Vernors Ginger Ale. Known for its deep honey hue, sugar-ginger flavor, and carbonation fizzier than Rice Krispies on steroids.

Now, for the first time in FIVE DECADES, the Midwest’s favorite summer mixer will have a new flavor variation to enjoy: Vernors Black Cherry Ginger Soda!

It’s an appropriate flavor. Not only are black cherries the sweetest of cherry fruits, but they are distinctly Midwestern. Their hardy nature allowed them to dominate the freshly-opened farmland created by American pioneers. The black cherry thrives almost anywhere, including ditches, forest edges, and the wind-battered scrub prairie across Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan. It also makes just about the prettiest furniture you ever saw.

The black cherry release starts on August 1 and will last through October. Limited to markets in Ohio and Michigan, Vernors Black Cherry Ginger Ale will be available in 2-liter bottles, 20-ounce bottles, and canned 12-packs. Although the flavor is on a limited run, Vernors is sure to bring it back if its reception is positive.

First introduced just after the Civil War in 1866, this oldest of America’s ginger ales is a proprietary mix of 19 ingredients, plus the addition of one extra ingredient: love.


The secret ingredient is actually old, wet wood. The story goes like this: a young Michigan clerk named James Vernor left a batch of his homemade ginger ale in an oak cask before enlisting in the US Army in 1862. When he returned home from the war three years later, he discovered the cask, cracked it open, and tasted it. That might sound gross but back then, that ancient ginger ale was safer than any running water.

When asked how the ginger ale tasted, Vernor smacked his lips and replied “Different.”

“Different?” His friends winced. That wasn’t exactly a ringing endorsement.

Vernor corrected himself and established what stands today as the brand’s motto: “Deliciously Different.”

In the tradition of being “deliciously different,” Vernors just announced a product even more differenter differentelier differe


Not everyone is delighted. Vernors is more than a carbonated beverage in Detroit, it’s all-purpose culture bedrock. it’s secret ingredient, a remedy, a medicine, a mixer, a dessert. Journalist Randiah Camille Green of the Detroit Metro Times didn’t mince words about the news: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, we say.”

Vernors is still aged in oak barrels

Although it’s still an American-made product, it’s now part of a much larger beverage family. The Vernor family sold the ginger ale to investors in 1966, who sold it to American Consumer Products who sold it to United Brands who sold it to A&W Beverages who sold it to Cadbury-Schweppes who sold it to Dr. Pepper/7-Up which became Dr. Pepper Snapple Group which became Keurig Dr. Pepper.

Keurig Dr. Pepper is the home of Vernors today, along with its dozens of famous adopted brother and sister brands. Even 150 years later, Vernors is still an American-made product, and as Midwest as you can get.