Fans of Northern Neck Ginger Ale likely know that the soft drink has been around a long time. But the COVID-19 pandemic and a related aluminum can shortage led to the production of the beverage ceasing in July of 2020.
Now, fans of Virginia's Northern Neck Ginger Ale have to deal with the sad news that Coca-Cola, which now owns the drink, had to stop selling the product at the end of last year.
In October, the Coca-Cola Company announced it would stop selling around of its 200 brands by the end of 2020, according to Business Insider. Sadly, Northern Neck is one of the casualties. Previously, Vice president of communications Brian Nick told News on the Neck in July that production of the drink was simply "temporarily suspended" as a result of supply issues in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The iconic ginger ale was first bottled by Arthur Carver in Montross, Westmoreland County, about 60 miles from Richmond in the mid-1920s. Coca-Cola purchased the ginger ale in 2001 and moved production to the Coca-Cola Consolidated bottling plant in Sandston, but it still has fans in Virginia and beyond who are looking to save Northern Neck Ginger Ale.
"NNK Ginger Ale has been a key factor in curing everything from a tummy ache to depression," wrote LaWanda Kelly in her Change.org petition. "Keeping this beverage in production will keep many smiles in place. Releasing this greatness from production would render a devastating blow."
Many a ginger-ale lover is familiar with its delicious ginger flavor and caramel color. Northern Neck Ginger Ale has the perfect taste of ginger root, with the fizziness of carbonated water or sprite. The discontinuation of this beloved beverage is a loss for many.
But Coca-Cola bottling company CEO James Quincey told Business Insider that half the company's portfolio generated only 2 percent of revenue, so they decided to focus on the biggest brands, like Coke, going forward, instead of regional drinks like Northern Neck Ginger Ale. The Virginian-Pilot said other underperformers like diet-soda TaB and Diet Coke Feisty Cherry are being discontinued, too.
If you were a fan of Northern Neck Ginger Ale, you remember its delicious and addicting flavor. Although it'll be hard to find at retailers or online, you can buy it on Ebay for a blast from the past.
This post was originally published on December 23, 2020.