8 Ways to Celebrate Vernors’ 150th Birthday

Modified: January 19, 2022 | Story by Heidi Tiano
Whether you like it over ice or over ice cream, Vernors Ginger Ale is a Detroit staple. The fizzy wonder was born in Detroit in 1866 and turns 150 this year, making it the oldest continuously produced soda in the United States — older than Coke or Pepsi.
You better believe Detroit’s going to celebrate. We suggest you celebrate, too.

Here are 8 ways to do celebrate:

1. Attend the 150th Anniversary Party

Meet the Vernors gnome, join a Vernors scavenger hunt run, help break the record for most pop-drinkers and more at the anniversary party, June 11, at the Detroit Historical Museum (check out the calendar of events). You can purchase Vernors floats, cream ales and Boston Coolers, with proceeds supporting the purchase of a Vernors’ historical marker for Detroit.

2. Make a Vernors Float at Home

Or, should we say, a Detroit Cooler? Add one 12 oz. can Vernors to a heaping scoop of vanilla ice cream for the perfect summer treat.

3. Cook and Bake with Vernors at Home

A float or a cocktail is the most popular concoction, but don’t limit yourself to liquids. Head to Pinterest and search for Vernors recipes, like Vernors Ginger Ale Spice Cake or Vernors Breaded Pork Loin Chops.

4. Bone up on Vernors’ Trivia

Impress your friends with Vernors’ history this month. It was invented by James Vernor at his pharmacy at Woodward and Clifford, then stored it in an oak cask for four years when he was called off to war in 1862.

5. Check out Special Vernors Menu Items at Select Detroit Restaurants

A long list of Detroit restaurants will be serving up special menu items or cocktails using Vernors. Try a Ginger Amaro cocktail at Ottava Via.

6. Attend or Plan a Vernors and Ginger Beer Crawl

The Detroit Experience Factory is hosting one on June 10 (sold out but get on the waitlist by calling 313-833-0277), or plan you own by visiting bars with tasty ginger concoctions.

7. Get a Vernors Slurpee at 7-Eleven

In 2014, 7-Eleven announced it would start selling Vernors Slurpees in all of its Michigan stores.

8. Light up the Town

Keep an eye out for Detroit buildings lit in green and yellow in honor of the Vernors anniversary, including a marquee at Huntington Place and an electronic message at The Detroit Opera House.

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Mentioned Attractions And Venues

  1. 1
    Detroit Historical Museum
    5401 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48202
  2. 2
    Ottava Via
    1400 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI 48216
  3. 3
    Huntington Place
    One Washington Blvd., Detroit, MI 48226
  4. 4
    Detroit Opera House/Michigan Opera Theatre
    1526 Broadway St., Detroit, MI 48226