eye on merchants selling his
ginger ale. He frequently sent them directives on how Vernors should be
stored, dispensed, and sold. When the beverage became available in a
The company nearly did not survive the prohibition era. Vernors was a golden ginger ale, with a deep taste. However, when used as a mix by Speakeasies it over powered the taste of their illegal hooch. The preferred mix was a pale ginger ale that lacked the sweetness and bite of golden ginger ale.
Much of Vernors' competition went out of business and after prohibition ended, Vernors found itself much more alone on the ginger ale playing field.
In 1929 James Vernor Sr died and James Vernor Jr ran the company until 1952. Upon retirement he passed the company on to his nephew J. Vernor Davis. J. Vernor Davis further expanded. In 1963 sales were over $9 million a year. Its big sales and private ownership made the company an attractive take over target.
In 1966 a group of investors purchased the company, but they proved to be incompetent managers and sold Vernors to American Consumer Products in 1971. ACP sold the brand to United Brands in 1979. In 1985, United Brands closed Vernors historic bottling plant. Two years later the brand was sold to A&W. A&W was bought in 1993 by Cadbury. Cadbury eventually merged with 7UP in 1996. Production shifted to Dallas.
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Copyright 2003 Karl Mamer
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