If there's a billboard on the highway advertising a food factory tour, you can bet your cherry limeade that my family will take a detour and spend a bit of time learning about the family business and enjoying some free samples.
There's something so fascinating about taking a look into the hidden worlds of food factories. And no food factory is more Texan than Dublin Bottling Works, located just southwest of Dallas-Fort Worth in the town of Dublin, Texas.
It all started in the wild frontier.
About 80 miles east of Dublin is Waco, Texas. Home to our favorite Texas renovation family, Waco was once a place on the wild frontier and was even nicknamed "six-shooter junction".
Between the small buildings on the main street, Wade Morrison's Old Corner Drug Store stood and set itself as a popular meeting place. As a provider of essential goods and fountain drinks, Morrison's was the place to be.
A few years later, Sam Houston Prim, a Texas businessman tasted the drink and decided he wanted to sell it through his new bottling company located over in Dublin.
The bottling of this drink went on for years, producing small batches of the drink using the original recipe from the 1800s. While bigger plants were made to expand their reach and the Dr Pepper recipe switched to using cheap high- fructose corn syrup, Dublin Bottling Works stood true to their product, making batches in glass bottles with real sugar. These retro sodas were notably known as Dublin Dr Pepper.
It was in 2012 when the factory lost its rights to make Dr Pepper when the Dr Pepper Snapple group caused a legal battle to ensue. Today the bottling plant still manufactures and sells seven different soda flavors made with real cane sugar. The flavors include: Dublin Ginger Ale, Dublin Sweet Peach, Diet Dublin Texas Root Beer, Dublin 1891 Red Cola, Tart N Sweet Lemonade, Dublin Vanilla Cream, Retro Grape and Dublin TeXas Red Creme.
How to Plan a Visit
While at the factory, make sure to stop by Old Doc's Soda Shop, serving the best sodas and ice cream around. Sip on a vintage cola while old-time soda jerks scoop up Blue Bell ice cream in a retro setting.
- Tours begin at 10:15 a.m. and run every 45 minutes until final tour at 4:15 p.m.
- The cost is $5 for adults, $4 for kids and seniors.
- For group tour reservations and rates, call 888-398-1024.