Dublin Bottling Works

Dublin, Texas | C.1891

Photo Credit: Mindy Doyle

Behind the doors of Dublin Bottling Works, production lines bubble with new batches of soda produced with pure cane sugar – a trademark of the Texas soda factory for over 100 years. Established in 1891, Dublin Bottling Works is historically known as the first factory to bottle the popular soda drink, Dr. Pepper.

In 1885, pharmacist Charles Alderton of Waco, Texas formulated a soda to serve at Wade Morisson’s Old Corner Drug Store. Quickly a favorite among locals, the fizzy drink became known as a “Waco” before Morrison later renamed it Dr. Pepper. Following its popularity, Morrison partnered up with Robert Lazenby to establish a bottling company to produce Dr. Pepper and other soft drinks.

Businessman Sam Houston Prim quickly took notice of the soda’s popularity, too. That same year, he struck a deal with Morrison and Lazenby to bottle Dr. Pepper out of his new company, Dublin Bottling Works. The soda saw steady success, and in 1904, Dr. Pepper made its major debut at the World’s Fair in St. Louis.

Over the decades, demand for Dr. Pepper grew around the world. In Texas, Dublin Bottling Works continued to produce the soda in small batches using the original recipe. When corn syrup was introduced to aid mass production, factory operator Bill Kloster refused to stop using pure cane sugar, referring to an old country belief to keep “dancinâ” with who brung ya’. The original recipe produced in Dublin became known as “Dublin Dr. Pepper”.

In 2012, the Dr. Pepper corporation sued Dublin Bottling Works for violation of their licensing agreement. The factory lost all rights to bottle Dr. Pepper and use the name. Nevertheless, Dublin Bottling Works continues to bottle seven different sodas, offers tours, and still uses original 1930s equipment.

Written By: Kelly Murray

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