Truth Before Dishonor

I would rather be right than popular

I Miss Vernors

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2012/05/30

After spending 44 years in Ohio, I had grown accustomed to buying a 12-pack of Vernors every month or so, just to get away from the syrupy sweet and heavy Pepsi that I will never forsake. For a time, I also had 7-UP Gold for that purpose. When 7-UP Gold existed, I would buy 3 24-packs of Pepsi and 1 24-pack of 7-UP Gold as a lightly flavored, lightly sugared break from the very heavy Pepsi.

When 7-UP Gold departed, I reverted back to Vernors Ginger Ale. Now, “ginger ale” has a connotation all its own. And Vernors does not, in any way, taste like that connotation. At all. There is nothing on this Earth that tastes like Vernors. Nothing.

But here’s my problem: They don’t sell Vernors in Texas, or at least I’ve never seen it. And ordering it online is outrageously expensive. A 12-pack of Vernors costs more than a buck a can. And it’s only just your regular, average-priced pop, just like Barqs or Coke or Pepsi or … you get the picture. And, on top of the outrageous online prices, there are outrageous shipping costs, pushing the soda pop to the 1.75 per 12-ounce can range (when bought in bulk).

I would love to have 100 24-packs of Vernors and 100 24-packs of 7-UP Gold. I would use them to take a break from the heavy Pepsi that I drink. Those 200 24-packs would cover about 500-700 24-packs of Pepsi, or almost (but not quite) a 3-year supply of pop for me, myself, and myself alone.

2 Responses to “I Miss Vernors”

  1. ZZMike said

    I remember Vernors. It was mighty fine. Then I didn’t see it for a long time (out here on the West Coast). I still see bottled in the markets, but I tried one a while back, and it just wasn’t the same. Though maybe my taster has changed.

    Another item I really like is ginger beer – it’s a real strong ginger ale. When I was a kid growing up, there was this ginger beer – I think it was “C*ck and Bull”, that came in a little white porcelain-like bottle. That stuff was sheer ambrosia. I’d like to be able to find one.

    We have a good ginger beer out here. It’s from Australia, named “Bundaberg”. A few specialty stores carry it. Out here it’s “Cost Plus World Market”. They have a few branches in Texas. Try

    and see if there’s one near you.


  2. DNW said

    Hey John,

    You are apparently not the only one who misses Vernor’s Ginger Ale.

    As good as it might be now, many who tried Vernor’s as children back in the years before the Vernor family’s sale of the company, remember and refer to a distinctly different and more powerfully carbonated and intensely flavored Vernor’s.

    I have dim childhood recollections of the waiting ritual that was invariably involved in drinking Vernor’s. You couldn’t just take that glass that grandma had poured for you at the Christmas or Easter visit, and start drinking it down. Trying to do that would invite the spectacular effervescence which seemed to shoot from the glass like a 4th of July sparkler, into your nostrils, and result in a pretty serious coughing and sneezing fit. The drink had to sit and settle for a while. It was also gingery enough so that you could feel, not just taste, the ginger. “My lips are burning” was a kind of laughing complaint I remember hearing.

    Now whether that was largely the effect it had on the sensitive palates of six year olds as opposed to adults, I am not completely sure. But my older cousins seemed to be pretty wary as well. I don’t think anyone served it to really small kids who aren’t fit recipients for soda pop anyway. Unless it was one of those older cousins looking for a laugh as the pop greedy but naïve youngster tried to swill it like redpop.

    Meant for adults I suppose, it was even recommended for its effects as a relief from mild dyspepsia. By whom exactly, I can’t say. Probably by “them”, as in “they say”.

    Vernors, in some ways, and in whatever formula, represents an artifact from a different kind of life than most of us have known as adults. I suppose there are still families with children who play out of doors (at least there are in my neighborhood) in the summer, and for whom a Boston Cooler would be a summer evening treat of a kind which would actually register with them as a distinct experience; rather than as a sugary background to a primary absorption in a computer game or social media exchange. But by and large, the consumption of a ginger beer seems to me to be qualitatively and intentionally different experience from the gulping down of a supersized cola.

    I’ve also thought that those adults who don’t drink (alcohol) could probably benefit from having available a selection of the kinds of more interesting soft-drinks ZZMike referred to. I kind of like “going back” with a good root-beer myself, now and again.


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