Dublin Bottling Works – Dublin, Texas - Gastro Obscura

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Gastro Obscura

Dublin Bottling Works

Dublin, Texas

This soda factory is one of the last in America to use real cane sugar despite the protestations of Dr Pepper. 


In operation since 1891, the Dublin Bottling Factory only recently took its name after refusing to bow to Dr Pepper’s insistence on the use of high fructose corn syrup.

Formerly known as the Dublin Dr Pepper Bottling Company, the factory was the first facility to bottle Dr Pepper soda after its 1885 invention. For over one hundred years, the bottling plant produced relatively small batches using the drink’s original recipe involving real cane sugar. Even when the demand for the drink increased and mass-manufacturing became a necessity, the Dublin facility continued to create only small batches of glass-bottled, original recipe soda. When the use of cheaper corn syrup ingredients began being used to manufacture the drink, the operator of the historic plant, Bill “Mr. Dr Pepper” Kloster refused to change their ways, citing the folksy philosophy that one ought to keep “dancin’ with who brung ya.”  The sugary throwback produced by the plant came to be known unofficially as, “Dublin Dr Pepper.”      

This rogue sugaring continued until 2012, until a battle with the Dr Pepper Snapple company which could no longer brook their unwillingness to toe the line, caused the plant to lose all rights to bottle Dr Pepper products and use the Dr Pepper name. Kloster had developed a museum of Dr Pepper memorabilia and signage at the factory which was also tragically disbanded thanks to the lawsuit.   

Now known simply known as the Dublin Bottling Works, the site continues to bottles seven other sodas using real cane sugar and equipment that dates back to the 1930’s. The site still offers tours of the facility and although the Dr Pepper museum is gone, there is a museum for the facility itself showcasing 121 years of soda history, high fructose corn syrup be damned.

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