A Trip to Dublin Bottling Works
You may or may not have heard, but the sweet nectar most folks call Dr Pepper is no longer produced in the small town of Dublin, TX. Following the decision of the lawsuit brought by the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, the Dublin Dr Pepper Bottling Company separated from corporate Dr Pepper and the soda invented in Waco in 1885—that’s right, Dr Pepper is older than Coca-Cola .
The legend of Dublin Dr Pepper started in the 1970s when most soda manufacturers were switching to high-fructose corn syrup as a cheaper alternative to the rising price of sugar. Deciding to remain true to the original product, Dublin stuck with the original Dr Pepper formula it had been bottling since 1891. A cult following developed and over the years true Dr Pepper fans flocked to the small town in Erath County to buy “original” Dr Pepper by the case. The capstone event being the annual Birthday Celebration of the plant in which the town of Dublin was renamed Dr Pepper, TX for a week.
These days, the only tie the bottler has to Dr Pepper is its museum – yes, there’s a separate museum for Dr Pepper in Dublin – showcasing the large collection of Dr Pepper memorabilia the plant’s owners collected throughout the years, and the collection is quite extensive.
The biggest misconceptions most folks have about the small town bottler is that corporate Dr Pepper now owns the bottling plant or that Dr Pepper forced the bottler to close. While technically speaking the Dublin Dr Pepper Bottling Co. no longer exists, it’s only because the company changed its name to Dublin Bottling Works, but it is still a family-owned business as it has always been. And while severing a relationship of that magnitude could prove catastrophic for most small businesses, Dublin Bottling Works has emerged from the ashes a phoenix and a rock star in its own right.
The day after the Dublin Dr Pepper Bottling Co. closed its doors for the last time, owner Jeff Kloster did the same thing he did every day, sell soda, this time peddling soda independence. You could say they took lemons and made lemonade, or Tart-n-Sweet Lemonade, to be exact. Now with 10 of its own flavors, the Dublin Bottling Works has let go of even more of the larger brands it was known for including Big Red, Nu Grape, and Triple XXX Root Beer, focusing instead on its own flavors.
So what if you’ve probably never heard of these new sodas, that’s kind of the point. Each on of these sodas is a crafted product by true soda artisans with more than a century of experience in the properties and processes involved in making some truly tasty treats. And staying true to their pedigree, each soda is made with pure cane sugar, not high-fructose corn syrup.
At Old Doc’s Soda Shop, the on location retail side for the general public, you can buy any one of these sodas by the bottle, make your own six pack or even buy a case of your favorite. As a bonus, they even have a select number of other independent sodas from around the country. And let’s face it, on a hot Texas afternoon, what could be better than popping the top off an ice cold piece of Texas heritage.
Insider Tip: On June 7 Dublin Bottling Works will hold their 123rd Birthday Celebration, an event filled with arts and crafts vendors, food, sand castle art, free tours and more. After this year, they will hold their Birthday Celebration every fifth year in an effort to further focus on developing their soda brands. The next celebration after this year will celebrate 125 years.
Dublin Bottling Works is located at 105 E. Elm, just one block from Highway 6 in Dublin, Texas. The soda shop is open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 1pm-5pm. Tours begin at 10:15am and run every 45 minutes until the final tour at 4:15pm. If you have any questions, you can call 888.398.1024
For additional information, check out dublinbottlingworks.com