Those of you from Texas have probably heard the news from the folks back home: Dublin Dr. Pepper is dead. The bottling company in the small town of Dublin, Texas which has made a cane-sugar version of the original Dr. Pepper formula lost a lawsuit against the Dr Pepper Snapple corporation last week, and is no longer able to produce or sell the product it's made since 1891. They even had to change their name to Dublin Bottling Works, Inc. You can read the details on our sister paper, the Dallas Observer.
You used to be able to buy it at BevMo here in California, but none of that chain's locations has any, according to an associate in their Irvine store. But there's at least one Orange County retailer that still has some as of this morning.
For years, the corporate giant had licensed the brand name to the little bottling company, which sold its product in the six counties surrounding Dublin. Until recent years, when corporate produced its own throwback version of Dr Pepper using a beet sugar formula that was close the original formula, and canned them with graphics that looked similar to the Dublin version. And now that corporate has seized the last scraps of the trademark and the original formula, they're going to sell their own "original" version made at a different bottling plant in Temple, Texas. Way to go, Snapple. "Best stuff on earth," my ass.
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Dublin's original formula is instantly distinguishable from the corporate corn syrup version sold across the rest of the country. In an informal blind tasting conducted with my family, the two versions even looked different. My kid could tell them apart from a distance. The corporate one is much more aggressively carbonated, and its corn syrup sweetener was dull-tasting compared to the brighter flavor of the original formula with cane sugar. It's not even a close comparison.
Think there's no difference? You won't have very long to get your hands on the last remaining bottles in Orange County. I'll update this list of retailers once I get more information, but for now, run, don't walk to Kean Coffee, which sells 8 oz. glass bottles of Dublin Dr Pepper for $2.69 each. Manager Paul Valdez says each store has several cases left, and they're limiting quantities to one per customer so as many people can say their goodbyes to the old-time soda.
Kean Coffee 2043 Westcliff Drive, Suite 100, Newport Beach. (949) 642-5326 also 13681 Newport Avenue, Suite 14, Tustin (714) 838-5326 keancoffee.com
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