Michigan’s Triumph: Vernor’s, Nectar of the Great Lakes
Step aside and take your Coke with you Atlanta. New Bern, North Carolina may be home to the pharmacy where Pepsi was invented, but Michigan is the home to the United States' oldest, continuously distributed, pop: Vernor's Ginger Ale.
The Birth of a Legend...and Michigan 'Cure-All'
A young man by the name of James Vernor, the first ever licensed Michigan pharmacist, was working on a stomach 'tincture', when in 1862 he was called to serve in the Civil War. As legend has it, Vernor placed his yet-to-be-perfected elixir in an oak barrel and left with the 4th Michigan Calvary to serve his country.
Upon returning from the war, 4 years later in 1866, he tapped the oak keg and was amazed at how deliciously he was able to tame the ginger into a refreshing drink.
From 'Vernor's Pharmacy' to Michigan Icon
After Vernor's son (who would later become president of Vernor's) said to his father "I think you might have something here Pop!", he decided to serve the new drink in his Woodward Avenue pharmacy. Vernor's grew in popularity and demand increased throughout the mid-west. Eventually, he left the pharmacy and converted his business into a bottling/distribution company.
Related: Boston Cooler: Made in Michigan?
A Taste of Nostalgia
Vernor's has woven it's way into our lives in Michigan. Feeling sick? Have a Vernor's. Want a delicious summer treat? Have a Boston Cooler! Want to taste home? Have a Vernor's.
There is a reason why a Vernor's is the first thing people ask for when they return to their home state of Michigan. Vernor's is Pure Michigan.