I was going through some of my old photos and I found some from a fun little day trip that I took with my husband last fall. It was before I even started my blog, but the photos are so cool I just had to share!
My favorite kind of pop (soda, if you insist) is Dr. Pepper... and guess what? Dr. Pepper was invented in Texas! Last September we decided it was necessary to visit Dublin, Texas, the site of the first Dr. Pepper bottling plant. It's a couple of hours from Dallas, but it was a beautiful drive for a beautiful early autumn day.
Even though Dr. Pepper was invented in Waco, Texas, the first bottling plant was opened in Dublin, about 80 miles away, in the year 1891. The name "Dr. Pepper" is a little bit vague, but the story is that the founder of the soda named it after the father of a girl he liked in Virginia. Unfortunately it didn't help him get the girl.
When the Dublin plant was founded, it only sold (and still does to this day) to stores and businesses within a 44 mile radius of the plant - the distance that could be traveled in a day by horse.
The most unique feature of the Dublin plant, however, is that while in the 1970s all other Dr. Pepper plants switched from the original cane sugar recipe to corn syrup as sweetner, the Dublin plant has always used cane sugar. It is the only plant that does... but since it only distributes to such a small area, not many people get to enjoy it! And if you think it doesn't make a difference... it really does! The cane sugar gives it a more refreshing flavor with less of a syrupy aftertaste.
The only problem is that the bottling machines at the plant are old and only work with bottles that are slightly larger than the glass bottles used today. In fact, the correct size is not even manufactured anymore. So the only way you can buy genuine bottled Dublin Dr. Pepper to take home is if you bring your own bottles! People gather the correct size bottles from antique stores, thrift stores and anywhere else they can find and bring them to Dublin on bottling day to stock up. If you visit the plant you can buy a bottle of Dr. Pepper, but you must return the bottle. Luckily, however, the Waco plant has begun bottling some of the original recipe cane sugar Dr. Pepper which can now be bought in some grocery stores around our area!