Today is Michigan’s 175th birthday! It was January 26, 1837 when Michigan officially entered the Union after receiving the Upper Peninsula in concession for losing Toledo. In honor of Michigan’s b-day, I wanted to do a Michigan related post. So I decided to provide a list of the pop (it’s not soda in Michigan) that is made in the Great Lakes State. There is a lot of great stuff being made here, some which you may know, some you may want to know.
Without question, the most popular drink to come out of Michigan is Vernors Ginger Ale. The drink was invented by James Vernor. He was looking to make a ginger ale like the one made in Dublin, Ireland at the time. As he was working on his drink he was called into serving in the Civil War. When he got back, his ingredients has been aging in a oak barrel. What resulted lead to the Vernors we have today. Today, the drink is under the Dr. Pepper/Snapple brand, I don’t even know it it’s produced in Michigan still, but it’s still a Michigan original.
I have found time and time again when someone has left Michigan, and comes back, they head to the nearest store for some Faygo! This brand is found all over Michigan and into some other states as well. Faygo began in Monroe, Michigan in 1907. The company was bought by National Beverage Corp in 1987. However Faygo is still made right here in Michigan. In recent years, they have brought back the glass bottle version using pure cane sugar. These bottles have popped up in gourmet stores and soda shops all across the country. Some of my personal favorite flavors are Grape, Rock ‘n’ Rye, and Peach.
Towne Club started up in the 1960s. It was unique in that you would go right to the company to buy the pop. You would take a wood case and walk around picking out different flavors. Each case fit 24 bottles. In the 1980s this practice came to an end. Towne Club was suffering on hard times for quite a while. People thought they disappeared. However in recent years they have been making a comeback in a major way. They have a newly designed glass bottle that holds 16 oz and sells for 99 cents. They have introduced 2 new flavors in the last year: Honolulu Blue Cream Soda (referring the blue in the Detroit Lions uniform) and Michigan Cherry, which contains real Michigan cherry juice. Here are the flavors I have reviewed:
While not being an Michigan original, the brand was sold in 2009, to the Michigan based Intrastate Distributors Inc of Detroit (they also have the rights to Towne Club). So this brand has increased it’s presence throughout Michigan in the last couple years, especially around Christmas time where many stores (including Busch’s) carry their 4 packs of glass bottle pop. Here are the flavors I have reviewed:
Vanilla Root Beer
Blue Cream Soda
The Straight from the Cherry Capital of the World, Cherry Republic is a company that sells nothing but cherry products from jam to jelly to of course pop. Their Boom Chugga Lugga brand has several flavors, all using real Michigan cherry juice. Those flavors include: Black Cherry Cream Soda, True Cherry Cola, Cherry Ginger Ale, Cherry, and Cherry Root Bear. Every one of these flavors is 5 star worthy. Their pop can be found at their stores in Ann Arbor, Traverse City, Glen Arbor, and Charlevoix. You cam also find them in the Michigan product section at Westborn Market in Berkeley.
Frankie’s Root Beer
Frankie’s Root Beer is a bold brew made up in one of Michigan’s top tourist locations – Frankenmuth. This root beer is made at the Frankenmuth Brewery.
Powers Root Beer
I discovered this root beer at Westborn Market in Berkeley. It was made by the Michigan Brewing Company out of Webberville. Michigander and musician Kid Rock developed a beer at this brewery. They also produce a nice, quality root beer under the name “Powers”.