Vernors is a golden ginger ale with a pungent flavor, more like a ginger beer. This style was common before Prohibition when the less flavorful pale ginger ale became popular as an alcoholic mixer. While Michiganders who grew up with it tend to like it, many other Americans are suspicious of it, as it doesn't taste like a "typical" ginger ale. The Traverse City Record-Eagle reported that most non-Michiganders "think Vernor's tastes like urine. There's a reason no one else drinks it." (Traverse City Record-Eagle "Locals Favor the Flavor - Vernor's in Northern Michigan" July 8, 1987.)
Vernors has a reputation of being highly carbonated and drinking Vernors from a glass can sometimes make one sneeze or cough from the bubbles it gives off. Some people consume Vernors hot as a remedy for stomachache, with ginger being the active ingredient.
The Vernor family owned the company until 1966 when they sold it to an investment group. The company was next acquired by American Consumer Products and then by United Brands before being purchased by A&W Beverages in 1987. A&W was later purchased by Cadbury Schweppes.
Although both Hires Root Beer and Vernors claim the title of first American soft drink, some argue that while Hires Root Beer was just another root beer, Vernors was not just another ginger ale, due to its unique aging process and unusual sweetener. For many, Vernor's Ginger Ale is, in fact, the first true American-born soft drink.
For many years the Detroit-based Sanders Confectionery chain offered a special Vernors-flavored ice cream at its retail stores.
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